Bees of the Central Coast hero image

Bees of the California Central Coast

A New Book by UC Santa Cruz students featuring illustrations and poetry on the amazing diversity, beauty, and ecology of wild bees

Team Lead: Hamutahl Cohen

As of May 1, Bees of California is available at the Norris Center for $20. If you can't make it to the Norris Center to buy your copy, Bees of California is available on Amazon for $23.99. Order your copy now!

Bees provide food through the simple but essential act of pollination. There are thousands of bee species in North America, but bees are dying.

This project led to a book which was a collaboration between student artists, scientists and writers at the University of California concerned with bee decline. This book is intended for readers with an interest in contemporary poetry, art, nature, and gardening. Over 20 stunning full color illustrations and haikus were contributed by different artists that will make you fall in love with bees.

The ecological, taxonomic, and illustrative works in this book are based on real-world research but paint the problem of bee diversity and bee population decline with art and poetry. The book holds a magnifying glass to several different bee families commonly found in California. It also highlights the most important concepts around bee decline and bee behavior, including nesting habits, floral preferences, and social behavior. Readers will learn how to turn their backyard into a bee-friendly garden for native and wild bees.

We have successfully finished our IDEA Hub project, which was to create an art, science, and poetry book about the bees of California. We launched the book at the Art of Nature show at the Santa Cruz natural history museum and with bee workshops on campus. Here is a link to the book!

Humans depend on bees for pollination, but bees are dying. With the increasing urbanization and agricultural intensification of California, many urban gardeners have taken up the call to protect bees by planting bee-friendly plants in their home and community plots. UCSC researchers have been working with gardeners across the Santa Cruz county to study the diversity, biology, and decline of bee populations along the central coast of California ( of the Central Coast illustration-in-progress

This research has found over 50 unique species that utilize gardens as “resource islands” within highly urbanized landscapes. This project seeks to translate real world research at UCSC into a non-academic publication that highlights the amazing diversity, beauty, and ecology of these wild bee species.  This illustrated handbook to the bees of central coast will highlight both common and rare species through illustration and poetry compiled from the work of undergraduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Team Members:

Hamutahl Cohen

Jennifer Harrower