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In the 2002 July-October V30 3/4 Issue of FREMONTIA – a journal of the California Native Plant Society, there was a terrific article by Robbin W. Thorp, Peter C. Schroeder, and Carol S. Ferguson: Bumble Bees: Boisterous Pollinators of California Native Flowers. It was such a perfectly detailed story of the annual life cycle of native Bumble Bees that it stuck with me and I’ve had a much deeper appreciation for these beautiful, gentle, and vital native insects ever since. While taking a photo of bunch flowering crocus blooming in my lawn, I noticed a big fat, lumbering over-wintered bumble bee queen emerge from a hole (that’s another story). She slowly, powerfully crawled like a tank toward the crocus where she climbed up, over and into the bloom where she rested and, I assume, began to drink. It reminded me of that article I’d read 22 years ago (it seems like about 3 years). I looked it up, found it and I printed the article here for you to read.  I have supported CNPS since the late 1970s and still do. We deeply appreciate their work and Villager Nursery embraces their ideals in our efforts to provide the widest selection of cold-hardy Sierra native plants possible. Sadly, several excellent growers of western native plants have shut their doors in recent years and at a time when native plant use should be increasing, it is getting harder and harder to find growers willing to help us produce so many wonderful plants.  -e

I encourage ANYONE interested in native plants or native ecosystems to support them. Included in California Native Plant Society’s mission is “conserving California native plants and their natural habitats, and increasing understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants … through education, plant science, advocacy, land stewardship and native plant gardening.”  Certainly a worthwhile cause for millions upon millions of reasons.  Give to CNPS.

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