Guided tours with a trained docent are available between mid-March and mid-October for groups of five to 30 people. The tour content is suitable for ages six and older. Tours may be scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 10am and 2pm, and on the second Saturday of the month at 10am, depending on docent availability. Tours last 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the group. There is a fee of $5 per person for participants six and older; younger children may join the group at no charge. All tour fees support the garden’s operation.
Tours are also available at other times, free of charge, for University of California classes and organizations as well as for beekeeping- and horticulture industry-affiliated groups. Please indicate your affiliation and desired time on the tour reservation form.
We offer tours for the general public and tours for school groups. The content is as follows:
- History and purpose of the garden: concept to reality, how it’s used, supported, and maintained
- Honey bees and other bee pollinators: biology, economic importance, why they’re in trouble and what’s being done to help
- Plants: what is pollination, how the garden’s plants are selected and grown
- Honey bee hive: see the bees at work
- Bees and food production: key crops and how they are pollinated, UC Davis research, ideas for home food gardens
- What you can do: applying principles of bee biology and ecology in your own garden, how to build and maintain a bee garden, how to observe and study bees, supporting bee outreach and research
School group tours
- Content is grade-appropriate and is based on the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools:
- Why bees, pollination, and the Haven are important
- Bee and flower biology and structure and how they are related
- Overview of common bee and plant species in the garden
- Student collection and observation of live bees
Please use the calendar below to check availability. To request a date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Tour request” in the subject line. Please allow one week for a reply. Due to limited docent availability, requesting a tour is not a guarantee that your tour will be scheduled. All scheduled tours will be confirmed; please check your spam filter and mailbox quota if you don’t receive a reply. We appreciate your understanding.
Please arrive on time and park at the garden, not the Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility. There is no bus turnaround at the garden. Buses may pull in and back out or they may turn around at the Hopkins Road/Bee Biology Road intersection and back into the garden. All participants must be present at the scheduled tour start time; we cannot accommodate late or individual arrivals. Parties of more than 15 people may be split into smaller groups due to space limitations.
Cancellation policy: bees are not active during cool, wet, windy, or cloudy weather. Due to our exposed location, the garden is often windier than other parts of campus or Davis. Under these conditions, however, other garden features such as plants and bee houses can still be observed. Should you wish to cancel your tour, we require at notice at least two hours prior to your scheduled tour time. To cancel and receive a refund of your tour fee, please email us. No refunds will be given for tours cancelled with less than two hours notice or for no-shows.