- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Although the festival, set from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Woodland, focuses on honey bees--they're the pollinators that produce honey!--you'll see other arthropods there, too, including native bees and spiders.
The Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis will be displaying bee specimens, including sweat bees, leafcutter bees, blue orchard bees, bumble bees, carpenter bees, sunflower bees and others. Directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, the insect museum houses some eight million insect specimens, plus a live "petting zoo" (think Madagascar hissing cockroaches, tarantulas, and stick insects) and a year-around gift shop. It's located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building.
Look for spiders, too, at the California Honey Festival. "Interns will be tabling from Heidi Ballard's Education 142 class on environmental education," said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator, who is assisting with the project. They will be discussing the different hunting techniques of various spiders, including crab spiders, jumping spiders, trapdoor spiders and orbweavers.
The California Honey Festival is a free, family friendly event sponsored by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the City of Woodland. it will include bee presentations, live music, cooking demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, and a Kids' Zone. You'll learn from world-class bee garden designer and author Kate Frey on what to plant in your garden to attract bees. She and Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of San Francisco State University authored the award-winning book, The Bee Friendly Garden.
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, California's state apiculturist, and a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty, will present three "live" bee demonstrations in a circular screened bee tent. Her demonstrations are scheduled for 11:15, 1 p.m. and 3:45 in the bee tent, UC Davis Stage. See complete schedule of events.
Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, says the festival was created in 2017 to cultivate an interest in beekeeping, and to educate the public in support of bees and their keepers. "Bees face many threats today—it is the goal of the festival to help attendees understand the importance of bees to food diversity in the United States."
The California Honey Festival's mission is to promote honey, honey bees and their products, and beekeeping. Through lectures and demonstrations, the crowd can learn about bees and how to keep them healthy. Issues facing the bees include pests, pesticides, diseases, malnutrition, and climate changes.
So, come for the bees. Stay for the native bees and...the spiders. Then next year on March 14 you can celebrate National Save a Spider Day.