- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
So you like bugs...
C'mon, just a little bit?
If so, you're in luck. The UC Davis Department of Entomology is featuring scores of insects from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16 as part of the campuswide Picnic Day.
If you head over to Briggs Hall on Kleiber Hall Drive or to the Bohart Museum of Entomology at 1124 Academic Surge, California Drive, you'll be in bug heaven.
The Bohart Museum alone houses more than seven million specimens of insects, which can make budding entomologists so downright happy they'll turn cartwheels and somersaults. Plus, there's the added feature of the live Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. Hold out your hand!
Over at Briggs, they'll be hosting scores of activities, including cockroach races, termite trails, honey tasting, and Maggot Art. That's capitalized because entomology graduate student Rebecca O'Flaherty invented this educational curriculum and coined the term. Kids love this. Just pick up a maggot with a specially designed larvae forceps, dip it into water-based paint and then let it crawl on a piece of white paper. Voila! Maggot Art, suitable for framing--or posting on the family refrigerator. (It's also a good conversation starter when family and friends come to visit.)
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program will provide a number of educational activities and also will give away free ladybugs, aka lady beetles.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty will provide honey tasting and samples of Gimbal's Fine Candies. This San Francisco company helps support UC Davis honey bee research. So, taste a little honey, eat some delicious candy, and go watch the roach races.
Or maybe you'll also want to learn about the diversity of ants. The Phil Ward lab will oblige. Besides, what's a picnic without ants?