- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
If you're looking for something to do on Sunday, Nov. 18--something both fun and educational--you'll want to attend the Bohart Museum of Entomology’s open house.
The theme is "Insect Societies," featuring honey bees, ants and termites.
The event, free and open to the public, takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge building on Crocker Lane, formerly California Drive, on the UC Davis campus. The nearest intersection is LaRue Road.
Senior museum scientist Steve Heydon says the bee displays will include a bee observation hive from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility; a cartoon of a waggle/round/break dance created by former UC Davis student and cartoonist Beth Urabe; and a photo of an unusual bee sting captured by yours truly--that would be me--that went viral.
Billy Synk, staff research associate at the Laidlaw facility, will provide the bee observation hive, which he also brought to the debut event of the Honey and Pollination Center on Oct. 27 at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
Urabe’s cartoon depicts a waggle and round dance, behaviors performed by honey bees, and then on a humorous note, she added break dancing. She's a former cartoonist for the California Aggie newspaper.
The photo of the bee sting depicts a bee stinging Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen in the Laidlaw apiary. It's unusual in that you can see a trail of abdominal tissue; usually a sting is a clean break. It won first place in a photo competition sponsored by the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences and then was named “one of the most amazing photos of 2012” by Huffington Post.
Also planned are displays on ants and termites. Visitors can also “get up close and personal” with the live specimens in the year-around “petting zoo.” They include Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas, including a rose-haired tarantula.
Featured in the gift shop will be California dogface butterfly t-shirts at a discounted prices; and caddis fly cases that can be used to string together necklaces.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million insect specimens and is the seventh largest insect collection in North America. It is also the home of the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.
Bohart officials schedule weekend open houses throughout the academic year so that families and others who cannot attend on the weekdays can do so on the weekends. The Bohart’s regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The insect museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.