Students in Professor Diane Ullman's Entomology 1 class, fusing art with science, will be showing their work at a public reception from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 31 in the Third Space Collective, 946 Olive Drive, Davis.
The event, billed as "Totems, Glass and the Movies," is free and open to the public.
Some 56 students participated, Professor Ullman said. "The students have really worked hard and for the first time ever we have stop-action movies, led by Allison Simler,and glass fusion artworks, led by entomology graduate student, Joanna Bloese."
Donna Billick and Diane Ullman led students in creating totems with clay, cement and mosaic. Ullman and Billick co-founded and co-directed the UC Davis Arts/Science Fusion Program.
"We are looking forward to introducing the UC Davis community to the fine work of our students, Ullman said.
Ullman, former associate associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is noted for her research, teaching and public service.
She received the Entomological Society of America's distinguished teaching award in 2013. She earlier received the outstanding teaching award from the Pacific Branch of ESA, comprised of 11 western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming), parts of Canada and Mexico, and seven U.S. territories.
The E. L. Niño Bee Lab, directed by Extension Apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, University of California, Davis, is now recruiting for its first-ever California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP). The deadline to fill out the application form is Wednesday, June 1. Notifications of acceptance will be made by June 15.
Its mission: “To provide science-based education to future stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping. The apprentice level is designed to build a solid foundation of basic beekeeping skill and knowledge. When participants achieve this level they may opt to stop or continue on to the more advanced levels: journeyman and master levels.”
“We are extremely excited about launching this program which will bring timely and most current beekeeping and other pollinator information to the stakeholders in California," said coordinator Bernardo Niño. "With the increased interest in beekeeping and need for continued public education we really want to engage those who love bees as much as we do be the true bee ambassadors in their communities."
"And with unique challenges for beekeeping in California--that is, about two million bee colonies end up in California in February each year for almond pollination--it was time to have a California-based program," he said. "We are here to support the bees and the beekeepers and we can't wait to start this new partnership."
A $200 program fee will be due no later than July 1. This cost covers a single exam fee, CAMBP study guide, priority access and program discount to all CAMBP-approved courses at UC Davis.
Individuals must score 75 percent or higher on both a written and field practical examination.
Upon completion, apprentice level beekeepers will at the minimum be able to complete the following practical tasks:
- Light and appropriately operate a smoker (including fire safety crucial for California)
- Identify different casts in the colony
- Confidently open and examine a colony
- Properly manage the colony throughout the year
- Be able to identify and take care of any issues that the colony encounters
- Identify and build/assemble standard hive equipment
- Be able to properly feed colonies if needed
- Prevent colony robbing
- Monitor for pathogens and pests
- Re-queen a colony
They are also expected to engage in community service activities, such as assisting members of youth organizations with bee-related projects; giving a public demonstration on beekeeping at a fair, festival or other similar event; or successfully mentoring a new beekeeper through at least one season.
The program is so far supported by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, Kaiser Family Foundation, Mann Lake LTD, and Gilroy Beekeepers Association.
More information, including the application form, is available at http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/CAMBP.html or call (530) 380-BUZZ (2899).
So when Yves Le Conte, director of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Paris, toured the UC Davis campus prior to his keynote speech at the second annual Bee Symposium, "Bonjour" was not only a greeting, but a very good day.
He toured the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, and the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
Escorted by journalist/master beekeeper Mea McNeil of San Anselmo, he first enjoyed a luncheon catered by McNeil at the Laidlaw facility; toured the Bohart Museum, home of nearly eight million insect specimens; and then visited the honey bee garden, a half-acre bee garden located next to the Laidlaw facility on Bee Biology Road.
McNeil, who profiled him in a bee journal, described him as not only a rigorous scientist, but a warm, caring person. "It was his curiosity about mites that led him to make discoveries about bee pheromones that have substantially changed the understanding of bee behavior," she said. "A good deal of cross pollination took place as he met members of the UC Davis entomology community, and he relished a visit to the Bohart Museum."
Le Conte, known throughout Europe for his varroa mite research and the effects on honey bees, spoke on “Honey Bees That Survive Varroa Mite in the World: What We Can Learn from the French Bees.”
He related that the parasitic varroa mite, "a major pest for beekeepers," arrived in France in 1982, and that untreated colonies died after two or three years. Resistance of the honey bee to the mite is crucial for bees' survival, he said. He and fellow scientists are studying varroa-resistant bees. "We go to beekeepers and say 'Give me a piece of the wing of your queen--we want to study the DNA to select for (varroa) resistance," he said.
In addition to his groundbreaking work in Europe, Le Conte collaborated with bee scientist Gene Robinson at the University of Illinois to isolate the pheromone that helps regulate labor in the honey bee colony. Le Conte has also worked with Mark Winston, Marion Ellis and many others throughout the country. He is a member of the advisory board of the Bee Informed Partnership, which strives to help beekeepers keep healthy and stronger colonies.
The second annual Bee Symposium, held May 7 in the UC Davis Conference Center, and hosted by the Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Amina Harris, director of the center, and Neal Williams, associate professor in the department and a co-faculty director of the center, emceed the event.
The seminar, sponsored by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be hosted by assistant professor Joanna Chiu.
Merlin joined Texas A&M's Department of Biology in the fall of 2013 and is a member of the Center for Biological Clocks Research.
The eastern North American monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) has emerged as a powerful model system to study animal circadian clocks and their role in an unconventional output, the photoperiod-induced long-distance migration," Merlin says in her abstract.
"Circadian clocks are endogenous 24-hour timekeepers that coordinate nearly all of the animal physiology and behavior to its environment to tune specific activities at the most advantageous time of the day. Monarchs use a circadian clock to navigate to their overwintering sites during their seasonal long-distance migration. The clock time-compensates for the movement of the sun across the sky over the course of the day and regulates the sun compass output in the brain. Circadian clocks could also be used to time the monarch seasonal departure from their breeding grounds, and consequently regulate the genetic/epigenetic program controlling migratory physiology and behavior."
In a news story written by Vimal Patel of the Texas A&M communications office, Merlin is described as zeroing in on "unraveling the mysteries of the migration and the role of internal clocks in the process."
Merlin was quoted as saying: "It's incredible how such a fragile insect can complete a long-range migration so demanding. Every piece of it fascinates me, from how it occurs to why they go precisely where they go."
An excerpt from Patel's piece:
"While she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the laboratory of Prof. Steven Reppert, Merlin and colleagues showed that the clocks necessary for flight orientation lie in the creatures' antennae -- a departure from the previous conventional wisdom that the brain controlled the mechanism, given that it controls behavioral rhythmicity in virtually every other animal, including humans.
"The conclusion stemmed from Merlin's and her co-workers' collective curiosity concerning a decades-old anecdote. Around 50 years ago, entomologist Fred Urquhart found that Monarchs became disoriented after he clipped off their antennae. Since then, it had remained just a suspicion until the Massachusetts team confirmed it with more rigorous research."
"The team's experiment exploited technology in a way Urquhart, who merely observed the Monarchs in flight, could not at the time. They used a plastic barrel-like device called a Mouritsen-Frost flight simulator in which a butterfly is connected by tungsten wire to an output system that indicates which direction it is flying. The results were clear: The antennae-less Monarchs flew in every which direction, while those with intact antennae flew southwesterly, the migratory direction."
Merlin says she's interested in the role of the circadian clock in the induction of the migration. "Migration begins every year in the fall, when the day lengths change," she says. "The shortened day lengths might be a cue for the monarchs to start their migration. And if we can show this is the case and that the circadian clock is involved, we can now start to understand the genetic program that is allowing the migratory behavior."
A native of France, Merlin received her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees majoring in animal biology, invertebrate physiology and insect physiology, respectively, at the University Paris 6 Pierre and Marie Curie in France. She accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts in 2007.
The event, billed as "A Conversation with Professor Lanzaro," will be hosted by Professor Jared Shaw of the UC Davis Department of Chemistry. Shaw founded the Davis Science Café in 2012. Science Café is held the second Wednesday of each month. All programs are free and open to the public. Science Café is affiliated with the Capital Science Communicators.
Lanzaro, a noted malaria mosquito researcher, is the former director of the UC Statewide Mosquito Research Program, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.