Extension apiculturist emeritus Eric Mussen, who is serving his sixth term as president of the Western Apicultural Society (WAS), says those registering early will save $50. “There will still be an opportunity to register after July 31 but you won't get the ‘early bee' special,” he said.
The early registration fee for the full conference is $175, while the cost after July 31 is $225. One-day registration is also offered at $60. The conference is open to all interested persons.
WAS, a non-profit organization, represents mainly small-scale beekeepers in the western portion of North America, from Alaska and the Yukon to California and Arizona. Beekeepers across North America will gather to hear the latest in science and technology pertaining to their industry and how to keep their bees healthy.
Mussen, who retired from UC Davis in 2014 but maintains an office at Briggs Hall, said most events will take place at the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) and surrounding facilities associated with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Off-site tours are also planned during the afternoons.
At the conference, Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine, will share his insights on the "The Rapidly Changing Bee Scene"; Les Crowder will discuss managing honey bees in top bar hives, and Larry Connor will cover "Keeping Your Bees Alive and Growing.” Several speakers will present mini-sessions outdoors at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility and the adjacent Häagen Dazs Bee Haven, a bee friendly garden operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Both are on Bee Biology Road.
"The beekeeping and honey industries are, and have been extremely volatile,” said Flottum, editor of Bee Culture for more than 30 years. “That's what happens when you have animals, the weather, government and humans in the mix.” He will discuss “what's going on at the moment that beekeepers should be aware of, and more importantly, what to expect in the near and not so near future that will affect bees, beekeepers and honey, queen and honey bee production."
Flottum also authored three books on beginning, intermediate and advanced beekeeping and one on honey plants and honey tasting, and is working on several more books.
"Kim Flottum has been a stalwart in U.S. beekeeping for decades,” Mussen said. “He ferrets out information on national, regional, and local beekeeping happenings and disseminates the news in various places, depending upon his role at the time.”
Other presenters will include beekeeper Serge Labesque of Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, who advocates selecting local bee stocks that can handle the problems of current-day beekeeping. Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center will lead a formal honey tasting, and Sarah Red-Laird of Oregon, executive director of Bee Girl and the American Beekeeping Federation's Kids and Bees Program director, will present a breakout session on “Beekeeping Education/Honey Bee Conservation." See program schedule.
UC Davis is a world-renowned entomology/apicultural facility. Among the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty are Elina Niño, Extension apiculturist; pollination ecologist Neal Williams; bee scientists Brian Johnson and Rachel Vannette, and native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor. Niño and Williams are on the speakers' list.
UC Davis artist Steve Dana created a T-shirt for the conference featuring a bee on a high wheeler bicycle or penny-farthing, symbolizing UC Davis. The t-shirt can be ordered on the WAS website at http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org. The conference registration form, speaker program and other information are online.
Eric Mussen offers 10 reasons why one should attend the conference. See the Bug Squad blog, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website, at http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=24628
Ready for 15 minutes of aim? Not fame--aim?
The 14th annual Bruce Hammock Lab Water Balloon Battle is set for 3 p.m., Friday, July 21 on the Briggs Hall lawn.
Last year 40 participants, including professors, researchers, graduate students, staff, students and family members, tossed 3000 water balloons in 15 minutes on the thirsty Briggs Hall lawn, as the temperature soared to 97 degrees. As the supply dwindled, they dumped the remaining water from the buckets on each other.
Bruce Hammock, a distinguished professor who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, launched the annual event in 2003 as a form of camaraderie and as a means of rewarding the lab members for their hard work. The international Hammock lab researchers, postdoctorates, graduate students, visiting scholars, staff and undergraduates.
Coordinator Christophe Morisseau says 2000 water balloons will be filled and tossed. Balloon filling starts at 1 p.m. on the north side of Briggs Hall. "Our policy: no filling, no throwing! BYOB--bring your own balloons!" Morisseau said.
Highly honored by his peers (but a target at the annual water balloon battle), Hammock is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, which honors academic invention and encourages translations of inventions to benefit society. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, and the recipient of the Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism, sponsored by the America Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He directs the campuswide Superfund Research Program, National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Training Program, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Combined Analytical Laboratory.
For more information, contact Morisseau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist emeritus, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is serving his sixth term as president since its founding at UC Davis by faculty members Norm Gary and Mussen, along with then postdoctoral fellow Becky Westerdahl, now an Extension nematologist in the department.
The conference, to be held primarily in the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), kicks off with the three co-founders engaging in nostalgia. Many former WAS officers and founding members are expected to attend and participate in the lively session.
The conference is open to all interested persons; registration is now underway at http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/ The pre-registration deadline is July 31; the cost will advance after that.
“It's a good opportunity to learn about current scientific honey and native bee research, from the researchers themselves, on varying topics such as foraging behavior, parasites, predators, and diseases of bees,” Mussen said, “and to speak directly to the researchers concerning their research findings and any other bee-related topics.
Speakers will include:
- Bee Culture editor Kim Flottum of Ohio, who will discuss "The Rapidly Changing Bee Scene"
- Les Crowder of Texas, co-author of the book, Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honey Bee Health, who will focus on "Managing Honey Bee Colonies in Top-Bar Hives" with co-author Heather Harrell
- Larry Connor of Michigan, who will address more in-depth beekeeping fundamentals with his presentation “Keeping Your Bees Alive and Growing.”
- Sonoma County beekeeper Serge Labesque, who will discuss“natural seasonal growth and decline of a healthy honey bee colony population living in a hollow tree
Beekeepers and other participants will learn about pesticides, and styles of beekeeping from "leave alone," through "essential intervention," to "intensive intervention," Mussen said.
Also planned: tours of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility and the adjacent Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis; Mann Lake warehouse and products showroom in Woodland; and the Z Specialty Foods, Woodland.
Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, will lead a formal honey tasting.
More information is pendng.
Visitors at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Sunday afternoon, July 9 not only engaged in maggot art but conversed one-on-one with members of the North American Forensic Entomology Association (NAFEA), on campus July 7-12 for their annual conference. Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is a past president of the group.
Maggot art involves dipping a maggot into non-toxic, water-based paint and guiding it--or letting it crawl--on a piece of paper. It's suitable for framing or for refrigerator art.
Forensic entomologist Rebecca O'Flaherty, a former graduate student of Kimsey's, coined the educational teaching curriculum, "Maggot Art," back in 2001 when she was studying at the University of Hawaii. She was rearing blowflies for her forensic research and wanted an activity to draw the interest of elementary school students. She also wanted to generate interest and respect for forensic entomology.
Her Maggot Art quickly drew national interest. The CSI television show featured one of her works, “Ancient Offering,” which hung on the permanent set in Gil Grissom's office. O'Flaherty also exhibited her work at art shows, including a two-month exhibition at the Capital Athletic Club, Sacramento, in 2007.
Neel Fulde, 7, of Davis, attending with his mother, Shama Mesiwala, created an obstacle-course drawing. "I'd like a faster maggot," he told NAFEA member Royce Cumming of Salinas Valley.
"As soon as I give it a bath," Cumming told him.
"I hope that one is faster than the one I have," Neel said. "I want a fast one."
Olivia Storms, 6, of Davis, attending with her father, David Storms, embellished her art with a colorful signature and whirls and swirls.
Adults tried their hand at it, too, including Jered Bell of Vacaville, aerospace engineering student at UC Davis and Alejandra Wilson of Fairfield, a biotechnology major at Solano Community College. "We've never done this before," Bell said. Maggot art is popular at the annual campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day, when the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology offers the activity at Briggs Hall.
NAFEA member Greg Nigoghosian of Purdue University wore a T-shirt, the work of Purdue students, that read "Crime Scene: Do Not Cross," that included a body outline and the words "Our day begins when your day ends."
The goal of NAFEA is to promote the development of forensic entomology throughout North America and to encourage co-operation with other similar international bodies. NAFEA defines its mission as “to provide a cooperative arena for forensic entomologists to interact and collaborate in ways that enhance the science, moral and ethical foundation, and reputation of forensic entomology.”
The July 9th open house is the first of three open houses during the summer. All are free and open to the public.
Saturday, July 22, Moth Night from 8 to 11 p.m.: Moth Night, held in conjunction with National Moth Week, will enable visitors to explore nighttime nature through a blacklighting setup, enabling the collection of moths and other insects. The event takes place in the courtyard in back of the Bohart Museum. The museum will be open throughout Moth Night.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum.
Special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold the insects and photograph them.
The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
For more information contact the Bohart Museum at (530) 752-0493 or email@example.com
Newly published research by a seven-member international team of scientists, including UC Davis agricultural entomologist Christian Nansen, points out the dilemma that rice farmers in Bangladesh and elsewhere in Asia are facing: Should we increase fertilizer inputs on our rice fields to maximize yields but then also increase the risk of a pest outbreak by the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens? The planthopper is a major pest of rice in Asia, and it is resistant to many of the available insecticides.
Their research, “Higher Fertilizer Inputs Increase Fitness Traits of Brown Planthopper in Rice,” published July 5 in Scientific Reports of the journal Nature,” is online at http://rdcu.be/tWnE.
“This study underscores the importance of considering crop fertilization as a component of integrated pest management,” said Nansen, whose role included analyzing the data collected in Bangladesh and co-authoring the research paper. “That is, the management practices, including fertilizer regimes, impact the risk of pest outbreaks--just like the risk of humans falling ill is affected by our diet, the same applies to crop plants!”
In their research, conducted in Bangladesh, the scientists investigated the effects of three principal fertilizer components--nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium—on the development of potted rice plants and their effects on fitness traits of the brown planthopper.
“Compared to low fertilizer inputs, high fertilizer treatments induced plant growth but also favored brown planthopper development,” the scientists wrote in their abstraction. “The brown planthopper had higher survival, developed faster, and the intrinsic rate of natural increase was higher on well-fertilized than under-fertilized plants. Among the fertilizer inputs, nitrogen had the strongest effect on the fitness traits of brown planthopper.”
Rice, the primary food stable for more than half of the world's population, is cultivated in at least 114—mostly developing—countries. More than 100 million households in Asia and Africa derive their income from rice production. However, due to the growing population's increased demand for more rice, and limited land for production, yields must increase by at least 70 percent over the next three decades, Nansen said. “In many developing countries, increased use of fertilizers is a response to increase demand for rice.”
Nansen is an assistant professor with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Entomology, and an affiliate of Bangladesh Rice Institute and the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou, China. He uses his international expertise to zero in on more sustainable farming systems, better food production and fewer pesticides.
Five members of the team are based at the Bangladesh Rice Institute in Gazipur, Bangladesh: M. P. Ali, M. M. Rashid, N. Ahmed, M. Jahan, and K. S. Islam. Co-author J. L. Willers is with the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Southern Insect Management Research Unit, Stoneville, Missouri.
Over the past decade, yield losses substantially decreased in Asia due to a widespread outbreak of the brown planthopper, the researchers said.1 For example, the Central Plains of Thailand sustained persistent planthopper outbreaks for 10 consecutive growing seasons from 2008 to 2012, with losses worth $52 million or equivalent to about 173,000 tons in 2010. The same pest was responsible for losses of around 1 million tons in Vietnam in 2007, and resulted in a government freeze on rice exports.