- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Two of the department's exhibits are in the running for special awards at the 103rd annual UC Davis Picnic Day, set Saturday, April 22. One is “Honey Tasting” at Briggs Hall, and the other is “Bigger, Better, Buglier: Impressive Science” at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
“Honey Tasting" will feature a selection of varietal honeys in a display that's the work of Extension apiculturist Elina Niño and colleagues at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Facility.
"We will have the crowd favorites: coffee blossom, sweet meadowfoam, as well as some classics such as orange blossom and blackberry blossom and the 'love-it-or-hate-it' buckwheat honey," Niño said. "This year we will also be featuring our own 2016 crop of UC Davis honey from the apiculture program." The exhibit is one of six competing for awards in the category, "Hunger Fix.”
“Bigger, Better, Buglier: Impressive Science” from the Bohart Museum is one of six entered in "Secrets of Nature." The insect museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. It is the home of nearly 8 million insect specimens, plus a live petting zoo (Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and taranatulas) and a year-around gift shop that includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The department's two exhibits are among 30 special exhibits competing in five categories: Best in Show, Fun with Crafts, Arts and Humanities, Hunger Fix and Secrets of Nature, said UC Davis Picnic Day exhibits director Helen Xie.
The way it works: Picnic Day attendees vote for their favorite exhibits. Winning exhibits will be featured on social media pages such as Picnic Day website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts after Picnic Day. They will also be featured next year, in preparation for Picnic Day 2018.
The poll will open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. the same day. All are welcome to vote at: https://orgsync.com/51524/forms/258052.
Last year the department won two special awards. By popular vote, "Little Swimmers and Fly Tyers (Briggs Hall)," won the category, Hidden Treasures; and "Real Insects and Mimics" (Bohart Museum of Entomology) won the category "Family Friendly."
This year's Briggs Hall activities will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Bohart Museum of Entomology will swing open its doors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Graduate student Brendon Boudinot, who is chairing the department's Picnic Day Committee, announced these activities at Briggs:
- Honey Tasting (You can sample varietals of honey)
- Bug Doctor (The doctor is in!)
- Cockroach Races (Pick a winner: this event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
- Scavenger Hunt (Do you know your insects?)
- Dr. Death (Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey will answer your questions)
- Insect Face Painting (Get a bee, lady beetle or another insect painted on your face)
- Little Swimmers and Fly Tying (Watch and identify aquatic insects, a project from the Sharon Lawler lab, and learn "how to tie a fly" from the Fly Fishers of Davis
- Maggot Art (Dip a maggot into a water-based, non-toxic paint and create a painting suitable for framing)
- UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM) (See their many publications and ask questions; youngsters can receive a vial of free lady beetles, aka ladybugs)
- T-shirt sales by the UC Davis Entomology Graduate Students' Association (popular t-shirts include beetles and honey bees)
- Social insects, insect forestry, medical entomology, and more (See a honey bee observation hive from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility and ants from the Phil Ward lab; and also learn about forest insects and mosquitoes. The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District will staff a booth)
The nematology collection will be on display in the Sciences Laboratory Building, across from Briggs.
Theme of this year's campuswide Picnic Day is "Growing Together." The event gets underway at 9:30 a.m. with an opening ceremony by the grandstands on North Quad Ave., across from Wickson Hall. The parade starts at 10 a.m. from the same site. Announcement locations are at 2nd and D streets in downtown Davis; F Street in front of PDQ Fingerprinting, and 3rd and C streets in downtown Davis. The UC Davis Entomology Club, advised by forensic entomologist Bob Kimsey, will enter its popular black widow float.