- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
What is the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day?
It's a free, open-to-the-public, science-based day that annually takes place the Saturday of Presidents' Day weekend and showcases nearly a dozen museums or collections. It's an opportunity for campus visitors to see exhibits and displays at various points on campus and converse with the scientists.
This year is the 11th annual. However, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and UC Davis policies, the 2022 Biodiversity Museum Day will be held at one site--the UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane--and will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, March 6. What's also different? It's geared for undergraduates and other members of the UC Davis community instead of the general public from surrounding counties. (The general public can look forward to the UC Davis Picnic Day on April 23, 2022 when many of the same museums and collections are scheduled to be featured.)
Participating collections at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day include, but are not limited to, the Bohart Museum of Entomology, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Arboretum and Public Garden, Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, California Raptor Center, Paleontology Collections, Botanical Conservatory, Center for Plant Diversity, Nematode Collections, and Department of Anthropology Museum.
At the March 6th event, COVID guidelines for UC Davis, Yolo County and the state of California--including appropriate mask wearing, UC Davis symptom surveys, vaccination records or negative COVID tests--will be followed.
But back to "bee my valentine."
Honey bees are an integral to at least three of the museums/collections:
- The Bohart Museum of Entomology, part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology andNematology, houses a worldwide collection of eight million insect specimens, including honey bees, bumble bees, sweat bees and more. The insect museum is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, but it's currently closed to the public due to COVID pandemic.
- The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee garden operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology andNematology, is located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus. The late Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, recorded more than 80 species of bees here.
- The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is a 100-acre site that's the pride and joy of the campus community. It's frequented by nature lovers, walkers, hikers and bicyclists, among others--and bees! The 100-acre site also boasts the much applauded 100 Arboretum All-Stars.
How can you help the bees as well as other fauna and the flora associated with UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day?
A UC Davis Crowdfunding Project is underway until 11:59 p.m., Feb. 28. Contributions from $5 on up are welcome, said project managers Tabatha Yang, education and public outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum of Entomology, and Rachel Davis, a GATEways horticulturist and museum scientist at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.
"Donations will not only help us sustain the free, in-person event, it will enable our student interns to take science outreach to a whole new level," they said. "The goal of our event is to connect people from all walks of life to science and the biodiversity surrounding them. All donors will be recognized on the Biodiversity Museum Day social media accounts with a shout-out post."
Any amount is appreciated: $5 will get you into the Fantastic Yeasts category; $10, the Sprout (Valley Oaks) category; $25, the Bumble Bee category; and $50, the Jeweled Spider Fly category. Other categories include Atlati, California Condor, and Smilodon. The goal: $5000.
Key expenses include:
- Volunteer support ($2000)
- Event rentals ($1500)
- Event materials ($1500)
To donate, access https://bit.ly/3HPhSaA. You can be anonymous in name or contribution, or you can have your name listed on the donor wall in honor of someone, or in memory of someone.
Or you can just say "Bee my Valentine."