- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
You're in luck. UC Davis has you covered.
Want to buy the Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel? Check.
Want to buy honey (wildflower, orange blossom, coriander)? Check.
Want insect/floral photography notecards? Check.
Want insect collecting equipment, books, jewelry, candy, posters and t-shirts? Check.
Want t-shirts designed by entomology graduate students? Check.
Want to take beekeeping classes? Check.
Just access these UC Davis pages: the Honey and Pollination Center, the Bohart Museum of Entomology, the Entomology Graduate Students' Association, and the UC Davis Bee lab of Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño.
Here's a sampling of what the Honey and Pollination Center is offering:
- Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel: "Learn how to describe your honey tasting experience using the groundbreaking Honey Flavor Wheel, published by the Honey and Pollination Center," says Amina Harris, director. "The wheel gives a huge lexicon to the tastes and aromas we find when tasting honey. The wheel production follows six months of research and development."
- UC Davis Wildflower Honey: This is a natural, light and floral Northern California wildflower honey collected throughout the Sacramento Valley.
- UC Davis Orange Blossom Honey: "Orange Blossom Honey celebrates a long history in California," relates Harris. "The first trees were planted in Mexican Los Angeles in 1835 by William Wolfskill. A short while later, William and his brother John planted citrus and grapes just outside of Winters, Calif. at Rancho de los Putos, later renamed the Wolfskill Experimental Orchards. In 1934, 107 acres of the ranch were deeded to the University. Today, Wolfskill Ranch is home to the USDA National Germplasm Repository, a living library of fruit, and an integral part of UC Davis."
- UC Davis Coriander Honey: Harris describes this as "a unique savory-first honey with hints of spices from the east (cardamom, coriander) and a gentle undercurrent of chocolate." Coriander is also known as cilantro. (And if you see bees on the cilantro, check out the pink pollen!)
- Stunning Photography Notecards: These insect and floral note cards (package of eight) "make a wonderful gift," Harris says. The photography is by Kathy Keatley Garvey, who donated the photos for the cards. The photos include California buckeye butterfy on sedum; Western tiger swallowtail butterfly on Mexican sunflower; yellow-faced bumble bee on red buckwheat; monarch butterfly and honey bee on Mexican sunflower, honey bee visiting a tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii), hover fly (syrphid) on Galliardia, male green sweat bee on a seaside daisy, and afemale sweat bee on a purple coneflower.
- Insect-themed jewelry (lots of bee and butterfly earrings)
- Insect-themed candy (great stocking stuffers)
- Insect collecting equipment (try your hand at netting butterflies)
- Books, including such topics as bumble bees, bees, and the state insect--the California dogface butterfly (good reading!)
- Dragonfly and butterfly posters (suitable for framing)
- Stuffed animal toys (insects!)
- T-shirts, featuring dragonflies, butterflies and beetles (so colorful, too!)
And this is unique: you can also name an insect after you or for a loved one through the Bohart's biolegacy program.
The Entomology Graduate Students' Association (EGSA) features innovative, award-winning t-shirts and onesies. All designs are winners, in that they won an annual EGSA contest. The organization is run by and for graduate students who study insect systems. Their objectives are to connect students from across disciplines, inform students of and provide opportunities for academic success, and to serve as a bridge between the students and administration.
Among the design themes (access the website to order):
- Honey bees (our favorite insect!)
- Bug on a bicycle (that would be a wasp on a penny farthing or high wheel bicycle)
- Weevil (see no weevil, hear no weevil, speak no weevil)
- The Beetles (parody of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road)
- Wanna-bees (Hemaris diffinis or snowberry clearing moth masquerading as a bee)
The UC Davis Bee lab of Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño is offering a variety of beekeeping classes, from beginners through advanced. They offer gift certificates for all the classes, which begin Saturday, March 24 and continue through June 16.
All courses will take place at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis campus, beginning Saturday, March 24, with the last one ending June 16.
The schedule and capsule information (also listed on Bug Squad):
- Planning Ahead for Your First Hives:Saturday, March 24
- Working Your Colonies: Sunday, March 25
- Queen-Rearing Techniques Short Course: Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22 course; Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29 course
- Bee-Breeding Basics: Saturday, June 9
- Varroa Management Strategies: Saturday, June 16
The good news is the Honey and Pollination Center, Bohart Museum of Entomology, Entomology Graduate Students' Association offer gifts year-around; you don't have to wait for a holiday! The beekeeping classes are seasonal.