- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The Western Apicultural Society, headed by president Eric Mussen of UC Davis, Extension apiculturist emeritus, wanted a unique bee T-shirt design for its 40th anniversary conference, set Sept. 5-8 at UC Davis.
"We wanted a design depicting a honey bee riding a penny farthing or high wheel bicycle," Mussen said, noting that Davis has been described as the "Bicycle Capital of the United States" (due to the city's "high rate of bicycle use and its long history providing its thousands of pedalers with a cyclist-friendly environment"--David Takemoto-Weerts).
"We wanted something cartoonish," added Mussen, who is serving his sixth term as president. WAS was founded at UC Davis by Norm Gary, Mussen and Becky Westerdahl. Gary, now professor emeritus, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, spearheaded the founding.
Eric Mussen knows bees. He retired in 2014 after 38 years of service, culminating a career that drew national and international attention.
Mussen selected UC Davis graphic artist Steve Dana, a veteran artist who appreciates bees.
Dana, a 1987 graduate of California Polytechnic Institute (Cal Poly), has worked at UC Davis and the UC Davis Medical Center as a graphic designer and illustrator for more than 25 years. A lifelong resident of Dixon, he also has a freelance graphic design and illustration business that he's owned since 1990.
"I grew up on a farm just east of Dixon, and rode motorcycles and sketched cartoons whenever possible, always wishing that I could be as good as my older brother, Jim," Steve recalled.
Steve said his parents both enjoyed various forms of art from acrylic painting to metal sculpture and his nephew Sutton Betti is a professional sculptor in Colorado.
No stranger to bees, Steve created the popular logo for the Dixon May Fair's 2016 theme, "Buzzing with Excitement." He considers it "my favorite" of the seven posters he's generated for the fair.
Mussen predicts the WAS t-shirt also will become a favorite. And come Sept. 5, many of those attending the WAS conference will be wearing one.
Those wishing to purchase a t-shirt (attendance at the conference is not mandatory to purchase a t-shirt) can obtain more information on the WAS site at http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/2017-t-shirts/
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.
The conference is open to all interested persons. Among the speakers is Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture. See schedule of speakers and register here. Those who pre-register by July 31 receive a $50 discount, Mussen said.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
When the 141st annual Dixon May Fair opens May 5-8, 2016 at 655 S 1st St.,Dixon, the grounds will be buzzing, in keeping with the theme, "Buzzing with Excitement."
The fair is putting the "buzz" in bees and the bees in "buzz."
“As an agricultural-based fair in Solano County, we can never underestimate the role of bees, not only for necessary pollination of our crops, but also with honey as a food source, and beeswax as a byproduct," said chief administrative officer Patricia Conklin. At the same time, the theme incorporates fun.
Bee scientists at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, University of California, Davis, will provide expertise and displays, including a bee observation hive and educational information.
Talented graphic artist Steve Dana of Dixon drew the bee-themed fair logo. The colorful logo make you think of animal identity theft. It features horses, cows, pigs, chicken, rabbits, and dogs in the familiar bee attire.
"Creating art for the Dixon May Fair is one of his favorite projects," said Dana, a graphic designer and illustrator at UC Davis for more than 25 years and the owner of a freelance graphic design and illustration business that he launched in 1990. He specializes in publication and logo design as well as cartoon and medical illustrations. Dana has illustrated three children's books with author and fellow Dixon High School graduate, Karen Emigh.
This is the seventh year Dana has created the Dixon May Fair logo. "I've loved the themes each year, " he said, "but this is my favorite so far."
Dana, a lifelong resident of Dixon, where he lives with his wife, Jodi and son and daughter, Eric and Keley, received his bachelor's degree from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo in 1987. Growing up on a farm just east of Dixon, Dana said he "rode motorcycles and sketched cartoons whenever possible, always wishing that I could be as good as my older brother, Jim."
Art runs in the family. Their parents both "enjoyed various forms of art from acrylic painting to metal sculpture," Dana said. A nephew, Sutton Betti, is a professional sculptor in Colorado.
Meanwhile, it's all about the bees in this Dixon community where agriculture reigns supreme. If agriculture is "king," then "queen" refers to the honey bees.