Like all insects, it has a head, thorax and abdomen. But are you familiar with the rest of its anatomy?
Here's an opportunity to learn about "Advanced Anatomy and Physiology of the Honey Bee" in a class offered Saturday, Oct. 19 by the UC Davis-based California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP).
The daylong course, to be conducted by CAMBP director and Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will take place at the Harry Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
This course covers the scientific "hands-on" portion of the journey level of the CAMBP. "We will offer the attendees an opportunity to familiarize themselves with dissecting tools and microscopy, examine specimens under the microscope and perform dissections," Niño said. "Participants will explore in detail the anatomy and physiology of the honey bee.
This course ends at 4:30 but usually folks linger until 5 to ask questions or share experiences. The $200 registration fee includes the continental breakfast, snacks, and a catered lunch. Click here to register.
The California Master Beekeeping Program uses science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping. The Master Beekeepers serve as knowledgeable ambassadors who disseminate science-based information about the importance of honey bees, preserving bee health and responsible beekeeping.
"We've just completed our apprentice exams for this year!" said Wendy Mather, program manager of CAMBP. "In 2019 we have 26 new CAMBP apprentices in San Diego, 34 in Davis, and we are welcoming our first 22 journey level members!"
He hid it well.
"It's okay," he said quietly. "I'm okay."
But what happened to him wasn't okay then, and it isn't okay now.
On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 21, we greeted Syed Fahad Shah, a visiting scholar at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, as he cut circles lettered with "I ate a bug at the Bohart Museum." He and doctoral student Charlotte Herbert Alberts were helping visitors make buttons during the Bohart Museum open house on entomophagy.
When the open house ended, Bohart Museum education and outreach coordinator Tabatha Yang asked me: "Did you hear what happened to Shah last night?" I had not.
"He got robbed at gunpoint when he was walking home last night on Russell Boulevard," she said.
It happened the previous night (Friday night, Sept. 20). A robber, aided by an accomplice, stole the entomologist's wallet containing his rent money and credit cards, his newly purchased laptop, and an external hard drive containing scientific data.
Shah, a lecturer in the Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan, was heading home to his apartment after a long day working in the lab. He was without a bike Friday (it had a flat tire).
As he walked along Russell Boulevard, near Lake Boulevard, west of Highway 113, he noticed a car, its emergency lights flashing, parked on the other side of the road (north).
The suspect, described as about six-feet tall, between 20 and 30 years old, with curly hair and a dark bandanna covering his face, demanded, one by one, his wallet, his cell phone and then his backpack. The culprit then heaved Shah's cell phone into the field, and bolted to the car where his accomplice, the driver, awaited. The car headed west.
Shah described the car as a sedan, “like a Corolla,” and “dark in in color with rectangular back lights.” He retrieved his phone and quickly dialed the police. “The police arrived within five minutes and recorded my statement,” he said.
His black Armour Hustle backpack contained a laptop computer delivered to him only Monday, Sept. 9 at the Bohart Museum. His most valuable possession, however, was an external hard drive containing all his research data and lectures. It is a Seagate 1 terabyte hard drive.
At UC Davis, Shah is studying parasitoid wasps in the family Pteromalidae under the guidance of Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon.
In an announcement to the Department of Entomology and Nematology, Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology, reported that Shah “filed a police report but that probably won't help get his equipment back. The data is irreplaceable but we hope to help him replace the things stolen, so we have started a GoFundMe page to raise the needed fund."
The GoFundMe account, seeking $2000, is at https://bit.ly/2ldZ3ZF. For more information, contact the Bohart Museum at (530) 752-0493 or Lynn Kimsey at email@example.com or Tabatha Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's hoping that we can help Shaw recoup his losses, and maybe, just maybe, a miracle will occur and someone will find and return his external hard drive. "I only wish for my hard drive back."
It was the fall of 2009 when a half-acre bee garden on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis campus, sprang to life.
Headlines on colony collapse disorder dominated the news media, as scientists declared "honey bees are in trouble."
Under the direction of interim department chair Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, a crew installed the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven (named for it major donor) on Bee Biology Road, next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
Fast forward to the fall of 2019.
A 10th anniversary celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28. It will include sales of plants and native bee condos, honey tasting (honey from Sola Bee Honey, Woodland), catch-and-release bee observation and identification, and beekeeping and research displays. Several mini lectures are planned.
Visitors will see analemmatic sundial--the only one of its kind in the Sacramento area--and they can discuss the sundial with dial master and beekeeper Rick Williams, M.D. to learn how the dial was created and the links between human and bee perception of the sun. Visitors also will learn about "our research on bee use of ornamental landscape plants," said manager Chris Casey. In addition, visitors can "donate a book on insects, gardening, or nature for our Little Free Library," she announced.
- 10:30 a.m.: Donor and volunteer recognition
- 11 a.m.: Hive opening by beekeeper from the California Master Beekeepers' Association
- 11:30: Mini lecture, "Getting Started with Beekeeping"
- 12: Mini lecture, "Plants for Bees"
- 12:30: Mini lecture, "Using Solitary Bee Houses
- 1 p.m.: Hive opening by beekeeper from the California Master Beekeepers' Association
Häagen-Dazs wanted the funds to benefit sustainable pollination research, target colony collapse disorder, and support a postdoctoral researcher. It was decided to install an educational garden, conduct a design contest, and award a research postdoctoral fellowship to Michelle Flenniken (now with the Montana State University).
A Sausalito team--landscape architects Donald Sibbett and Ann F. Baker, interpretative planner Jessica Brainard and exhibit designer Chika Kurotaki--won the design competition. The garden was installed in the fall of 2009 under the direction of interim department chair Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology.
An eight-member panel selected the winner of the design competition: Professor Kimsey; founding garden manager Missy Borel (now Missy Borel Gable), then of the California Center for Urban Horticulture; David Fujino, executive director, California Center for Urban Horticulture at UC Davis; Aaron Majors, construction department manager, Cagwin & Dorward Landscape Contractors, based in Novato; Diane McIntyre, senior public relations manager, Häagen-Dazs ice cream; Heath Schenker, professor of environmental design, UC Davis; Jacob Voit, sustainability manager and construction project manager, Cagwin and Dorward Landscape Contractors; and Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist, UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Others who had a key role in the founding and "look" of the garden included the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, founded and directed by the duo of entomologist/artist Diane Ullman, professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, and self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick. The art in the garden is the work of their students, ranging from those in Entomology 1 class to community residents. Eagle Scout Derek Tully planned, organized and built a state-of-the-art fence around the garden.
"The Honey Bee Haven will be a pollinator paradise," Kimsey related in December 2008. "It will provide a much needed, year-round food source for our bees at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. We anticipate it also will be a gathering place to inform and educate the public about bees. We are grateful to Haagen-Dazs for its continued efforts to ensure bee health."
The garden, Kimsey said, would include a seasonal variety of blooming plants that will provide a year-round food source for honey bees. It would be a living laboratory supporting research into the nutritional needs and natural feeding behaviors of honey bees and other insect pollinators.
Visitors to the garden, Kimsey related, would able to glean ideas on how to establish their own bee-friendly gardens and help to improve the nutrition of bees in their own backyards.
Feb. 19, 2008
Häagen-Dazs Donation to UC Davis
Dec. 8, 2008
Häagen-Dazs Launches Bee Garden Design Contest
Feb. 26, 2009
Sausalito Team Wins Design Competition
Aug. 6, 2009
Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven Site Preparation
Aug. 13, 2009
Bee Biology Website to Be Launched
Aug. 13, 2009
Thinking Outside the Box
Sept. 15, 2009
Campus Buzzway: Wildflowers
Dec. 15, 2009
Bee Biology Website Lauded
June 6, 2010
Grand Opening Celebration of Honey Bee Garden
July 30, 2010
More Than 50 Bee Species Found in Haven: Robbin Thorp (Now there's more than 80 and counting!)
Aug. 25, 2010
Donna Billick: Miss Bee Haven
April 11, 2012
Brian Fishback: Spreading the Word about Honey Bees
Aug. 26, 2013
Eagle Scout Project: Fence Around the Bee Garden
Bugs and bees. Bees and bugs.
That's what's on the menu--or that's what's buzzing--over the next few weeks in the Davis/Berkeley area.
Saturday, Sept. 21
Open House, Bohart Museum of Entomology Open House, UC Davis
Or, you can view the global collection of insect specimens, cuddle a critter at the live "petting zoo" (think Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas) or buy a t-shirt, poster, jewelry, book, insect-collecting equipment and more in the gift shop.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses some eight million insect specimens, collected from all over the world.
Wednesday, Sept. 25
Bee Seminar at UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
This is the first seminar in the series of fall quarter seminars sponsored by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and coordinated by Rachel Vannette, assistant professor.
"In addition to the classical arm race that has evolved between predators and prey, information races also occur, which can lead to the evolution of sophisticated animal communication," Nieh says in his abstract. "Such information can shape the food web and contribute to the evolution of remarkable communication strategies, including eavesdropping, referential signaling and communication within and between species, including between predators and prey." Assistant professor Brian Johnson is the host.
Saturday, Sept. 28
Open House, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, UC Davis
It will include sales of plants and native bee condos, honey tasting, catch-and-release bee observation and identification, and beekeeping and research displays. Several mini lectures are planned. Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño serves as the faculty director of the bee garden, and Christine Casey as the manager. Casey announced today:
- See our analemmatic sundial, the only one of its kind in the Sacramento area. Speak with dial master and beekeeper Rick Williams, M.D., to learn about how the dial was created and the links between human and bee perception of the sun.
- Representatives from the California Master Beekeepers' Association will provide an introduction to beekeeping and do openings of the Haven's bee hive.
- Learn about our research on bee use of ornamental landscape plants
- Buy bee-supporting plants and solitary bee houses for your own garden
- Sample local honey from Sola Bee Honey
- Donate a book on insects, gardening, or nature for our Little Free Library
The garden was installed in the fall of 2019 under the direction of then interim department chair Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis. A ceramic-mosaic sculpture of a six-foot long worker bee, the work of Donna Billick of Davis, anchors the garden. Its title: "Miss Bee Haven." The garden is open from dawn to dusk.
Sunday, Oct. 13
Second Annual Bay Area Bee Fair, Berkeley Flea Market
There will be kids' art activities, pollinator-themed art, and "education and inspiration for supporting bee and other pollinator populations." It's a place to learn about planting pollinator-friendly gardens and creating shelter/habitats.
One of the guest speakers will be bee scientist/professor Gordon Frankie of UC Berkeley, who co-authored the popular California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists with Robbin Thorp, Rollin Coville and Barbara Ertter.
Milkweed bugs gained the nickname of "seed eaters" for primarily eating the seeds of milkweed.
Actually, they are opportunistic and generalists, says Hugh Dingle, emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis.
They will eat monarch eggs and larvae (milkweed is the host plant of monarchs), as well as the oleander aphids that infest the milkweed.
We recently watched a large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) munch oleander aphids on a narrow-leafed milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) in our pollinator garden in Vacaville, Calif. Between the milkweed bugs and the lady beetles, aka ladybugs), they absolutely cleaned off all the aphids, the first time in years.
Milkweed without aphids? Unbelievable! That's like macaroni without cheese, a pencil without paper, or a hammer without a nail. It's a "given" that if you grow milkweed, you'll get aphids. Some monarch butterfly enthusiasts kill the aphids with a soapy water mixture (which we've done in the past), but this year, we let biocontrol reign.
It worked wonderfully!
"Milkweed bugs will get protein from wherever they can find it," says Dingle, an insect migration biologist and author of the textbook, Animal Migration: the Biology of Life on the Move. They've been known to feed on insects trapped in the sticky pollen of the showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). And on nectar.
Dingle served as a professor at UC Davis Department of Entomology from 1982 to 2002, achieving emeritus status in 2003. National Geographic featured him in its cover story on “Great Migrations” in November 2010. LiveScience interviewed him for its November 2010 piece on“Why Do Animals Migrate?”
A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Animal Behavior Society, Dingle has done research throughout the world, including the UK, Kenya, Thailand, Panama, Germany and Australia.
Dingle is a former secretary of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology and past president of the Animal Behavior Society. He received the Edward A. Dickson Professional Award in 2014 to do research on "Monarchs in the Pacific: Is Contemporary Evolution Occurring on Island Islands? (See news story on Department of Entomology and Nematology website.)