That sign greets visitors to the California State Fair's Insect Pavilion. It's a good conservation starter.
The Insect Pavilion showcases insect specimens and insects from the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis.
You'll see everything from a butterfly to a dragonfly, from a honey bee to a lady beetle (aka ladybug), and from an assassin bug to a praying mantis, not to mention grasshoppers, cockroaches, ants, and spiders (arachnids).
Families seem to love the butterflies the most, judging by the quality of their smiles and the quantity of cell phones and cameras pointed in that direction.
It's a mixture of reactions--from gleeful laughter to outright frowns to scientific excitement to quick walk-aways.
While you're at the fair, be sure to check out the honey bee display in Building B. (Actually, you could call it "Building Bee!" ) Mannequins donned in beekeeper suits (how sweet is that?) sport oversized honey bees on their shoulders.
Bees are a crucial part of the California State Fair and the state's history. The State Fair opened in 1854, a year after honey bees were introduced in California. Background: European colonists brought honey bees to what is now Virginia in 1622, but the insects didn't arrive in California until 1853. Beekeeper Christopher Shelton brought them to the San Jose area in March of 1853, according to a California historical landmark at the San Jose International Airport.
The 2019 California State Fair, located in Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento, opened Friday, July 12 and continues through Sunday, July 28. (See State Fair website for hours, ticket prices and special attractions.)
Interested in becoming a beekeeper? You can take beginning classes at the University of California, Davis, in August.
The California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is hosting two short courses: one on “Planning Ahead for Your First Hives” on Saturday, Aug. 3 and the other, “ Working Your Colonies” on Sunday, Aug. 4 at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Program.
Each will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the facility, which is located on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus. The deadline to register is Thursday, Aug. 1.
The California Master Beekeeping Program uses science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping. For more information, contact CAMPB program director Wendy Mather at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No, not yet?
You can enroll in classes at the University of California, Davis, to learn how to keep bees and how to work your colonies.
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, based in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be teaching beekeeping classes with her colleagues. beginning Saturday, March 23.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn about--and practice--many aspects of what's necessary to get the colony started and keep it healthy and thriving, Niño said. At the end of the course, participants will be knowledgeable about installing honey bee packages, monitoring their own colonies. and possibly challenges with maintaining a healthy colony.
Lecture modules will cover honey bee biology, beekeeping equipment, how to start your colony, and maladies of the hive.
Practical modules will cover how to build a hive, how to install a package, inspecting your hive and monitoring for varroa mites.
The course is limited to 25 participants. Participants should bring their bee suit/veil if they have one. The $95 registration fee covers the cost of course materials (including a hive tool), lunch and refreshments. The last day to register is Friday, March 22.
Working Your Colonies
A separate course on "Working Your Colonies" will take place on Sunday, March 24. This is an all-day course from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. The last day to register is Friday, March 22.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn about--and practice--many aspects of what is necessary to maintain a healthy colony and exploit products of the hive.
Lecture modules will cover advanced honey bee biology, honey bee integrated pest management (IPM) and products of the hive. Practical models will cover queen wrangling, honey extraction and splitting/combining colonies, and monitoring for varroa mite
The $150 registration fee covers the cost of course materials, lunch and refreshments. Participants should bring their bee suit/veil if they have one.
Feeling the buzz on Christmas Day?
Bugs on your Christmas tree? You may have overlooked another "present": eggs of the invasive spotted landernfly may be on your tree.
Bot flies on reindeer? What you need to know about these flies! (Poor Rudolph! Is his red nose in jeopardy?)
Fleas Navidad? Alex Wild, UC Davis alumnus and curator of entomology, University of Austin, Texas, likes to observe "Fleas Navidad," a take-off of "Feliz Navidad." Follow him on Twitter to see what's buzzworthy. (He deleted his popular Facebook account.)
If you're lucky, you're enjoying an insect-themed Christmas, thanks to the Bohart Museum of Entomology (see list of Bohart gifts on Bug Squad blog); the UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) (see blog on t-shirts) or the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center (honey, Honey Flavor Wheels, note cards and classes).
If Santa forgot to bring you some insect-themed gifts, not to worry. The Bohart Museum, EGSA and the Honey and Pollination Center offer items year-around. And if there's a beekeeper in your family or a beekeeper-to-be, keep your eyes out for spring classes offered by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño. Her website is https://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu.
Meanwhile, Niño is teaching a track on "Beekeeping and Management" on Sunday, Feb. 10 as part of the UC Davis School of Medicine's Winter Conference hosted by the Center for Continuing Education. Her topics include "Honey Bee Biology and Apiculture Overview"; "Common Issues in American Apiaries" and "Honey Bee Bacterial Diseases and Antibiotic Use." (See Bug Squad blog)
It's time to say:
Merry Buzzworthy Christmas!
There's still room in several of the courses to be taught this spring by the E.L. Niño Bee Lab at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Research Facility, University of California, Davis.
Extension apiculturist Elina Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and her staff will teach the courses. Registration is now underway, and gift certificates are also available.
See list at http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/courses.html.
Capsule information on the courses:
- Planning Ahead for Your First Hives; Two Separate Courses Offered (25 spots per session).
Saturday, March 11, 9 to 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 18, 9 to 5 p.m.
Participants can sign up for one of two short courses: the first on Saturday, March 11 and the second on Saturday, March 18. The cost is $95. The all-day course will include lectures and hands-on exercises. "This course is perfect for those who have little or no beekeeping experience and would like to obtain more knowledge and practical skills to move on to the next step of owning and caring for their own honey bee colonies," Niño said.
- Working Your Colonies; Two Separate Courses Offered (25 spots per session)
Sunday, March 12, 9 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 19, 9 to 5 p.m.
Two separate short courses will be offered: the first on Sunday, March 12, and the second on Sunday, March 19. The cost is $150. The all-day courses are for novice beekeepers who already have a colony or have taken the previous course and want to develop their beekeeping skills further. Participants will learn how to inspect their colony and how to troubleshoot, as well as glean information on products of the hive. The afternoon will be spent entirely in the apiary with hands-on activities and demonstrations.
- Varroa Management Strategies; Two Separate Courses Offered (25 spots per session)
Saturday, May 13, 9 to 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 27, 9 to 5 p.m.
Two separate courses will be offered: the first on Saturday, May 13, and the second on Saturday, May 27. The cost is $175. Course description: Current beekeeping challenges call for all beekeepers to have a solid understanding of varroa mite biology and management approaches. Participants will dive deeper into understanding varroa biology and discussing pros and cons of ways to monitor, mitigate and manage this pest.
- Bee Breeding; One-Day Course (25 spots)
Sunday, June 11, 9 to 5 p.m.
This is a one-day course, to be held Sunday, June 11. The cost is $75. Course description: This course complements the queen-rearing techniques course. Participants will learn the intricacies of honey bee genetics along with honey bee races and breeder lines. "We will also have an in-depth discussion of various breeding schemes," Niño said.
To register, access this website, http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/courses.html. For more information, contact Bernardo Niño at email@example.com or (530)-380-BUZZ (2899). The Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/