It is. June 17-21 is the week set aside to celebrate pollinators and how we can protect them.
Actually, National Pollinator Week should be every day.
Launched 12 years ago under U.S. Senate approval, National Pollinator Week zeroes in on the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles, according to Pollinator Partnership, which manages the national celebration. (Other pollinators include syrphid or hover flies, mosquitoes, moths, pollen wasps, and ants. Pollination involves the transfer of pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma.)
On the UC Davis campus, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be a "hive" of activity next week, announced manager Christine Casey, academic program management officer. "We'll be hosting National Pollinator Week events Monday through Friday, June 17 to 21, between 10 a.m. and noon each day." Activities include bee information and identification, solitary bee house making, and catch-and-release bee observation.
The haven volunteers also will sell bee friendly plants and bee houses to support the haven (cash and checks only).
A new event at the haven is hive opening. At 11:45 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, California Master Beekeeper Program volunteers will open the hive in the haven "so visitors may see the girls in action." The haven, installed in the fall of 2009, is located on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus. It is open from dawn to dark, free admission.
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is planning a free webinar Insect Apocalypse? What Is Really Happening, Why It Matters and How Natural Area Managers Can Help on Tuesday, June 18. The webinar, by Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society begins at noon, Eastern Time, which is 9 a.m., Pacific Time.
Black says he will "explain the latest science on insect declines and highlight important ways natural areas managers can incorporate invertebrate conservation into their land management portfolio. Though they are indisputably the most important creatures on earth, invertebrates are in trouble. Recent regional reports and trends in biomonitoring suggest that insects are experiencing a multi continental crisis evident as reductions in abundance, diversity and biomass. Given the centrality of insects to terrestrial and freshwater aquatic ecosystems and the food chain that supports humans, the potential importance of this crisis cannot be overstated. If we hope to stem the losses of insect diversity and the services they provide, society must take steps at all levels to protect, restore and enhance habitat for insects across landscapes, from wildlands to farmlands to urban cores. Protecting and managing existing habitat is an essential step as natural areas can act as reservoirs for invertebrate diversity." Click here for more information and to register.
Happy Pollinator Week! Think the "b" alliteration: bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. But don't forget the flies, ants, mosquitoes and moths!
(Update, June 19: the webinar can now be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/vrC-BvoQjQk.)
We celebrate honey bees every day, but they are especially celebrated on May 20, World Bee Day. It's an annual day to raise awareness about the importance of bees and beekeeping. It's a day to acknowledge the industriousness of Apis mellifera, their role in our lives, and their place in our ecosystem. Bees pollinate a third of the food we eat.
A bit of history: The United Nations approved Slovenia's proposal to proclaim May 20 as World Bee Day in December of 2017. Slovenia also sought to pay tribute to noted beekeeper and native son Anton Janša (1734-1773) of Carniola (now Slovenia), a pioneer of modern apiculture, a noted painter, and an apiculture teacher at the Habsburg Court in Vienna.
Janša became a full-time beekeeper in 1769. He began by tending his father's 100 hives, but a year later, he received a royal appointment as Austria's teacher of apiculture. He kept bees in the imperial gardens (Augarten) and traveled the country, eager to present information about his beloved bees.
Janša "became famous for his lectures in which he demonstrated his knowledge of bees," according to Wikipedia. "He also wrote two books in German: Discussion on Beekeeping and A Full Guide to Beekeeping. The latter was published in 1775, after his death. In Full Guide, Janša noted: Bees are a type of fly, hardworking, created by God to provide man with all needed honey and wax. Amongst all God's beings there are none so hard working and useful to man with so little attention needed for its keep as the bee."
A tip of the veil to Anton Janša!
More locally, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, celebrated bees during the "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work" Day. UC Davis employees and their offspring visited the half-acre garden on Bee Biology Road, admiring the flowers and the six-foot-long bee sculpture, Miss Bee Haven, that anchors the garden. The ceramic-mosaic sculpture is the work of Donna Billick of Davis, a self-described "rock artist."
Anton Janša would have felt right at home!
Among the bee haven visitors that day were two beekeepers: elementary school student Adelaide Grandia of Woodland and her grandfather Dwight Grandia of Gulf Shores, Alabama, who has kept bees for 39 years. "I've had hives in the Atlanta area for 25 years and in northern Alabama for 10 years," he said. "I'm teaching my granddaughter beekeeping." He recently set up a bee hive for her.
"My grandpa is a beekeeper," Adelaide said, "and a pilot." Her mother, UC Davis Professor Liza Grandia of Native American Studies, is also interested in bees.
David Hernandez, who works in the Facilities Management Steam Shop, brought his sons, Aayden, 10, and Evan, 8. They checked out the garden, installed in the fall of 2009, and gathered for a photo behind the pollinator cut-out board, as did colleague Kris McBride of the Facilities Management Steam Shop and son, Deegan, 4-1/2.
UC Davis staff employee Xu Chunying and son, Andy, delighted in the catch-and-release activity, in which youths catch bees in a vacuumlike tube device, examine them, and then release them. Honey bees, native bees and carpenter bees are favorite subjects.
Ariel Cormier, who works in the Office of the Chancellor and Provost as manager of Budget and Financial Analysis, attended with her eight-year-old twin daughters Casey and Gabrielle. They delighted in the bees, blossoms, and the beautiful day.
The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, is open to the public from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. Group tours are also available for a small charge. For more information, access the website.
The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is the place to "bee" on Saturday, March 30 for youngsters who want to learn more about honey bees and native bees.
The bee haven, operated and maintained by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is sponsoring a Junior Bee Gardeners' Day from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The bee garden is located on Bee Biology Road, next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
Manager Chris Casey reports that this is a good opportunity to teach your children about gardens and bees. The event is for "all bee gardeners, ages 6 to 12."
- Learn how to plant their own sunflower to take home
- Make a solitary bee house to take home (leafcutter bees and blue orchard bees nest in them)
- Engage in a catch-a-bee-release-the-bee activity using a bee vacuum.
A little history:
The garden, installed in the fall of 2009, was founded and "came to life" during the term of interim department chair, Professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, who coordinated the entire project.
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 half-acre bee garden is anchored by Miss Bee Haven, a six-foot long mosaic ceramic bee sculpture that is the work of self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick of Davis. She and entomologist/artist Diane Ullman co-founded and co-directed the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. 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 garden is named for the primary donor, the premium ice cream brand, Haagen-Dazs. Other major donors include the California State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (under the leadership of then State Regent Debra Jamison of Fresno). Names of many of the donors--those who gave $1000 or more--are inscribed beneath the Miss Bee Haven sculpture.
Missy Borel Gable, now director of the statewide UC California Master Gardeners' Program, served as the founding manager of the garden. Under her leadership and the work of the 19 founding volunteers, the bee garden was listed as one of the Sacramento Bee's top 10 garden destinations. The 19 volunteers chalked up 5,229 hours of service between May 2010 and Feb. 15, 2013, when their assignment ended. At the $10 minimum wage, that would have amounted to $52,290.
Native bee specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, who has monitored the garden since its very beginnings, has identified more than 80 bee species there.
Bring your family. Bring your friends. Bring your camera.
The science-based event, free and family friendly, begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m. Thirteen museums or collections will be open in a celebration of the diversity of life, and an opportunity to talk to the scientists. Hours will range from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for some collections, and from 12 noon to 4 p.m. for others.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology is showcasing
- The Bohart Museum of Entomology, open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane
- The Nematode Collection, open from 12 noon to 4 p.m. and located in the Sciences Laboratory, off Kleiber Hall Drive
- The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, open from 12 noon to 4 p.m. and located on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
The nematode collection will feature both live and slide-mounted nematodes, as well as jars of larger parasites. Nematodes, also called worms, are described as “elongated cylindrical worms parasitic in animals or plants or free-living in soil or water. They exist in almost every known environment.”
At the Honey Bee Haven, visitors can learn about bees and the plants they pollinate. Folks can engage in a catch-and-release activity, using vacuum-like devices. An almond tasting event is also planned. The garden, installed in the fall of 2009, is located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
These seven collections will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
- Arboretum and Public Garden, Good Life Garden, next to the Robert Mondavi Institute, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane
- California Raptor Center, 340 Equine Lane, off Old Davis Road
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Room 1394, Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane
- Paleontology Collection, Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
- Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
The following will be open from noon to 4 p.m.:
- Anthropology Museum, 328 Young Hall and grounds
- Botanical Conservatory, Greenhouses along Kleiber Hall Drive
- Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Bee Biology Road, off Hopkins Road (take West Hutchison Drive to Hopkins)
- Nematode Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive
- Marine Invertebrate Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive
All participating museums and collections have active education and outreach programs, but the collections are not always accessible to the public. Maps, signs and guides will be available at all the collections, and also online at http://biodiversitymuseumday.edu, and on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, @BioDivDay.
So did honey bees, carpenter bees, bumble bees, metallic green sweat bees, Gulf Fritillary butterflies and cabbage white butterflies...the "viable ones" as well as those in art form.
A six-foot-long mosaic and ceramic sculpture of a worker bee, "Miss Bee Haven"--the work of Donna Billick of Davis--greeted the guests as they arrived. It is part of the permanent art in the garden.
Another part of the permanent art is the bee mural on the side of the shed, which features 22 bees, mostly native bees, the work of 22 UC Davis students in 2011. Among them: mason, sweat, squash, leafcutter, blue orchard, carpenter and bumble bees.
Sarah Dalrymple, then a doctoral student in the Rick Karban lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, headed the bee mural project, which was part of the Entomology 1 class, "Art, Science and the World of Insects," taught by entomologist-artist Diane Ullman, professor of entomology at UC Davis and self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick of Davis. Dalrymble served as the graphics project coordinator and teaching assistant, guiding the students on design, creation and installation of the panels.
The half-acre bee garden operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is located on Bee Biology Road, next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, west of the central campus.
The open house included a catch-and-release bee activity, a plant sale and bee condo sale. Photographer Allan Jones of Davis, who frequently photographs bees in the haven and in the UC Davis Arboretum, displayed many of his photos.
Planted in the fall of 2009, the garden was founded and "came to life" during the term of interim department chair, Professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, who coordinated the entire project. A Sausalito team--landscape architects Donald Sibbett and Ann F. Baker, interpretative planner Jessica Brainard and exhibit designer Chika Kurotaki--designed the garden as the winners of the international competition.
The garden, directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño and managed Christine Casey, academic program manager is open to the public from dawn to dusk.