That's the theme of the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, University of California, Davis.
In addition to the many exciting activities planned that day--it's free and open to the public--you can visit the museum's gift shop and find something “buggy” for holiday season for you or your family and friends. The gift shop is also open during the museum's regular hours, from 9 to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.
Want a monarch butterfly t-shirt? Check.
Want some dragonfly earrings? Check.
Want some stocking stuffers, such as see-through lollipops with tasty crickets inside? Check.
Want an insect net for the budding entomologist in your family? Check.
Want some books on bees and bumblebees or a children's book on California's state insect, the dogface butterfly or a children's book on a butterfly found in the Amazon forest? Check.
Here are some of the items available at the Bohart Museum:
- Earrings and necklaces (with motifs of bees, dragonflies, moths, butterflies and other insects)
- T--shirts for babies, children and adults (walking sticks, monarch butterflies, beetles, dragonflies, dogface butterflies and the museum logo)
- Insect candy (lollipops with either crickets and scorpions, and chocolate-covered scorpions)
- Insect-themed food, Chapul bars made with cricket flour, and flavored mealworms and crickets
- Insect collecting equipment: bug carriers, nets, pins, boxes, collecting kits
- Plastic insect toys and stuffed animals (mosquito, praying mantis, bed bug and others)
- Handmade redwood insect storage boxes by Bohart Museum associate Jeff Smith
- Posters (Central Valley butterflies, dragonflies of California, dogface butterfly), prints of selected museum specimens
- Books by museum-associated authors:
- The Story of the Dogface Butterfly (Fran Keller, Greg Kareofelas and Laine Bauer), Insects and Gardens Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology (Eric Grissell), Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide (co-authored by Robbin Thorp), California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists (co-authored by Robbin Thorp), Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento Region (Art Shapiro), Butterfly Wish (Steve Stoddard, pen name S.S. Dudley), and multiple dragonfly books by Kathy Biggs.
- Notecards of bees and other pollinators by yours truly and Mary Foley Benson's wasp and caterpillar art
- Bohart logos (youth t-shirts, stickers and patches
- Used books
- Gift memberships
- Naming of insect species in the biolegacy program
All proceeds go for a good cause--funding the operation of the Bohart Museum. Directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, it houses nearly eight million insect specimens from throughout the world. Another popular attraction is the live "petting" zoo where you can hold and photograph Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula named "Peaches."
Keep calm and insect on!
How do you begin? Where do you start?
Distinguished Professor James R. Carey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology led a class on how to do just that several years ago. Under his direction, UC Davis students crafted a playlist of 11 short videos on insect-collecting.
The project, considered the best-of-its-kind on the Internet, won an award from the 7000-member Entomological Society of America.
The videos are online but if you attend the UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 18, you can see the continuous loop of videos being played from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 122 of Briggs Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive. Fliers printed with the URL and QR codes also will be available.
The entire series can be viewed in less than 10 minutes. The clips range in length from 32 seconds to 77 seconds.
“So in less than 10 minutes, someone can learn how to make an insect collection,” Carey said. The clips are tightly scripted, with an emphasis on brevity, simplicity and low cost."
Making the insect-collection module was a low tech-low cost operation partly by design. “I wanted production to be ‘low tech' so that anyone who could use a point-and-shoot camera and basic movie-editing software could produce a video clip,” Carey said. ”It needed to be low cost not only because of no funding for the project, but because the basic challenge was to produce a set of high-content-high quality video clips at virtually zero cost."
UC Davis forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey provided the introductory narration for each clip. The students chose MovieMaker software (included in the MS Office package) and Sony Vegas Movie Studio. Paul ver Wey, media production manager of the UC Davis Information Educational Technology's Academic Technology Services, taught them the basics of videography and editing; Wes Nelms gave a tutorial on the use of Vegas Movie Studio
So, stop by Briggs Hall and watch the videos on how to make an insect collection. Or access them online.
Hand Collecting (32 seconds)
Using an Aspirator (34 seconds)
Ground Collecting (54 seconds)
Aquatic Collecting (58 seconds)
Using Nets (58 seconds)
Killing (51 seconds)
Pinning (43 seconds)
Point Mounting (50 seconds)
Labeling Specimens (48 seconds)
Spreading (77 seconds)
Storage and Display (32 seconds)
The 101st annual UC Davis Picnic Day is expected to draw as many as 100,000 visitors campuswide. The focus is on entomology at Briggs Hall and at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Briggs Hall includes cockroach races, maggot art, honey sampling, fly-tying, a pollination pavilion and many other activities. The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, is home of nearly eight million insect specimens. On Saturday it will showcase pollination activities and provide many other events under the theme, "The Good, The Bad and the Bugly."
But when it comes to UC Davis Picnic Day 101, the "101" doesn't mean inexperience. This is the 101st annual celebration, which means UC Davis has been doing this for a century.
It's an event billed as entertaining, educational and informative--and it is. Plus, it's just plain fun!
Longtime friends and family get to hug ya. Entomologists get to bug ya. Visitors will see plenty of insects and other arthropods from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at two sites: Briggs Hall on Kleiber Hall Drive and the Bohart Museum of Entomology on Crocker Lane.
Theme of the campuswide picnic is “The Heart of Our Community,” but over at the Bohart Museum, the theme is “The Good, the Bad and the Bugly.” The museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, will feature pollinators. The museum houses nearly 8 million specimens. It also houses a live “petting zoo,” comprised of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula named Peaches, a crowd favorite.
At Briggs Hall, a new event is the Pollinator Pavilion, where visitors can see and learn about bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Pollination ecologist/graduate student Margaret “Rei” Scampavia is coordinating the project. “We're going to have painted lady butterflies, monarchs, male blue orchard bees, and a live bumblebee colony,” she said. Other events at the Pollinator Pavilion will include puppet shows, a chance to practice pollinator observations, museum specimens, and information on how individuals can help support healthy pollinator populations.
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey will portray “Dr. Death,” showing methods used in forensic entomology in 122 Briggs. The Phil Ward lab will assemble a display on the incredible diversity of ants. The Sharon Lawler lab will display aquatic insects and answer any questions about them.
Visitors can sample six different varietals of honey at a honey tasting table in the Briggs courtyard. The flavors are coffee blossom, meadowfoam blossom, buckwheat, creamed clover, cotton and chestnut, said Elina Niño, Extension apiculturist. A bee observation hive will be set up in across from the courtyard, where Niño and staff research associate Billy Synk will answer questions about bees.
Also at Briggs: graduate student Stacy Hishinuma and forest entomologist Steve Seybold, a chemical ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, and an affiliate of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will display forest insects. Medical entomology graduate students will set up displays about diseases vectored by mosquitoes and other insects. The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District will provide an educational exhibit about mosquito abatement. Exhibits also will include such topics as fly fishing/fly-tying.
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) will be giving away lady beetles, aka ladybugs, in front of Briggs Hall. They will answer questions about insects and display many of their books.
The Graduate Student Entomology Association (GMSA) and the Entomology Club will be out in force, coordinating and staffing the many insect activities. If you like bugs, you can buy an entomology t-shirt or have a bug painted on your face. The Bohart Museum also will be selling t-shirts and other items in its gift shop, which is open year-around.
If you're going to the parade, which starts at 9:30 a.m., be sure to check out the Entomology Club's float. It will not be an "itsy bitsy spider." It will be one ritsy gigantic spider! Following the parade, the float will be showcased in front of Briggs Hall.
What a day it promises to be...the good, the bad, and the bugly...
Say the word “wings” to folks who attend fairs and festivals and they may think of something to eat--buffalo wings or chicken wings.
But if you head over to McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fair, Vallejo, you'll be thinking of insect flight.
Flight of butterflies and moths. And maybe a ladybug or two.
Butterflies grace wall hangings, quilts and t-shirts and also appear in photographs and arts and crafts projects. You'll also encounter other bugs, including a moth (photograph), and a youngster's educational display board about spiders. (For those who aren't fond of spiders, these are illustrations.)
The 65th annual fair, themed "Cruisin' the County," opened Wednesday, July 30 and ends on Sunday, Aug. 3. The theme spotlights classic and unique cars.
Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of the McCormack Hall building, and her crew have done a marvelous job setting up and displaying the many exhibits, which range from youth photos, preserved foods, and baked goods to quilts, special collections and arts and crafts projects.
Among the special butterfly and moth attractions we spotted:
- "Butterfly Lovers," a hand-and-machine quilted wall hanging by Tina Waycie of Vallejo
- "Butterflies," a needlepoint (stamped cross-stitchery) by Marlo Wilson of Vallejo, adult division
- "Butterfly T-Shirt," a textile project by Leslie Dunham of PACE Solano, adult division
- "Flying Wing," a machine-quilted wall hanging by Suzanne Ruiter of Fairfield, adult division
- "Moth," a photo by 9-year-old Maximilian Burgess-Shannon of Benicia
Gloria Gonzalez, a longtime 4-H leader (she's the co-community leader of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club, Vallejo) kept busy finishing up the displays last Sunday. Among those assisting were Sharon Payne, past president of the Solano County 4-H Leaders' Council and the superintendent of the youth exhibit building at the Dixon May Fair; Gloria's daughter, Angelina Gonzalez, who leads the arts and crafts project for Sherwood Forest; and their colleague Iris Mahew of American Canyon.
Angelina, who recently received her master's degree in sociology from Sacramento State, is also the Solano County representative to the Statewide 4-H SET (science, engineering and technology) Program. (By the way, she's also a great cook--her caramel cookies won best of show.)
Fairs are all about informing, educating and entertaining--not necessarily in that order. They are a place where you can browse through the exhibit halls, enjoy the carnival rides, check out the 4-H and FFA livestock and the junior livestock auction, attend a free concert, and eat a bacon-wrapped hot dog. (Actually, I think something vegetarian sounds better!)
We're especially glad to see the insect-themed exhibits in McCormack Hall. It's not just vehicles that "cruise" the county or parts of the county.
Insects do, too.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology is showcasing insects in the Floriculture Building, where displays include a bee observation hive from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, butterfly and other specimens from the Bohart Museum of Entomology, and arts and crafts from the Honey and Pollination Center.
In Today's Youth Building, six-year-old Mieko Heiser of Dixon is displaying "My Bug Exhibit," telling fairgoers how to catch, identity and pin insects. Her pinned insects include a honey bee, lacewing, field cricket and ladybug larvae. And, oh, yes, a spider (not an insect, but an arthropod).
"It's an amazing exhibit," said Sharon Payne, building superintendent and president of the Solano County 4-H Council. It won a best-of-show award, spotlighting the fair's theme, "Best of Show."
Here's what's "buggy" in the Floriculture Building, headed by florist Kathy Hicks:
- Entomologist Jeff Smith of the Bohart Museum will let fairgoers pet and hold a 22-year-old rose-haired tarantula from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday, May 10-11. He also plans to bring along Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. Those are a few of the live critters, permanent residents, in the Bohart Museum's "petting zoo." The UC Davis-based museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology, is home to nearly eight million insect specimens.
- Billy Synk, manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, is scheduled to answer questions about bees from 11 to 4 p.m., Friday, May 9.
- Cameron Jasper, bee scientist with the Brian Johnson lab at UC Davis, plans to share bee information with fairgoers from 4 to 6 on Friday, May 9.
- Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, headquartered in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, will show youngsters how to make bee/flower puppets from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 10.
- You can also expect to see native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, there, too, schedule permitting.
Meanwhile, over on the UC Davis campus, a special event will take place on Friday, May 9 in the department's bee garden, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus. The occasion: National Public Gardens Day. The open house will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and includes a guided tour from 6 to 6:30. Haven manager Christine Casey says "We'll also be giving away sunflower plants along with information about how to monitor them for bee activity."
The half-acre bee garden is open daily from dawn to dusk. Expect to see lots of bees and other pollinators, plus the amazing work of the UC Davis Art/Science Program.