How about wearing a pollinator on your heart?
It's National Pollinator Week.
The UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) offers a wealth of t-shirts as part of its year-around fundraising efforts. It's for a good cause. The EGSA, comprised of UC Davis graduate students who study insect systems, is an organization that "works to connect students from across disciplines, inform students of and provide opportunities for academic success, and to serve as a bridge between the students and administration," according to EGSA president Brendon Boudinot, an ant specialist/doctoral student in the Phil Ward lab.
The t-shirts can be ordered online at https://mkt.com/UCDavisEntGrad/, according to medical entomologist and EGSA treasurer Olivia Winokur, a doctoral student in the Christopher Barker lab. She serves as the t-shirt sales coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the favorite bee t-shirts depicts a honey bee emerging from its iconic hexagonal cells. It's the 2014 winner of then graduate student Danny Klittich, who recently received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis and now works as a California central coast agronomist.
Another "fave" bee shirt--this one showing a bee barbecuing--is by doctoral student and nematologist Corwin Parker, who studies with Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. It was one of the 2018 winners. (See the three winners on this site.)
Pollinators also include butterflies, birds and beetles.
"The Beetles" t-shirt is EGSA's all-time best seller. Instead of the English rock band John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star crossing Abbey Road in single file (that's the iconic image on the cover of their album, Abbey Road), think of The Beetles (four insects) crossing Abbey Road in single file. Beneath the images of the beetles are their family names: Phengogidae, Curculionidae, Cerambycidae and Scarabaeidae. Think glowworm, snout, long-horned, and scarab beetles.
One thing's for certain: Pollinators matter. Not just during National Pollinator Week but every day of the year.
The University of California, Davis, is the place to "bee" on Saturday, April 7.
There's a plant sale at the UC Davis Arboretum Nursery on Garrod Drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and there's an open house and plant sale at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Bee Biology Road.
And they are within several miles of one another.
At the one-acre Arboretum Nursery, you'll find what the officials are calling "an incredible selection of Arboretum All-Stars, California natives and thousands of other attractive, low-water plants perfect for creating a landscape alive with environmentally important pollinators." You'll find drought-tolerant, easy-care plants. Look for the inventory here. Members receive discounts, and you can join online, at the gate. Credit cards are accepted.
At the bee haven, operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, you're likely to find asters, California fuchsia, salvia, ceanothus, manzanita, coffeeberry and currant. Favorites include Salvia "Bee's Bliss" and Ceanothus "Valley Violet." Check out the plant list here. Payment is cash only.
As the temperatures soar to 80 degrees, and the ground warms up, the green thumbs are emerging! So are the honey bees, native bees and other pollinators...
The competition is open to all graduate students throughout the country involved in pollinator research, Luu says. Judging criteria? Objectives, methodology, results, research significance, conclusions, appearance, and presentation and interaction with the judges. The winner receives $1000, while the second-place award is $750; third place, $500; and fourth place, $250.
The poster competition is a traditional part of the daylong symposium, hosted by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Keynote speaker is bee scientist/professor/author Tom Seeley of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., who will discuss "Darwinian Beekeeping." Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, where he teaches courses on animal behavior and researches the behavior and social life of honey bees. He is the author of three major books, Honeybee Ecology: A Study of Adaptation in Social Life(1985), The Wisdom of the Hive: the Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies (1995), and Honeybee Democracy(2010), all published by Princeton University Press. His books will be available for purchase and signing at the symposium.
The 2017 poster competition drew 14 posters throughout the country. Phillipp Brand, a graduate student in the Santiago Ramirez lab, UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology, and a member of the Population Biology Graduate Group, won the competition for his research on "The Evolution of Sex Pheromone Communication in a Pair of Sibling Species of Orchid Bees." He received $1000.
Brand, who joined the Ramirez lab in 2013, obtained his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, and then went on to pursue his master's degree there, studying the evolutionary history and the patterns of selection of olfactory receptor genes in a pair of sister lineages of euglossine bees.
"Pheromone communication has long been known to play a central role in the origin and evolution of species diversity throughout the tree of life," he wrote in the introduction on his poster. "What are the underlying genetic and molecular mechanisms that control pheromone variation and signal detection?"
Other 2017 winners were:
- Second place, $750; Jacob Peters, Harvard University, “Self-Organization of Collective Nest Ventilation by Honey Bees”
- Third place, $500; John Mola, UC Davis, “Fire-Induced Change in Flowering Phenology Benefits Bumble Bees"
- Fourth place, $250; Devon Picklum, University of Nevada, Reno, “Floral Visitation and pollen Deposition Bombus- Pollinated Dodecatheon Apinum and Pedicularis Groenlandica in the Sierra Nevada”
The fourth annual UC Davis Bee Symposium: Keeping Bees Healthy is designed for beekeepers of all experience levels, including gardeners, farmers and anyone interested in the world of pollination and bees," said Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center. "In addition to our speakers, there will be lobby displays featuring , the latest in beekeeping equipment, books, honey, plants, and much more." Registration is underway.
The conference begins with registration and a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m., with welcomes and introductions at 9 a.m., by Amina Harris and Neal Williams, UC Davis professor of entomology and faculty co-director of the center. See more at http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events/2018-bee-symposium./span>
The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is sponsoring its annual fall clearance plant sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4 at its Arboretum Teaching Nursery headquarters on Garrod Drive, UC Davis campus. The inventory includes more than 16,000 plants and almost 550 varieties.
And you're invited.
And it's all for a good cause; to benefit the good work that the Arboretum does.
It may be raining, but not to worry. There's a special rainy day discount; Arboretum officials say that everything will be at least 25 percent off with even deeper discounts on selected plants. Members receive an additional 10 percent off (and you can join at the gate or online.)
Featured will be many of their Garden Gems. What's a Garden Gem? A low-water plant well-suited to the Central Valley climate. They include some of our favorites (and pollinator favorites!):
- Chilean rock purslane, Calandrina grandiflora
- Butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii
- Laura Beard tongue, Penstemen 'Pensham Laura'
- Pomegranate, Punica granatum 'Wonderful'
- Black sage, Salvia mellifera
- Red-violet autumn sage, Salvia 'Dark Dancer'
- Furman's red autumn sage, Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red'
- San Carlos festival sage, Salvia microphylla 'San Carlos Festival'
- Spreading purple sage, Salvia leucophylla 'Point Sal'
What to bring? Yourself. Your family and friends. Your umbrella.
And BYOB, BYOC or BYOW. That would be Bring Your Own Box, Cart or Wagon as this will smoothe and expedite your browsing/sale experience.
Think bees. Think butterflies. Think plants that will attract them.
Members (you can join online or at the gate) can peruse and purchase plants from 9 to 11 a.m., and the general public from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members save 10 percent off their plant purchases, while new members receive an additional $10 off as a thank-you gift.
You can chat with the Arboretum folks to pick out that special plant you're seeking. They also provide an online list of available plants and/or you can download The Life After Lawn: Garden Gems Plant List.
Many of the plants at the sale are All-Stars. What's an All-Star? The Arboretum horticultural staff has identified "100 tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don't need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have outstanding qualities in the garden." Many are California native plants and support native birds and insects. Most All-Star plants can be successfully planted and grown throughout California.
If you miss the Oct. 7th sale, not to worry. There are two more fall plant sales:
Saturday, Oct. 21
Open to the Public: 9 a.m - 1 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 4
Public Clearance Sale: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
It's a good idea to BYOB (Bring Your Own Box), BYOW (Bring Your Own Wagon) or BYOC (Bring Your Own Cart).
While you're there, check out the 100-acre Arboretum, including the nearby Ruth Risdon Storer Garden (aka Storer Garden), a Valley-wise garden,and the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo (aka White Garden). Have you seen all of the 17 special gardens and collections?
They're called "living museums" because that's what they are. Living museums. And especially when they attract pollinators!