The event, themed "The Bounty of Pollination, More Than Just Honey," will take place from 1 to 5:30 p.m. in the RMI's Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre, UC Davis. Keynote speakers are winning cinematographer, director and producer Louie Schwartzberg whose film “The Beauty of Pollination” has resulted in more than 23 million views on YouTube; and pollination ecologist Neal Williams, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology, who will discuss “Integrated Pollination Strategies: Managed and Wild Bees for a Sustainable Future."
Others speaking will include:
Amina Harris, executive director of the RMI Honey and Pollination Center and owner of Z Specialty Food, Woodland, who will cover “Honey Tastings Across America”
--Victoria Wojcik, associate program manager of the San Francisco-based Pollinator Partnership, “The World of Pollinators”
--Julie Loke, teaching kitchen educator at Davis Co-Op, “Varietal Honeys—Blending the Flavors in the Kitchen”
Another attraction is the second annual "Best Honey" competition. Beekeepers can enter the competition by bringing a jar of honey (with business card and summary of the honey) to the RMI office on Wednesday, Oct. 24. There's no charge to enter. Those attending the conference will taste and judge the honey.
RMI executive director Clare Hasler-Lewis said the newly established Honey and Pollination, was approved earlier this year by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The vision is to “make UC Davis the nation’s leading authority on honey, honey bees and pollination by combining the resources and expertise of RMI and the Department of Entomology’s Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.”
The center’s mission is “to showcase the importance of honey and pollination to the well-being of the citizens of California. The center will spearhead and nucleate efforts to gain support and assembly teams for research, education and outreach programs for various stakeholder groups including the beekeeping industry, agricultural interests who depend on bee pollination, backyard beekeepers and the food industry."
• Expand research and education concerning nutrition, health, quality and appreciation of honey
• Develop useful information for California’s agricultural bounty that depends on insect pollination
• Help the honey industry establish labeling guidelines to guarantee pure and unadulterated varietal honey
• Coordinate a multidisciplinary team of experts in honey production, pollination and bee health
• Promote the use of locally procured honey in the home, food industry and restaurants.
James R. Carey, professor of entomology at the UC Davis Department of Entomology (the department co-sponsored the event), webcast the six talks presented by either current or retired UC Davis professors. The videos are now on UCTV; here's the link to the Honey! index page.
Did we say "free?" Free.
Carey is a firm believer that UC seminars ought to be shared with not only UC affiliates but with the general public. (Read about how and why he spearheaded the 10-campus project.)
Meanwhile, you can learn about bees from some of the country's best: two UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty and one emeritus. Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen discussed "The Wonder of Honey Bees" and later presented a talk about honey and honey tasting.
Assistant professor Brian Johnson--he researches the behavior, evolution, and genetics of honey bees--covered "Honey Bee Communication: How Bees Use Teamwork to Make Honey" and emeritus professor Norman Gary, a scientist, author and professional bee wrangler, convinced us why we should consider "Hobby Beekeeping in Urban Environments." After all, he's been keeping bees for 64 years!
Then Louis Grivetti, professor emeritus in the nutrition department, strode to the podium to tell us "Historical Uses of Honey as Food"--you won't believe all the things he said in his well-researched talk! Liz Applegate, nutrition professor and director of the Sport Nutrition Program," followed with "Sweet Success: Honey for Better Health and Performance."
By the end of the day, the crowd agreed with Mussen that “Honey bees are truly marvelous.” And with Johnson who pointed out: “Bees have small brains but can solve big problems."
A nice addition: a honey-tasting contest judged by the attendees. The winner? An oh-so-good clover honey from Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies. The honey (yes, it's available for sale at the 2110 X St. business), was produced by the Jones Bee Company, Salt Lake City. Second place went to Alan Pryor of Alameda; and third place, Diane Kriletich of Paloma, Calaveras County.
“It was a sweet day all in all,” said coordinator Clare Hasler-Lewis, executive director of RMI.
Indeed it was!
Things are buzzing over at the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Science on the University of California, Davis campus.
The RMI folks are gearing up for the big Honey! event, set for 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21 in the UC Davis Conference Center.
It's not every day that there's an all-day event about honey. Clare Hasler-Lewis, executive director of RMI and executive assistant Kim Bannister promise a "sweet" event--"too sweet not to miss."
Yes, there will be talks about honey and bees, a honey-themed lunch, honey tasting and a honey taste-off. To add to the sweetness: Gimbal's Fine Candies of San Francisco is donating individual-sized packets of Honey Lovers, its popular candy made with honey. This company generously donates 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of Honey Lovers for UC Davis bee research (Department of Entomology).
And, then there's the sweet harmony of the Honeybee Trio, comprised of three teenagers from Vacaville. They'll sing "Sugartime," and...cross your fingers...they may come up with a version of Jimmie Rodgers' "Honeycomb."
Meanwhile the "bee guys"--Eric Mussen, Brian Johnson and Norm Gary--are polishing their speeches as are the other speakers, Louis Grivetti and Liz Applegate, all UC Davis faculty or former faculty.
Beekeeper Brian Fishback of Wilton will bring in two bee observation hives. Other displays include a beekeeping exhibit from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility and bee specimens from the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
Check out the Honey! agenda on the RMI website. You can reserve your space there or contact Kim Bannister at email@example.com or (530) 752-5171.
Honey in the morning
Honey in the evening
Honey at suppertime
Be my little honey
And love me all the time...
So sang the McGuire Sisters in their 1958 hit tune, "Sugartime."
And so will sing the Honeybee Trio of Vacaville at the Honey! event on Friday, Oct. 21 in the UC Davis Conference Center. The site is located across from the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.
The public celebration of honey and bees, set from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., will include talks by five UC Davis or former UC Davis faculty, a honey-themed lunch, a "best honey" contest and a reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. where the Honeybee Trio will sing.
The group, together for three years, includes Karli Bosler, 16, Sarah McElwain, 15, and Natalie Angst, 16. They visited the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis today, checked out the six-foot-long bee sculpture by Davis artist Donna Billick, and met with Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen and native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology.
Does anyone in the Honeybee Trio keep bees? No, but Natalie's aunt is a beekeeper in Fremont.
At the Oct. 21st event, beekeepers are invited to bring their best jar of honey for a judging contest. Attendees will decide the winners, and prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners.
Honey varieties are expected to include clover, fireweed, orange blossom, eucalyptus, tupelo, safflower and buckwheat. Further details will be announced on the RMI website athttp://robertmondaviinstitute.ucdavis.edu/honey.
“There will be special prizes for the best honey,” said event coordinator Clare Hasler-Lewis, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (RMI), which is sponsoring the event.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Department of Entomology, a co-sponsor, will coordinate the honey tasteoff. He also spearheads the honey tasting at Briggs Hall during the annual UC Davis Picnic Day celebration.
Morning speakers are Mussen, who will discuss “The Wonder of Honey Bees”; assistant professor/bee biologist Brian Johnson, who will speak on “How Bees Cooperate to Make Honey and What they Do With It When We Don't”; and emeritus professor/bee scientist Norman Gary, an author and professional bee wrangler, whose topic is “Hobby Beekeeping in Urban Environments.”
Afternoon speakers are Louis Grivetti, professor emeritus, Department of Nutrition, discussing “Historical Uses of Honey as Food” and Liz Applegate, professor, Department of Nutrition and director of Sports Nutrition Program, “Sweet Success—Honey for Better Health and Performance.”
Honey tasting, coordinated by Mussen, is scheduled from 3 to 3:45 p.m.
At the reception--guests will sip wine and sample honey--the Honeybee Trio and the Jazz Nuances will perform. The Honeybee Trio's specializes in classics from the 1930s and beyond in three part-harmony. The Jazz Nuances: jazz standards with "a sound and feel reminiscent of the 1950s and '60s West Coast Cool Sound."
Norm Gary will sign and sell his newly published book, “Honey Bee Hobbyist: The Care and Keeping of Bees.” On display will be beekeeping equipment from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, bee observation hives, and bee and book products by Rev Honey (Ron Fessenden, M.D.)
There's still time to make reservations. Recently reduced prices are: industry members and the public: $50; UC faculty, staff and Friends of the RMI: $35, and UC students, $15. For those attending the reception only, the cost is $10 general admission and $5 for students. Reservations may be made online at http://robertmondaviinstitute.ucdavis.edu/honey or with Kim Bannister at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-5171.
This is a first-of-a-kind event at UC Davis...and the place to "bee" on Oct. 21 if you want to know more about bees and honey.
That very word summons a smile.
A public celebration--appropriately titled “Honey!”--will take place Friday, Oct. 21 in the UC Davis Conference Center.
Save the date!
The event, sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, will include tastings and a honey-focused lunch.
“Bees play a crucial role on our planet from pollinating to honey creation,” said Clare Hasler-Lewis, executive director of the institute, which is affiliated with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
The public is invited to “come celebrate with us and enjoy lectures, tastings and displays on honey,” she said.
The event is scheduled to include the history of honey and its use across the ages; honey as a food incorporating honey in your diet; and honey for health, from balancing blood sugar to wound healing.
Among the UC Davis speakers:
--Liz Applegate of the UC Davis Department of Nutrition faculty. A national expert on nutrition and fitness, she will discuss the health benefits of honey.
--Brian Johnson of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty. Johnson, who specializes in the behavior, genetics and evolution of honey bees, as well as apiculture, will explore the history of honey use across the ages.
--Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. A nationally known expert on honey bees and honey, he will lead a honey tasting.
As plans progress, additional information will be posted on the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science website, Facebook and on Twitter.
Ah, sweet October!