That's one of the questions slated to be asked at the UC Davis-based COVID webinar, set from 1:30 to 4 p.m., Thursday, April 23, via Zoom and YouTube.
Folks are submitting their questions now, and you can, too.
The virtual seminar, featuring physicians and scientists, is expected to provide a wealth of information, says organizer-moderator Walter Leal, UC Davis distinguished professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences, and former chair of the Department of Entomology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Leal, an eminent scientist known for his research, teaching and public service, is a chemical ecologist whose expertise includes mosquito-borne viruses. He coordinated a Zika-virus public awareness seminar on the UC Davis campus in May 2016.
So, can infected mosquitoes transmit COVID-19?
"There is no evidence that mosquitoes transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease named COVID-19," said Leal. "If the virus can be transmitted so effectively from human to human, why would they need an intermediate host? That way, the virus would have to replicate in the mosquito body to be transmitted a few days later. The virus evolution led to a 'faster track.' It is conceivable that when it gets warm, and mosquitoes bite COVID-19 patients, the virus could be found in the mosquito body, but this is not to say that mosquitoes are vectors. They are not."
“It is heartbreaking to hear the number of people dying every day,” Leal said. “We have well-qualified people to address questions from the populace, so I thought I would put my organizing skills and experience with modern teaching technologies at the service of the public.” (His peers recently honored him with the 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, from the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America, and the 2020 Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching, from the UC Davis Academic Senate.)
Chancellor Gary May will deliver the welcoming address. Main speakers are UC Davis physician-scientists Emanuel Maverakis, Stuart Cohen and Nathan Kuppermann; UC Davis veterinarian-scientist Nicole Baumgarth; physician Ron Chapman, Yolo County Health Officer; and pediatrician State Sen. Richard Pan, District 6 chair, Senate Committee on Health.
- Dr. Emanuel Maverakis is a professor in the Departments of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and Dermatology, UC Davis School of Medicine. A fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, he is known for its work in the field of predictive modeling, as well as for the development of novel analysis tools for immunogenetics. He received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barack Obama.
- Dr. Stuart Cohen is professor and chief of Division of Infectious Diseases and director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, UC Davis School of Medicine. He specializes in clinical infectious diseases and infection control in the hospital environment.
- Dr. Ron Chapman, the Yolo County Health Officer, is also a health strategist consultant focused on helping health departments build quality improvement and performance management systems. He earlier served as director and State Health Officer, California Department of Public Health.
- Dr. Nathan Kupppermann, an emergency physician for UC Davis Health, is professor and chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine. The recipient of the Academic Senate's 2020 Faculty Research Award, Kuppermann is member of the National Academy of Medicine and principal investigator of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network.
- Dr. Nicole Baumgarth is a professor in the Center for Comparative Medicine, and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The Baumgarth laboratory investigates the basic immunological mechanisms that regulate and control immunity to pathogens.
- Dr. Richard Pan, a State Senator who represents the Sacramento region and chairs the Senate Health Committee, is in close contact with the California Department of Public Health and with monitoring the response to the coronavirus outbreak. "Public health is about keeping our neighborhoods safe and healthy," he said in a press release on his website. "The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the cost of not having a robust public health system in place. Our leaders need to be listening to public health experts and sharing accurate health information to save lives. Everyone deserves to live a long and healthy life in a safe environment."
In addition to the main speakers, presenters will provide information on such topics as face masks and modeling systems. You-Lo Hsieh, distinguished professor, UC Davis Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and an expert on textiles and clothing, will explain the differences between regular masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks, plus what the public can do when masks are unavailable. She researches polymer chemistry, fiber engineering and bio-based materials.
James R. Carey, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology and an authority on population biology and modeling, will share his expertise on modeling systems. He served as the principal investigator of a 10-year, $10 million federal grant on “Aging in the Wild,” encompassing 14 scientists at 11 universities. Carey co-authored, with Deborah Roach of the University of Virginia, the newly published book, Biodemography: An Introduction to Concepts and Methods (Princeton University Press), described as “an authoritative overview of the concepts and applications of biological demography.” (See news story.)
Got a question? Register here and ask here: https://bit.ly/2z4ULdw/span>
That's because bees don't fly until the temperature hits around 55, and the thermometer on that wintry day (Jan. 7) refused to budge over 47.
The facility, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, is located next to the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
It slides Davis into the national spotlight as "Pollination Central" and "The Bee Capital of the World." The Davis facility is the newest of five USDA bee research labs in the United States and as the only one in California.
“This is the only USDA bee research team in California—where the action is,” said emcee Paul Pratt, research leader of the Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Lab. USDA maintains honey bee research facilities in Tucson, Ariz.; Beltsville, M.D., Baton Rouge, La., and Stoneville, Miss.
“The opening of the USDA-ARS bee lab marks a new opportunity for USDA and UC Davis entomologists to collaborate and investigate serious problems that affect stakeholders,” said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “We are very fortunate that the lab was built at UC Davis.”
Plans for the USDA-ARS facility began five years ago at a stakeholders' conference in the Laidlaw facility. Attendees at the November 2015 meeting targeted honey bee health, primarily varroa mites, pesticides and nutrition.
Park-Burris, of Jackie Park-Burris Queens, Palo Cedro--her family has worked with UC Davis researchers for more than 80 years--cut the ribbon with four other stakeholders: almond pollination consultant Robert Curtis of Carmichael, former director and associate director (now retired) of Agricultural Affairs, Almond Board of California; Kevin Adee of Bruce, S.D., president of the American Honey Producers' Association; Brad Pankratz of Can-Am Apiaries, Orland, Calif.; and Darren Cox of Cox Honey Farms, Logan, Utah, a past president of the American Honey Producers' Association.
Pratt introduced newly hired research entomologists, Arathi Seshadri and Julia Fine, who form the Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit at Davis. They are dedicated toward developing technology that improves colony survivorship through long-term studies of multiple stress factors, he said. "They will develop and transfer integrated biologically based approaches for the management of invasive species and the improvement of pollinator health.”
The speakers centered their presentations around cooperation, camaraderie, and, yes, the cold! (See new story and images on the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology website.)
Park-Burris said it well:
"The California State Beekeepers' Association is overwhelmed that we have a USDA lab to collaborate with our UC Davis lab. We hope there's a lot of collaboration going on. We really look forward to that. As a stakeholder, my family has been raising queens just north of here (Palo Cedro) for over 80 years. Dr. Laidlaw had worked with my uncle and my father. He's been at my house. And he's been through my bees. Julia (Fine) has even already been up to see the queen farm.” (See more information on Harry Hyde Laidlaw Jr., 1907-2003, the father of honey bee genetics, on the UC Davis website.)
“The queen bee breeding industry could definitely use you guys,” Park-Burris continued. “California has all the issues because everybody comes here. …it's very important that we have this lab here and how grateful we are that you have all gone to the work to make this happen."
“We look forward to solving some of our problems—varroa, varroa, varroa--and forage and pesticide interaction,” Park-Burris said, “and all that happens in California during the largest pollinator event in the world. So you're in a good place and we're grateful.”
The bees? They're grateful, too.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) is gearing up for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility tour on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at its newly constructed Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis.
The event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The site is located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
“The focus of this new USDA-ARS honey bee research program is to develop technology that improves colony survivorship through long-term studies of multiple stress factors,” a spokesman said. “These new facilities support two recently hired researchers: Drs. Arathi Seshadri and Julia Fine. These new scientists and associated technical staff are members of the Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit, whose mission is to develop and transfer integrated biologically based approaches for the management of invasive species and the improvement of pollinator health. The research team collaborates with federal, university, non-governmental and industry partners conducting research to improve honey bee survival and beekeeping sustainability in California and nationwide."
Research leader Paul Pratt of the Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Lab will give the welcoming address, followed by the presentation of colors by the Travis Air Force Base Honor Guard.
Among the speakers: Robert Matteri, director of the Pacific West Area, USDA-ARS; Anita Oberbauer, associate dean, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and Kevin Hackett, national program leader, USDA-ARS.
The two new researchers will be introduced, followed by remarks by Darren Cox of Cox Honey of Utah, past president of the American Honey Producers' Association; Jackie Parks-Burris, past president of the California State Beekeepers' Association; and Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. Niño also directs the California Master Beekeeper Program.
The event is open to invited guests. All guests are invited to tour the new facilities following the program. A stakeholder meeting is set from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Laidlaw bee facility classroom. For more information,contact Platt at email@example.com./span>
Are you ready to celebrate Moth Night at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis?
Mark your calendar for 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 21.
That's when the Bohart Museum will join forces with National Moth Week, July 21-29, to celebrate the beauty, life cycles and habitats of moths. It's free, open to the public, and family friendly.
The Bohart, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, is hosting the "Moth Night" both inside and outside the museum. You will see scores of moth and butterfly displays inside. Outside, moth light traps will be set up so you can see what moths are drawn to the blacklighting displays.
The UC Davis event is one of only two public events scheduled in California during the week; the other is in San Mateo County on July 28.
Bohart scientists will be on hand to discuss moths and answer questions. They include three Bohart associates: entomologist Jeff Smith of Rocklin, curator of the the moth and butterfly specimens; and "Moth Man" John DeBenedictis and naturalist and photographer Greg Kareofelas, both of Davis, who will staff the light traps/blacklighting displays. The best time to see the moths in the light traps is later in the evening, closer to 10, according to Lynn Kimsey, director of the museum, and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
"We will focus on colorful moths of the night--night rainbows if you will and the biodiversity of tropical moths," Yang said. A family craft activity is planned. Last year the family craft activity featured making moth-shaped window ornaments resembling stained glass.
Free refreshments--cookies and hot chocolate--will be served. Common Grounds, a Davis coffee shop. will be providing the large containers of hot water for the event.
One of the "oh, wow!" moths is Attacus atlas (Atlas moth), found in the rainsforests of Asia. One of the largest moths in the world, it has a wingspan that can measure 10 to 11 inches.
Last year more than 15 species landed on the blacklighting display. The first moth to arrive was the alfalfa looper moth, Trichopusia ni. The most striking: the grape leaffolder, Desmia funeralis.
Some facts about moths, from the National Moth Week website:
- Moths are among the most diverse and successful organisms on earth.
- Scientists estimate there are 150,000 to more than 500,000 moth species.
- Their colors and patterns are either dazzling or so cryptic that they define camouflage. Shapes and sizes span the gamut from as small as a pinhead to as large as an adult's hand.
- Most moths are nocturnal--others fly like butterflies during the day.
- Finding moths can be as simple as leaving a porch light on and checking it after dark. Serious moth aficionados use special lights and baits to attract them.
The Bohart Museum houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum. It maintains a live "petting zoo," featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, tarantulas, and praying mantids. The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
Although the festival, set from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Woodland, focuses on honey bees--they're the pollinators that produce honey!--you'll see other arthropods there, too, including native bees and spiders.
The Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis will be displaying bee specimens, including sweat bees, leafcutter bees, blue orchard bees, bumble bees, carpenter bees, sunflower bees and others. Directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, the insect museum houses some eight million insect specimens, plus a live "petting zoo" (think Madagascar hissing cockroaches, tarantulas, and stick insects) and a year-around gift shop. It's located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building.
Look for spiders, too, at the California Honey Festival. "Interns will be tabling from Heidi Ballard's Education 142 class on environmental education," said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator, who is assisting with the project. They will be discussing the different hunting techniques of various spiders, including crab spiders, jumping spiders, trapdoor spiders and orbweavers.
The California Honey Festival is a free, family friendly event sponsored by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the City of Woodland. it will include bee presentations, live music, cooking demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, and a Kids' Zone. You'll learn from world-class bee garden designer and author Kate Frey on what to plant in your garden to attract bees. She and Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of San Francisco State University authored the award-winning book, The Bee Friendly Garden.
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, California's state apiculturist, and a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty, will present three "live" bee demonstrations in a circular screened bee tent. Her demonstrations are scheduled for 11:15, 1 p.m. and 3:45 in the bee tent, UC Davis Stage. See complete schedule of events.
Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, says the festival was created in 2017 to cultivate an interest in beekeeping, and to educate the public in support of bees and their keepers. "Bees face many threats today—it is the goal of the festival to help attendees understand the importance of bees to food diversity in the United States."
The California Honey Festival's mission is to promote honey, honey bees and their products, and beekeeping. Through lectures and demonstrations, the crowd can learn about bees and how to keep them healthy. Issues facing the bees include pests, pesticides, diseases, malnutrition, and climate changes.
So, come for the bees. Stay for the native bees and...the spiders. Then next year on March 14 you can celebrate National Save a Spider Day.