How can you monitor, mitigate and manage them?
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño and her lab are hosting a short course on "Managing Varroa" from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis.
"Current beekeeping challenges call for all beekeepers to have a solid understanding of varroa mite biology and management approaches," said Niño, in describing the course. "We will dive deeper into understanding varroa biology and will devote majority of the time to discussing pros and cons of various means to monitor, mitigate, and manage this crucial honey bee pest."
The course, limited to 20 participants, will cover varroa biology, treatment options and chemical-free options. Participants are to bring their bee veil or suit. The $200 registration fee covers the cost of course materials, lunch and refreshments. The last day to register is Monday, Oct. 7. Click here to register.
The eight-legged varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is an external parasite that attacks and feeds on honey bees. Originating in Asia, it is now found throughout most of the world. It arrived in Japan and the Soviet Union in the early 1960s and South America in the 1970s. From the 1970s to 1980s, it spread to South America, Poland, France, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal. The pest was first detected in the United States in 1987, in Canada in 1989, and in 1992 in the United Kingdom. It has since spread to Ireland, New Zealand and Hawaii, but to date, has not been found in Australia.
The female is reddish brown, while the male is white. They measure 1–1.8 mm long and 1.5–2 mm wide.
For more information on the course, contact Wendy Mather at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mather serves as the program manager of the UC Davis-based California Master Beekeeper Program, directed by Niño. The program uses science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping.
"I've been in touch with the sculptor Solomon Bassoff (Faducciart) in Roseville," said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. "He did the caterpillar in the Davis Central Park. I'm thinking of a concrete sculpture roughly 4 feet by eight feet."
"The reason for this is that we have one of the world's largest tardigrade collections, which was compiled by Steve Heydon's predecessor, Bob Schuster," she said. "Tardigrades are really popular with kids in part because of their representation in the movies Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, Star Trek and Family Guy."
Kimsey wrote about the tardigrades in her newsletter several years ago. The water bear "has to be one of the most peculiar and indestructible groups of animals known," she wrote. The microscopic and nearly indestructible tardigrade can survive being heated to 304 degrees Fahrenheit or being chilled for days at -328 F. And, even if it's frozen for 30 years, it can still reproduce." See video on EurekAlert.
They belong to their own phyllum, the Tardigrada (meaning "slow steppers"), and to date there are some 1,500 described species throughout the world. "Tardigrades can survive high pressures of more than 1,200 atmospheres found in the bottom of the abyss," Kimsey said. "They can tolerate 1,000 times more ionizing radiation than other animals."
"Tardigrades are awesome," Kimsey said. "They can dry out completely and then become immortal. In fact, SpaceIL may have left thousands of dried tardigrades on the moon when it crashed earlier this year."
Stuffed toy water bears are also popular in the Bohart Museum's gift shop.
The museum, which houses nearly 8 million insect specimens and a live "petting zoo" (including Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas), as well as the gift shop, is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.
The Bohart Museum Society has set up an account on Go Fund Me; see https://www.gofundme.com/f/waterbear-sculpture
- Great initiative that I am happy to support!
- Tardigrades were some of my childhood friends
- Favis seems like a great place for a tardigrade sculpture! I'm inspired by the tardigradologists & nematologists I've admired there. A eutardigrade seems like it'd be less prone to causing injuries, but I can support a heterotardigrade :)
- Robert Schuster, UCD Bohart Museum, was instrumental in my career studying tardigrades. He taught me how to identify the species (known at that time) and how to use the SEM. His tardigrade collection is housed in the Bohart Museum.
Hack won an award in the highly competitive Individual Service Award category, announced Lauren Thomas and Darolyn Striley, co-chairs of the Staff Assembly's Citations of Excellence Committee.
Lisa Papagni, assistant director of Student Housing and Dining Services, won the Individual Service Award in the campuswide competition. Hack, a student academic advisor II, received an honorable mention along with Jaqueline Dyson, administrative assistant III in the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.
The annual Citation for Excellence Program singles out outstanding staff for their exemplary work in one of four areas: innovation, research, supervision and service. They all receive monetary prizes and certificates.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter will present the awards to seven individuals and four teams. All are nominated confidentially. Also celebrated at the invitation-only event will be winners of staff scholarships and staff dependent scholarships.
Three affiliates of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology nominated Hack for the award: forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, master advisor for the animal biology major; chief administrative officer Nora Orozco, her supervisor; and communications specialist Kathy Keatley Garvey.
They wrote that Hack, a 17-year academic advisor at UC Davis, goes above and beyond to advocate for and mentor students. Hack empathizes with the needs of others, an empathy honed by her own life experiences and the desire to “pay it forward.” As a youth--the daughter of farmworkers--she toiled in agricultural fields in Dixon, picking bell peppers and sorting tomatoes. And as a single parent/high school dropout, she cleaned houses for a living. Her life took a sharp career turn when two of her clients, a UC Davis professor and his wife, encouraged her to finish high school and attend business college. They loaned her money for an electric typewriter. Ever since then, Hack, the beneficiary of a good deed never forgotten, has vowed to “pay it forward”--to help others as others have helped her.
Kimsey, the master faculty advisor of the animal biology program, says “Elvira is likely the best academic advisor ever. Not only is she completely conversant with all the rules and regulations of the major, but understands the latitude of flexibility built into their application in a very human way. She is connected with all the administrative functionaries necessary to efficiently accomplish any task in a timely manner. For the confused or troubled student, she is the first and last resort for the solution of problems not only of an academic or administrative kind but those of a deeply personal nature as well. She keeps them on track, outlining their options, helping them decide on their future professions, and the direction their life should take. She has been invaluable to me as the master advisor. She really does care about a student's fate. Moreover we have had great fun doing these tasks together.”
Orozco related that Hack creates a welcoming environment, meeting individually with students to help them through the many hurdles at UC Davis. She is warm, caring and compassionate, she wrote. When a student comes in with serious issues, Hack calms them, encouraging them to be the best you can. She tells them: “If you are doing the best you can, you're doing great.”
Hack “provides resources to help them,” her nominators wrote. If they're feeling depressed, she will encourage them with “Look at everything you've accomplished!”
Her students describe her as kind, generous, trustworthy and helpful. They seek assistance on issues ranging from homesickness, roommate discord, financial strife and food insecurities, to sexual assault, domestic abuse and suicidal thoughts.
“During my first quarter as a transfer student, I went through some extreme life changes and emotional rollercoasters,” wrote one student. “I would end up in her office crying my eyes out and in distraught, but she always calmed me down and helped me reach out for other help to get me through my rough patch.”
Another student described Hack “as by far the most helpful, kind and encouraging adviser I have met at UC Davis. Being a first generation college student, I require extra help in understanding and executing graduation requirements and other criteria for my future career goals.”
Elvira Galvan Hack was hired in October 2007 as the new undergraduate staff advisor for the animal biology major, then located in the Department of Nematology. "In 2007 we were the Department of Plant Pathology and Nematology," Hack recalled, "and Professor Ed Lewis (now with the University of Idaho) was the master advisor. Plant Pathology and Nematology had never had an undergraduate major--only graduate programs."
"In 2007 when I was hired, I was given the opportunity to start our undergraduate advising office from scratch," she said. "I worked on putting procedures together for our new advising practices. I contacted students and we put a new list serve together. I contacted each of our students and introduced myself, letting them know where their new advising office was located." She engaged in "one-on-one advising with each of our students in order to get to know them and to get information on how we as a department, and I as their advisor, could serve them better."
Hack held an open house in the winter and spring quarters. She designed an information seminar about the major requirements; explained academic planning changes; and redesigned the order in which they should take classes to enable them to complete their degree in the standard time.
The awards ceremony also will honor four other individual winners of Citation for Excellence awards:
Innovation: Laura Young, student affairs officer, Graduate Studies
Honorable Mention: Shawn DeArmond, web architect, Information and Educational Technology (IET) Enterprise Applications and Infrastructure Services
Research: Jennie Konsella-Norene, assistant director of Global Professional Programs, Global Affairs
Supervision: Bradley Harding, interim director of Enterprise Student Applications, IET Enterprise Student Applications
Winners of the four team awards—all equal winners—are Veteran Self-Identification Campaign Working Group; Dairy Teaching and Research Staff Team; Financial Aid and Scholarships Information Technology (IT) Team; and UC Davis Library Human Library Committee Services (See list of team members)
Her topic: "Evaluating the Relative Importance of Mechanisms for Diverse Plant Use in Agroecosystem Herbivore Mitigation: an Example in California Strawberries."
"As pest management strategies shift away from agrochemical use, practitioners aim to implement more ecologically friendly practices," Bick writes in her abstract. "One such practice uses diverse crops placed in an agroecosystem to mitigate pest damage. There are many possible mechanisms which facilitate this phenomenon. Knowing a diverse plant's mechanism(s) allows for more efficient field implementation."
"This presentation will evaluate the mechanism of the economic benefit of planting alfalfa in a California strawberry monoculture. Using a novel CO2 based sampling method, spatially explicit samples were taken at three sites over two years. We found that alfalfa did not act, as previously identified, a trap crop, but rather its presence actually increased natural enemies. This work serves as a framework for evaluation of the mechanism for use of diverse plants in agricultural landscapes."
Bick, who has accepted a postdoctoral position at the University of Copenhagen, specializes in integrated pest management (IPM). She received her bachelor's degree in entomology in 2013 from Cornell University, and her master's degree in entomology in 2017 from UC Davis.
Bick served as an emergency medical technician from 2008 to 2017 and gained her pesticide applicator's license in 2013. She was singled out to receive the Student Certification Award at the Entomological Society of America (ESA) meeting in 2018. In 2014, she was named a Board-Certified Entomologist, a honor bestowed on her at the ESA meeting.
Bick helped anchor the UC Davis Linnaean Games Team that won the national championship at the ESA meeting in 2016, and the UC (UC Davis and UC Berkeley) Linnaean Games Team that won the national championship again in 2018. She is the former vice president of the UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA).
Post Doctoral Scholar Opportunity
University of California, Davis
Small Fruit Insect IPM Post-doctoral Position
A post-doctoral position is currently available for two years focusing on spotted wing drosophila (SWD) population biology, insecticide resistance, and management in California. This work will be based in the laboratory of Dr. Frank Zalom, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
An established population of the spotted wing drosophila was first found in the western hemisphere in the Monterey Bay area of California. It has subsequently become widespread throughout North America and Canada as well as Europe, and is a major pest of berry and cherry crops. Field studies will be conducted in the Monterey Bay area where it is a major pest of berry crops and in the northern San Joaquin Valley where it is a major pest of sweet cherries, and laboratory studies will include research on insecticide resistant lines that have been established from field collections. This research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Joanna Chiu. The Zalom lab also works on many other fruit pests and crops such as grapes, almonds, olives, and stone fruit, presenting an opportunity for additional research and extension experiences.
The successful candidate is expected to hold a recent (received within the last three years) Ph.D. in Entomology from a U.S. university with field research experience and an interest in working in a diverse specialty crop agricultural landscape. The candidate is expected to work independently, but as part of a team that includes students, other researchers and county Cooperative Extension Advisors. Ability to plan and execute hypothesis driven research projects that lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals is essential, and the opportunity to author such publications is immediate and excellent. Some experience in using molecular techniques within a research project is desirable, but not required.
Excellent oral and written communications in English are required, as is the ability to communicate in nontechnical terms to growers and crop consultants. The successful candidate is expected to obtain a California driver's license to drive to study sites for field studies throughout California. Interested candidates should send resume, names and contact information for three references to email@example.com.
Salary is commensurate with experience, consistent with University of California policy. The position carries standard benefits, including healthcare, applicable to these positions at the University of California, Davis. The University of California is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.
Closing Date: Position is available immediately and recruitment will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified. Location: Davis, CA, USA