The non-profit educational organization, geared for small-scale beekeepers in the western United States, is headed by president Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist emeritus, of UC Davis.
WAS has already booked Kim Flottum of Medina, Ohio, editor of Bee Culture; Les Crowder of Austin, Texas, author of Top-Bar Beekeeping; Gene Brandi of Los Banos, president of the American Beekeeping Federation; Larry Connor of Kalamazoo, Mich., author and beekeeper; Rod Scarlett, executive director, Canadian Honey Council, and Slava Strogolov, chief executive officer of Strong Microbials Inc., Milwaukee.
- Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño will speak on “Impact of Varroa on Honey Bee Reproductive Castes): Where Will the Research Lead Us?” at at 8:30 a.m. The three reproductive castes are the queen and worker bee (female), and drone (male).
- Associate professor Brian Johnson will speak on “Geographical Distribution of Africanized Bees in California” at 9 a.m., He will show “the results of a genotyping study of bees caught from across California showing the current distribution of Africanized Honey Bees in our state."
- Distinguished emeritus professor Robbin Thorp, a native pollinator specialist, will discuss “Life Cycles of Commonly Encountered Native Bee Genera" at 10:30 a.m. He is the co-author of Bumble Bees of North America: an Identification Guide and California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists.
- Professor Neal Williams, a pollination ecologist, will discuss “Known and Potential of Native Bees in Crop Pollination” at 11 a.m.
Casey also will lead a tour of the haven at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6. “The Haven is a unique outdoor museum designed to educate visitors about bees and the plants that support them," she says. "Tour participants will see some of our 85 bee and 200 plant species, learn about our outreach and research programs, and gain ideas for their own bee gardens." Other tours are to Mann Lake facility and Z Specialty Foods, both in Woodland.
On Friday, Sept. 8, Extension apiculturist emeritus Eric Mussen will moderate a panel on “Pesticide Toxicity Testing with Adult and Immature Honey Bees.” The panel will convene at 9:15 a.m. At 1:30 on Friday, assistant professor Rachel Vannette of UC Davis will discuss “Variation in Nectar Quality Influence Pollinator Foraging." She studies floral nectar chemistry and microbiology and examines how these characteristics of flowers mediate interactions between plants and pollinators
Other UC Davis highlights:
Honey Tasting: Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science, UC Davis, will lead a moderated honey tasting at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6. The event is titled “Taste the Honey Flavors of the West: How Understanding the Nuances of your Honey Can Help You Market your Perfect Sweet.” Said Harris: "Basically I plan to discuss the diversity and life styles of non-Apis bees to show how different most are from honey bees."
Memories: The founders of WAS will discuss "how it all began" from 8:45 to 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6. The organization, founded at UC Davis, was the brainchild of Norm Gary, then professor of apiculture (now emeritus), who served as the first WAS president. Assisting him in founding the organization were Eric Mussen, then an Extension apiculturist who was elected the first WAS vice president; and postdoctoral fellow Becky Westerdahl, now a nematologist in the department, who held the office of secretary-treasurer.
More information on the conference is available from the WAS website or contact Eric Mussen, serving his sixth term as president, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is underway at http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/2017-conference-registration/
A program on “Bees and Climate Change” is set from noon to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12 in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, located on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
The event, free and open to the public, is part of the 2016-17 Campus Community Book Project, spotlighting Raj Patel's Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System.
Christine Casey, manager of the honey bee haven, will speak on “Climate Change and the Bee Garden," and Robbin Thorp distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will cover "Effects of Climate Change on Native Bees."
The haven, part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, was installed in the fall of 2009 following a generous donation from Häagen-Dazs, known for its premium ice cream. Approximately half of the company's flavors depend on bee pollination.
The Oct. 12th event is part of a series of tours and open houses scheduled the week of Oct. 11-13.
Tuesday, Oct. 11
Exploring Horticulture Innovations
Noon to 1:30 p.m., Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center
Tour the low-cost, agricultural technologies that UC Davis researchers are using around the world. Edible plant giveaway to the first 20 visitors.
Wednesday, Oct. 12
Student Farm Tour and Harvest
9 to 10:30 a.m., Student Farm
Join the Student Farm for a special tour and harvest demonstration. Campus and community members are all welcome!
Thursday, Oct. 13
Arboretum Edible Campus Project and World Food Day Information Session
Noon to 1:30 p.m., Plant and Environmental Sciences Salad Bowl Garden
Tour the Salad Bowl Garden and learn more about the Arboretum Edible Campus Project in celebration of World Food Day, which will be Sunday, Oct. 16.
Another upcoming event affiliated with the Campus Community Book Project will feature agricultural entomologist Christian Nansen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. He will speak on "Urban Food Production in the Digital Age--Local Empowerment and Sustainability, on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union.
See more events here.
The Campus Community Book Project (CCBP) was initiated to promote dialogue and build community by encouraging diverse members of the campus and surrounding communities to read the same book and attend related events. The book project advances the Office of Campus Community Relations (OCCR) mission to improve both the campus climate and community relations, to foster diversity and to promote equity and inclusiveness.
For more information on the Campus Community Book Project, visit ccbp.ucdavis.edu./span>
If you plant it, they will come—the pollinators as well as members of the UC Davis campus community.
As of Tuesday morning, Nov. 3, the large concrete planter at the main entrance to Briggs Hall is thriving with bee friendly plants, including ceanothus, rosemary, evergreen currant, salvias, seaside daisy, snowberry, gum plant, California buckwheat, California fuschia and California goldenrod.
“The Campus Grounds removed the existing plants to allow us to do this,” said Christine Casey, staff director of the department's Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road. Garden volunteers Sarah Dohle, Sky Johnson, Finnegan Pitchford, Betty Warne, Rick Williams, and Sharon Kirkpatrick comprised the team that completed the project.
Casey credited Skip Mezger, campus landscape architect, and Cary Avery, associate director, Campus Planning and Community Resources, for approvals and help with logistics. She and Ellen Zagory, director of horticulture for the UC Davis Arboretum, collaborated on the plant selection.
The Arboretum also donated the California goldenrod, “Cascade Creek.” Other plants were purchased with Häagen-Dazs funds.
The plant list is online at http://hhbhgarden.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Briggs-Hall-Pollinator-Garden-plant-list-and-plan.pdf. The chart indicates the botanical name, common name, family name, sun/shade exposure, flowering period and flower color.
The event, free and open to the public, takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the half-acre bee garden, located on Bee Biology Road, next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, west of the central campus.
Among the native ants at the haven are
- Dorymyrmex insanus (workers small, ~3 mm long, black; conspicuous crater-shaped nests in bare soil)
- Dorymyrmex bicolor (workers small, ~3 mm long, bicolored, dull orange and black; conspicuous crater-shaped nests in bare soil)
- Prenolepis imparis (also known as the “winter ant” or “winter honey ant”; workers small (3-4 mm long), brown, with shiny gaster; inconspicuous nests in soil)
- Formica moki (sometimes called “field ants”; workers medium-sized (6 mm long), with a dark head, orange-brown mesosoma (thorax) and silvery-gray gaster; nest in soil)
Images of these species can be found on the AntWeb (www.antweb.org).
The haven is home to many insects other than bees, noted Christine Casey, director of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, which is owned and operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. It was planted in the fall of 2009.
Approximately six other species of native ants reside in the vicinity of the garden, including Formica aerata, Pogonomyrmex subdentatus, and Solenopsis xyloni. The introduced Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) occurs around the Bee Biology building, but it appears not to have colonized the bee garden.
Attendees will learn how to observe and identify California native ants, and learn about the differences between bees and ants.
Some of our newsmakers...
Alex Nguyen on KQED
UC Davis entomology student
May 31, 2015
Alex Nguyen is quoted by in a KQED science piece on "California Millipede Has Brilliant Adaptation to Heat."
Amina Harris in Civil Eats
Director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center
June 17, 2015
Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, is featured in an article in Civil Eats.
Eric Mussen on KQED
Extension apiculturst emeritus, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
June 2, 2015
Extension apiculturist emeritus Eric Mussen appeared on KQED Forum, "Obama Dedicates Land, Money to Honey Bee Restoration," on June 2, 2015. An audio archive is now posted online at http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201506020900.
Christine Casey on Capital Public Radio
June 11, 2015
Staff director of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
Christine Casey, staff director of our bee garden, was featured in a piece on bees on the Capital Public Radio program, "‘Insight with Beth Ruyak," on June 11. The program is archived here.
Stephen Buchmann on National Public Radio
July 18, 2015
Alumnus, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Stephen Buchmann, who received his doctorate degree in entomology at UC Davis (Robbin Thorp, major professor) was interviewed on NPR on July 18 about his new book. http://www.npr.org/2015/07/18/423478625/birds-bees-and-the-power-of-sex-appeal-the-ribald-lives-of-flowers
Neal Williams on Jefferson Public Radio
July 21, 2015
Associate professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Neal Williams is quoted in a piece on "California Group Works to Boost Bee Habitat."