The poster competition, open to graduate students throughout the country, drew 14 posters that focused on bees and/or pollination. It is a traditional part of the symposium, hosted by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The event took place in the UC Davis Conference Center.
Brand, who joined the Ramirez lab in 2013, received 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 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”
Judges were Robbin Thorp, UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor of entomology; and two symposium speakers, keynote speaker Steve Sheppard, Thurber Professor of Entomology at Washington State University, Pullman, Wash, and Stacey Combes, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior.
Sheppard's address on “Bees, Mushrooms and Liquid Nitrogen… What?” reflected the broad spectrum of his research from expanding the genetic pool of honey bees to health-related aspects of mushroom slurry. Other speakers included Margaret Lombard, chief executive officer of the National Honey Board, and Maj Rundlof of Lund University, Sweden, an International Career Grant Fellow at UC Davis. Michael Karle discussed the new Food and Drug Administration rules concerning the use of antibiotics in bee colonies.
Another highlight of the symposium was the awards ceremony honoring the first class of apprentice-level master beekeepers from the UC Davis-based program. More than 50 apprentices received their first-level pins from instructors Elina Niño, Extension apiculturist, and apiarist Bernardo Niño.
Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, and Neal Williams, associate professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, chaired the event. Williams served as emcee.
The 2018 Bee Symposium will feature keynote speaker Thomas Seeley, the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and author of the widely acclaimed book, Honey Bee Democracy.
Keynote speaker of the event, sponsored by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is Steve Sheppard, Thurber Professor of Apiculture and chair of the Department of Entomology, Washington State University (WSU), Pullman, Wash.
Sheppard will speak at 9:45 a.m. on "Bees, Mushrooms and Liquid Nitrogen--What?" His research involves improving honey bee health through breeding and alternative treatment approaches. Sheppard specializes in population genetics and evolution of honey bees, insect introductions and mechanisms of genetic differentiation.
He also heads the Apis Molecular Systematics Laboratory. He received his graduate degrees in entomology from the University of Illinois: his master's degree in 1979 and his doctorate in 1986. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beneficial Insects Laboratory from 1986 to 1988, and as a research entomologist at the USDA Bee Research Laboratory from 1988 to 1996 before joining the WSU faculty in 1996. He was named chair of the department in 2009.
The symposium will include speakers, displays of graduate student research posters, the latest in beekeeping equipment, books, honey, plants, "and much more," according to Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center.
Santiago Ramirez, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology, will speak on "The Evolution and Chemical Ecology of Orchid Bees" at 10:45 a.m.
Extension apiculturist Elina Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology will introduce the apprentice-level California Master Beekeepers and present them with pins at 11:30. Niño coordinates the Master Beekeeper Program.
The graduate student poster presentations are at noon. The competition was open to all California university students engaged in pollinator-related research. Educational exhibits also will be spotlighted at noon.
The afternoon program includes a presentation at 1:30 p.m. on "Flowering Crops: A Tricky Treat for Bees" by researcher Maj Rundlöf, International Career Grant Fellow, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, followed by "The New FDA Rule on the Use of Antibiotics in Hives" at 2 p.m. by veterinarian Michael Karle of the Mid-Valley Veterinary Hospital, Oakland.
At 2:30 the fast-paced and popular "Lightning Round" will take place. Each presentation will be four to six minutes long and will be followed by a question-and-answer session, Harris said.
- "Bumble Bee Cognition in the Wild" by Felicity Muth, postdoctoral researcher, Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
- "Habitat Planting for Bees," by the Neal Williams' lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
- "Optical Tagging of Bees to Track Individual Movements in colonies" by Stacey Combes, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
- "Planet Bee: Citizen Bee Projects" by Debra Tomaszewski, executive director and co-founder of the Bay Area's Planet Bee Foundation
- "Plants and Pesticides: Keeping Bees Healthy with Ornamental Horticulture" by Christine Casey, program representative, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, UC Davis
The symposium ends with Margaret Lombard, chief executive officer of the National Honey Board, speaking at 3:45 p.m. on "Good as Gold: Growing Opportunities for the Small-Scale Honey Producer."
Winners of the Graduate Student Poster Competition will be announced at 4:15. Awards are first place, $1000; second place, $750; third, $500; and fourth, $250.
To register, access http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events/2017-bee-symposium. Harris can be reached at email@example.com for further information.
The event is sponsored by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Sheppard specializes in population genetics and evolution of honey bees, insect introductions & mechanisms of genetic differentiation. He also heads the Apis Molecular Systematics Laboratory.
Sheppard received his bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Georgia in 1975, and both of his graduate degrees in entomology from the University of Illinois: his master's degree in 1979 and his doctorate in 1986. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the USDA Beneficial Insects Laboratory from 1986 to 1988, and as a research entomologist at the USDA Bee Research Laboratory from 1988 to 1996 before joining the WSU faculty in 1996. He was named chair of the department in 2009.
The Bee Symposium is designed for beekeepers of all experience levels, including gardeners, farmers and anyone interested in the world of pollination and bees.
The event will include speakers, displays of graduate student research posters, the latest in beekeeping equipment, books, honey, plants, "and much more," according to Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center.
Among the other speakers:
- Santiago Ramirez of the UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology;
- Extension apiculturist Elina Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology;
- Maj Rundlöf of the Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden, and
- Margaret Lombard, National Honey Board, based in Firestone, Colo.
Registration begins March 1 at http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events/2017-bee-symposium.
Co-authoring the first-place poster were mentors Hillary Sardinas, alumna of the Claire Kremen lab, UC Berkeley, and now with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; and UC Berkeley Professors Nick Mills and Claire Kremen.
The Bee Symposium was sponsored by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, directed by Amina Harris, and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, chaired by Steve Nadler.
Associate professor/Chancellor's Fellow Neal Williams of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology announced the four winners, all from UC Berkeley or UC Davis. He serves as the co-faculty director of the Honey and Pollination Center.
Second place of $750 went to UC Davis graduate student W. Cameron Jasper for his poster, "Investigating Potential Synergistic Effects of Chronic Exposure to Amitraz and Multiple Pesticides on Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Survivorship." Jasper studies with major professor and Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Niño and K. Grey co-authored the poster.
Third place of $500 went to UC Davis graduate student Britney Goodrich for her poster on "Honey Bee Health: Economic Implications for Beekeepers in Almond Pollination." She studies with major professor Rachael Goodhue of the UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics, co-author of the poster.
Fourth place of $250 went to UC Davis graduate student John Mola for his poster on "Fine Scale Population Genetics and Movement Ecology of the Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee (Bombus vosnesenkii). His poster co-authors: faculty members Neal Williams, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology; and Michael Miller and Sean O'Rourke of the Department of Animal Science and Graduate Group in Ecology.
The Honey and Pollination Center funded the awards, with the program underwritten by Springcreek Foundation; Natural American Foods and the American Beekeeping Federation.
A trio of entomologists judged the posters: Dennis vanEnglesdorp, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park; Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis; and Quinn McFrederick, assistant professor of entomology, UC Riverside.
Yves Le Conte, director of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Paris, keynoted the symposium, launching the daylong conference that took place in the UC Davis Conference Center. VanEnglesdorp delivered the keynote speech in the afternoon.
Coordinating the poster competition was program representative
The competition was open to graduate students from any related department--UC Davis, UC Berkeley, California State University, Sacramento, and beyond, Casey said.
Last year's winners were all from the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology:
- First Place: Margaret "Rei" Scampavia, "Farming Practices Affect Nest Site Selection of Native Ground Nesting Bees"
- Second Place: Jennifer VanWyk, "Wet Meadow Restoration Buffers the Impact of Climate Change: Pollinator Resilience during the California Drought"
- Third Place: Leslie Saul-Gershenz, "Native Bee Parasite Shows Multitrait, Host-Specific Variation and Local Adaptation"
Scampavia's poster, “Farming Practices Affect Nest Site Selection of Native Ground Nesting Bees,” won her the $1500 prize. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation generously provided the funding.
Two other graduate students in the Neal Williams' lab won second and third place. Jennifer Van Wyk placed second for her poster on “Wet Meadow Restoration Buffers the Impact of Climate Change: Pollinator Resilience During the California Drought” and Leslie Saul-Gershenz, who also works with professor Steve Nadler, placed third for her poster on “Native Bee Parasite Shows Multitrait, Host Specific Variation and Local Adaptation.” Van Wyk received a $1000 prize and Saul- Gershenz, $500.
“Availability of foraging and nesting habitat potentially limits native bee range, which affects where pollinator services occur,” Scampavia wrote in her introduction. “Prior studies focus on how foraging habitat influences bee distribution, but few consider nesting limitations. Understanding how different soil properties affect native bee nest site preference can help predict where these nests will be found in agricultural landscapes, as well as whether particular farming practices could affect the health of nesting bees.”
Her objective: “to determine whether tillage, irrigation and application of pesticides impact nest site selection using a controlled choice assay.”
She examined the nests of bees in four genus categories: Lasioglossum, Halictus, Svastra and Melissodes.
Scampavia concluded “The two soil treatments that positively influenced nest initiation (tillage and irrigation) would be found in actively farmed areas, rather than fallow fields or field margins. If the presence of insecticide residues or tillage affects offspring survival, these results suggest that bees nesting in agricultural areas are faced with an ecological trap that could negatively affect development and overwintering survival. Providing strips of bare, tilled and irrigated soil in early spring in field margins or hedgerows could be one way to create attractive pesticide and late-season tillage-free shelters in which native bees could nest.”
Her current research deals with isolating and identifying specific soil attributes that affect nest site selection in bee species, and how these attributes impact offspring success. “I mostly focus on native ground nesting bees, but also study the impact of chlorpyrifos leaf residues on nesting alfalfa leafcutter bees,” she said. “I am also interested in how nesting habitat availability shapes bee community composition and distribution across the landscape. My current focus is on sunflower fields, alfalfa seed production, and mosaic landscapes in serpentine chaparral.”
In addition to her PhD research, she participates in a variety of education outreach and conservation projects. She has presented lectures for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Schoolyard Habitat Project; worked for the California Native Plant Society, documenting bee diversity in a threatened portion of Knowland Park in Oakland; and co-taught an undergraduate course focusing on current threats to pollinator populations and how to educate the general public to effect positive change.
Scampavia writes a bee blog, “Diadasia, The Lives of Other Bees,” at https://diadasia.wordpress.com/ that she launched in February 2012.
The Bee Symposium, sponsored by the Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, featured keynote speaker Marla Spivak, Distinguished McKnight Professor, University of Minnesota and a 2010 MacArthur Fellow, who discussed "Helping Bees Stand on Their Own Six Feet." The symposium drew 360 people.
Entomology doctoral candidate Matthew Prebus of the Phil Ward lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, video-recorded the presentations and uploaded them today.
They are all on YouTube.