The conference, “Multidimensional Solutions to Current and Future Threats to Pollinator Health,” took place in the ARC Ballroom and covered a wide range of topics in pollinator research: from genomics to ecology and their application to land use and management; to breeding of managed bees; and to monitoring of global pollinator populations, according to the co-chairs, pollination ecologist and professor Neal Williams and Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, directed by Amina Harris, coordinated the conference, with events manager Elizabeth Luu praised as "the heavy hitter." (See agenda.)
"This was the fourth International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy," Williams said. "Each time we try to add new elements that address emerging challenges and new directions in research. This year's sessions felt as fresh and innovative as ever, adding symposia on climate change, innovative monitoring and data collection, and urban bees. By restricting presenters to those who had not presented in the past six years we also added new voices and perspectives."
"We also grew," Williams said "In the past the conference has been just under 200 attendees. This year it topped 250, and we had to turn away several people because we simply could not fit more into the space. We added a second evening of posters to provide more time to interact. The response was overwhelming with 112 poster presenters!"
"We also added more explicit policy elements by creating a set of ViewPOINTS documents summarizing key areas in pollinator biology and heath that target policy makers. This has allowed for collaborative interaction across the attendees and a set of deliverable products from our interactions."
"It was an amazing team effort pulling it all together," Williams said. "Liz Luu from the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center was in a word, fantastic, keeping every thing and everyone together. The HPC really showed what it can do and what tremendous value it adds to our campus. The organizing committee worked so well together, sharing the load throughout. A great set of colleagues!"
Keynote speakers were Lynn Dicks, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, England, and Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Pennsylvania State University.
Dicks keynoted the conference on Thursday, July 18, discussing "The Importance of People in Pollinator Conservation." Grozinger delivered the keynote address, "Bee Nutritional Ecology: From Genes to Landscapes" on Friday, July 19.
Elina Lastro Niño delivered a presentation on the California Master Beekeeper Program, which she founded and directs. UC Davis community ecologist Rachel Vannette, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, presented a talk on her hummingbird research.
Two receptions took place at the Honey and Pollination Conference on Old Davis Road: the opening night reception on Wednesday, July 17 and a honey-tasting and dinner reception on Thursday, July 18.
The next International Pollinator Conference will take place at Pennsylvania State University. Grozinger and Rufus Isaacs of Michigan State University launched the conference in 2012. They are held every third year.
An image of the late Robbin Thorp (1933-2019), UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor of entomology and a global authority on bees, held a prominent place at the conference. He assisted many scientists who have attended the conferences.
The third annual California Honey Festival, sponsored by the City of Woodland and the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 4 in downtown Woodland. It's free and family friendly.
Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, says the event will include a cooking stage, a UC Davis educational stage, a kids' zone, a refreshment zone (beer and wine) and live entertainment.
Among the featured attractions will be a screened bee tent, where festival-goers can see beekeeper Bernardo Niño, staff research associate III in the Elina Niño lab in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, open the hive and point out the queen, worker bees and drones. Bernardo is the educational supervisor of the California Master Beekeeper Program, directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Niño and operated by the Niño lab.
"Bernardo will be taking the girls through their paces three times during the day," Harris quipping, referring to the worker bees. This will be at 11 a.m., 1:15 and 3:30 p.m.
Kitty Bolte from the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation, the first speaker on the UC Davis Educational Stage at 10:15, will welcome Woodand as a "Bee City." Plans also call for UC Davis to be named "Bee University" on Saturday, Harris said. "Rachel Davis, director of the Gateway Gardens, Arboretum has been spearheading this designation."
Pollination ecologist and professor Neal Williams of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will speak on "The Huge Impact of Native Bees" at 12:30 p.m. on the UC Davis Educational Stage.
The UC Davis Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven will feature a pollinator garden installation highlighting what and how to plant for pollinators, along with displays about common bees found in gardens, said Christine Casey, academic program management officer and manager of the half-acre garden, located on Bee Biology Road. She also will be speaking on bee gardening at 2:45 p.m. on the UC Davis Educational Stage.
The UC Davis area, located in the Woodland Opera House Plaza, in the middle of the festival activities, will be abuzz with new additions, Harris said. Newcomers to the festival include the World Food Center Plant Breeders, UC Davis entomology students. (See schedule.)
California Master Beekeepers will be teaching on the educational platforms at the festival. The Pollinator Posse of the Bay Area, headed by Tora Rocha and Terry Smith, will be on hand to explain the importance of pollinators and what everyone can do to help them.
Live entertainment will include Jayson Angove, Jessica Malone, Big Sticky Mess, Bocado Rio, Case Lipka, David Jacobin, Katgruvs, accordionist Jared Johnson, The City of Trees Brass Band and Double X Brass Band. Other live entertainment includes Space Walker and the Hand Stand Nation.
The festival, launched in 2017, aims to cultivate an interest in beekeeping, and to educate the public in support of bees and their keepers, according to Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center. Last year's festival drew 30,000 people and some 16 California honey companies.
The California Honey Festival's mission: 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.
The conference, themed “Multidimensional Solutions to Current and Future Threats to Pollinator Health,” will cover a wide range of topics in pollinator research: from genomics to ecology and their application to land use and management; to breeding of managed bees; and to monitoring of global pollinator populations. Topics discussed will include recent research advances in the biology and health of pollinators, and their policy implications.
Keynote speakers are Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Pennsylvania State University, (the research center launched the annual pollinator conferences in 2012) and Lynn Dicks, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, England.
Grozinger studies health and social behavior in bees and is developing comprehensive approaches to improving pollinator health and reduce declines. Lynn Dicks, an internationally respected scientist, studies bee ecology and conservation. She received the 2017 John Spedan Lewis Medal for contributions to insect conservation.
Other speakers include:
- Claudio Gratton, professor, Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Quinn McFrederick, assistant professor, Department of Entomology, UC Riverside
- Scott McArt, assistant professor, Department of Entomology, Cornell University
- Maj Rundlöf, International Career Grant Fellow, Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden
- Juliette Osborne, professor and chair, Applied Ecology, University of Exeter, England
- Maggie Douglas, assistant professor, Environmental Studies, Dickinson College
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, directed by Amina Harris, is playing a major role in the international conference. The center's events manager, Elizabeth Luu, is serving as the conference coordinator. For more information on the conference, access the UC Davis Honey and Pollination website at https://honey.ucdavis.edu/pollinatorconference2019 and sign up for the newsletter for up-to-date information.
The second annual California Honey Festival, sponsored by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the City of Woodland, will offer scores of entertainment and educational activities and food and drink from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 5 in downtown Woodland. It's a free, family friendly event.
The festival was created in 2017 to cultivate an interest in beekeeping, and to educate the public in support of bees and their keepers, said Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center. "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.
One of the highlights: Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, California's state apiculturist, and a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty, will be "opening a bee hive to show attendees just how a bee hive works," said Harris. "The intriguing catch? The hive will be full of bees!"
At the festival, the crowd can also learn what to plant in their gardens to feed the bees and other pollinators. Honey bees pollinate one-third of the American diet. Proceeds garnered at the festival will benefit bee and pollinator non-profit organizations involved in research and education.
Restaurants will offer creative and tasty honey centric menus throughout the week, officials said. Bars will offer a selection of mixed drinks with mead or honey and local breweries will include honey beers on tap.
UC Davis Stage
The UC Davis Stage will be a beehive of activity. The schedule:
10:30 a.m.: Gene Brandi, past president of the American Beekeeping Federation, speaking on "Beekeeping and Honey Production in California"
11:15 a.m.: Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, live bee demonstration in the bee tent
11:45 a.m: James Sherman, chief operating officer of Pollinator.org, speaking on "Protecting Bees and All Pollinators at Home and on the Farm--What Can You Do?"
12:45 p.m.: Frank Golbeck, chief administrative officer of Golden Coast Mead
1 p.m.: Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, live bee demonstration in the bee tent
1:45 p.m. John Mola, winner of the 2018 Bee Symposium Graduate Student Poster Contest, speaking on"Where do Bees Go and How Do We Know?"
2:15 p..m.: World-class garden designer and author Kate Frey, speaking on "How to Design Bee-Friendly Gardens." She is the co-author the popular book, The Bee Friendly Garden, with Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of UC San Francisco
3:45 p.m.: Billy Synk, director of Pollination Programs, Project Apis M, speaking on "California Almonds an the Upper Midwest"
3:45 p.m.: Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, live bee demonstration in the bee tent
Other activities will include the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology's insect petting zoo and displays; educational displays spotlighting honey bees, honey, bee hives, bee health and the life cycle of honey bees; a 7-foot Honey Wheel and honey tastings; bee costumes for kids and adults, and information on the California Master Beekeeper Program, operated by Elina Lastro Niño of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis.
Honey? It's there in all the cooking demonstrations:
Fire Brothers will prepare Smokey Chipotle Sauce a chicken street taco marinated with honey, served with a “honey slaw” and topped with Fire Brothers' Smoky Chipotle Sauce
11:30 to 12:15:
Mason Partak will prepare Honey Corn Bread Cobbler
Mani Niall will prepare honey and mustard vinaigrette, a savory rosemary semolina scone and chocolate mead truffles
1:30 to 2:15
Cache Creek: dish pending
Santana Diaz will prepare UC Davis Honey-Strawberry and Spring Pepper Vinaigrette, and UC Davis Honey-Rosemary and Apricot Chicken
Father Paddy's will prepare Justin Severson appetizer: honey almond panco crusted prawns main dish: honey soy-glazed chicken breast both herb basmati rice and daily vegetables dessert: bacon vanilla ice cream honey sundae with butterscotch crack nut cookies cocktail: and honey bourbon smash.
Busy Bee Kids' Zone
The "Busy Bee Kids' Zone" is billed as fun and educational insights for all. The Woodland Library holds the first slot, 11 to 11:45; Uncle Jer from 12 to 12:45; Planet Bee from 1 to 1:45; Uncle Jer from 2 to 2:45; Dilly Dally from 3 to 3:45, and Planet Bee from 4 to 4:45.
Plaza Main Stage Music
Entertainers will perform throughout the day.
10 to 11: Gold Souls
The Gold Souls will offer driving grooves of funk, the rich textures of soul, and the compelling storytelling of the blues. Launched in early 2017, the band combines their many influences to create a unique sound. This effort came to fruition with the release and tour of their self-titled EP last May.
11:30 12:30: City of Trees Brass Band
Over the last three years, City of Trees Brass Band has canvased Sacramento and San Francisco in an effort to deliver the spirit of New Orleans to the West Coast. Compiling 1,200 hours of street performance, dozens of educational clinics, and many inspirational assemblies for K-12th graders, the Brass Band takes pride in its contribution to Sacramento-area culture. In the ultimate test of brass and brawn, the Trees took a two-week trip to New Orleans where they said, "we discovered our sound not only holds up to the standards of the Crescent City, it belongs there."
1 to 2: The Sam Chance and the Untraditional
The Sam Chase and The Untraditional is described as "blending rock n 'roll and folk music while maintaining the sensibilities and attitudes from growing up on a healthy diet of punk rock." This band has performed at festivals such as Outside Lands, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, High Sierra Music Festival, and Kate Wolf Music Festival.
2:30 3:30: Cameron Calloway
Named The “Soul Child” by COACHELLA Magazine, Black/Filipino rhythm and blues singer Cameron Calloway is described as "a man of soul based in the heart of Sin City." The soul singer performed at the 5th annual Life Is Beautiful Music Festival, sharing the bill with chart topping acts including Chance The Rapper, Lorde, Muse, Gorillaz, Blink 182. aHe has performed with the likes of Grammy-nominated r&b/hip-hop band The Internet; soul sensation Allen Stone; Emily King; Mayer Hawthorne; multi award winning group Dru Hill; Robert Randolph and The Family Band;and The Stone Foxes. He also sang at tje11th Annual Joshua Tree Music Festival. He recently released his debut EP “My Neighborhood,” available on Spotify and Apple Music.
4 to 5: Mojo Green
This is a 7-piece, female-fronted, horn-heavy funk from Reno. They pride themselves on high energy and being "one of the funkiest live shows around." They have performed at tje Mateel Music Fest, Hangtown Halloween, For The Funk Of It, Squaw Valley Funk Fest, The Bounce, Ridgestock, Burning Man, Guitarfish, Enchanted Forest Gathering, Off Beat Music Fest-, Spookadelic Halloween Funktacular, Nugget Rib Cook Off, Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Lake Tahoe's Grand Opening, Sandpoint Summerfest, Concerts At Commons Beach,and Live at Lake View Tahoe, among others.
Mead and wineries featured are Strad in Sac, Honey Run, Gold Coast Mead, Nectar Creek, Crystal Basin Cellars and Running Rivers Wine Cellars
Breweries serving: Yolo Brewing, Lagunitas, Sudwerk and Blue Note.
Live Music in the Beer Garden
The schedule includes:
1: Boot Juice
2:30: Michael Ray
4: Elisa Sun
Judges were Tom Seeley, professor at Cornell University, the symposium's keynote speaker; speaker Santiago Ramirez, assistant professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis, and native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor at UC Davis. Master beekeeper/journalist Mea McNeil of San Anselmo served as the timer and coordinator for the panel.
“In conservation biology and ecological study, we must know the distances organisms travel and the scales over which they go about their lives,” Mola said of his work. “To properly conserve species, we have to know how much land they need, how close those habitats need to be to each other, and the impact of travel on species success. For instance, if I'm told there's free burritos in the break room, I'm all over it. If the 'free' burritos require me traveling to Scotland, it's not worth it and I would spend more energy (and money) than I would gain. For pollinators, it's especially important we understand their movement since the distances they travel also dictates the quality of the pollination service they provide to crop and wild plants."
Second place of $600 went to Maureen Page, a second-year Ph.D. student in Neal Williams lab for her research, “Impacts of Honey Bee Abundance on the Pollination of Eschscholzia californica (California golden poppy).”
Page presented her research on the impacts of honey bee abundance on native plant pollination. “While honey bees are economically important, they are not native to North America and may have negative impacts on native bees and native plant communities in certain contexts,” she related. “My research is ongoing, but preliminary results suggest that honey bee abundance may negatively affect the pollination of California poppies.”
In her abstract, Page wrote: "Many studies support the claim that introduced honey bees compete with native pollinators. However, little is known about how honey bee introductions will affect native plant communities and plant species' persistence."
Page received her bachelor's degree in biology from Scripps College, Claremont, Calif. in 2006, cum laude. She seeks a career as a professor and principal investigator.
Two graduate students tied for fourth place and each received $250: doctoral student Jacob Francis of the University of Nevada, for his “A Sweet Solution to the Pollen Paradox: Nectar Mediates Bees' Responses to Defended Pollen” and Katie Uhl, a master's student, UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology, for her “Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds in Mono-Floral Honey Using HS-SPME/GC/MS." Francis studies with major professor Anne Leonard of Ecology, Evoluiton and Conservation Biology. Uhl's major professor is Alyson Mitchell.
Also honored was Kimberly Chacon, a doctoral student in the UC Davis Geography Graduate Group who studies with Professor Steve Greco for her “A Landscape Ecology Approach to Bee Conservation and Habitat Design." She received $150.
The annual Bee Symposium, themed "Keeping Bees Healthy, " is sponsored by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, headed by director Amina Harris, and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, chaired by nematologist and professor Steve Nadler.
Harris and Professor Neal Williams of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, who serves as the center's faculty co-chair, emceed the symposium. The symposium drew a crowd of 250 from across the country.