- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Bohls, who is seeking her doctorate in entomology, with a focus on honey bee queen rearing and health, studies with Extension apiculturist Elina Niño. Originally from Macedonia, Ohio, Bohls received her bachelor's degree in neuroscience and environmental studies at Hiram (Ohio) College.
Page, who began her graduate students this fall with pollination ecologist Neal Williams, associate professor of entomology, is exploring pollinator communities in response to agricultural management and the benefits of providing diverse floral habitat. She completed her undergraduate work at Scripps College, Claremont, Calif.
The Honey and Pollination Center, directed by Amina Harris, received financial support from philanthropists Doug and Juli Muhleman of Healdsburg and through the Center's sale of UC Davis honey, honey wheels and notecards.
To date, the center has donated more than $65,000 to the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The Center helped fund the newly launched California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), the annual Bee Symposium and has increased its support of graduate students through scholarships, awards and travel allowances, Harris said.
The Muhlemans last year received the Charles J. Soderquist Award, a $5,000 gift from the UC Davis Foundation to be donated to a university program of their choice. The annual award is presented to individuals who demonstrate excellence in philanthropy, volunteerism, leadership and overall commitment to UC Davis. The Honey and Pollination Center was selected to steward their award, which was matched by the Muhlemans, bringing the gift to $10,000.
Doug Muhleman, a UC Davis alumnus, retired in 2008 as Anheuser-Busch's Group Vice President of Brewing Operations and Technology, where he was responsible for 10,000 employees across five corporate groups, the company's domestic and international breweries and its agricultural operations. “Over the course of my career, AB hired scores of UC Davis grads because the UC Davis-educated brewer came with a skill set and knowledge base that really wasn't possible from another university,” Muhleman recently told UC Davis Giving. The Muhlemans' two children are also UC Davis graduates.
Muhleman furthered the partnerships between his employer and alma mater by helping create the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Chair for Malting and Brewing Sciences in the Department of Food Science and Technology and the pilot brewery, a campus research facility that opened in April 2006. He also was instrumental in arranging a $5 million matching pledge from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation to establish the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory in UC Davis' Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
In addition to donating to the Honey and Pollination Center, the Muhlemans have supported several initiatives around campus, including the creation of the Michael J. Lewis Endowment for Brewing Science in honor of his teacher and mentor.
Other benefactors of the Honey and Pollination Center:
Poster Competition Winners
As part of its drive to support students engaged in research, teaching and outreach, the Honey and Pollination Center provided cash awards to the winners of its annual UC Davis Bee Symposium Graduate Student Poster competition, held May 7.
- First place, $1000: Co-authors Laura Ward and Sara Winsemius, Ph.D. candidates at UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, for their work on “Exploring Potential Routes of Neonicotinoid Exposure within Pollinator Hedgerows Adjacent to Seed-Treated Sunflowers.”
- Second place, $750: Cameron Jasper, a Ph.D. candidate in the UC Davis Department Entomology and Nematology for his research project, “Investigating Potential Synergistic Effects of Chronic Exposure to Amitraz and Multiple Pesticides on Honey Bee Survivorship.”
- Third place, $500: Brittney Goodrich, a Ph.D. candidate in the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, for her research project, ""Honey Bee Health: Economic Implications for Beekeepers in Almond Pollination."
- Fourth place, $250: John Mola, a Ph.D. candidate from the UC Davis Graduate Group in Ecology, for "Fine Scale Population Genetics and Movement Ecology of the Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee (Bombus vosnesenkii)."
The poster competition drew eight submissions. A panel of three judged the presenters and their work: Dennis vanEnglesdorp, assistant professor of entomology, University of Maryland; Quinn McFrederick, assistant professor of entomology, UC Riverside and Robbin Thorp, distinguished professor emeritus of entomology and nematology, UC Davis.
California Master Beekeeper Program
The Center is helping to fund the newly created California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), aimed at using science-based information to educate beekeepers to be ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping, Harris said. California has more than half a million commercial beehives and thousands more in backyards. The Center has channeled gifts from the Springcreek and Kaiser Family Foundations to expand funding for CAMBP. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Science has also helped fund the program “which will help to ensure that every beekeeper has access to ongoing education to help keep our bees healthy and our citizens educated about the value of bees to our lives and our economy,” Harris said..
“In addition to the educational component, a full website for CAMBP will be developed so that beekeepers can access courses, lectures and additional information on an ongoing basis,” Harris said. “The program will include classroom experiences with hands-on training at UC Davis this fall with plans to extend classes throughout the state in upcoming years.”
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, ranked nationally, continues to lead the way in agricultural innovation and sustainability, in part through fostering pollinator-related research and conferences.
To learn more information about the Honey and Pollination Center and its programs, or to provide support for its work, see www.honey.ucdavis.edu.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Bohls, a first-year doctoral student in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, received a $1000 prize. The two-day symposium took place April 7-8 in the UC Davis Conference Center.
Bohls began her presentation, “Efficacy of Several Biopesticides Against Varroa Mites,” with a brief overview of honey bees, discussed their importance and why they are dying, and then turned to her research on mite infestation. She studies with state Extension apiculturist Elina Niño of the department's Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
Bohls' abstract: "Varroa destructor is an ectoparasitic mite on Apis mellifera; it feeds on hemolymph and vectors several pathogens. The purpose of this efficacy and safety trial was to determine the level of Varroa mite control provided by several biopesticides in a systems approach and to determine the safety to bees and honey yield variables. These experiments were conducted at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. Five groups of eight to ten established colonies with infestations of Varroa mites were selected for the experiments. All colonies were contained within the same apiary and began with 2 percent mite levels. Each of the five groups of honey bee colonies were randomly assigned a treatment: positive control, Product A (low and high dose), Product B, untreated control. The level of Varroa mite infestation was determined with an alcohol wash prior to the treatment, three times during, and at the end of the treatment. Effects on colony strength were measured by counting the number of frames of adult bees, brood, honey, and pollen before, during, and after the treatment."
A native of Macedonia, Ohio, Bohls joined the UC Davis doctoral program last fall. She is involved with public outreach and extension in the Niño lab, assisting with beekeeping workshops and short courses. She recently delivered a presentation to the American Honey Producers' Association convention.
Bohls received her bachelor's degree from Hiram (Ohio) College in May 2015, double-majoring in neuroscience and environmental studies and minoring in biology. In independent studies at Hiram, she conducted a wasp survey at the James H. Barrow Field Station, comparing wasp diversity in newer vs. older growth forests. She also served as a research assistant with Thomas Koehnle at the field station where she studied eastern gray squirrels with a variety of population sampling procedures, including home range studies, time area counts, and transects. She conducted an anti-predator behavior study on the eastern gray squirrel, extensively comparing the behavior of the two color morphs of the eastern gray squirrel.
In addition, Bohls developed a citizen science butterfly program at the field station. As a research assistant, Bohls worked on a butterfly population study at the field station's Monarch Waystation, comparing the population and species differences of butterflies in a field before and after a controlled burn.