Posts Tagged: UC Davis Picnic Day
And ants, honey bees, bumble bees, beetles, and skeeters, oh yes!
Don't see "Ewww!" Say "Wow!"
Those are just a few of the bugs that will be part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology's activities during the 98th annual campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 21.
Entomological activities will take place at two sites: Briggs Hall on Kleiber Hall Drive and the Bohart Museum of Entomology, located at 1124 Academic Surge on California Drive. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, coordinator of the department’s Picnic Day activities, promises not to disappoint. Indeed, thousands of people flock to the Bohart and Briggs every year just to see the bugs. What's a picnic without bugs? Bohart, Briggs and bugs. Now that's alliteration.
At Briggs, the popular events will include Maggot Art, termite trails, cockroach races and honey tasting, as well as displays featuring forensic, medical, aquatic, apiculture and forest entomology. Exhibits also will include such topics as fly fishing/fly-tying, insect pests of ornamentals, and pollinators of California.
Visitors to Briggs can cheer for their favorite cockroach at the American cockroach races; watch a termite follow a line drawn with a Bic ink pen (they follow the line because the ink acts as a pheromone or attractant) and create a Maggot Art painting suitable for framing.
Maggot Art, a term coined and trademarked by forensic entomologist Rebecca O’Flaherty, a former doctoral candidate at UC Davis, involves dipping a maggot in non-toxic, water-based paint to create art. O’Flaherty launched Maggot Art in 2001 as a community outreach project to teach--and reach--youths while she was studying entomology at the University of Hawaii.
At Briggs, the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) will "display information and tools for managing pests in homes and gardens," said Mary Louise Flint, UC IPM's associate director of urban and community IPM and an Extension entomologist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology. "We'll give advice on managing pests with less toxic, environmentally sound IPM methods. We will have Quick Tips to hand out, people can try out our touch screen IPM kiosk to answer questions and we will also be distributing live lady beetles (aka ladybugs) for children."
Those polka-dotted ladybugs are a big hit--and an even bigger hit if you watch them chow down aphids in your garden.
Also at Briggs, plans call for a “Bug Doctor” to answer insect-related questions from the public. Last year’s “Bug Doctors” included Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. There's another "doctor in the house," too: Dr. Death. That would be forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey perched at a microscope and inviting folks to have a look-see.
The Bohart Museum of Entomology, home of more than seven million insect specimens, will showcase displays of specimens and live pollinators. The theme: "Insects Are Forever." Bohart Museum officials insist that insects can be a girl’s best friend (just like diamonds or dung beetles). They'll feature photos of UC Davis women entomologists. The Bohart Museum also will include a live “petting zoo” where visitors can hold Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.
Also at the Bohart, native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology, and graduate student Emily Bzdyk, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, will provide a live display of pollinators, including bumble bees, carpenter bees, leafcutting bees and green metallic sweat bees.
Is this going to "bee" fun or what?
Perhaps, just perhaps, the entomologists can steer folks clear of saying "yecch!" and "ewww!" and encourage them to ponder the wonderful world of bugs.
Maggot Art involves maggots dipped into non-toxic, water-based paints. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A termite follows the "pheromone" or chemical attraction of a Bic pin. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
American cockroaches will compete in the cockroach races. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I don't know how long they'd been in the container, but they were anxious to leave. If you're a ladybug, a house is not a home without aphids.
Members of the California State Grange distributed these tiny containers of ladybugs at the California Agriculture Day on Wednesday on the State Capitol grounds. Grateful little kids excitedly exclaimed "Ladybugs! Ladybugs!" Their parents murmured "Yes! Yes! Great for the garden."
And that's exactly what we did with ours.
We had a red rose bush just waiting for them.
We removed the lid, tipped the container, and the two ladybugs raced out, right to an all-you-can-eat buffet of juicy aphids.
If you're yearning for your very own ladybugs, be sure to attend the 98th annual UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 21. The statewide UC Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) traditionally gives away ladybugs at the entrance to Briggs Hall.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology, housed in Briggs Hall, will be hosting cockroach races, termite trails, maggot art and honey tasting and scores of other activities. This year, due to popular demand, Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen will be doubling the amount of honey. (Check out last year's entomological photos at Briggs Hall and at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.)
Meanwhile, the good folks planning the campuswide Picnic Day invite all to attend. They wrote on their website: "This family friendly event is free for all to come and experience the richness of diversity and achievement at UC Davis and the surrounding community in the areas of research, teaching, service and campus life."
And experience the wonderful world of ladybugs!
Ladybug devouring an aphid on a rose bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
If you're looking for something to do tomorrow (Saturday, April 16), it's UC Davis Picnic Day, a campuswide annual event.
Over at Briggs Hall, Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology Department faculty will be offering a taste of honey to visitors. Actually, more than one taste of honey. First, there's the honey derived from orange blossoms, clover, cotton, starthistle and other plants that you can sample. And then there's the taste of honey via samples of Gimbal's Fine Candies, San Francisco. The company donates funds to UC Davis for honey bee research.
Honey tasting time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The place: Briggs Hall courtyard. Cost: Free!
News flash: Mussen will be wearing his "Show Me the Honey" t-shirt.
Human beings aren't the only ones who love honey. Drones (male bees) do, too.
Today bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey was conducting a class at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road when a few drones escaped.
Several wound up by a window, and someone (yours truly) offered them a taste of honey. You think drones are fed only by their sisters, the worker bees? No. They can sip honey, too.
Drone sipping honey at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
So you like bugs...
C'mon, just a little bit?
If so, you're in luck. The UC Davis Department of Entomology is featuring scores of insects from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16 as part of the campuswide Picnic Day.
If you head over to Briggs Hall on Kleiber Hall Drive or to the Bohart Museum of Entomology at 1124 Academic Surge, California Drive, you'll be in bug heaven.
The Bohart Museum alone houses more than seven million specimens of insects, which can make budding entomologists so downright happy they'll turn cartwheels and somersaults. Plus, there's the added feature of the live Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. Hold out your hand!
Over at Briggs, they'll be hosting scores of activities, including cockroach races, termite trails, honey tasting, and Maggot Art. That's capitalized because entomology graduate student Rebecca O'Flaherty invented this educational curriculum and coined the term. Kids love this. Just pick up a maggot with a specially designed larvae forceps, dip it into water-based paint and then let it crawl on a piece of white paper. Voila! Maggot Art, suitable for framing--or posting on the family refrigerator. (It's also a good conversation starter when family and friends come to visit.)
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program will provide a number of educational activities and also will give away free ladybugs, aka lady beetles.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty will provide honey tasting and samples of Gimbal's Fine Candies. This San Francisco company helps support UC Davis honey bee research. So, taste a little honey, eat some delicious candy, and go watch the roach races.
Or maybe you'll also want to learn about the diversity of ants. The Phil Ward lab will oblige. Besides, what's a picnic without ants?
Beetle display at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Children especially love Maggot Art. They dip the maggots into water-based paint and let the larvae crawl on the paper. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Termite Trails is another fun and educational activity at Briggs Hall during the UC Davis Picnic Day. Termites are attracted to the pheromone-like scent. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
If you cotton to honey, you'll want to head over to Briggs Hall tomorrow (Saturday, April 17) during the 96th annual UC Davis Picnic Day.
You can sample cotton honey, as well as five other flavors, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty will be offering samples of these honeys: orange blossom, eucalyptus, raspberry, meadowfoam (a vernal-pool flower that is grown commercially in Oregon for oil), starthistle, and cotton.
You'll get six toothpicks, one for each container of honey. You'll taste the exquisite meadowfoam, the exotic raspberry, and then what some folks say is the "best-of-the-best" honey--starthistle. Bees make this from an invasive, exotic weed that agriculturists hate. Our tiny winged agricultural workers love it.
And then you'll taste cotton. Hint: it's a light-colored variety of honey.
If you have a question about honey bees, including colony collapse disorder, ask away.
At Mussen's booth, you can also taste "Honey Lovers," the fruit chews that Gimbal's Fine Candies makes with real honey. Gimbal's, located in San Francisco, is donating 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of Honey Lovers to UC Davis honey bee research.
These sweet treats at Briggs Hall are free.
Here's what else the entomologists are planning at Briggs Hall and at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
You'll see racing cockroaches, termite trails, Maggot Art, kissing bugs, fleas, ticks, walnut twig beetles and the like, and you can take home some free ladybugs (lady beetles) from the statewide UC Integrated Pest Management Program.
But it's the honey that makes UC Davis Picnic Day so sweet.
Honey Bee on Lavender