Bugs and Bees, Bees and Bugs

Bugs and bees. Bees and bugs.

That's what's on the menu--or that's what's buzzing--over the next few weeks in the Davis/Berkeley area.

Saturday, Sept. 21
Open House, Bohart Museum of Entomology Open House, UC Davis

The Bohart Museum of Entomology is hosting an open house on "Gobble, Gobble, Munch, Munch, Crunch: Entomophagy,” to be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. It's free and family friendly. You can eat bugs--mealworms, earthworms or crickets, compliments of the donating companies (Hotlix, Exo and Chirps Chip). You can then proudly wear a button, "I ate a bug at the Bohart."

Or, you can view the global collection of insect specimens, cuddle a critter at the live "petting zoo" (think Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas) or buy a t-shirt, poster, jewelry, book, insect-collecting equipment and more in the gift shop.

The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses some eight million insect specimens, collected from all over the world.

Wednesday, Sept. 25
Bee Seminar at UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology

Bee scientist James Nieh, a UC San Diego professor in the Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, Division of Biological Sciences, will speak on "Animal Information Warfare: How Sophisticated Communications May Arise from the Race to Find an Advantage in a Deadly Game Between Honey Bees and Their Predators" at 4:10 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25 in 122 Briggs Hall.

This is the first seminar in the series of fall quarter seminars sponsored by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and coordinated by Rachel Vannette, assistant professor.

"In addition to the classical arm race that has evolved between predators and prey, information races also occur, which can lead to the evolution of sophisticated animal communication," Nieh says in his abstract. "Such information can shape the food web and contribute to the evolution of remarkable communication strategies, including eavesdropping, referential signaling and communication within and between species, including between predators and prey." Assistant professor Brian Johnson is the host.

Saturday, Sept. 28
Open House, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, UC Davis

The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will host a 10th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The half-acre bee garden is located on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus. Take West Hutchison to Hopkins to Bee Biology Road. Admission and parking are free.

It will include sales of plants and native bee condos, honey tasting, catch-and-release bee observation and identification, and beekeeping and research  displays. Several mini lectures are planned. Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño serves as the faculty director of the bee garden, and Christine Casey as the manager. Casey announced today:

  • See our analemmatic sundial, the only one of its kind in the Sacramento area. Speak with dial master and beekeeper Rick Williams, M.D., to learn about how the dial was created and the links between human and bee perception of the sun.
  • Representatives from the California Master Beekeepers' Association will provide an introduction to beekeeping and do openings of the Haven's bee hive.
  • Learn about our research on bee use of ornamental landscape plants
  • Buy bee-supporting plants and solitary bee houses for your own garden
  • Sample local honey from Sola Bee Honey
  • Donate a book on insects, gardening, or nature for our Little Free Library

See details here.

The garden was installed in the fall of 2019 under the direction of then interim department chair Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis. A ceramic-mosaic sculpture of a six-foot long worker bee, the work of Donna Billick of Davis, anchors the garden. Its title: "Miss Bee Haven." The garden is open from dawn to dusk.

Sunday, Oct. 13
Second Annual Bay Area Bee Fair, Berkeley Flea Market

The second annual Bay Area Bee Fair, a "pollinator party" at the Berkeley Flea Market, will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Ashby Bart Station, 3100 Adelene St., Berkeley.  The yearly event is presented by "a group of local and concerned citizens to Celebrate, Educate, Fascinate, and Motivate community and 'Newbees' about bees and other pollinators," say coordinators Jackie Dragon and Mary Lynn Morales, who describe themselves as the "original Bee Fair dreamers."

There will be kids' art activities, pollinator-themed art, and "education and inspiration for supporting bee and other pollinator populations." It's a place to learn about planting pollinator-friendly gardens and creating shelter/habitats. 

One of the guest speakers will be bee scientist/professor Gordon Frankie of UC Berkeley, who co-authored the popular California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists with Robbin Thorp, Rollin Coville and Barbara Ertter.

To get involved, reserve a booth, volunteer, or learn more, contact pollinatorpartiers@gmail.com. Or check out the website and Facebook page.