Check Out the Bugs at Briggs Hall and Bohart Museum on UC Davis Picnic Day
April 9, 2012
DAVIS--Briggs, Bohart and bugs beckon.
Bob Kimsey, chair of the Department of Entomology's Picnic Day events, in head gear. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The UC Davis Department of Entomology is planning lots of "bug" activities at the 98th annual UC Davis Picnic Day celebration, set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at Briggs Hall and the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, coordinator of the department’s Picnic Day activities, said entomological events 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.
Visitors to both Briggs Hall and the Bohart can photograph each other peering from a cardboard cutout of such insects as a cockroach and a praying mantis.
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 said that "Insects can be a girl’s best friend. Visit our timeless collection and experience the true gems of our world." Photos of many UC Davis women entomologists will be featured. The Bohart also will include a live “petting zoo” where visitors can hold Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.
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.
Maggot art. Click to enlarge. Termite trails. Click to enlarge. American cockroaches for the cockroach races. Click to enlarge. (Photos by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
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.
Due to popular demand, the honey tasting tables will double from one to two. Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen is coordinating the honey tasting. He will share California buckwheat, avocado, Eucalyptus, sage, orange, and cactus. Some 25,000 toothpicks have been ordered for the sampling.
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. And they can also purchase "bug" T-shirts and get their face painted.
Maggot Art, a term trademarked by forensic entomologist Rebecca O’Flaherty, a former doctoral candidate in entomology at UC Davis, involves dipping a maggot in non-toxic, water-based paint. “Artists” pick up a maggot with special forceps, dip it in the paint and then let it crawl on white paper. O’Flaherty launched Maggot Art in 2001 as a community outreach project to teach youths while she was studying entomology at the University of Hawaii.
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) will provide a display in front of Briggs Hall. "We will do our usual display of information and tools for managing pests in homes and gardens," said Mary Louise Flint, the 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 integrated pest management 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."
Plans also 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.
Eric Mussen will offer six varieties of honey for tasting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Room 158 of Briggs will be transformed into fly-tying/fly fishing displays and aquatic entomology exhibits..Visitors will see approximately 10 insect drawers of mounted insects with fly-tying counterparts.
Room 122 of Briggs will include:
Honey Bees: The Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility will display a bee observation hive, and beekeeping equipment such as bee boxes, frames, veils and smokers.
Ants: The Phil Ward lab will put together displays on the incredible diversity of ants.
Forensic Entomology: "Dr. Death" (forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey) will offer a show-and-tell of methods used in forensic entomology.
Aquatic Entomology: Professor Sharon Lawler will display aquatic insects and she and her lab will answer questions about them.
Forest Insects: Graduate student Stacy Hishinuma and forest entomologist Steve Seybold, a chemical ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, and an affiliate of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, are scheduled to show forest insects.
Mosquitoes: Medical entomology graduate students will set up displays about diseases vectored by mosquitoes and other insects. The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District will provide an educational exhibit about mosquito abatement.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology