Not “Bah, Humbug!” A Bug Wreath
Dec. 20, 2011
James Heydon, 10, of Davis, with wreath of bugs crafted by Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
DAVIS--When entomologists have a little time on their hands—and it’s the holiday season—don’t be surprised if they turn creative.
It all started with Fran Keller, a UC Davis Department of Entomology doctoral student who studies beetles with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology. During lunch, Keller crafted a colorful outline of a tree using assorted beetle specimens. Keller had a lot to choose from—after all, the Bohart is the home of a global collection of more than seven million specimens.
That was the tree. Then came the wreath.
Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, figured the metallic greens and reds, the colors of the Yule season, would make a stunning wreath. She used pinned carabids (ground beetle), scarabs, buprestids (metallic wood-boring beetles), a katydid and a praying mantis to form the outline of a wreath.
James Heydon, 10, of Davis, whose father is a senior museum scientist at the Bohart Museum, thought it quite pretty as he watched Yang make the wreath on Friday, Dec. 23.
Will he become an entomologist?
“I’m not sure,” he said, but he does like bugs.
Colors of the season at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
There’s no “Bah, humbug!” in his vocabulary.
Meanwhile, Bohart Museum personnel are gearing up for the next weekend open house, themed “A New Year, a New Bug, How Insects are Discovered.” Free and open to the public, the event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the museum, located at 1124 Academic Surge on the UC Davis campus.
The Bohart Museum houses the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and is also the home of the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.
Visitors can also enjoy a live “petting zoo” with such residents as Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. A gift shop, where visitors can purchase t-shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, insect nets and “insect candy,” is also available.
The Bohart Museum launched its series of weekend openings for the fall season on Saturday, Sept. 24 with “Catch, Collect and Curate: Entomology 101.”
The remaining schedule for the 2011-2012 academic year:
Saturday, Jan. 14, 1 to 4 p.m.: “A New Year, a New Bug, How Insects Are Discovered”
Sunday, Feb. 12, 1 to 4 p.m., “Bug Lovin’”
Saturday, March 10, 1 to 4 p.m., “Hide ‘n’ Seek: Insect Camouflage”
Saturday, April 21: 10 to 3 p.m., UC Davis Picnic Day
Saturday, May 12, 1 to 4 p.m., “Pre-Moth’ers Day”
Sunday, June 3, 1 to 4 p.m., “Bug Light, Bug Bright…First Bug I See Tonight.”
Regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. It is closed on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
More information is available on the Bohart website or by contacting Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at email@example.com or (530) 752-0493. Due to limited space, group tours will not be booked during the weekend hours. .
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology