By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Briggs, Bohart and bugs beckon.
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.
Scroll down to read about Maggot Art. Gross, cool or both? Comment below.
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
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.
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.
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.
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: Doctoral candidate Marek Borowiec and others in 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.