Countdown 'til UC Davis Picnic Day

Apr 15, 2016

Countdown 'til UC Davis Picnic Day...

UC Davis will welcome thousands of visitors Saturday, April 16 to its 102nd annual Picnic Day, themed "Cultivating Our Authenticity." You can access the schedule of events here.

It promises to be educational, informative and entertaining.

In the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, graduate students are organizing numerous displays and activities in Briggs Hall on Kleiber Hall Drive. Director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology, and her crew are working on the displays in the Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.

Three of the traditional exhibits coordinated by the department are nominees for special awards. They are:

  • "Little Swimmers and Fly Tying” (Briggs Hall), nominated in the category, "Hidden Treasures"
  • "Medical Entomology” (Briggs Hall), listed in the category, "Academic Exhibits" and
  • "Real Insects and Mimics" (Bohart Museum of Entomology), "Family Friendly" Exhibit.

An online voting poll, available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, will determine the winners. Visitors may vote at https://orgsync.com/51524/forms/194037. Winning exhibits will be featured on social media pages such as the ​Picnic Day website​, ​Facebook​, ​Twitter​, ​Instagram​, and Snapchat accounts after Picnic Day. They also will be featured next year, in preparation for Picnic Day 2017.

The Briggs Hall open house will be from 9:30 to 4 p.m., and the Bohart Museum open house from 10 to 3 p.m.

Briggs Hall will be the site of a pollination pavilion, maggot art, cockroach races, fly-tying, face-painting,  honey tasting, and a bee observation hive, and displays about ants, mosquitoes, aquatic insects and forest insects. The Bug Doctor booth ("The Doctor Is in") will be staffed by faculty and graduate students,  while UC Davis forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, aka "The Fly Man of Alcatraz," and entomology graduate Danielle Wishon will staff the Dr. Death table.

Honey tasting? Visitors can taste these varieties: Peppertree, eucalyptus, almond, sage, sweet clover, and pine "honey," according to Extension apiculturist Elina Niño of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.

Also at Briggs Hall, the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) will give away lady beetles, aka ladybugs, to kids to take home to their gardens. UC IPM also will provide advice on how to manage home and garden pests with environmentally sound methods.

The Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) will be selling its popular insect-themed t-shirts.

At the Bohart Museum, the focus will be on "real insects as mimics." You'll see flies that look like bees--and bees that look like flies. In addition, you can hold and photograph the critters in the live "petting zoo," including Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, and rose-haired tarantulas. The gift shop, featuring t-shirts, books, posters, insect collecting equipment, will be open.

Meanwhile, here's a look at some of "The Girls" you'll see: lady beetles (commonly known as ladybugs), Painted Lady butterflies, honey bees, all at Briggs Hall, and a rose-haired tarantula named "Peaches" at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.