Bugs from the Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis, grabbed the interest of fairgoers at the 144th annual Dixon May Fair, held May 9 through May 12.
Entomologists Jeff Smith and Alexander "Alex" Dedmon kept busy answering questions on Saturday in the "Oh My" insect display area of the Floriculture Building, as fairgoers learned about bees, butterflies, beetles, praying mantids, and flies, plus aquatic insects, camouflaged insects, and more.
Smith curates the Lepitopdera (moths and butterflies) section at the Bohart Museum, part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The insect museum is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. Dedmon is a forensic entomologist and a doctoral student of professor Robert Kimsey. He volunteers at many of the Bohart events.
"Jeff was absolutely the star," Dedmon said. "He handled everything wonderfully."
"It was excellent on Saturday, and I stayed from 11 a.m. until nearly 6 p.m., due to a never-ending flow of people," Smith commented. "Relatively few people had questions in advance, but I always engaged them and got them into conversations, generally with my warning that once they allow me to start they won't get me to shut up. Lots of fun and worth going to each year. Never a time with no one at our booth, and many times with 15 plus people moving past the displays."
"My one big regret is that I did not have any corn dogs," Smith quipped.
Founded in 1946 by UC Davis entomologist Richard “Doc” Bohart (1913-2007), the Bohart Museum is open to the general public Mondays through Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., plus occasional, weekend open houses. Admission is free.
The next weekend event at the Bohart Museum will be "Moth Night" on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Attendees will see moths drawn to blacklighted white sheets just outside the museum. The event is free, open to the public, and family friendly. Further information is available on the Bohart Museum website or contact (530) 753-0493.
Author - Communications specialist
Entomologist Jeff Smith (left) shows insect displays from the Bohart Museum of Entomology to fairgoers last Saturday at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Entomologists Alex Dedon (left) and Jeff Smith of UC Davis engage with Carolyn Jones of Dixon, who served as chair of the 2019 Sacramento Orchid Show. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Forensic entomologist Alex Dedmon, a doctoral student at UC Davis, responds to a question from a fairgoer Saturday at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This fairgoer checked out the specimens of carpenter bees, honey bees, leafcutting bees and sweat bees from the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An insect display on Hymenotpera (bees and wasps) drew the interest of this fairgoer at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Specimens from the order Coleoptera (beetles) fascinated many fairgoers at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Camouflaged insects include stick insects that look like leaves. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Butterfly specimens from the order Lepitoptera (butterflies and moths) brightened the Bohart Museum of Entomology display at the Dixon May Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Floriculture Building at the Dixon May Fair was more than flowers--it included specimens of pollinators and other insects from the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)