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UC Agriculture & Natural Resources News

Drum Roll...First Bumble Bee of the Year!

Check out the pollen on this black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on manzanita, as photographed by Kim Chacon, UC Davis doctoral candidate on Jan. 10.

We have a winner! Several UC Davis bumble bee enthusiasts--encouraged by native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor of entomology--compete every January to find the first bumble bee of the year in Yolo and Solano counties. It's a friendly competition....

Check out the pollen on this black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on manzanita, as photographed by Kim Chacon, UC Davis doctoral candidate on Jan. 10.
Check out the pollen on this black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on manzanita, as photographed by Kim Chacon, UC Davis doctoral candidate on Jan. 10.

Check out the pollen on this black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on manzanita, as photographed by Kim Chacon, UC Davis doctoral candidate on Jan. 10.

Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, heads for a manzanita blossom in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kim Chacon)
Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, heads for a manzanita blossom in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kim Chacon)

Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, heads for a manzanita blossom in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kim Chacon)

Close-up of a Bombus melanopygus heading for a manzanita blossom. (Photo by Kim Chacon)
Close-up of a Bombus melanopygus heading for a manzanita blossom. (Photo by Kim Chacon)

Close-up of a Bombus melanopygus heading for a manzanita blossom. (Photo by Kim Chacon)

Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, teaching at The Bee Course last August. (Photo by Kim Chacon)
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, teaching at The Bee Course last August. (Photo by Kim Chacon)

Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, teaching at The Bee Course last August. (Photo by Kim Chacon)

HREC Youth Volunteers Support Oak Research

My name is Valentina Evans, and I am a new volunteer at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. My partners Benjamin Evans, and Zane Petersen have chosen to volunteer with me at the HREC for our senior project at Ukiah High School. A few weeks ago on the twenty-first of December we volunteered to help two researchers, Paulo who studied at UC Santa Cruz, and Wyath, who is still studying at Humboldt State University, to plant acorns from different ecosystems, and analyze how they will adapt to conditions with  more water, less water, more sunlight or a lack of sunlight. This study is part of Dr. Blair McLaughin's study from the Zavaleta Lab at UC Santa Cruz.

We started off by digging holes about 1 foot deep and laying a thin square piece of chicken wire at the bottom of the holes to prevent gophers from entering and eating the acorns. We then took a circular strip of chicken wire and placed it on top of the flattened piece at the bottom. With the second strip of chicken wire standing horizontal, we continued by covering the holes with the same dirt we originally dug out.  Now with the metal secured in place, Paulo came around and gently placed the acorns inside of the holes. The hands-on experience was extremely fascinating, not to mention peaceful. The view at the top of the hill was breathtaking, and the weather was just perfect. The entire process was tiring, but having had the opportunity to participate in a lab/research project made the whole experience worth it.

Although the project will not produce any data until the acorns sprout, the idea behind the project is captivating. Paulo and Wyath are studying the growth of oak trees from all sorts of climates, locations, and ecosystems. Some of the acorns are from northern California and others from way down in southern California. They will be monitoring the water levels, and amount of sunlight the oak trees will receive, all in hopes to see how the oak trees will adapt to different changes in their environments. Seeing as how I want to major in Biological Sciences in college, this experience was exceptionally informative for me and has taught me how critical patience, effort and time are in order to successfully accomplish a lab and receive the most accurate facts. I am very grateful to have been able to participate in this ongoing project and am looking forward to continuing to be a part of the younger generation who can benefit from having the Hopland Research and Extension Center available to us, to further our knowledge about the environment.

 

 

 

 

Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 1:55 PM
  • Author: Valentina Evans
Tags: Citizen Science (9), Climate Change (90), Oak (9), Research (20), STEM (4), Volunteers (7), Youth Development (8)
Focus Area Tags: 4-H Agriculture Environment Family

What, Santa Didn't Bring You a Tarantula for Christmas?

Mexican redknee tarantula, the new project of 9-year-old Delsin Russell of Vacaville. Santa delivered the much-wanted gift on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Doesn't Santa give everyone a Mexican redknee tarantula for Christmas? Oh, you didn't get yours? Well, Delsin Russell, 9, of Vacaville, did, and he and his mother journeyed Saturday, Jan. 12 to the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on the University of California, Davis, campus, to show it...

Mexican redknee tarantula, the new project of 9-year-old Delsin Russell of Vacaville. Santa delivered the much-wanted gift on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Mexican redknee tarantula, the new project of 9-year-old Delsin Russell of Vacaville. Santa delivered the much-wanted gift on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mexican redknee tarantula, the new project of 9-year-old Delsin Russell of Vacaville. Santa delivered the much-wanted gift on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Delsin Russell of Vacaville, then  8, attended an open house last August at the Bohart Museum of Entomology with his mother, Beth. Here they chat with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Delsin Russell of Vacaville, then 8, attended an open house last August at the Bohart Museum of Entomology with his mother, Beth. Here they chat with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Delsin Russell of Vacaville, then 8, attended an open house last August at the Bohart Museum of Entomology with his mother, Beth. Here they chat with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Vineyard IPM Seminar - Feb. 21 in San Luis Obispo

The UC Cooperative Extension will be holding a Vineyard IPM Conference to present information on various aspects of pest, disease and vine health management. DPR CE and Certified Crop Adviser hours have been requested. Details: Date: Feb. 21, 2019 Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm (check in from 8:00 am...

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 4:54 PM

Old Sparky: Could Electricity Be Farming’s New Weed Killer?

“Beyond chemicals, people are desperate for another way to fight weeds and electricity is back on the agenda,” says Andrew Diprose. © Chris Bennett

Some that Martin Guerena shared with us...   From Ag Web :: January 14, 2019 Old Sparky: Could Electricity Be Farming's New Weed Killer? January 14, 2019 08:27 AM           By Chris Bennett Farm Journal Technology and Issues...

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 1:21 PM
Tags: electricity (2), weed control (77)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture Pest Management

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