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They Don't Announce Their Arrival or Departure

A female variegated meadowhawk dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum, perches on a bamboo stake in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

They don't announce their arrival or departure. If you're an insect photographer, or a wanna-be-insect photographer, expect the unexpected and don't go anywhere without your camera. That applies to such simple things as walking out your back door and stepping into your pollinator garden. It was...

A female variegated meadowhawk dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum, perches on a bamboo stake in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female variegated meadowhawk dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum, perches on a bamboo stake in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female variegated meadowhawk dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum, perches on a bamboo stake in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

In this view, you can see the “bi-colored” Pterostigma on the wing tip and the two black spots on the top of the tip of the abdomen,
In this view, you can see the “bi-colored” Pterostigma on the wing tip and the two black spots on the top of the tip of the abdomen," noted Greg Kareofelas, Bohart Museum of Entomology associate. "This is unique to this species (Sympetrum corruptum)." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

In this view, you can see the “bi-colored” Pterostigma on the wing tip and the two black spots on the top of the tip of the abdomen," noted Greg Kareofelas, Bohart Museum of Entomology associate. "This is unique to this species (Sympetrum corruptum)." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A blurred Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) forms a backdrop for the variegated meadowhawk dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A blurred Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) forms a backdrop for the variegated meadowhawk dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A blurred Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) forms a backdrop for the variegated meadowhawk dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A flickering light and backdrop of a Mexican sunflower add to this image of the dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A flickering light and backdrop of a Mexican sunflower add to this image of the dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A flickering light and backdrop of a Mexican sunflower add to this image of the dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Spotting the Cabbage White Butterfly

A cabbage white butterlfy, Pieris rapae, heads for lantana in a Vacaville garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

They're everywhere. But they're not welcome. Agriculturists who commercially grow cabbage and other cucurbits aren't fond of the cabbage white butterlfy, Pieris rapae, because its larvae are pests that ravish their crops. No welcome mat for them. This butterfly, however, is welcome--sort...

A cabbage white butterlfy, Pieris rapae, heads for lantana in a Vacaville garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A cabbage white butterlfy, Pieris rapae, heads for lantana in a Vacaville garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A cabbage white butterlfy, Pieris rapae, heads for lantana in a Vacaville garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The cabbage white butterfly flips. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The cabbage white butterfly flips. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The cabbage white butterfly flips. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Cabbage white butterfly returns to sip some nectar from the lantana. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Cabbage white butterfly returns to sip some nectar from the lantana. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Cabbage white butterfly returns to sip some nectar from the lantana. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 5:02 PM

Support Your Local Bee Keepers: how you can do your part

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The humming sound of busy honeybees filled the fall air, darting back and forth as I followed longtime beekeeper Randy Oliver around his bee yard. I was there to learn about a new issue for local beekeepers. Oliver explained that local honeybee colonies have been robbed of their honey in places they have been kept year-after-year for several decades. Robbed?? Yes, by other honeybees, from hives from other parts of California. In the last couple years, numerous out-of-area hives have been placed in close proximity to local hives. Oliver, along with local beekeepers, presented a draft proposal to the Nevada County Ag Advisory Commission, which recommended an emergency beekeeping ordinance to county supervisors.

Oliver explained that the proposal calls for a minimum of a 2-mile radius around each existing apiary location and a 45-hive maximum in each location. All bee hives in Nevada County must be registered by the Ag Commissioner in January each year. This ordinance is designed to provide the resources and “teeth” to protect local bees and their food sources. Put in rancher terms, imagine that you had your cattle on pasture, someone saw your cattle grazing and decided to dump off 100 cows in the same pasture because it looked like a good food source.  “This is beekeepers regulating themselves” said Oliver. The ordinance would not cost taxpayers and is funded by beekeepers themselves. Hobby beekeepers would be exempt from the registration fees and existing hives would be grandfathered in. Another issue with having bee colonies in close proximity is the potential for infection and mite drift into hives. Oliver explained the dangers of reintroducing a bacterial disease called American foulbrood that is nearly eradicated in Nevada County. This issue may also be of concern in Placer County.

So what does this have to do with local farmers and ranchers? If someone asks permission to put honeybee hives on your land, or leaves a note on your gate, contact your Nevada County Beekeepers Association or search  “Honey” on the Placer Grown website to find local beekeepers.

A report released in March by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) stated that California produced 13,735,000 pounds of honey in 2017, worth more than $28.5 million dollars. Beekeeping is an important agricultural activity in this area. Hive rentals to almond growers rather than honey provide the major income for beekeepers, but honey is an important product in the foothills.

Learn more:

Why are honey bees important to crops and farmers? – Bees Matter

 https://www.beesmatter.ca/why-are-honey-bees-important-to-crops-and-farmers/

Learn How to be a Bee-Friendly Farm - http://pollinator.org/bff

Cattle, Honey Bees Graze in Harmony on Wisconsin Farm - Find out how NRCS can help you increase pollinators on your farm or ranch. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/home/?cid=NRCSEPRD405218

Nevada County Bee Keepers Associationhttp://nevadacountybeekeepers.org/

Placer Grown - http://www.placergrown.org/

Randy Oliver - http://scientificbeekeeping.com/ 

Attached Files
bee hives in field
Posted on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 10:55 AM

International Exposure for Three UC Davis-Affiliated Photographers

This winning image of a wasp mimic, Ceriana tridens, ovipositing in the fissures of a tree, will be showcased at the Entomological Society of America meeting in November in Vancouver,B.C. (Photo by Alexander Nguyen)

Images by three UC Davis-affiliated photographers will be among those displayed at the international Insect Salon photography competition at the Entomological Society of America's meeting, Nov. 11-14 in Vancouver, B.C. The insect photographers: Alexander Nguyen, who submitted an image of a syprhid...

This winning image of a wasp mimic, Ceriana tridens, ovipositing in the fissures of a tree, will be showcased at the Entomological Society of America meeting in November in Vancouver,B.C. (Photo by Alexander Nguyen)
This winning image of a wasp mimic, Ceriana tridens, ovipositing in the fissures of a tree, will be showcased at the Entomological Society of America meeting in November in Vancouver,B.C. (Photo by Alexander Nguyen)

This winning image of a wasp mimic, Ceriana tridens, ovipositing in the fissures of a tree, will be showcased at the Entomological Society of America meeting in November in Vancouver,B.C. (Photo by Alexander Nguyen)

This winning image of a leafcutter bee, Megachile fidelis, showing the bee carrying a petal to her nest, won a spot in the international Insect Salon photo competition. (Photo by Allan Jones)
This winning image of a leafcutter bee, Megachile fidelis, showing the bee carrying a petal to her nest, won a spot in the international Insect Salon photo competition. (Photo by Allan Jones)

This winning image of a leafcutter bee, Megachile fidelis, showing the bee carrying a petal to her nest, won a spot in the international Insect Salon photo competition. (Photo by Allan Jones)

This winning image, accepted in the international Insect Salon photo competition, shows a  honey bee covered with pollen from mustard.  (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This winning image, accepted in the international Insect Salon photo competition, shows a honey bee covered with pollen from mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This winning image, accepted in the international Insect Salon photo competition, shows a honey bee covered with pollen from mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sticky, Pungent, and Abundant: Three Summer Range Weeds

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Tarweeds, vinegarweed and turkey mullein are native forbs that stand out in Fresno and Madera County rangelands during the summer. Unfortunately, they aren't the most welcome. Horse owners despise tarweed because its sticky resin turns even brightly colored horses a grim muddy color; many rangeland...

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 8:35 AM
Focus Area Tags: Natural Resources

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