Sunday, August 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Art, science merge in this bee-utiful mural

Christine Chen talks about how she created the image of the wool carder bee. Kathy Keatley Garvey/Courtesy photo

By
June 11, 2011 |

A colorful native-bee mural on a tiny tool shed in the honey bee garden at UC Davis may indeed be the most bee-utiful shed in the country.

It’s informative, educational and artistic, visitors and bee specialists alike agree.

“It’s spectacular,” said native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis. “It is gratifying to see our native bees get recognition alongside their most famous cousin, the European honey bee.”

Squash bee? Check. Leafcutter bee? Check. Sweat bee? Check. Wool carder bees? Check.

They’re among the 22 bees portrayed by 22 UCD students recently enrolled in Entomology 1, “Art, Science and the World of Insects.”

The art is a new addition to the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.

The haven does quadruple duty: It’s a year-round food source for the Laidlaw bees and other pollinators; and it’s an educational, artistic and research garden that focuses on the plight and needs of honey bees.

The students are neither entomology nor art majors. In fact, their fields of study span 12 different majors, including engineering and computer science. Many had never heard of a digger bee, longhorned bee or a sweat bee, let alone how to depict it on the mural.

But soon they did. Graduate student/teaching assistant Sarah Dalrymple guided them on an art and science expedition that led to the design, creation and installation of the mural.

“Each student chose a different native bee species to research and then came up with a design to illustrate an interesting aspect of the bee’s behavior,” said Dalrymple, who served as the graphics project coordinator. She is studying for her doctorate with major professor Rick Karban of the entomology department.

“They painted their own composition onto a hexagonal piece of concrete board and at the end of the quarter these hexagons were assembled into a honeycomb mosaic on the side of the shed,” she said.

Most of the bees depicted — including mason, sweat, squash, leafcutter, blue orchard, carpenter and bumble bees — are natives. Also portrayed: the non-native honey bee (Apis mellifera), brought to America in 1622 by European colonists.

“When most people hear the word, ‘bee,’ honey bee immediately comes to mind,” said UCD Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen. “Honey bees do provide 80 to 90 percent of the crop pollination that results in about one-third of our daily dieT. However, other bees contribution to crop pollination and are responsible for the maintenance of flowers, shrubs and trees in our forests, meadows and deserts.”

Dalrymple, who received the 2011 UCD Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award for her work, “crossed the boundaries between biology, art and culture and provided a high level of expertise and innovation in each area,” said course co-instructor Diane Ullman, associate dean for undergraduate academic programs and a professor of entomology.

“This kind of integration takes courage and the will to reach across disciplinary borders to engage students in a new way of thinking,” Ullman said.

As for Dalrymple, she said she’s always loved art and science and blending them came naturally.

“I took a lot of art classes as a kid and in high school and especially enjoyed working with oil and acrylic paints,” she said. “In college I majored in biology (ecology and evolutionary biology) and minored in Spanish at the University of Tennessee and lost my focus on art.”

The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is open year-round, from dawn to dusk. There is no admission fee.

Comments

comments

Kathy Keatley Garvey

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Davis audience hears from civil-rights hero

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Legislators wrap up with water, ethics, guns bills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Bob Dunning: This new kid might have a future

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Five U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State fighters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    EU threatens Russia with more sanctions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Robbery, pursuit in Central Davis lead to one arrest

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Rotary clubs offer Davis High students some life lessons

    By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Bean Feed supports for Yolo Democrats’ activities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Bauer garden marks one year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Dinner will raise funds to help farmers in Burkina Faso

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Beamer Park featured at Stroll Through History

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tuleyome Tales: Be safe on wilderness trails

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Small wineries suffer big losses in quake

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Grande site has been a convoluted saga

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

     
    Say goodbye to summer with a ‘Final Blast’ at Explorit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Bay Bridge project’s rainy-day money is nearly gone

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A15 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Already made herself at home

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    How to make a good living

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Nate Beeler cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Changing local election dates benefits Democrats

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

    Ad-free email? You can still find it at Davis Community Network

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Keep our green waste piles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    City panel working to tighten scrutiny of taxpayer dollars

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Try round-robin storytelling at crafts fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    This epidemic should scare us

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

    Health problems mean he’s checked out

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

     
    Marriage doesn’t mean we agree on everything

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A14

    .

    Sports

    Coach likes what she sees from Devil field hockey squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD notebook: Coaches positive about FCS schools ‘playing up’

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils open with an impressive volleyball victory

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Stanford scores early, often in opener versus UCD

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    New coach, new tougher league for DHS football

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Aggie harriers secure season-opening sweep

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Baseball roundup: Cats win late to pull even with Aces

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Comings and Goings: Is fro-yo craze melting?

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    Sutter Davis Hospital honored again as a ‘best place to work’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

    Engage3 attracts investment for shopping app

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A20

     
    California growers can use MBI’s new bioinsecticide

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

    Sudwerk, Davis Food Co-op join for ‘co-hop-eration’ brew

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20 | Gallery

     
    Community pools its purchasing power to reduce the cost of solar

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

    .

    Obituaries

    Wanda P. Daley

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, August 31, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8