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Bug Squad

Musical Flowers: Jockeying for Position

A black syrphid fly aims for the same Mexican sunflower, occupied by another syprhid fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You've heard of "musical chairs," that anxiety-driven elimination game involving chairs, music and players.  When the music stops and a chair is eliminated, the players race for the remaining seats. No one wants to be the first loser. Well,...

Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Autumn's Majesty: Tithonia

A Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae, lands on a Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If there's any flower that should be crowned "Autumn's Majesty," that would be the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia), aka "Torch."A member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae), it carries "the torch of life" throughout spring, summer and autumn,...

Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Why This UC Davis Course Is Sweet

Home is where the bees are. A beekeeper at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"The bee hive is the ultimate home sweet home," Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center,  told the crowd at the Western Apicultural Society's 40th annual conference, held in early September at UC Davis. She's right. Just...

Posted on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 5:00 PM

The Amazing Bee-Parasite Research of Leslie Saul-Gershenz

Leslie Saul-Gershenz in the Channel Island National Park conducting a native bee survey.

Evolutionary ecologist Leslie Saul-Gershenz goes places where many have been but few have ever really seen.  Bees and blister beetles, yes. We remember writing about her work in April of 2013 when she addressed the Nor Cal Entomology Society (now...

Why Friday the 13th Is Not an Unlucky Day

A male monarch nectaring on tropical milkweed on Friday the 13th in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Friday the 13th is not an unlucky day--not when migratory monarchs make a pit stop at your home on their way to their overwintering sites. Today a male monarch fluttered into our pollinator garden in Vacaville, Calif., and sipped nectar from a tropical...

Posted on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 6:13 PM

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