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Posts Tagged: flies

Times Flies When You're Studying Flies! Bohart Museum Open House Jan. 12

UC Davis graduate student Socrates Letana collecting flies in the Philippines. He studies botflies with major professor Lynn Kimsey.

Time flies when you're having fun? No, time's fun when you're studying flies! Take it from the fly researchers at the University of California, Davis, who will present...

UC Davis graduate student Socrates Letana collecting flies in the Philippines. He studies botflies with major professor Lynn Kimsey.
UC Davis graduate student Socrates Letana collecting flies in the Philippines. He studies botflies with major professor Lynn Kimsey.

UC Davis graduate student Socrates Letana collecting flies in the Philippines. He studies botflies with major professor Lynn Kimsey.

UC Davis fourth-year doctoral student Charlotte Herbert Alberts holds her acrylic painting of an  Assassin fly (Ommatius sp.) that she painted to celebrate World Robber Fly Day, April 30.
UC Davis fourth-year doctoral student Charlotte Herbert Alberts holds her acrylic painting of an Assassin fly (Ommatius sp.) that she painted to celebrate World Robber Fly Day, April 30.

UC Davis fourth-year doctoral student Charlotte Herbert Alberts holds her acrylic painting of an Assassin fly (Ommatius sp.) that she painted to celebrate World Robber Fly Day, April 30.

A Bee Is a Bee Is a Bee...

One's a fly and one's a bee. Can you tell them apart? Honey bee on the left: syrphid fly on the right. They're nectaring on Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Remember that line in Gertrude Stein's 1913 poem, Sacred Emily: "A rose is a rose is a rose"? Well, to paraphrase Stein: "A bee is a bee is a bee...except when it's not a...

One's a fly and one's a bee. Can you tell them apart? Honey bee on the left: syrphid fly on the right. They're nectaring on Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
One's a fly and one's a bee. Can you tell them apart? Honey bee on the left: syrphid fly on the right. They're nectaring on Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

One's a fly and one's a bee. Can you tell them apart? Honey bee on the left: syrphid fly on the right. They're nectaring on Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Not a bee. This is a bee fly, genus Villa. It's nectaring on Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Not a bee. This is a bee fly, genus Villa. It's nectaring on Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Not a bee. This is a bee fly, genus Villa. It's nectaring on Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 5:00 PM

An Insect You May Overlook

Sand wasp, Bembix americana, foraging on a seaside daisy on Bodega Head, Sonoma County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're walking along the cliffs of Bodega Head, Sonoma County, you may overlook them. While you're watching for whales, scouting for seabirds and checking out the hikers,...

Sand wasp, Bembix americana, foraging on a seaside daisy on Bodega Head, Sonoma County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Sand wasp, Bembix americana, foraging on a seaside daisy on Bodega Head, Sonoma County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sand wasp, Bembix americana, foraging on a seaside daisy on Bodega Head, Sonoma County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Side view of sand wasp, Sand wasp, Bembix americana, foraging on a seaside daisy on Bodega Head, Sonoma County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Side view of sand wasp, Sand wasp, Bembix americana, foraging on a seaside daisy on Bodega Head, Sonoma County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Side view of sand wasp, Sand wasp, Bembix americana, foraging on a seaside daisy on Bodega Head, Sonoma County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sand wasp foraging for food on the seaside woolly sunflower, also nicknamed lizard tail and seaside golden yarrow. Its botanical name is Eriophyllum staechadifolium. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Sand wasp foraging for food on the seaside woolly sunflower, also nicknamed lizard tail and seaside golden yarrow. Its botanical name is Eriophyllum staechadifolium. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sand wasp foraging for food on the seaside woolly sunflower, also nicknamed lizard tail and seaside golden yarrow. Its botanical name is Eriophyllum staechadifolium. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

To bee or not to bee depends on the crop

Monarch butterfly and honey bee on Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) by Kathy Keatley Garvey
Bees do it. Birds do it. Even bats do it. They all help plants reproduce by carrying pollen from one flower to another. Beetles, butterflies, wasps, flies and moths are also pollinators.

About 35 percent of the food we eat depends on the assistance of bees to pollinate plants and trees so they will produce fruit, nuts or vegetables. It takes 1.6 million colonies of honey bees to pollinate California's 800,000 acres of almond trees.

Our food choices would be dramatically reduced if bees weren't around to pollinate. To illustrate what the produce section of a grocery store would look like in a world without bees, Whole Foods Market removed the products that depend on pollination from one of its stores and took a photo. See the difference: http://ucanr.tumblr.com/post/84164840510/kqedscience-whole-foods-shows-customers-the. Without bees, more than half the fruits and vegetables were eliminated.  

Honey bees and other pollinators are being threatened by the drought, disease, mites, loss of habitat and food sources, according to Eric Mussen, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Davis and bee expert.

These mandarin trees are covered to prevent pollination.
But not everyone wants help from pollinators. To produce seedless fruit, some citrus growers cover their mandarin trees to keep out bees because the mandarins, or tangerines, produce seeds if the tree is pollinated. Most consumers prefer their mandarins to be seedless.

Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside and director of Lindcove Research and Extension Center, talks about the role of pollinators in California agriculture in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8suOt5PnzWc&feature=youtu.be.

To see photos of different kinds of pollinators and to learn more about how to help them thrive, visit our pollinator page. On May 8, help count the pollinators in your community and add them to the map at http://beascientist.ucanr.edu.

On May 8, count pollinators and enter them at http://beascientist.ucanr.edu.
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 6:58 PM
Tags: Bats (7), Bees (42), Beetles (8), Beth Grafton-Cardwell (2), Birds (7), butterflies (69), Eric Mussen (250), flies (5), Kathy Keatley Garvey (16), moths (16), pollinators (33), wasps (5)

We All Have It: Innate Immunity

Immune system of the tiny Drosophila plays a big role in host defense. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

What do flies have in common with us? For one thing, an innate immune system mechanism to detect and fight off invaders that threaten our health. Four scientists, including...

Immune system of the tiny Drosophila plays a big role in host defense. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Immune system of the tiny Drosophila plays a big role in host defense. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Immune system of the tiny Drosophila plays a big role in host defense. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 7:52 PM
 
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