Bohart Museum Virtual Open House: Got a Question About Wasps?

Bohart Museum Virtual Open House: Got a Question About Wasps?

Do you have a question about wasps?

Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and UC Davis professor of entomology, will answer questions from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., on Friday, May 22 at the Bohart's first-ever virtual open house on FacebookLive.  To watch or participate, access the Bohart Museum Facebook site.  It will be recorded for those unable to watch it at that time.  

Kimsey, an authority on wasps and bees, is a two-time past president of the International Society of Hymenopterists. The director of the Bohart Museum and executive director of the Bohart Museum Society since 1990, she has also served as interim chair and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, now the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.

She recently won the C. W. Woodworth Award, the highest honor given by the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America. (See news story.)

“We thought people would be interested in talking to a wasp/bee expert given all the news about wasps and with spring coming and more people tuning into nature and their back yards due to sheltering in place,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. “We anticipate ‘murder hornet' questions. 

“We host open houses to connect people directly to scientists,” Yang said. “Since the museum is closed at this time and social distancing is required, we are setting this up so people can connect with Lynn. We hope to do this regularly with other scientists, but this will be our first.” 

North America's first known colony of the Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, was detected (and destroyed) in September 2019 on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A single V. mandarinia was found dead in Blaine, Wash., in December 2019. 

Three entomologists, including Kimsey just published research on this and the 21 other known species of hornets in the genus Vespa, in the journal Insect Systematics and Diversity. 

The article, “The Diversity of Hornets in the Genus Vespa (Hymenoptera: Vespidae; Vespinae); Their Importance and Interceptions in the United States,” is the work of lead author Allan Smith-Pardo, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); and co-authors James Carpenter of the American Museum of Natural History's Division of Invertebrate Zoology, and Lynn Kimsey.

The Bohart Museum is also celebrating the birthday anniversary (May 23) of Carl Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy. Linnaeus (1707-1778), was a Swedish botanist zoologist and physician who formalized the modern system of naming organisms.  “It's a good time to celebrate biodiversity, scientific discovery, and museum collections,” Yang said. 

In addition, talented Bohart student associates have crafted downloadable coloring pages for the family craft activity.

The Bohart also has pre-recorded tours linked to its website