The Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science is pleased to announce that it donated over $65,000 to the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.

September 22, 2016: Entomology Awards and more

For immediate release:

September 22, 2016

Contact: Amina Harris, Director Honey and Pollination Center

Robert Mondavi Institute, UC Davis


As the 2016-2017 academic year commences, the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science is pleased to announce that it donated over $65,000 to the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The Center has helped to fund the creation of the California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), the annual Bee Symposium and has increased its support of graduate students through scholarships, awards and travel allowances. This boost in support, explains Amina Harris, director of the Center, is driven by one of the Center’s goals “to support students engaged in research, teaching and outreach.”

In May 2015, Doug and Juli Muhleman were honored with the Charles J. Soderquist Award, a $5,000 gift from the UC Davis Foundation to be donated to a university program of the recipient’s choice. The annual award is presented to individuals who demonstrate excellence in philanthropy, volunteerism, leadership and overall commitment to UCD. The Honey and Pollination Center was selected to steward their award, which was matched by the Muhleman’s, bringing the gift to $10,000. The Center, through sales of UC Davis honey, honey wheels and notecards added additional funds to offer two graduate students stipends of $6700 each.

Recipients of these stipends are Patricia Bohls and Maureen Page. Bohls, who used her award this past summer, has been working with California State Extension Apiculturist, Dr. Elina Niño. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in entomology with a focus on honey bee queen rearing and health. Bohls, originally from Macedonia, Ohio, completed her undergraduate work at Hiram College with a degree in Neuroscience and Environmental Studies.

Maureen Page started at UC Davis this fall, coming from Scripps College in Claremont, CA. Page will be working with Dr. Neal Williams, Associate Professor of Entomology, exploring pollinator communities in response to agricultural management and the benefits of providing diverse floral habitat.

The Honey and Pollination Center held its yearly Graduate Student Poster competition at the Annual Bee Symposium on May 7th. This year’s first place award was split between co-authors Laura Ward and Sara Winsemius, Ph.D. candidates at UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, for their work on “Exploring potential routes of neonicotinoid exposure within pollinator hedgerows adjacent to seed-treated sunflowers.” Second place was awarded to Cameron Jasper, a Ph.D. candidate in Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis for his research project, “Investigating potential synergistic effects of chronic exposure to Amitraz and multiple pesticides on honey bee survivorship.” Brittney Goodrich, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis, took third place and John Mola, a Ph.D. candidate from the Graduate Group in Ecology, UC Davis placed fourth.

Students defended their research to a panel of three judges who selected this year’s winners from 8 submissions. This year’s judges included presenter, Dennis vanEnglesdorp, assistant professor of entomology, University of Maryland; Quinn McFrederick, assistant professor of entomology, UC Riverside and Robbin Thorpe, distinguished professor emeritus of entomology and nematology, UC Davis.

1st Place ($1,000)

Laura Ward & Sara Winsemius

2nd Place ($750)

Cameron Jasper

3rd Place ($500)

Brittney Goodrich

4th Place($250)

John Mola

The Center is helping to fund the newly created California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP) in order to use science-based information to educate beekeepers to be ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping. California has over a half million commercial beehives and thousands more in backyards. The Center has channeled gifts from the Springcreek and Kaiser Family Foundations to expand funding for the CAMBP. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Science has also helped fund this very important program which will help to ensure that every beekeeper has access to ongoing education to help keep our bees healthy and our citizens educated about the value of bees to our lives and our economy.

Interest in the CAMBP is high and the first Apprentice Level class is almost full. In addition to the educational component, a full website for CAMBP will be developed so that beekeepers can access courses, lectures and additional information on an ongoing basis. The program will include classroom experiences with hands-on training at UC Davis this fall with plans to extend classes throughout the state in upcoming years

UC Davis was recently ranked No. 1 nationally for its Department of Entomology and Nematology, and continues to lead the way in agricultural innovation and sustainability, in part through fostering pollinator-related research and conferences, like the Bee Symposium and the creation of the Master Beekeeper Programs.

To learn more information about the Honey and Pollination Center and its programs, or to provide support for its work, see

Caption for award photo (Photo also attached separately)

UC Davis Entomology graduate students Tricia Bohls and Maureen Page recently received stipends made possible through a philanthropic gift from Doug and Julianne Muhleman. They are photographed here along with Amina Harris, Director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

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