By Kathy Keatley Garvey for the Davis Enterprise on January 22, 2020
"On a day too cold for honey bees to fly and nearly too cold for bundled dignitaries to speak, officials celebrated the opening of the newly constructed USDA-ARS bee research facility on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis campus.
Queen bee breeder Jackie Park-Burris, a past president of the California State Beekeepers’ Association and a leader in the industry, snipped the ribbon Jan. 7 in 45-degree temperature, joining a group of other stakeholders to open the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) bee research facility.
The facility, located next to the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology’s Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, slides Davis into the national spotlight as 'Pollination Central' and 'The Bee Capital of the World.' The Davis facility is the newest of five USDA bee research labs in the United States and as the only one in California.
'This is the only USDA bee research team in California — where the action is,' said emcee Paul Pratt, research leader of the Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Lab. USDA maintains honey bee research facilities in Tucson, Ariz.; Beltsville, Md.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Stoneville, Miss.
'The opening of the USDA-ARS bee lab marks a new opportunity for USDA and UC Davis entomologists to collaborate and investigate serious problems that affect stakeholders,' said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. 'We are very fortunate that the lab was built at UC Davis.'