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Photo: Honey bee with red pollen

A pollen-packing honey bee nectaring lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


Web Site Receives the 'Talking Hands Award' for the Quarter

DAVIS--The newly launched Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility Web site, University of California, Davis, has just received a “Talking Hands Award” for excellence in teaching and learning opportunities  and meeting the standards of the federal Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

It was named the best Web site for the quarter and is now in the running for best of the year. Nominations remain anonymous.

It initially won one of four awards presented in the environmental category for the fourth quarter.

Wrote the reviewer: “Ahh, the sweet taste of honey! Without the humble bee, we would not be able to enjoy it. While only the honey be produces the honey, other pollinators ensure that we have a viable ecology by pollinating flowers, fruit trees and other plants that are necessary for the existence of other wildlife. The story of this small, necessary, and sometimes misunderstood creature is fascinating. Its purpose, its life, its habitat and its possible demise, everything you could want to know is presented on this website.”

“The learning opportunities abound. The site presents itself in a visually pleasing manner with excellent photography and interesting articles. It is a joy to visit. This site is definitely deserving of the Talking Hands Award.”

The Talking Hands Award, launched in 1986, pays tribute to Web sites that follow Section 508, which encourages sites that are more accessible to people with disabilities.

Based on a UC Davis template, the Laidlaw site was launched Aug. 13 and is the work of Webmaster Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the Department of Entomology. Assisting with the design were Neal Williams, assistant professor of entomology, and Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Lynn Kimsey, professor and vice chair of the department and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Garvey.  Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology who maintains an office in the Laidlaw facility, is identifying the native bees and other pollinators. Plans call for posting hundreds of photos on the Web site.

The site currently includes links to Extension Apiculturist Eric Mussen’s newsletter, from the UC Apiaries and his Bee Briefs; research information; a news section; events; information about honey bees and native bees; pollination; instruction; a kids’ zone; links; publications; outreach; frequently asked questions; a photo gallery of honey bees and native bees; and information about the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden planted next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road.