There have always been people who are interested in insects, and I have always counted myself as one of them. It seems to me, though, that over the course of my life the social nature of activities related to insects has changed. Or maybe it has just changed here.
I just attended the fifth annual “Day of Insects” at Reiman Gardens in Ames. Actually, I attended the activities on Saturday, the offical Day of Insects, and the meal that was held on Friday for some of the participants.
The meeting on Friday included a tour of some of the facilities at Reiman Gardens, including the lab. We even got to wear lab coats (actually we were required to.)
Here, Nathan Brockman is explaining how the chrysalises are held until butterflies emerge from them.
The main event on Saturday included fifteen minute talks from a number of people–professional entomologists and naturalists, and insect enthusiasts like myself. I gave a talk about the digger bees that live under my porch.
This was Amy Geffre, talking about a very weird insect, Xenos vesparusm, which lives as a parasite on Polites species of wasps.
Of course, we also got to tour the butterfly wing of Reiman gardens, and it was a pleasant and refreshing experience. The butterflies were pretty active.
There were around a hundred people attending the Day of Insects, and a number of other visitors to Reiman Gardens. Several states were represented, in addition to Iowa. Everyone I talked to had a good time.
It is great to see a social event for “bug people.”