Robert Mondavi Institute Sensory Building


Aspiring meadmakers taste mead as part of the UC Davis mead making course. The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is  located in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, focusing on honey bees, honey, pollination, and mead.

The Honey and Pollination Center brings together a diverse group of researchers from the varied departments of the university to provide specialized research to elevate the perceived value of varietal honey and to support student research. Departments in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences includes the Department of Viticulture and Enology with mead research, the Department of Food Science and Technology with honey sensory research, and the Department of Entomology and Nematology with honey bee health and pollination.

The center holds a creative variety of events designed to build awareness of pollination and bee health related issues and the myriad ways honey can be used. These include hands-on educational courses, tastings, and symposiums. Yearly events includes the annual Bee Symposium, an all-day learning event for small scale beekeepers, mead making courses, honey sensory evaluation, and public honey tastings.

Partnering with the City of Woodland, the Honey and Pollination Center helped organize the California Honey Festival in 2017, with an attendance of over 20,000 people its first year.


UC Davis Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel, Copyright © The Regents of the University of California, Davis campus.

The center sells three different mono-floral honeys at the UC Davis Bookstore, the ultimate gift: Wildflower, Orange Blossom, and Coriander, all three representing popular honey varietals in California. In addition, they also have 8 different pollinator notecards with photos taken by Kathy Keatley Garvey from Bug Squad.

In 2014, after 6 months of research and development, the center created the UC Davis Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel with 99 descriptors to quickly identify different flavors in honey.


UC Davis is the Place to Bee to Learn About and Experience Honey - Bee Culture Magazine (October 16, 2017)

From Cotton Candy To Cat Pee: Decoding Tasting Notes In Honey - NPR (September 12, 2014)

First of its kind mead-making course offered at UC Davis - Daily Democrat (September 18, 2013)