Covell & Brinley Awards

A Davis Tradition Since 1944

Harry J. Whitcombe - 1961 (Covell)

Whitcombe came to Davis in 1934 to begin his career as a beekeeper, attending school at Davis, though he had to transfer to UC Berkeley to graduate (1938) in Entomology. He married Marie in 1935 and when they built their home in 1952 at Oak and 8th, it was on “the edge of town.”

In the 1940’s, he worked with Dr. Vansell at UC Davis doing research on bees. They discovered that when bees pollinated crops, the yields of those crops could improve up to 40%.

In the early 1960’s, he trained Peace Corps members on how to set up an apiary (bee farm) and when these members were sent to foreign countries around the world, he would ship bees to them on Pan Am World Airways.  

He wrote a book, Bees Are My Business, and had articles written about him in the 1944 Post and in Reader’s Digest.

Very active in Davis:

—He was rotarian, active since the ‘40s

—City Council 1954–58

—Davis Police Commissioner

—Boy Scouts executive committee

—Davis Taxpayers Association, director

—Chamber of Commerce, president (1960-61) when the Christmas street decoration program was initiated, also chaired a committee that headed up the organization of the Davis Housing Authority and the annexation of College Park and West Davis subdivisions

—Citizens Committee for Public School, finance chair 2 yrs

—Governor’s Committee on Youth, member

—Davis House Authority:  chairman for ~10 years

—Planning and Recreation Commissions, member of both

—Flying Farmers of America, president (had a twin Cessna to transport bees to the Northern US and Canada).


Presented by Vern Ihrig July 4 at UC athletic field