Experts Convene to Discuss How to Protect Bees, Other Pollinators

Pollinator-Conference-NC State
Photo credit: Elsa Youngsteadt

A new conference organized by North Carolina State University (NC State) and Michigan State University (MSU) will focus on the need for bee-friendly ornamental landscapes and practical solutions for protecting bees and other pollinators.

This autumn, researchers, educators and industry experts from around the country will descend on a small town in rural North Carolina to discuss a question with repercussions for both the economy and the environment: what can be done to protect bees and other pollinators?

The conference is focused specifically on what can be done to not only conserve but also bolster pollinator populations in so-called ornamental landscapes, such as urban areas and manicured gardens. It is the brain child of two entomologists – Steve Frank of NC State and David Smitley of MSU.

With pollinator declines in the news, public demand for bee-friendly ornamental plants is high, but much of the available research has addressed pesticides and bee safety in agriculture. The science of what makes an urban landscape truly bee friendly is still a work in progress.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about declining pollinator populations, and a lot of that discussion has focused on neonicotinoid pesticides,” Frank says. “But there are a lot of factors that need to be addressed, including plant diversity, parasites and pathogens and temperature and pollution.

“Last fall, Dave and I decided to organize a conference that pulls together academic researchers and experts from the nursery, landscape and greenhouse industries to look at all of these subjects and how they relate to each other,” Frank says. “Ideally, we’ll all get a handle on the state of existing research and outline directions for future research. Ultimately, we want to develop practical recommendations to help protect pollinators.”

“When people hear about pollinator declines, they usually think of honeybees – but it’s not that simple,” says Elsa Youngsteadt, an NC State entomologist who helped organize the conference.

“There are about 4,000 other bee species in the United States, and they are important pollinators for a huge variety of wild and cultivated plants.

“Collectively, these species are economically important. Without them, most plants would not bear seeds or fruit. So they are essential for agriculture, and also for the health of any ecosystem,” Youngsteadt says. “And there is still a lot we don’t know about these wild bee species. This is one of the subjects that will be discussed at the conference.”

The Protecting Pollinators in Ornamental Landscapes Conference will cover a wide range of research and practical applications, including the function of pollinators, threats to pollinators (including pesticides), and what ornamental plant industries are currently doing to protect pollinators.

“We’re bringing in more than 20 internationally recognized experts to lead sessions on each of these research sectors, as well as greenhouse and nursery industry leaders,” Youngsteadt says.

The conference is being held Oct. 12-14 in Hendersonville, N.C. A full agenda is available online, and those interested in attending the conference can learn more about online registration here. The conference is co-organized by NC State and MSU Extension.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Management...

December 15, 2017

Your AFE Donations Will Be Matched Between Now and the End of the Year

Between now and December 1, any donations made to the American Floral Endowment will be matched up to $20,000.

Read More

December 9, 2017

Southern California Wildfires Narrowly Miss Most Grower Operations

Here’s an update on horticulture businesses in the areas affected by the California wildfires.

Read More
Weigela Czechmark (Spring Meadow Nursery)

December 8, 2017

Spring Meadow’s New Logo Highlights Focus on New, Colorful Shrubs

In a move that highlights its commitment to developing new, colorful flowering shrubs, Spring Meadow Nursery has unveiled a new logo.

Read More
Latest Stories

December 15, 2017

Your AFE Donations Will Be Matched Between Now and the …

Between now and December 1, any donations made to the American Floral Endowment will be matched up to $20,000.

Read More

December 9, 2017

Southern California Wildfires Narrowly Miss Most Grower…

Here’s an update on horticulture businesses in the areas affected by the California wildfires.

Read More
Weigela Czechmark (Spring Meadow Nursery)

December 8, 2017

Spring Meadow’s New Logo Highlights Focus on New, Color…

In a move that highlights its commitment to developing new, colorful flowering shrubs, Spring Meadow Nursery has unveiled a new logo.

Read More
HortScholars

December 8, 2017

HortScholars Program Now Accepting Applications for 201…

Do you know any college students currently in a horticulture-related program? This unique program gives them a chance to connect with industry leaders and make new connections at Cultivate.

Read More
Kellee O'Reilly

December 5, 2017

We Are Not Immune: An Open Letter to the Green Industry…

We’re an industry rooted in family values, farming, agriculture, passion for nature, and faith. We are also an industry made up predominantly of men in positions of leadership. During an interesting watershed moment that is happening culturally at present, it's important for the green industry to address its own issues.

Read More
GROW-Summit-2017-Group-Photo

December 5, 2017

GROW Summit 2017 Tackles Marketing and Business Managem…

This year’s think-tank style event brought together leaders from across the green industry to deliberate on topics such as disruptive marketing, cost accounting, and Millennials, to name a few.

Read More

December 5, 2017

Skagit Horticulture Builds New, Inclusive Business With…

By merging two large-scale producers, Skagit Gardens and Northwest Horticulture, the new company has realized its strengths through focused divisions that emphasize efficiency and success.

Read More
Young-Grower

December 4, 2017

New Report Shows Older Growers Outnumber Younger Grower…

A survey conducted earlier this year by the National Young Farmers Coalition highlights the far-reaching set of challenges faced by today’s young growers, including rising debt and a struggle to find quality employees.

Read More

December 4, 2017

Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants Debuts as Roberta’s Finali…

On December 1, Eric Wallien of Roberta’s Inc. in Waldron, IN, officially purchased C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI. The new identity of the company is now Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, according to a Dec. 1 letter to Raker’s customers, suppliers, and business partners from Vice President Susie Raker-Zimmerman. “There have been minimal changes in management and we will be providing the same products and services on which we have built our reputation in the industry,” Raker-Zimmerman said in the letter, which also announced the name change and new logo. The sale of C. Raker & Sons was announced in September . A series of events affecting Raker’s financial situation caused the need for the operation to find an alternate solution. Roberta’s had been a customer of Raker’s since 2011, and the fourth generation, family owned grower-retailer was a fan of Raker’s commitment to quality. The agreement to purchase C. […]

Read More
Worker-Protection-Standards

November 30, 2017

How the New Worker Protection Standard Rules Will Affec…

Keep your employees safe by keeping current with the new Worker Protection Standards for 2018. Here’s a quick summary of the changes coming your way.

Read More
Weigela ‘Maroon Swoon’ (Van Belle Nursery)

November 28, 2017

Van Belle Nursery Among Finalists for International Gro…

The International Association of Horticultural Producers announced nine finalists for its 2018 International Grower of the Year Awards, which will be presented at IPM Essen in January 2018.

Read More
Photo-with-Endless-Summer-Hydrangea

November 27, 2017

Why It’s Important to Get to Know Consumers at th…

One way to learn about consumer behavior is to get boots on the ground and engage with them.

Read More
Jim-Steger-and-Scott-Sterling-J-Berry

November 25, 2017

J. Berry Nursery Strengthens Expertise in Product Devel…

The company recently hired Scott Sterling as Supply Chain Manager and Jim Steger as Production Resource Planner.

Read More
ASCFG-Gretel-and-Steve-Adams-Sunny-Meadow-Flower-Farm-feature

November 22, 2017

Growers Showing Renewed Interest in Specialty Cut Flowe…

At the brink of its 30th anniversary, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers is connecting a diverse and growing group of members dedicated to producing and marketing cut flowers.

Read More
Griffin Pennsylvania Expo

November 22, 2017

Griffin Sets Dates for 2018 Grower & Retailer Expos

The company will host two Expos next year — one each in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — and each will be a two-day event.

Read More
Berger-Equipment

November 17, 2017

How You Can Help Berger in Donating to Hurricane Harvey…

Between Nov. 23-27, Berger will donate $1 for every download of its free technical plant production guides to hurricane relief efforts.

Read More
Damarys-Mora-Crawford-Costa-Farms

November 16, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Marketing Director Eager to Tap Into C…

In her new position, Damarys Mora Crawford will lead Costa Farms’ marketing team and create and execute strategic marketing initiatives to support continued sales growth for the company’s retail customers.

Read More
Cordyline Candy Cane (Excelsa Gardens, Inc.)

November 14, 2017

Garden-Retailers Pick Their Favorite Products From The …

Grower-retailers have once again named their favorite new products, this time as part of the Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017 in Orlando, FL. Awards were presented to 12 companies, representing 14 products.

Read More