At the first National Conference on Protecting Pollinators in Ornamental Landscapes, in Hendersonville, N.C., October 12-14, 2015, attendees heard all sides of the pollinator health issue, from preliminary research findings on the effects of pesticides on bees, to the importance of urban gardens to pollinators, to the reasons why any changes to the availability of certain pesticides on the market need to be based on sound science.
Co-organized by Michigan State University Extension and North Carolina State Extension, and sponsored by Bayer CropScience, Valent, Syngenta, Biobest, the American Floral Endowment and the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, the conference drew several attendees from several different areas of the horticulture industry, including Extension agents, growers, plant protection companies and more.
The conference kicked off with opening keynote speaker David Goulson of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. It followed with a day and a half packed with sessions focused on the function of pollinators in ornamental landscapes, threats to pollinators in ornamental landscapes, pesticides and pollinators, industry perspectives, boots-on-the-ground efforts, challenges and opportunities for protection of pollinators and efforts to educate the public about how to protect pollinators.
A poster session promoting the work of students, professors and Extension agents around the country provided time for attendees to further discuss the pollinator issue and network with one another. The conference was punctuated with a visit to the renowned Biltmore Estate Gardens in nearby Asheville.
Stay tuned for more in-depth articles covering the conference and what attendees learned there, in future articles on GreenhouseGrower.com.