Speaker: Hannah R. Gaines, UW Department of Entomology
Abstract: One in every three bites we eat is dependent on pollinators. Bees, the most important pollinators, however, are in decline around the world. Historically, farmers have relied upon one species, the non-native honey bee (Apis mellifera) for their pollination requirements. In recent years, however, honey bees have declined drastically as a result of mites, disease, and the recent emergence of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). As CCD continues to spread and devastate honey bee colonies, farmers will need to seek alternative ways of pollinating their crops. Native bees also provide valuable pollination services but have largely been overlooked and are at risk of decline due to habitat fragmentation, intensified agriculture, and agri-chemical exposure. In this seminar I will talk about the current status of pollinators, their importance to world agriculture, and our research addressing the importance of native pollinators and their response to landscape structure.