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If you are still on the fence, check out this informative blog post UC Davis Faculty, Staff to Offer Expertise at Bee Conference by Kathy Keatley Garvey. She speaks with several of the UC Davis faculty about their conference presentations. Here is an excerpt:
…It’s good to see native bees sharing space with honey bees at the conference and to see Neal Williams and Robbin Thorp in the line-up. Williams, promoted to full professor this year, will discuss his applied research, which, he explains, “addresses the integration of wild and managed bees for pollination of diverse agricultural crops including seed production, row crops and orchards.” Williams adds: “This research addresses as series inter-related questions. Under what contexts, in terms of local management and landscape context, can native pollinators provide sufficient pollination for different crops? How can we enhance habitat and diversify agricultural systems to promote managed and wild bees? Do pollinators like honey bees and wild bees interact in ways to increase the overall effectiveness of crop pollination? The answers to these questions helps alleviate the stress placed on honey bees and also informs ways to more sustainably manage agricultural systems to promote biodiversity and production.”
Robbin Thorp, an international expert on bumble bees and other native bees, retired from UC Davis in 1994 after 30 years of teaching entomology and pollination biology courses and conducting research on bees as pollinators of crop plants. “The primary focus was on honey bees in almond, but I also studied native bees as pollinators of various crops and in natural ecosystems such as vernal pools,” he says.
See the full conference schedule here.