Our next meeting will be on April 21 at the Cooperative Extension Center downtown from 2-4pm. (Officer’s meeting starts at 1:00, and all are welcome to attend.) This should be the last downtown meeting, and then we will move out to the club hives. Our speaker will be Bryan Danforth, from the Department of Entomology at Cornell. (His web site: http://www.danforthlab.entomology.cornell.edu/) His talk summary follows. Feel free to bring a snack to pass, and your own drinking vessel for tea or water.
Our business meeting will include selecting a member to coordinate the Club hives this summer. Our Spring newsletter will go out to all members by mail soon — see that for additional details.
If you would like to contribute to the April Speakers Thank-You bag, please send an email directly to President@flbeeclub.com. Even a small jar of your honey is welcome! This is an opportunity for you to boast about your hive products, and to a very easy way to volunteer to the Club’s overal operations. We are slowly starting to put together some really nice bags for our speakers, thanks to our members!
April Talk Title: Quantifying the importance of native bees in apple pollination in central NY
Summary: My laboratory has been conducting a long-term study of the abundance, diversity, and importance of native bees in apple pollination in central NY since 2008. We have found that apple orchards in central NY host an enormously diverse native bee fauna – nearly 100 species of native bees have been collected in our surveys. We have also found that native bees are abundant in most orchards, suggesting that they are likely contributing significantly to apple pollination. Finally, we have found, based on careful field experiments, that native bees deposit significantly more pollen than honey bees on a per-visit basis, indicating that native bees are effective pollinators of apple flowers. Taken together, our studies are suggesting that native bees are providing a significant service to apple growers in central NY. Our results underline the importance of maintaining habitat for native bees in and around apple orchards as a strategy for maintaining long-term pollination services by native bees. While honey bees remain important pollinators under some circumstances, we are finding that native bees can be relied upon to provide sufficient pollination services for many NY State apple growers.