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2TM Regional News

Buzzing for World Bee Day

To celebrate World Bee Day, UNE researchers and members of the National Parks and Wildlife Service will be hosting a series of talks at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre on 17 May, about the importance of plants and pollinators.

World Bee Day is celebrated on May 20.

UNE academics and PhD candidates will deliver presentations on topics such as how flowers become fruit, the role of bats in the pollination process, what plants should we grow to attract pollinators, and how a changing climate might impact pollination of plants.

Associate Professor Romina Rader, who is a pollination ecologist at UNE, said it will be a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together and learn more about the role that bees and other pollinators play in putting our food on the table.

“Not only will this be a chance to celebrate how plants and insects work together to feed our

nation, but it will also shed some light on some of the important, ground-breaking research that’s happening right now at UNE – especially in the wake of last year’s varroa mite outbreak, which has seen research on alternative pollinators become more relevant than ever,” she said.

It is estimated, three quarters of the world's fruit crops benefit from insects and other animals because they tend to be really good at transferring pollen among flowers.

"There's lots of values, there's intrinsic and aesthetic values, we like having them [pollinators] around and they belong here," said Ms Rader.

"There's also the roles that they contribute to the ecosystem, the roles we benefit from like pollination and I think making that connection is really important for people to understand that link to their food, and also the link to the agriculture."

To secure a free ticket head to the links below.

Event details:

Morning session - 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM AEST

- How does a flower become a fruit? The fascinating story of pollen transfer, pollen diversity, pollination and plant reproduction. Karen Santos

- How many different types of native bees are there and what do they do with all the nectar and pollen? Carolyn Sonter

- How many different types of native flies do we have and what is their role in pollination? Blake Dawson

- What services are provided by bats and which insects do they eat? Heidi Kolkert and Fritzie Camino

- How will a changing climate potentially affect pollination of plants? Angus Dingley

- Different insects visit different flowers - What does this mean for choice of garden plants to support pollinators? Lena Schmidt

Afternoon session – 1:30pm – 3:30pm AEST

- To bee or not to be - bees, flies and wasps – a quick introduction to their field identification, and ecology. Jeremy Jones

- Flower visiting flies and other pollinators of raspberry flowers. Jelena Preradovic and Pia Malm

- What habitats do insects need? Abby Davis

- Insectageddon – what are the current threats to insects and what might the implications of a world with less insects? David Perovic

- What do pollinating animals need in our landscapes to stay healthy? Romina Rader


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