- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
"Pollination and Protecting Pollinators" is a 51-minute documentary by Washington State University (WSU) Cooperative Extension that explores how valuable honey bees are, why they're crucial, and what we need to do to protect them.
County Director Timothy Lawrence of Island County, WSU Extension, served as the co-executive producer of the documentary, as well as the writer and the primary narrator.
The Whidbey News-Times, in its May 23, 2010 edition, described Lawrence as an expert on honey bee health:
"Tim Lawrence has the credentials of an old-school extension services director, with a master's degree in rural sociology, a doctorate in environmental sciences and 20 years of experience working with extension programs in three states."
Some background: Tim and his wife, noted WSU bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, were formerly based at the University of California, Davis, where Cobey served as the manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. Together they operated a commercial queen production business, Vaca Valley Apiaries, in Vacaville, Solano County.
But back to the documentary.
You'll learn about pollen, nectar and how pollen is transferred. You'll learn why honey bees are considered the best of all the pollinators but why honey bees are not the "best pollinators for some crops" and why.
You'll learn about almond pollination, along with many of the other crops that require bee pollination, including apples, cherries, plums, blueberries and cranberries. No bees? No almonds. No bees? No cranberries.
You'll learn who developed the Langstroth Hive and why it's important. Hint: the Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth (1810-1895) discovered "bee space." You'll learn what "bee space" is.
You'll learn what Moses Quinby of New York did. Hint: Quinby (1810-1875) is considered the first commercial beekeeper in the United States. You'll learn how many hives he maintained in the Mohawk Valley region of New York.
You'll learn why Lawrence says "we won't starve if bees disappear."
And finally, you'll learn what you can do to help the bees.
"Do your part and we can all do this together," Lawrence says. Good advice. And timely advice as we begin the new year.
You can watch the video at https://vimeo.com/146957716.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
For me, it's zero, zilch, nada.
They're out there, though. Talent insect photographer Allan Jones of Davis, shared some of his images that he captured this year.
Bumble bees, however, are declining throughout the world, and it would be "a frightening thought" if bumble bees were to go from declining to extinct, said native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis.
He and fellow bumble bee authority Sheila Colla of Eastern Canada are the co-coordinators of the North American (United States and Canada) Bumble Bee Species Conservation Workgroup for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Thorp and Colla are featured in a newly released Radio-Canada video on declining bumble bees.
The six-minute version was broadcast last weekend. You'll hear the news reporter speaking French and Thorp and Colla speaking English as they talk about the declining bee population:
Bee breeder-geneticist Michael "Kim" Fondrk of UC Davis, now retired, is featured in a segment on honey bee instrumental insemination:
A one-hour show, also broadcast last weekend, and more about honey bees, is at