Focus on the Land
Stressing need for bees
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
THE huge importance of bees to agriculture and the need to provide trees for bees are the messages of a Gisborne-East Coast Farm Forestry Association field day on Sunday.
As well as looking at the Trees for Bees project in Gisborne, the field day will cover the value of bees, other pollinators, and include a visit to recent plantings at Peter Hair’s properties at Lake Repongaere and Waituhi.
A guest speaker at the field day will be retired Gisborne entomologist John McLean who will talk about other pollinators including native bees, bumble bees and bats.
Professor McLean is helping with the Trees for Bees project which is looking into the quality of pollen produced by different trees species.
He is also working on a project looking at modifying the behaviour of bees to gather more pollen.
Author and co-author of 75 peer-reviewed papers — including three studies in New Zealand on insect behaviour and diversity — he is a Professor emeritus of the University of British Columbia where he has been involved for 31 years in integrated pest management research in Canadian forests.
Another speaker at the field day is National Beekeepers of New Zealand president, Gisborne’s Barry Foster, who will cover the vital role of pollinators in the New Zealand economy now and in the future.
Landcare Research scientist Linda Newstrom-Lloyd will cover the Trees for Bees project in Gisborne and 2012-pollen collections at Eastwoodhill Arboretum.
Meg Gaddum, Gisborne East Coast representative for the QE2 National Trust will talk about farmers and beekeepers, partners on the land.
Landowner Peter Hair and beekeeper Paul Badger will give an introduction to the Trees for Bees demonstration project at Lake Repongaere.
Everyone is welcome to attend the field day on Sunday at midday starting at the Patutahi Hall.
Internationally-recognised entomologist John McLean, who now lives in Gisborne, is a guest speaker at a Gisborne-East Coast Farm Forestry field day on Sunday which will highlight the importance of bees. File picture
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