Honeybees

Honeybees will be the focus of presentations Feb. 26-27 at the University of Idaho in Moscow and the Latah County Fairgrounds.

A two-day University of Idaho Extension meeting outlines the risks to pollinating insects and possible landowner solutions.

UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean Michael Parrella will present on "Pollinators in Peril" Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.  at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in Moscow. The event includes short films and an expert panel.

The event continues from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Middle Room at Latah County Fairgrounds, with a presentation on global biodiversity, youth after school program and pollinator photo booth.

"Not everyone realizes all of the ecosystem services that insects provide, especially pollinators, to our food system," said Iris Mayes, UI Extension small farms and horticulture educator in Latah County.

The summit focuses on problems that honeybees and other native pollinators and plants face.

"Honeybees are still experiencing colony collapse disorder," Mayes said.

More than 100 cities in the U.S. have been certified as "bee cities," to raise awareness and establish and enhance habitat, including Garden City, Mountain Home and Twin Falls in Idaho; Ashland, Eugene, Gold Hill, Hillsboro, Medford, Newport, Talent, Tualatin, West Linn and Wilsonville in Oregon and Puyallup and Seattle in Washington.

Landowners can plant pollinator plants, which produce a succession of blooming flowers throughout the season.

Some farmers add buffer strips for crops that need habitation. Blueberry growers can increase production by 30% with pollinator habitat nearby, Mayes said.

The event is free. Mayes expects 50 to 100 people.

"Pollinators help produce about a third of our food," Mayes said. "So that we can keep enjoying the foods we love to eat, we need to take care of these little insects that are doing a lot of work for us."

To register, contact 208-883-2267 or latah@uidaho.edu

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