Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) as we continue our 18th annual Winter Speaker Series with The Value of Honey Bees to Maine Agriculture on Wednesday, December 10th at 7:00pm upstairs at The Old Goat in Richmond. The event is free and open to the public.
The American Beekeeping Federation estimates one third of food and beverages in the U.S. are made possible because of bee pollination, an industry contributing $20-$30 billion in annual crop production. In the last thirty years, beekeepers have faced multiple challenges, including parasitic mite species, new viral pathogen strains, microsporidia, Africanized bees and widespread pesticide/herbicide use. Colony collapse disorder also continues to decimate global populations with an average 30% of managed U.S. honey bee colonies lost every year since 2007.
Despite these problems, the commercial bee industry has been able thus far, to meet the pollination demand of Maine blueberry growers and their economically vital crop. Apiarist Tony Jadczak will discuss challenges facing local bee colonies and beekeepers and effects on statewide agriculture.
Tony Jadczak, Maine’s State Apiarist since 1983 and a beekeeper since 14, is responsible for licensing resident beekeepers, inspecting colonies for regulated diseases and parasites, and educating apiarists and the general public on proper beekeeping techniques. Prior to his employment with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Tony conducted research on blueberry and cranberry pollination at Rutgers University after his graduation there.
FOMB hosts monthly lectures, film screenings, and other events around the Merrymeeting Bay area through May 2015 as part of our Winter Speaker Series. They are always free and open to the public and are supported by Patagonia, Inc. in Freeport. All events take place on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick unless noted. Next month’s presentation, Steve Powell’s World of Wildlife: In Film & Photo, features historian Jay Robbins and will be part of the 2015 FOMB Annual Meeting on January 14th. It will be held at the Cram Alumni House at Bowdoin College in Brunswick and preceded at 6:00pm by a potluck supper to which the public is invited.
Click here to see the full Speaker Series schedule. Share the event on Facebook here.