Dr. Marla Spivak, a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota, will be the featured speaker at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center’s Dinner on the Bluff event April 6.
Honey bees are one of the key pollinators of flowers, fruits and vegetables. Over the past 15 years, colonies of bees have been disappearing, and the reason remains unknown. Referred to as “colony collapse disorder,” billions of Honey bees across the world are leaving their hives, never to return. In some regions, up to 90% of bees have disappeared.
In her speech, “Getting Bees Back on Their Own Six Feet,” Dr. Spivak will talk about the stressors that honey bees, and our diverse native bees, are facing and describe ways we can help them survive and thrive once again.
Dr. Spivak is the founder of the Bee Lab at the University of Minnesota and has bred a line of honey bees (the Minnesota Hygienic Line) to defend themselves against diseases. Current studies include the effects of agricultural landscapes and pesticides on bee health.
“Bees, as pollinators, are necessary for sustaining edible plants that are essential for human life,” Eagle Bluff Director John Torgrimson said. “Dr. Spivak’s talk is a timely reminder of the importance of how something as small as a bee impacts humans and nature.”
In addition to the MacArthur genius award, Dr. Spivak recently received the 2015 Minnesota AgriGrowth Distinguished Service Award, the 2016 Siehl Prize laureate for excellence in agriculture, and the 2016 Wings WorldQuest Women of Discovery Earth Award.
Dinner on the Bluff is sponsored in part by the Sustainable Food and Farming degree program at Minnesota State College Southeast – Red Wing and Winona. Dr. Spivak’s speech will be accompanied by a themed three-course dinner with a portion of the ticket price supporting Eagle Bluff’s educational programming. Doors open at 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their own adult beverage of choice. Tickets for this event are $30.
For more information or to register, visit www.eagle-bluff.org or call (507) 467-2437.
Located in the scenic bluff country of Lanesboro, Minn., Eagle Bluff is a non-profit, year-round environmental learning center providing education programs and outdoor adventures to 14,000 children and adults each year. Through transformative hands-on experiences we aim to increase environmental awareness and appreciation for the natural world, and empower people to care for the earth and each other.
Dinner on the Bluff, now in its 15th year, is designed to give thought-leaders and experts in the environmental field the opportunity to discuss issues with the broader Eagle Bluff community.