The main business is a talk titled “Bees on the brain: pollination and bee behavior research in NZ and Australia”, by Brian Cutting
Abstract: Pollination is quite simple at a glance – bees visit flowers and the job is done! But the full story is rarely that simple and involves interactions between many species and complex and changeable environments. Understanding and managing these interactions can help us to produce better food more efficiently, and at the same time can bring a sense of wonder at the workings of the natural and human-modified world. Brian will share what he has learned from studying crop pollination, taking both a ‘plant’s perspective’ and a ‘bee’s perspective’ and including some suggestions for those wishing to provide pollination services with stingless bees. We’ll discuss new projects underway with the team at Plant & Food Research including high- and low- tech methods for studying bee movement, the effects that crop covers have on pollinators, and how environment might change the way that bumble bees learn (yes, they learn!).
Biography: Brian Cutting is an entomologist with Plant & Food Research with interests in crop pollination and insect behavior. Driven by a passion for insects, sustainable production, and food – Brian has spent the last eight years in New Zealand and Australia working with beekeepers and farmers producing everything from Lucerne to Lychee. In his spare time Brian looks after a (generally) growing number of stingless bee colonies, and enjoys photographing every insect he can find!
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