LISLE, IL (August 20, 2013) –The Morton Arboretum will welcome entomologist May Berenbaum to the Arboretum for a honey-themed talk on Saturday, September 7, when she will share the latest research on honeybees and colony collapse disorder, the mysterious dieoff of the honeybee population over the last seven years. Berenbaum is a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an internationally noted expert on the insect world.
Over a honey-themed buffet lunch, Dr. Berenbaum will provide an update on the health of our honeybee populations during a Lunch & Learn talk, “Healthy Bees, Healthy Food,” September 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn about honeybees’ biology and what they eat, hear about the latest on colony collapse disorder and more. A book signing will follow at 2 p.m. in Arbor Court.
The Lunch & Learn session with Dr. Berenbaum is part of The Morton Arboretum’s Honey Bee Weekend, September 7 and 8.
Insects and plants often share a complicated relationship and Dr. Berenbaum has a fine understanding of its chemistry. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she has long studied how insects and plants evolve chemical arsenals to survive together, pitting cunning defense against toxic offense. Author of a number of popular science books on insects, Berenbaum won the 2011 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for her contributions to entomology. Among her many pursuits is an exploration of colony collapse disorder.
About colony collapse disorder
Honeybees have been making national news this year, as experts continue to discuss the causes and implications of colony collapse disorder. The crisis came to light in the fall of 2006, when beekeepers around the country reported massive losses of bees – nearly 90 percent of hives in some cases. Seven years later, the honeybee population has dwindled sharply and the cause remains elusive.
Why bees are important
Without honeybees, we’d lose many of our fruits and produce, as they’re responsible for pollinating nearly a third of the foods we eat in the U.S. The statistics tell the story: commercial agriculture in western nations relies heavily on managed honeybees – the bees that ride in trucks from farm to farm – to carry pollen from flower to flower to fertilize blooms so they can become fruits and vegetables. About a third of our foods – nearly 100 key crops – rely on honeybees, including apples, almonds, blueberries and raspberries. In total, honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to US crop production.
Cost for the Lunch & Learn is $22 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Register at mortonarb.org/education, in the Visitor Center or by calling 630-719-2468.
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the Arboretum’s mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden and the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include open-air tram rides, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, a Fall Color Festival and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves more than 35,600 members. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily from 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.