The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, near Poteau, OK, will host a one-day short course on native pollinators, Saturday, May 3, from 9 - 4:30.
Registration is $10 and includes lunch. Space is limited; register by April 28.
Honeybees, long a mainstay for pollination in agriculture, face serious threats from disease and pesticides, and colony numbers are plummeting.
Native pollinators, especially native bees, can fill the gap. Other native pollinators include butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles, flies and other insects.
Successful management requires a general understanding of pollinator biology and habitat. This course aims to provide farmers and ranchers, as well as land owners/ managers, with the basics of that understanding.
Topics include why native pollinators are beneficial; the basics of bee biology; recognizing types of bees; pollinator-friendly farming practices; and habitat restoration and management.
Jennifer Hopwood, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the Xerces Society, will lead the short course. The Xerces Society works to conserve invertebrates, with a strong focus on native pollinators.
In addition, Josh Ketch of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will discuss the agency’s programs that can assist producers with pollinator conservation practices.
The day’s offerings will also include a case study by David Redhage of the Kerr Center's work with native pollinators and pollinator habitat, and a tour of the center's plantings.
Wildflowers grow in various places on the Kerr Ranch, as well as in plantings near the office and in the horticulture plots. Redhage and other staff are documenting the wildflowers and pollinators on the ranch and developing educational information about pollinator-friendly plantings for eastern Oklahoma, which will be available on the Kerr Center website.
For more information, call Hannah at the Center, (918) 647-9123, or see website link below for additional information.