As the bees go, so goes our food supply.
That is what more than 175 women took away from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s first After Thoughts program — an event that convened campus and community women for an evening of friendship, fellowship, enrichment and fun. The program took place in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts grand foyer, March 1.
UW-Green Bay faculty member Amy Wolf, an ecologist, led the program discussion “The Beauty of Bees and Their Impact on Our Lives.” Wolf is one of Wisconsin’s foremost bee experts. She and her students have identified 400 species of bees believed to live in Wisconsin, and she hosts the third largest bee collection in Wisconsin at UW-Green Bay.
Wolf said that bees account for 80 percent of the pollination of all flowering plants, including the fruits and vegetables that are the world’s mainstays for survival. She pointed to case studies in both Canada and China that documented crop devastation because of the declines of bee populations due to pesticides and parasites. She also explained that “Colony Collapse Syndrome,” well documented in the media, is still being studied. Researchers believe losses of entire colonies could be due to mites, pesticides or lack of habitat.
Wolf passed out packets of wildflower seeds for the women in attendance to begin building their own bee habitats this spring, charging the women with aiding in conservation efforts for the good of the natural world’s ecosystem.
Event sponsors of After Thoughts are Schneider National Foundation and Billie Kress. Organizers of the event are UW-Green Bay’s Bev Carmichael, assistant chancellor, University Advancement; Julia Wallace, provost; Shannon Badura, administrative specialist, Advancement; Cathy Harden, wife of Chancellor Thomas Harden; and from the Green Bay community, Lise Lotte Gammeltoft and Suzy Pfeifer.
The second After Thoughts will be from 5 to 7 p.m. April 5, when UW-Green Bay business faculty member Lucy Arendt leads the discussion, “In the Face of Disaster, How Resilient is Our Community?”
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Press release: New series, ‘After Thoughts,’ at UW-Green Bay next week — February 22, 2011