Video: Jan. 11 Evenings at Whitney – Native Bees of North America: Who Are They, What Do They Do and How Can We Conserve Them?
The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series hosted by the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory returned with the program titled “Native Bees of North America: Who Are They, What Do They Do and How Can We Conserve Them?” on Jan. 11, 2018, at 7 p.m. Rachel Mallinger, assistant professor in the University of Florida Department of Entomology and Nematology, talked about the diversity, biology and behavior of native wild bees in North America. She discussed the contributions bees make to plant pollination as well as threats to bee populations. This free lecture was presented at Lohman Auditorium located at 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., on the Whitney Laboratory campus.
There are approximately 20,000 species of bees worldwide, including 4,000 species in North America. Bees are arguably the most important pollinators for both crop and wild plants. Therefore, a decrease in the overall number of bees and bee diversity can have significant consequences on food supply and native plant communities. Mallinger discussed native bee conservation efforts and ways in which bee habitats and communities can be managed on the local level to overcome a decline in population and diversity.
Mallinger is a pollinator ecologist with a particular focus on wild bees. Her research explores patterns of bee diversity, plant-pollinator networks and plant pollination rates. She joined the University of Florida Department of Entomology and Nematology in November 2017. Before that, she was a postdoctoral research associate with the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture in Fargo, N.D., where she studied plant-pollinator interactions in sunflower fields. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Kalamazoo College, master’s degree in entomology and agroecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and doctorate in entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.