Studying native bees on the Maine coast

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I’m excited to announce that this August I will be participating in a five day seminar called “Native Bees as Pollinators: Diversity, Ecology, Conservation and Enhancing Pollinator Habitats” at the Eagle Hill Institute in Steuben, Maine!

native pollinatorThrough this course I will be able to study the relationship between native bees and wild and cultivated plants.  We will take field excursions to develop skills in observing native bees, photographing insects, and bee identification.  I will sit in on lectures about bee biology, diversity and conservation, as well as flowers as pollen and nectar sources, mating sites and nesting habitats.  We will learn more about how to enhance pollinator habitat and about the effects of climate change on these keystone species.

The course will be taught by two of apiculture’s notable scientists, Professor of Entomology, Frank Drummond, and Professor of Botany and Plant Science, Alison Dibble, both at the University of Maine.  Both are working on research projects related to bees and bee conservation which I have been following closely for the last few years, and I feel very privileged to have this opportunity to work alongside them, to learn from them, even for this brief time.

I’d never heard of the Eagle Hill Institute before this–apparently it is a retreat for scientific study located on the forested summit of Eagle Hill, the highest part of Dyer Point, which is the peninsula between the Schoodic Point section of Acadia National Park and Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge.  Their accommodations range from sleeping quarters at the school, the lodge, secluded cabins, or tent sites–I’ve opted for a cabin.

My hope in taking this course is that I will be better equipped to create the pollinator refuge that I envision at Runamuk.  I hope I will gain a better understanding of these creatures that have so fully gripped my heart, and that I will be able to share this knowledge with my community for the benefit of the natural world that I love so dearly.

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About Samantha Burns

Maine blogger, beekeeper and farmer. Follow along with my many misadventures in the pursuit of a more sustainable life. Find out how I am advocating for local food in my community and working to promote pollinator conservation here in the state of Maine. Every day is an adventure!

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