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Bees at the Tipping Point: Creating Bee-Friendly Flowers and Habitat

Date: 12/07/2013

Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Location: Continuing Education and Conference Center

Cost: $50


This Saturday morning seminar is offered by the College of Continuing Education's LearningLife program.


"This small bee is holding up a large mirror—how much is it going to take to contaminate humans?"
—Marla Spivak 

Bees have survived for more than 50 million years and currently pollinate many of the crops essential to the nation's food supply. Our supermarket produce aisles would be very bare without the service provided by these pollinators. So something is terribly wrong when honey bee populations begin to disappear at alarming rates as they have over the past seven years.

Marla Spivak won a coveted MacArthur "genius" fellowship in 2010 for her groundbreaking work with bees. She has discovered that Colony Collapse Disorder is happening for complex interrelated reasons that stem from widespread changes in farming practices. While there has been a 300 percent increase in the production of crops requiring pollination since World War II, synthetic fertilizers and crop monocultures have systematically eliminated the habitat bees need to survive. Minnesota has historically been one of the highest honey producers in the nation, but production also is in decline due in large part to a lack of habitat.

Last spring, Dr. Spivak testified before the Minnesota Legislature about this crisis. On the same day, the House appropriated $300,000 for a pollinator habitat restoration bill. Meet this award-winning entomologist to hear about the new legislation and to learn what each and every one of us can do to create bee-friendly flowers and habitat in our own backyards.

Tuition includes refreshments.

Marla Spivak is Distinguished McKnight Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota where she runs the Bee Lab, the only bee research and education center of its kind in the Upper Midwest. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and served as a post-doctoral researcher at the Center of Insect Science at the University of Arizona for three years before joining the University of Minnesota faculty in 1993. In 2010, she received a "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, becoming only the second person in the University's history (after Patricia Hampl) to win this prestigious award.  


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LearningLife is a program of the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education. Established in 1913, the College provides high-quality continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities for professional development, personal enrichment, career transitions, and academic growth.


  • Name: College of Continuing Education Information Center
  • E-mail: cceinfo@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-624-4000
  • Sponsored by: College of Continuing Education

More information: http://z.umn.edu/fov

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the College of Continuing Education Information Center at 612-624-4000 or at cceinfo@umn.edu.

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