Just thought those of you in the PA/NJ/DE region might want to know that Longwood Gardens is offering several bee themed and/or pollination themed classes, lectures and trips in 2009.
I've already signed up for "The Local Buzz" - anyone here going to be someone I'll be visiting that day?
See all the class listings here: http://www.longwoodgardens.org/Learning_1_3_4.html
Below are the details of the ones that seem most pertinent:
The Drama: Bee Colony Collapse Disorder
DATE: Friday, April 3; 7:00 pm
FEE: $19 passholder; $24 non-passholder
with Dennis van Engelsdorp
Any great drama rivets your attention and poses the question “what if?” The drama that will unfold this evening focuses on the fact that we tend to take bees for granted; and for many people, the most common engagement with them is shooing them away. Rarely do we recognize the important role they play in our food and flower production.
In recent years, an interesting and alarming phenomenon named Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has emerged. Honey bees are mysteriously vanishing across the country, putting $15 billion worth of fruits, nuts, and vegetables at risk! In this lecture, important topics such as the potential causes of CCD will be discussed, and questions will be raised about what life would be like without our most widely used pollinator.
The storyteller tonight is Dennis van Engelsdorp. Dennis started keeping bees after taking an undergraduate course in beekeeping at the University of Guelph, in Canada. Once “stung,” he pursued a master’s degree in apiculture, studying Buckfast bees and honeybee tracheal mites. In the West Indies, working for the Canadian Government, he served as a consultant to the Antigua Beekeepers Cooperative. Dennis helped develop Cornell University’s master beekeeping program. He is currently employed as the Acting State Apiarist for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through a contract with Penn State University. A founding member of the colony collapse working group, Dennis spends considerable time investigating this latest threat to honey bee populations.
After the story you’re invited to buzz around the conservatory, while enjoying sweet treats.
A Travelogue: A Taste of Honey
DATE: Thursday, September 24; 7:00 pm
FEE: $19 passholder; $24 non-passholder
with Jim Bobb and Jill Clark
Spend the evening “traveling” to different regions of the United States and learning the delicate variations each area lends to honey and honey wine “mead”. Become a budding honey connoisseur as you join us for an introduction to the subtleties of honey; concentrating on regionally influenced taste, textures, bouquet, and color of honey. Hear about beekeeping and honey making from a local beekeeper’s perspective and then fly around the country with your eye on flavor. Understand the endless possibilities as you hear about regional influences and the differences encountered from state to state. Raspberry, blueberry, and cranberry become “state” associated flavors. Honey from Florida tastes different from Wyoming and South Dakota honey. Tonight “Longwood is the place to Bee”!
Growing up in a beekeeping family, Jill Clark spent many hours tending the bees and extracting honey with her father. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Pittsburgh and earned a Masters degree at Ohio State University. In 1988, Jill traveled across Pennsylvania, sharing her love for honey and beekeeping with the public as the Pennsylvania Honey Queen. The following year, she extended her reach to include the entire country, as the American Honey Princess, with the support of the American Beekeeping Federation. Jill is now employed by Dutch Gold Honey, Inc.
Jim Bobb runs over 140 hives at various local arboreta and area public gardens. He is the Chairman of the Board for the Eastern Apiculture Society and served as the president of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dickinson College and his graduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a Penn State Master Gardener and teaches horticulture classes at Longwood Gardens, the Barnes Foundation, and Montgomery County Cooperative Extension Service. Jim is active in the Mid-Atlantic Hardy Plant Society.
Think LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! as you taste regional varieties of honey paired with treats from our chef in the beautiful Conservatory.
DATE: Saturday, March 14; 1:00 to 4:00 pm
FEE: $34 passholder; $39 non-passholder
WHERE: Betula Room
with Jim Bobb
Beekeeping, or apiculture, is the practical management of the social species of honey bees, which live in large colonies of up to 60,000 individuals. For anyone considering taking up apiculture as a hobby or folks who are fascinated with bees’ unique society, this honey of a class will take the mystery out of beekeeping. It offers participants the opportunity to observe hive equipment and discuss its intricacies with an expert. The mechanics, cost, and the ideal time to get started will be discussed so potential beekeepers can make informed decisions about taking the next step.
BEE in the Garden
DATE: Saturday, April 25
FEE: $90 passholder; $99 non-passholder
WHERE: Soil Shed
with Koa Kanamee
Create a BUZZ in your garden and BEE in the right place to make a topiary with an accomplished Longwood gardener! A wire topiary bee frame will serve as a reminder of the pollinators’ role in the garden and act as the skeleton for your creation. The frame is hand woven of durable steel, and double coated with epoxy to discourage rust. The selection of the many different types of plants to put into the moss substrate and the effort to create varying colors and textures mirroring those found in the actual creatures are the most intriguing part of the class. This prestigious gardening tradition becomes much easier when you have the right plants and the right instruction. Limited to 18. Bring gardening gloves.
The Local Buzz
DATE: Saturday, July 18; 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Lunch provided
FEE: $62 passholder; $69 non-passholder
WHERE: Visitor Center Parking Lot
with Frank Ruthkosky and Jim Bobb
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet knowledgeable beekeepers on a day-long journey from hive to hive. Tour participants will visit local beekeepers to better understand a variety of beekeeping methods. Enjoy a boxed lunch at the historic Harriton House, Bryn Mawr, where you can tour the house and also help extract honey. Anyone that helps can take home a jar of honey. In the afternoon, visit the Morris Arboretum hives and Bee Garden, home of the Langstroth Bench. There, anyone interested will don veils and look in some hives. Everyone will learn a little about honey, bees’ patterns, hive health, and the critical impact of beekeeping on gardens and human health. Limited to 12.