SUISUN CITY — Robbin Thorp will share his knowledge of California’s native bees, discuss their importance as crop pollinators and encourage participants to enhance bee habitat on farms and in gardens Jan. 19 at the Rush Ranch Nature Center.
The two-hour event will begin at 1:30 p.m. There will be time for questions and to view bee specimens.
Solano County is dependent on agriculture, according to an event press release. Agricultural products contributed $291 million to the region in 2011, with many crops dependent on honeybee pollination.
Managed honeybee colonies have declined by half since the 1940s, while the need for pollination has increased, according to the press release.
Thorp will discuss ways in which several of California’s 1,600 species of native bees can help ease the pressure on managed honeybee pollination, and how landowners and home gardeners can promote bee health by planting hedgerows and bee-friendly gardens.
His free talk, “Buzzed for Bees,” is for farmers, gardeners and everyone who eats pollinated crops.
Thorp joined the University of California, Davis, Department of Entomology in 1964, according to the press release. Throughout his career, he has researched honeybee pollination, studied the specialized role of native bees in vernal pools and on farms and examined the populations and ecology of bumblebees. Although he retired in 1994, he remains active as a researcher, lecturer and bee expert. Thorp also serves as a docent and instructor at Solano Land Trust’s Jepson Prairie Preserve.
Prior to Thorp’s talk, there will be a free, guided marsh walk at Rush Ranch from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
To reach Rush Ranch, exit Highway 12 at Grizzly Island Road and drive for about two miles. The workshop is in the nature center past the big, white barn.
For more information, visit www.solanolandtrust.org.