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Summer Speaker Series 2019
Wild Bee Buzz Talks!

$2 - $5 Suggested Donation

No Registration Required

Join us this summer to learn all about Toronto's native, wild bee populations in this year's Speaker Series, Wild Bee Buzz Talks! Over the course of four lectures by local bee experts, we will explore everything from native plant gardening for pollinators, to the ways scientists are learning more about bumblebee habitat in order to protect these vital insects for years to come.

Please note:
Prior to her talk on July 11th, Susan will lead a one-time special edition of the Wild Bee Club from 6:00 - 7:00 pm! Come learn all about our audio bee booth, get cozy with the bees in our gardens, and much more! Feel free to attend the Wild Bee Club, the talk, or both!

Presented in collaboration with City of Toronto and the Rotary Club of Toronto.

June 20th - Wild for Bees: Gardening for Pollinators Wherever You Live

Thursday, June 20th, 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Speaker: Lorraine Johnson

Talk Description:
In this illustrated talk, native plant gardening expert and author Lorraine Johnson will discuss how to create habitat gardens for native pollinators, particularly in small spaces and on balconies. The focus will be on beautiful combinations of native plants that provide nectar and pollen for native bees.


Speaker Bio:
Lorraine Johnson is the author of more than 10 books related to environmental issues, urban agriculture, and native plant gardening. A third edition of her classic 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens was recently published. Some of her other books include City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing, The New Ontario Naturalized Garden; Tending the Earth: A Gardener’s Manifesto; and Grow Wild! She is the Canadian editor for a number of gardening books including What Plant Where Encyclopedia; Canadian Gardener’s Guide; and Garden Plants and Flowers: A-Z Guide to the Best Plants for your Garden. She is also the editor of the essay collection The Natural Treasures of Carolinian Canada.

A recognized North American expert on native plant gardening and naturalization, Lorraine is a past president of the North American Native Plant Society, a patron of the Toronto Botanical Garden, and a long-time community garden advocate. Lorraine is the editor of Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly.

Lorraine is currently co-writing a book on creating habitat gardens for native bees.

$2-5 recommended donation
Ages 8+

July 11th - Wild Bee Club & Wild Bees in High Park: Bees in Trees and Bee-yond!

Thursday, July 11th

6:00 - 7:00 PM - Wild Bee Club (special edition)

Please note:
Prior to her talk, Susan will lead a a one-time special edition of the Wild Bee Club from 6:00 - 7:00 pm! Come learn all about our audio bee booth, get cozy with the bees in our gardens, and much more! Feel free to attend the Wild Bee Club, the talk, or both

7:00 - 8:00 PM - Wild Bees in High Park: Bees in Trees and Bee-yond!

Speaker: Susan Frye

Talk Description:
This talk will provide an overview of Susan's PhD research with wild bee communities in temperate forests. Specifically, her research investigates the arrangement of honeydew-producing insects in sugar maple canopies and how bees respond to honeydew as an alternative to floral nectar. Building upon this, she has also examined the distribution of temperate forest bees between the ground and forest canopy and how functional diversity can predict how bees use vertical space within these systems.

In addition, she will briefly talk about some of the activities and findings from the Wild Bee Club that takes place weekly on Saturday mornings at the High Park Nature Center.


Speaker Bio:
Susan is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Forestry. She holds a Bachelors of Arts (BA Hons.) with a specilization in urban studies from York University. Following this, she gained a Masters of Forestry Conservation (MFC) from the University of Toronto. Susan is a member with the Candian Insitute of Forestry, Society for Conservation Biology, Entomological Society of Ontario, Toronto Entomologists Association, Entomological Society of America, and Entomological Society of Canada.

July 24th - Why Do Bees Live in Groups?

Wednesday, July 24th 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Speaker: Miriam Richards

Talk Description:
For many people, one of the most surprising aspects of bee behaviour is that most species are solitary, with only a minority living in social groups or colonies. In solitary bees, as in most insects, females construct their own nests and raise their offspring alone, without any help from any other individuals. In social bees, females share nests and may raise brood cooperatively. The extent of cooperation among females in a group varies greatly, from minimal nest-sharing in egalitarian societies, to strongly hierarchical societies in which despotic queens force workers to care for their offspring. The bees of southern Ontario include multiple types of social organization that illustrate the ecological pressures that favour social or solitary nesting in different circumstances.


Speaker Bio:

Miriam Richards is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario. She runs the Brock Bee Lab, where she and her students study the behaviour, evolution and ecology of bees, mostly in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada, but sometimes in other places. Their favourite study species are the common species that most people, even biologists, never notice, in particular, sweat bees and carpenter bees. Since 2018, she has been Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Insectes Sociaux. She teaches undergraduate courses in Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Molecular Ecology, and Genes and Behaviour, as well as a graduate course in writing grant proposals. She lives at FarrFetched Farm in Welland, Ontario, where she spends a lot of time encouraging flowers and bees.

August 8th - On a Quest for Bumble Bee Nests

Thursday, August 8th 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Speaker: Amanda Liczner

Talk Description:
Habitat loss is contributing to bumble bee declines globally through increased urbanization but more importantly, due to agricultural intensification. These types of developments reduce important bumble bee resources including flowers (their food source) and nest sites (where the colony lives). Although habitat loss may be one of the main threats to bumble bees we know very little about their habitat requirements. This is especially true for bumble bee nesting habitat, which can be very difficult to locate – some bumble bee species live underground, for example, and they often conceal their nests to protect them from predators. Identifying the nesting habitat for bumble bees is important for their conservation to ensure that there is enough of it to sustain populations; nesting sites are an important population limiting resource. To help determine bumble bee nesting habitat I set out on a quest to identify bumble bee nests using a team of volunteers and dogs trained to detect bumble bee nest scent. Once bumble bee nests are found, we can measure the surrounding habitat variables to develop models that will help us determine the nesting habitat for different bumble bee species. These results will have important implications for the conservation and restoration of bumble bee habitat and will help further our understanding of bumble bee ecology.


Speaker Bio:
Amanda Liczner is a third year PhD Student in the Department of Biology at York University. Her research is focused on describing the habitat for at-risk bumble bee species across North America. Amanda is broadly interested in applied ecology topics including conservation biology and restoration ecology. She completed both her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in biology at York University. Her previous research focused on using positive plant interactions to restore invaded arid ecosystems in Californian deserts. Amanda enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, canoeing, and looking for bumble bees, as well as crafting and container gardening.

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