International Pollinator Conference Comes to UC Davis

Keynote speaker Christina Grozinger
Keynote speaker Christina Grozinger
It's all about the pollinators--whether they be bumble bees, longhorned bees, squash bees, sweat bees, honey bees or hummingbirds.

Yes, hummingbirds are pollinators, too!

A capacity crowd of 250 will attend the fourth  International Pollinator Conference, to be hosted by the University of California, Davis, from Wednesday, July 17 through Saturday, July 20 in the ARC Ballroom.

A welcoming reception took place from 6:30 to 8 tonight (Wednesday) in the Good Life Garden at the Robert Mondavi Institute, 392 Old Davis Road.

Themed “Multidimensional Solutions to Current and Future Threats to Pollinator Health,” the conference will cover a wide range of topics in pollinator research: from genomics to ecology and their application to land use and management; to breeding of managed bees; and to monitoring of global pollinator populations.

Co-chairs are pollination ecologist Neal Williams and Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, directed by Amina Harris, is coordinating the conference. Events manager Elizabeth Luu serves as the conference coordinator.

Keynote speakers are Lynn Dicks, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, England, and Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Pennsylvania State University, (the research center launched the pollinator conferences in 2012).

Dicks will speak at 9 a.m., Thursday, July 18 on "The Importance of People in Pollinator Conservation" while Grozinger will address the crowd at 9 a.m., Friday, July 19 on "Bee Nutritional Ecology: From Genes to Landscapes."

Dicks, an internationally respected scientist, studies bee ecology and conservation. She received the 2017 John Spedan Lewis Medal for contributions to insect conservation. Grozinger studies health and social behavior in bees and is developing comprehensive approaches to improving  pollinator health and reduce declines.

Among the speakers is Rachel Vannette, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, who will discuss her hummingbird research.

The agenda:

Wednesday, July 17

  • 6:30 to 8 p.m.: Early Registration and welcome reception in the Good Life Garden at the Robert Mondavi Institute, 392 Old Davis Road, Davis.

Thursday, July 18
6:45 to 8:30 a.m., breakfast at Segundo Dining Commons

8:45 a.m. Opening remarks and welcome

9 a.m. Keynote Address: "The Importance of People in Pollinator Conservation" by Lynn Dicks, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK

10 a.m. Session 1: Novel Quantitative Methods in Pollinator Ecology & Management

  • "The Role of Bee and Non-Bee Pollinators in Australian Open and Protected Cropping Systems (How do we overcome the pollination challenges?)" - Romina Rader, University of New England, Australia
  • "Implementing a Honeybee Foraging Model and REDAPOLL Fruit Set Predictions in Washington State's Decision Aid System" - Vince Jones, Washington State University
  • "Using DNA metabarcoding techniques to improve plant-pollinator interaction networks" - Victoria Reynolds, University of Queensland, Australia
  • "Citizen Science Data for Mapping Bumblebee Populations" - Claudio Gratton, University of Wisconsin

    11:15 to 11:30: Break (Light refreshments in the foyer)

  • "From Theory to Practice: The Bumble-BEEHAVE Model and its Application to Enhance Pollinator Friendly Land Management" - Matthias Becher, University of Exeter, UK
  • "A Laboratory System to Study the Effects of Stressors on Honey Bee Health and Fecundity" - Julia Fine, USDA-ARS Davis, Calif.
  • "Using Automated Tracking to Link Individual Behavior to Colony Performance in Bumble Bees" - James Crall, Harvard University

    Lunch at Segundo Dining Commons (opens from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

1:45 p.m. Session 2: Drivers of Host-Pathogen Interactions

  • "DWV as a Driver of Host Bee Decline" - Robert Paxton, Martin-Luther University, Germany
  • "Novel Transmission Routes and Intensification as Drivers of Disease Emergence and Virulence in Honey Bee viruses" - Mike Boots, UC Berkeley
  • "Viral Transmission in Honey Bees and Native Bees Supported by a Global BQCV Phylogeny" - Elizabeth Murray, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

 3 to 3:15: Break (Light refreshments in the foyer)

  • "Drivers of Pathogen Distributions in Feral and Managed Honey Bees" - Panuwan Chantawannakul, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
  • "Serratia marcescens, a Pathobiont of Honey Bees?" - Kasie Raymann, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • "Foreign Fungi in Native Bees across the Commonwealth of Virginia" - Kathryn LeCroy, University of Virginia
  • "Traits as Drivers of Plant-Pollinator-Pathogen Networks" - Quinn McFrederick, UC Riverside and Scott McArt, Cornell University

    4:30 p.m.: Poster Session 1 in the ARC Ballroom

  • 6:30 to 8 p.m. Opening Reception
    Robert Mondavi Institute Sensory Building, 392 Old Davis Road, Davis
    Honey Tasting led by Amina Harris, director, Honey and Pollination Center

Friday, July 19
6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Breakfast at Segundo Dining Commons

9 a.m. Keynote: "Bee Nutritional Ecology: From Genes to Landscapes," by Christina Grozinger, Penn State University

10 a.m. Session Three: Variable Climates and Changing Pollinators

  • "Bee Responses to Climate Change: from Micro- to Macroecology" - Jessica Forrest, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • "A Climate Vise of Temperature Extremes May Explain Past and Predict Future Bumble Bee Range Shifts" - Michael Dillon, University of Wyoming
  • "Climate Change Effects on Megachilidae Bee Species along an Elevation Gradient" - Lindsie McCabe, Northern Arizona University

    10:15 to 11:05: Break (Light refreshments in the foyer)

  • "Testing the Phenological Mismatch Hypothesis for a Plant-Pollinator Iinteraction" - Charlotte de Keyzer, University of Toronto, Canada
  • "Phenological Mismatch between Bees and Flowers Early in the Spring and Late in the Summer" - Gaku Kudo, Hokkaido University, Japan
  • "Climate Change Impacts on Brazilian Pollinators" - Tereza (Cris) Giannini, Federal University of Para, Brazil
  • "Pollinator Health in a Commercial Blueberry System" - Lief Richardson, University of Vermont

    Lunch at Segundo Dining Commons (opens from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

    Optional Discussion: How do you relate your science to justice, equity and advocacy issue

 1:45 Session 4: Causes and Consequences of Pesticide Use: From Use Patterns to Pollination Services

  • "A New Framework for Environmental Risk Assessment of Pesticides" - Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, University of Sydney, Australia
  • "Potency Paradox: Patterns and Drivers of Insecticide Use in U.S. Agriculture" - Maggie Douglas, Dickinson College
  • "Estimating Pollinator Pesticide Exposure" - Maj Rundlof, Lund University, Sweden

    Break (Light refreshments in the foyer)

  • "A Risk Assessment of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in New York" - Travis Grout, Cornell University
  • "Risk of Exposure in Soil and Sublethal Effects of Systemic Insecticides Applied to Crops on Adult Female Ground-Nesting Bees Using the Hoary Squash Bee as a Model Species" - D. Susan Willis Chan, University of Guelph, Canada
  • "Delayed Lethality: The Effects of a Widely-Used Fungicide on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)" - Adrian Fisher II, Arizona State University
  • "Sub-lethal Impacts of Pesticides on Bees" - Troy Anderson, University of Nebraska

    Poster Session 2 and Networking at the ARC Ballroom

Saturday, July 21
8 a.m.  Registration at the ARC Ballroom
6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.: Breakfast at Segundo Dining Commons

9 a.m.: Session 5: Integrative Approaches to Improving Bee Health Across Landscapes

  • "Combining Physiological and Ecological Data for More Effective Bee Protection and Conservation" - Cedric Alaux, INRA, France
  • "Keeping Bees in a Warming World: Protein Biomarkers for Heat Stress and Queen Failure Diagnostics" - Alison McAfee, North Carolina State University
  • "Factors Influencing Colony Survival in Migratory Beekeeping Based on Honey Bee Resistance Traits" - Michael Simone-Finstrom, USDA-ARS, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • "Temporal and Spatial Dynamics of Pollinator Communities across North Carolina Agroecosystem" - Hannah Levenson, North Carolina State University
  • "The Effects of Land Cover on Habitat Quality for Nesting Bumble Bees" - Genevieve Pugesek, Tufts University

    10 to 10:15 a.m. Break (Light refreshments in the foyer)

  • "Improving Bee Health in Canola Pollination" - Shelley Hoover, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • "Mitigating Land Use Decisions that Destroy Bee Forage" - George Hansen, Foothills Honey, Oregon, USA
  • "Impact of Landscape-Scale Floral Resources Availability on Pollinator Communities" - Aaron Iverson, Cornell University
  • "Why are Crops Mainly Visited by Broadly Polylectic Bee Species?" - Katja Hogendoorn, The University of Adelaide, South Australia

    12:15 Lunch

1:40: Session 6: Pollinators in Urban Environments

  • Presentation by The Wonderful Company
  • Honoring new California Master Beekeeper graduates - Elina Niño, UC Davis
  • "Floral Trophic Ecology of a North American Metropolis Revealed by Honey Bee Foraging Assay" -
    Doug Sponsler, Penn State University
  • "Pollinators and Urban Warming: A Landscape Physiology Approach" - Elsa Youngsteadt, North
    Carolina State University
  • "Green Infrastructure to Support Urban Wild bees: Communicating Science to Practitioners" - Scott
    McIvor, University of Toronto, Canada
  • "Urban Pollinator Conservation Opportunities: Integrating Research with Policy and Practice" -
    Katherine Baldock, University of Bristol, UK
  • "Linking Pollinator Health, Microbiome Composition and Human Provisioning in Anna's Hummingbird
    (Calypte anna) - Rachel Vannette, UC Davis

    Break (Light refreshments in the foyer)

  • "Beekeeping Ordinances: Protecting bees and Neighbors" - Tracy Ellis, San Diego County
    Department of Agriculture
  • "Beekeeping in the City: Successes and Challenges" - Charlie Blevins, San Francisco Beekeepers'
  • "Electric Power Companies Protecting Pollinators" - Jessica Fox, Electric Power Research Institute,
    Palo Alto
  • "The Effect of Land use on a Sexually Selected Characteristic of the Cabbage White Butterfly (Pieris
    rapae) in the United States" - Anne Espeset, University of Nevada, Reno
  • "Urban Pollinator Conservation: Bee Campus USA and Bee City USA as a Model for Meaningful
    Community Engagement" - Phyllis Stiles, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Portland,Ore.

(There are no plans to video-record the conference, according to Elizabeth Luu ( of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, the events coordinator for the conference.)