Los Angeles

Event Announcement: “BSI… or The Case of the Disappearing Bees”

honeybee.jpgSlow Food Los Angeles is delighted to welcome Professor May Berenbaum to Los Angeles for a timely presentation on the as-yet unexplained disappearance of honeybees and the potential effects of this ecological crisis.

The “pollinator crisis”–the widespread decline in the viability of animals that transport pollen and allow most of the planet’s flowering plants to reproduce–may lack marquee appeal as a form of global change but it has real potential for profoundly altering the terrestrial world. Close to 100 crop plants in the U.S. rely on a single pollinator–the honey bee–to survive and reproduce.

Over the past year, the mysterious disappearance of one-third of America’s honey bees, due to what has become known as colony collapse disorder, has focused attention on how little is known about U.S. pollinators and how dependent we are upon them. Professor May Berenbaum, Professor and Head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois, will discuss the pollinator crisis, the plight of the honey bee, and advances in entomology that provide hope for the future of America’s bees.

When: Thursday, June 5, 2008 from 7:00pm until 8:30pm
Where: Beverly Hills Public Library, 444 North Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills
Cost: $12 per person, reservations required. Please visit our event page at Brown Paper Tickets to reserve your place.

Free parking is available in the adjacent garage after 5:00pm.

Professor Berenbaum will also share with us recent research about the nutraceutical properties of honey. It is now understood that honey is a potentially rich source of antioxidants, compounds that can reduce or counteract toxic oxygen radicals. In view of the fact that oxygen radicals have been implicated as factors contributing to a wide range of human health problems including heart disease and cancer, incorporation of honey into the diet, particularly in place of sugar, may have health-promoting, or nutraceutical, value.

An entomologist, author, and founder of the University of Illinois Insect Fear Film Festival, Professor Berenbaum has been head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign since 1992 and holds joint or affiliate appointments in the Department of Plant Biology, the Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, and the Division of Ecological Entomology at the Illinois Natural History Survey. Frequently named an excellent teacher by students, she is devoted to fostering scientific literacy and has authored numerous magazine articles, as well as four books, about insects for the general public. Her research interests are in the area of insect chemical ecology and for over two decades she has studied the ways in which naturally occurring chemicals affect the distribution and abundance of plant-feeding insects. In recognition of her work, she has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. The campus has honored her with a Swanlund Chair and Jubilee Professorship. She received a B.S. from Yale University in 1975 and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1980.

This event is open to Slow Food members and nonmember/friends alike.