GROTON -- How many kinds of bees can you name -- honey bees, bumble bees, sweat bees perhaps?
Most people are familiar with our nonnative honey bees and their role in pollinating commercial crops and many are acquainted with the recent challenges that some populations are having. But few are aware of the great diversity of native bees that we have in our region and the roles that they play in pollinating our indigenous plants.
The Nashua River Watershed Association invites the public to this free presentation "Native Bees of Massachusetts, Their Diversity and Natural History" on Wednesday, July 30, from 7-8:30 p.m., at the NRWA River Resource Center, 592 Main St.
Our presenter will be Michael Veit, biology teacher at Lawrence Academy.
Michael's presentation will be about our native bees, their diversity, beauty, importance and fascinating life histories. The main focus will be on our native bee community in general terms but will touch upon the contrasting lifestyles of species that are flower generalists, specialists on certain plant species, and even bees that are nest parasites of other bees.
You will learn how to differentiate true bees from "wanna-bees," and we will dispel some common myths about bees. The talk will include information about variation in sociality among bee species, nesting, life cycles, and even touch upon native bee conservation.
Michael became interested in native bees about seven years ago after spending many years studying and surveying the dragonflies and damselflies of New England and before that studying blackflies at the University of New Hampshire for his master's degree. Since then he has spent much of his summers traveling around Massachusetts and the other New England states surveying and making discoveries regarding the native bee diversity of our region.
This presentation is free and open to the public. Registration is appreciated for planning purposes. To register, contact Pam Gilfillan, NRWA Development Associate, at 978-448-0299, or email PamG@NashuaRiverWatershed.org.