Maine State Apiarist Anthony Jadczak is Lewiston-Auburn Senior College’s FebruaryFood For Thought luncheon speaker. He will present at the 11:30 luncheon on Friday, February 8. His topic is “The Value of Honeybees to U.S. and Maine Agriculture.”

Honey bees and bee keepers have been the focus of research scientists in recent years as commercial migratory bee keepers along the East Coast have reported unusual hive mortality. Populous honey bee colonies suddenly dwindled to a “handful” of honey bees or had completely vacated their hives. The syndrome was named “colony collapse disorder” or CCD.

honey bees are vital to the Maine economyJadczak will present an overview of honey bee biology, the importance of honey bees to agricultural production and the challenges confronting honey bees and beekeepers. Managed honey bees serve a vital role in the production of approximately 90 agricultural crops that include high-value fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and certain field and forage crops.

The economic value of pollination services provided by managed bees to US crops is estimated to be $14.6 billion annually. Crops such as almonds, blueberries and cranberries are almost totally dependent upon insect pollinators for successful production and literally require millions of hives to produce a crop.

Jadczak has been keeping bees for 40 years and works with beekeepers, growers, and the general public concerning honey bee management, crop pollination and nuisance situations with respect to bees and other stinging insects. His responsibilities are both regulatory (licensing and certification) and extension (education.)

honey beesHe is a graduate of Rutgers University and majored in entomology. Following graduation he worked at Rutgers as a research technician managing the university apiaries located at various fruit and vegetable research farms around the state. He assisted in blueberry and cranberry pollination research.

Jadczak is past president of the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America and served on the association’s board for many years. He is a member of the EPA’s Workgroup on Pollinator Protection.

Lewiston-Auburn Senior College, now in its 14th year, presents the monthly 11:30 luncheon program in the Function Room 170 at USM LAC. The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with advance reservation or $8 at the door. Reservations must be made by noon on February 7 by calling 753-6510. Any late callers will be considered “at the door.”