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DPI Diary

June 19, 2015

Today, let’s think about pollinators. We depend on them for our food and fiber. And they need our help.

It’s National Pollinator Week

Our Apiary chief, David Westervelt, happened to mention to us that, on Monday,  25 new beekeepers had registered with the division. That’s one more sign that Florida’s apiary industry is flourishing, as we explained in a recent blog post. It was also a great factoid to kick off National Pollinator Week.

Honeybee on orange flowerOur social media team embraced National Pollinator Week and invited our friends and followers to do so as well. We found a telling quote from a USDA official that answers the question, “What can we all do to support the pollinators we depend on for our food?”

“It’s so easy to help pollinators, and we need to act now,” said AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo. “Even a small garden, like a window box filled with native plants that bloom during the spring, summer, and fall, will make a difference for bees and other pollinators.”

More information about how to “Plant a Window Box for Pollinators,” as well as other resources, including pollinator-friendly garden blogs and videos, is available at www.usda.gov/peoplesgarden.

Woops!

Olive fruit fly. (Photo courttest UF/IFAS)

This is a fly, not a bee. Big difference!

One of our Facebook friends was a understandably put out when she posted: “I really wish all these “professional” organizations working on “saving the bees” would stop putting pictures of flies on the front cover. geez, a little fact-checking please.” You can bet we’re going to look at our art at least twice when we blog about bees in the future!

You can do a lot with a Florida avocado

AvocadoCrabSaladAre Florida avocados different from the others you find in your store? You bet!

We explained in a blog post hailing the opening of avocado season in the Sunshine State.

We couldn’t resist including some recipes from Chef Justin and pointing to one of our videos that explains the challenges to the industry posed by the laurel wilt disease and the redbay ambrosia beetle that transports the disease. Here’s a link to the videos and an explanation of the Safe the Guac Campaign.

Entomology and Nematology News is on-line

Colleagues at UF-IFAS published Entomology and Nematology News this week and we passed the link along.

Bee Research Symposium set for July

We’re reminding everyone about the first Annual Florida Bee Research Symposium set for July 15-16 at Austin Cary Memorial Forest north of Gainesville. Bee researchers from across the state and region will discuss important industry topics, and the event is open to obeservers. All of the information you need to know about registering for and attending the event can be found here.

And don’t forget the South Florida Bee College

Beekeepers: Put it on your calendar! South Florida Bee College Aug. 14-5 at UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, Ft. Lauderdale. Click here for details.

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