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Saturday, September 22 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Where Have all the Bees Gone?

Join two beekeepers – Theresa Gaffney of Highland Blueberry Farm in Stockton Springs, Maine, and David Hackenberg of Hackenberg Apiaries in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania – and two scientists – Dr. Frank Drummond of the University of Maine and Dr. Kimberly Stoner of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station – to discuss the importance of pollinators and explore possible explanations for the Colony Collapse Disorder mystery.

Tom and Theresa Gaffney’s Highland Blueberry Farm is celebrating its 10th year as a MOFGA-certified organic farm. They manage 25 acres of wild blueberry fields and sell value-added products, including the first “whole plant wild blueberry tea.” Theresa began keeping a beehive for pollinating and honey five years ago to explore solutions that might help large commercial beekeepers contend with mounting challenges to bee health. She describes herself as a "biodynamic" beekeeper, concerned about toxic exposures that she cannot control, fascinated by the question of whether we can "have a healthy bee even in an unhealthy environment."

David Hackenberg has been a commercial beekeeper for half a century. Operating out of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, he trucks his bees from Maine to Florida. In 2007, he lost 75 percent of his 3,200 colonies and was the first to report massive die-offs to Penn State researchers. These losses led him to suspect the impact of pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids. He has testified in Congress about CCD and is featured in the film Vanishing of the Bees and in various media reports, including 60 Minutes. He is past president of the American Beekeepers Federation and current co-chair of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board.

Dr. Frank Drummond has a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island and is a professor of entomology at the University of Maine. His research interests include pollination ecology, integrated pest management of blueberry pests in Maine, and conservation of native bees. He is completing a major collaborative research project following 30 honeybee colonies in each of seven states, exploring links between honeybee pathogens, pesticide diversity in pollen, foraging area in agriculture and honeybee colony health.   

Dr. Kimberly Stoner has a Ph.D. in entomology from Cornell University and is associate agricultural scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Her research focuses on measuring pesticides in pollen and nectar, pollination of pumpkins and squash, and abundance and diversity of native bees on vegetable farms. She has a project measuring pesticides in pollen collected from honeybee hives, and measuring pesticides in the pollen and nectar of squash plants treated with systemic insecticides used in  conventional farming.  

The panel will be moderated by Sharon Tisher, who teaches environmental law in the University of Maine Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program.


Frank Drummond

UMaine School of Biology & Ecology

Theresa Gaffney

Highland Blueberry Farm

David Hackenberg

Hackenberg Apiaries

Kimberly Stoner

Connecticut Ag. Experiment Station

Saturday September 22, 2012 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
Spotlight Stage Right off the paved road, nestled in the South Food area facing south towards Maine Marketplace and the large greenhouse