The coevolution of bees and plants

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Peter Jonker

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Friends of the Lardeau River (FLR) is inviting adults and students to an eye-opener presentation by Gord Hutchings entitled, The Coevolution of Flowering Plants and Native Bees. 

Illustrated with many photographs, his talk will explore the direct interdependent relationship between BC’s flowering plants and the native bee species that pollinate them – an evolutionary process of some 120 million years beginning at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Hutchings will show us how anatomical features of bees and anatomical features of various plant groups have, through time, evolved to complement one another, each species now obliged to reward the other in exchange for survival benefits.

Gord Hutchings’ infectious passion for insects knows no bounds. He has spent 20 years as a professional field biologist and his entire life as an insect collector and researcher. During earlier years he immersed himself in studying dragonflies and in recent decades has become equally fascinated with native bees. As a result, he has become widely known as a community educator on native bees, our most important pollinator of crops. His countless hours spent on insect research in diverse habitats throughout western Canada has advanced the understanding of BC insects generally and led to the donation of thousands of his valuable specimens to the Royal BC Museum. As a consultant, collector, researcher and author, he has worked with BC Ministry of Environment Conservation Data Centre, Royal BC Museum, Yukon Territory Government, Canadian Wildlife Service, Forestry Canada, universities and non-profit groups. He also operates an active website.

The presentation will be at the Argenta Community Hall, Wednesday, February 20, at 7 pm. Admission by donation.

FLR President, Jim Lawrence, expressed his delight with “the high calibre speakers we continue to bring in through our popular Speakers Series, now in its second year running.” Supported by funds from RDCK and Columbia Basin Trust, FLR continues to foster community understanding of and engagement with issues affecting the well-being of sensitive ecosystems in our area.

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