“BSI: The Case of the Disappearing Bees” will be discussed by noted entomologist May Berenbaum at a public lecture hosted by the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Department of Entomology on Oct. 9 in the Activities Recreation Center, UC Davis, Davis, Calif.

A reception is scheduled at 5:00 p.m., with the lecture to follow at 5:30. Both events are in Ballroom A. Admission is free.

Berenbaum, professor and head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said she will discuss the pollinator crisis, the plight of the honey bee, and advances in entomology that provide hope for the future of America's bees.

“The pollinator crisis - the widespread decline in the viability of animals that transport pollen and allow most of the planet's flowering plants to reproduce - may lack marquee appeal as a form of global change but it has real potential for profoundly altering the terrestrial world,” Berenbaum said.

Close to 100 crop plants in the United States rely on the honey bee to survive and reproduce.

“Over the past year, the mysterious disappearance of one-third of America’s honey bees, due to what has become known as colony collapse disorder, has focused attention on how little is known about U.S. pollinators and how dependent we are upon them,” Berenbaum said.

Walter Leal, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology, said the honey bee colony collapse disorder “is one of the most intriguing problems in agricultural entomology. We at the Department of Entomology at UC Davis are very interested in finding a solution for this problem as California is bearing the biggest economic consequences of this crisis.”

He added, “We are in the process of filling a sustainable pollination biologist position as part of the revamping of our bee biology program.”

Leal said Berenbaum is also the first speaker in the department's fall Distinguished Seminar Series, set for Oct. 10 to Nov. 20. The series is designed for entomology faculty, emeriti, affiliates, professional researchers, and students.

More information is available on the UC Davis entomology Web site at http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/home.cfm.