The 4th-annual RAIN Agriculture & Food Symposium, focused on pollinators, will be held in Bruce Mines this February 7th .
This year’s event will focus on pollinators in agriculture and will be of interest to farmers, gardeners and beekeepers alike. The event will provide an opportunity to connect the agriculture community while bringing knowledgeable speakers to the region, including Susan Chan, a pollination biologist with the not-for-profit organization, Farms at Work.
“Pollinators play an important role in the production of our food, and the topic was identified by Algoma farmers as being something they want to learn more about. Susan is a knowledgeable speaker, having made many presentations across the province about pollinator conservation,” explained David Thompson, RAIN Research Project Coordinator.
Susan will provide an overview of the main native pollinators available to provide pollination services on farms. The discussion will include the economic contributions of pollinators to various farm systems, both in increasing yield and increasing quality of marketable produce. Additionally, Susan will share tips on managing various farm systems to maximize the pollination contribution from wild, native pollinators.
In addition to Susan, local speakers include David Dave Kreutzweiser of Natural Resources Canada and Mary Eaton of the Algoma Beekeepers’ Association. David will discuss risks associated with the use of the systemic insecticides, neonicotinoids and fipronil to pollinators; and potential alternatives to the use of neonicotinoids for pest control. Mary will share a history of beekeeping in Algoma, and with local student Jordan Winter, will discuss strategies for overwintering honey bees in Algoma District.
The workshop is open to the public. Tickets are $20.00, available at the door (cash only), and includes a light breakfast and lunch.