(Photos courtesy: Deryn Davidson / CSU Extension Boulder County).


Deryn Davidson, Colorado State University Extension – Boulder County

Registration is open for the November 9th, 2022 Colorado Pollinator Summit. A day full of sessions focused on the state of pollinators in Colorado. This year the Summit is in person at Denver Botanic Gardens in the auditorium of the new Freyer – Newman Center.

The day will kick off with keynote speaker, Stephen Buchmann who is a pollination ecologist specializing in bees. He is also author and co-author of many well-known books including The Forgotten Pollinators, Letters from the Hive, and The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture and Biology, and How They Change Our Lives. From an excerpt about The Reason for Flowers, “Stephen Buchmann explains how bees, butterflies, and other insects; birds; and bats all relate to flowers in ways crucial to the well-being of nature.” Summit organizers are excited for him to share his expertise with attendees on bee biodiversity hotspots, rarity, sampling techniques, and conservation efforts.

The rest of the day will be full of engaging sessions that follow this year’s theme of “Scaling Pollinator Conservation for a New Era: Growing, Progressing, Transforming.” Organizers have brought together panelists to speak on a variety of important topics which are sure to stimulate conversation during the Summit’s networking opportunities. You’ll hear from educators, researchers, legislators, and non-profit organizations who are all working to support pollinators across Colorado and beyond.

The first session brings together a panel of honey bee and native bee researchers with beekeepers, to explore what is known about managing honey bees impacts native bees and plants. Dr. Hung (The University of Oklahoma), Sarah Red-Laird (Founder of Bee Girl Organization), and Dr. Briles (University of Colorado, Denver) will discuss how best to balance interest in honey bee keeping, with the need to conserve native species.

Next up attendees will hear from Dr. Garber at Colorado State University about his research looking at the importance of green spaces on human health and the composition of that green space (plant species selection, etc.). Based on his findings, he will discuss his proposed policy scenarios for increasing native plants in the City of Denver to support pollinators, in addition to gaining the human health benefits of green spaces.

After lunch and networking, the audience will be treated to a Call to Action by David Sirota. He is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author living in Denver. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work helping Adam McKay create the story for the blockbuster film Don’t Look Up, which became one of the most widely viewed movies in Netflix’s history.

The next session will dive into the world of those who work at the state Capitol. It’s a chance to hear from some of the state’s premier pollinator champions who will share their winning strategies and their vision to move the pollinator protection movement forward. Representatives Lisa Cutter, Meg Froelich, Cathy Kipp, Senator Sonya Jaquez Luis, and the Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Tim Mauck will discuss this year’s work which include the Turf Replacement Program and the Pollinating Insects Study. They’ll also share what’s ahead for 2023.

The day will wrap-up with a panel of two speakers whose work to educate on conservation measures is well known. Steve Armstead of the Xerces Society and Melanie Stolp of Resource Central will share the life cycle, successes, and challenges of some of their organization’s more well-known community-based programs. This session will finish with an exercise that walks attendees through how to create a pollinator action plan by outlining all the necessary steps for success.

Ticket price for adults is $55 and students are $25. Price includes morning coffee and tea, and lunch. For the full agenda and Summit details, visit butterflies.org/copollinatornetwork and to register go to tickets.butterflies.org/DateSelection.aspx?item=725

By Deryn Davidson. Deryn is an Extension Agent – Horticulture at Colorado State University Extension Boulder County. For more information contact CSU Extension at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road, Box B, Longmont, 303.678.6386, e-mail [email protected] or visit boulder.extension.colostate.edu.