Those concerned about the drastic decline of honeybee populations can learn more as part of Straub Environmental Center’s Amateur Naturalist series.

Dr. Ramesh Sagili will present a lecture at the center on the evening of Thursday, June 19 with a follow-up field trip on Saturday, June 21st.

Attendees will learn about the current status of honey bee health, and the challenges facing beekeepers.  Several factors responsible for the loss of populations will be discussed, including the impact of agrochemicals.

Colony Collapse Disorder, described by the US Department of Agriculture as “a serious problem threatening the health of honey bees and the economic stability of beekeeping” and pollination operations in the United States has caused the loss of half the managed colonies of bees from about 5 million in the 1940s to 2.5 million today.  While the demand for the bee’s pollination services has increased every year, annual losses from 2006 through 2011 averaged about 33% a year, according to the USDA.

Some “tactics to mitigate harm and improve bee health” will also be presented at the Straub class.

Sagili is a part of the Oregon State University Department of Horticulture faculty, and has specialized in honeybee health, nutrition and pollination.  Straub’s Amateur Naturalist series runs March through October.