Bees, Importance and Diversity

  • April 03, 2017
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Aurora Cultural Centre

Dr. Laurence Packer

Laurence Packer is a Professor of Biology at York University where he has worked since 1988.  He teaches Entomology and Biodiversity courses.  His research is on bees and he and his students have published over 140 research papers.  

Professor Packer has published a book “Keeping the Bees”, published by HarperCollins, as well as “Bees: A Close-up Look at Pollinators around the World” with Sam Droege, Voyageur Press (both on sale in the lobby after the event).         

He and his team have described almost 100 new species of bees. The collection that he started at York University now includes several hundred thousand specimens with examples from well over 100 countries; it is one of the most diverse bee collections in the world.         

Professor Packer was a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Evaluation Group for Ecology and Evolution.  His research has been funded by the latter organization as well as National Geographic, Genome Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.  

Bees, Importance and Diversity

There are over 20,000 species of bees in the world and over 800 in Canada and almost none of them fit our normal expectations of what bees are.  

Professor Packer will outline the taxonomic, behavioural and ecological diversity of bees and explain why wild bees are far more important than most people think they are. He will address the specific issues associated with bee conservation and why it is that they are particularly sensitive indicators of the state of our terrestrial environment.  In addition, he will provide some suggestions as to what can be done to conserve bees.

This event is part of the Spring 2017 Speaker series.

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