Across his career, Andony’s research and extension has focused on how to: 1) increase the health of wild and managed pollinator species (honey bee and alfalfa leafcutter bee) and 2) better leverage the benefits contributed by pollinating bees to crop yield through modifying agronomic practices.
Andony is also an okay beekeeper, having run a small nuc producing business in Alberta for decade, operating up to 70 colonies out the back of his station wagon. He has over fifteen years of experience in pollinator health extension, which includes speaking at industry and public meetings (over a dozen different groups), writing for trade journals (over 40 articles), conducting qualitative risk assessment for government agencies, organizing large public fora on issues of sustainability and society, developing workshops (e.g., the Wild Pollinator Enhancement Workshop at Dalhousie University targeting blueberry growers) and adult beekeeping education (e.g., The Modern Beekeeper at Dalhousie University that has been running at capacity since 2013). Andony’s contributions were awarded the Eastern Apicultural Society’s Student Award (2015), the Entomological Society of Canada’s Postgraduate Award (2015) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Alexander Graham Bell Graduate Scholarship (2011-2014).
Pollinator Protection in Oregon
Pollinator decline is changing the way lawmakers and regulators think about pesticides. This situation presents a unique opportunity for the beekeeping industry to put lasting policy and educational structures in place to lower bee pesticide exposure. But what would these “structures” look like? If we think ambitiously, could we envision pollinator protection as being a part of people’s daily work life (within the next five years)? Could pollinator protection become second nature; not just a best management practice (on paper), but a standard management practice (in the world)? Three Oregon House Bills passed in 2015 have charged Oregon State University to develop these ambitious and lasting changes in the state. I will describe the (very) early stages of working with stakeholders to develop the state’s pollinator health outreach and education plan. I will provide a preliminary plan to educate pesticide applicators and the public on the best practices for avoiding adverse effects from pesticides on pollinator populations. I will also express the need for a framework that can relate exposure risk to patterns of honey bee colony movement through the landscape and make the case for how such a spatially explicit model of pesticide exposure for pollinators could be used to better target extension resources.