Speaker Event Is Open to the Public

Dr. Michelle Flenniken – Contributed photo

The Back Yard Beekeepers Association (BYBA) has announced the March speaker meeting which will be held at Norfield Congregational Church in Weston on March 28. The popular beekeeping group will be presenting Dr. Michelle Flenniken, who will speak about “The impact of viruses on honey bees at the colony, individual and cellular levels.”

The meeting is in-person, open to the public and will begin at 7:30 p.m. Norfield Congregational church is located at 64 Norfield Road, Weston Conn.

Attending the BYBA speaker meetings is a way for anyone interested in beekeeping, bee health, and pollinators to keep up with the latest research. Honey bees are the primary insect pollinators of agricultural crops (valued over $17 billion annually in the United States) and plants that enhance the biodiversity of diverse ecosystems. Unfortunately, for the past 10+ years, honey bee colony losses average over 30 percent, annually. 

Flenniken, a microbiologist/virologist and co-director of Montana State University’s (MSU) Pollinator Health Center, is an expert on the impact of viruses and other pathogens on honey bee health. She will highlight recent research from her lab and discuss the importance of basic and applied science to address this important global challenge. 

Flenniken is an associate professor in the Plant Sciences Department at Montana State University. She is a microbiologist investigating honey bee host–pathogen interactions and co-director of the Pollinator Health Center at MSU. She received a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Iowa, then was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, before obtaining her doctorate in microbiology from Montana State University. She did postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco prior to becoming a faculty member at MSU.

The Back Yard Beekeepers Association (BYBA) is one of the nation’s largest regional clubs for beekeeping hobbyists with over 400 members. Some of the members are just getting started as beekeepers, and some have enjoyed this hobby for years. All share an interest in the remarkable world of the honey bee. The mission of BYBA is to provide the membership with a forum for sharing knowledge and mutual interests in beekeeping, and to educate and promote the benefits of beekeeping to the public. For more information, visit backyardbeekeepers.com. Register: https://backyardbeekeepers.com. Contact: Paula Wolf at paulawolf@email.com

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