The Bee Course – Ohio’s Premier Pollinators
Bee Ecology, Natural History, Conservation & Identification
with bee experts, Olivia Carril, Author of Bees in Your Backyard &
Denise Ellsworth, Ohio Bee and Pollinator Educator at the Ohio State University


Friday, June 01 – Sunday, June 3, 2018

Held at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary with field trips to other Arc preserves
$325/person includes six meals and all curriculum.

Optional lodging at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary –
$35/night per person shared; $65/night private

There has been recent a shift in our culture’s perspective toward insects. More and more people are awakening to the dramatic and complex lives of insects and our utter dependency upon them. Attracting pollinators to our gardens is becoming as popular as cultivating the plants that grow in them, and more people are investing in near-focus binoculars to watch them. So deeply engaged in intrigue, altruism, deception and chemical warfare as they are, it has been humorously said that if we but studied the insects, we would no longer need our entertainment industry.

This course focuses on arguably the most splendid of the insect groupings, the bees. Bees are highly specialized insects who occupy the niche of nectar and pollen feeding, therefore serving as premier plant pollinators. There are roughly 20,000 species of bees world-wide and over 400 species in Ohio, ranging in size from 2 mm. to over 1.5 inches long. Among the mammals, we often credit communal living, cooperative food collecting efforts, and specialized social roles as the greatest impetus for the evolution of intelligence – such as demonstrated in apes, people and wolves. If so, bees and wasps are to insects, what humans are to mammals.

In this course we will delve into the natural history, ecology, contributions and identification of the native bees of Ohio – not just the charismatic bumblebees and carpenter bees, but the smaller sweat bees, mason bees, and leafcutting bees that often go unnoticed. We will be guided by two “Queen Bees” in the field of bee education –  bee author Olivia Carril from New Mexico, and our own Denise Ellsworth from Ohio State University’s Wooster Department of Entomology & Extension Office.