This webinar will provide an overview of strategies to promote pollinators within annual rotational croplands in California. The focus will be on recent advances to establish native wildflower plantings and how these can positively contribute to promoting bees and crop pollination. Although examples will primarily be for watermelon many aspects are likely to apply to row crops more generally. The webinar will include a discussion of pollination benefits and also consider potential benefits and risks associated with pest management. To watch the recorded webinar click on the upper right-hand corner of this page.
Neal Williams is an Associate Professor of Pollination and Bee Biology in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of California, Davis. He is the faculty co-director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and a member of UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute. His applied research addresses the integration of wild and managed bees for pollination of diverse agricultural crops including seed production, row crops and orchards. This research addresses as series inter-related questions. Under what contexts, in terms of local management and landscape context, can native pollinators provide sufficient pollination for different crops? How can we enhance habitat and diversify agricultural systems to promote managed and wild bees? Do pollinators like honey bees and wild bees interact in ways to increase the overall effectiveness of crop pollination? The answers to these questions helps alleviate the stress placed on honeybees and also informs ways to more sustainability manage agricultural systems to promote biodiversity and production.
He has worked extensively in agro-ecosystems in California’s Central Valley and in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A continuing goal is to provide practical information that can be used to improve the long term stability of pollination for agriculture in California, as well as promote pollinator conservation and management. His work in the East and West has helped form the basis for pollinator conservation planting guidelines .