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South Mountain Speakers Series continues Thursday, September 12, 2013
Wilson College at 7 pm

Bees, wasps and other pollinators will be the topic of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on Thursday, September 12, at Wilson College in Franklin County.

This is the fourth year for the South Mountain Speakers Series, envisioned as a revival of the talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania’s forests and natural landscape. 

Thursday’s discussion, entitled "Bee Well: Native Pollinators and the Working Landscapes of South Mountain,” begins at 7 p.m. in the Brooks Science Center Auditorium, at Wilson College, 1015 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg.  It is free and open to the public.

“Bees, wasps and other native pollinators provide critical services to the South Mountain ecosystems,” Allen Dieterich-Ward, associate professor of history at Shippensburg University and the chair of the committee on the speaker series, said. “We invite citizens to learn more about the pollinators of our region and what we can do to help maintain and increase populations of these essential insects.”

Much of the food that we eat is pollinated by these fascinating though often overlooked insects. Yet, pollinator populations across the country are plummeting, and scientists and apiarists (or beekeepers) are at a loss to explain why. Indeed, the phenomenon has been called Colony Collapse Disorder.

The lecture will be given by Alex Surciča, horticultural consultant with the Cumberland Valley Cooperative Association.  Following his talk, he’ll be joined on a panel by Connie Schmotzer, Penn State Cooperative Extension educator in York County, and Margaret Eppig, director of Middle School Programs for the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation.

The lecture is sponsored by Wilson College, Cumberland Valley Cooperative Association, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the South Mountain Partnership. 

Following Thursday's talk, one lecture remains in the 2013 season of the Speakers Series. On October 24, Shippensburg University will host a talk to focus on “Crimes Against Nature: Conservation Law and the History of Wildlife Protection in the South Mountain Region.” 

Pennsylvania's South Mountain landscape is a 400,000-acre region that lies at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Comprising Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and portions of York county, the landscape is defined by the South Mountain and Michaux State Forest, as well as the working lands and communities that surround and depend upon the mountain. 

The South Mountain Partnership is a group of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working together to protect and enhance the landscape.

The partnership was sparked by DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiative, an effort to engage communities, local partners and state agencies and identify funding opportunities to conserve high-quality natural and cultural resources while enhancing the region’s economic viability.