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Do you want to know the facts about pesticides and pollinators?

Twenty-two speakers, a poster session and an optional tour to Biltmore Estates and Gardens will be offered at the Protecting Pollinators in Ornamental Landscapes Conference Oct. 12-14, 2015.

By Heidi Wollaeger, Michigan State University Extension

The first national Protecting Pollinators in Ornamental Landscapes Conference is being hosted by Michigan State University Extension and North Carolina State University in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Oct. 12-14, 2015.

This conference is intended for extension educators, academic and industry researchers, growers and representatives of related industries interested in or involved with ornamental plant production or maintenance. Experts from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are presenting at the conference on how to protect pollinators in managed landscapes, yards and gardens. Speakers will share research-based information on the factors contributing to bee decline of native bees and managed honeybees. The largest session, “Pesticides and Pollinators,” will offer talks from seven leading researchers on the impacts of pesticides on pollinators in landscapes. Speakers will also highlight programs that they have designed to engage consumers in the national conversation on pollinator health.

The conference will also offer an optional tour to Biltmore, the 8,000 acre estate of George Vanderbilt. Attendees will have a special one-hour horticultural tour to learn how Biltmore Gardens addresses pest management and protects and encourages pollinators. Participants will then have a two-hour, self-guided visit inside the Biltmore house, gardens and conservatory, as well as the village, farm, winery and legacy exhibit at Antler Hill. The cost for the tour is $60. Space is limited to the first 40 registrants (minimum of 30 attendees, maximum of 40).

The cost to attend this information-packed conference is $250. Registration for the conference closes Oct. 1 and is limited to the first 170 participants.

 For more information on the conference, go to the conference website: Go to the conference registration website at to register online.

Lodging is not included with registration. Participants will need to reserve their rooms as soon as possible as space is limited. The rates are $115 per person per night for a double room and $150 per person per night for single room, plus a $5 registration fee). Reserve your hotel room online at:

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