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"Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees" by Thor Hanson will be reviewed by Andy Moldenke, retired professor in the OSU Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, at noon Wednesday at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library as part of the Random Review program.

Hanson, a conservation biologist, loves and admires bees. In Buzz he offers an irresistible window into the lives of wild bees: their evolution, biology, behavior and the ecological challenges they face.

In a series of essays Hanson describes his own bee observations. He invites readers on his visit to the specialized alkali bees that pollinate irrigated alfalfa fields in Washington state. He discusses the solitary digger bees he finds constructing their individual nests cheek by jowl with one another in the cliffs of the Pacific coast. His obvious fascination with the complex world of nature is absolutely infectious.

Moldenke spent 35 years at OSU as an insect and plant ecologist. He was educated at Stanford and the University of California and was the child of parents who were scientists and educators. His research has included insect/plant relations, herbivory, pollination and soil ecology. He spent several decades conducting research and teaching about the fun and meaning of field work at OSU's Andrews Experimental Forest near Blue River.

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Among Moldenke’s adventures in the field were being struck by lightning twice and surviving a territorial dispute with a bull elk in full rut. His wife, Alison, is retired from Entomology and Forestry at OSU and their son is an urban planner in Washington.

Up next: Coming up in December Elizabeth Wyatt will review “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution" ” by Todd Purdum. The program is on Dec. 11.

 

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