Wednesday, November 19, 7pm – 9pm
Alex Lu, Dick Callahan, and Ken Warchol
The conventional wisdom says that a number of factors are responsible for bee colonies collapsing, from viruses, to climate change, to multiple pesticide exposures. But a study by Harvard professor Chensheng (Alex) Lu shed light on the primary role in sudden bee losses from a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.
A wonderful Boston Globe story describes how Professor Lu joined beekeepers Dick Callahan and Ken Warchol to conduct their neonicotinoids study. Come listen to all three speak about their research.
Alex Lu, Dick Callahan, and Ken Warchol open a hive in Northbridge, where they are studying the effects of pesticide exposure on honeybees.
Get Directions -> 128 Center St, Pembroke, MA 02359
Chensheng (Alex) Lu, PhD, MS
Associate Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology
Department of Environmental Health Harvard School of Public Health
My research focuses on understanding how pesticides affect ecological and human health. My research follows the gene-environment interaction paradigm in which I characterize pesticide exposures using biomarker approach first and then seek for mechanistic interpretations for the adverse health effects. As of July 2014, I have published 63 peer-review articles. Several articles that I published have gathered significant attention by the scientific and general communities, and have been quoted numerous times.
My public health service involves in implementing practical methodologies, such as the integrated pest management (IPM), at the community level aiming to mitigate exposures to pesticides. My ongoing collaboration with public housing authority and residents living in Boston’s low-income public housing is making a significant impact on adapting IPM practice so less pesticide is being used in residents’ dwellings. I am also actively engaging in public speaking events to translate research findings on the subject of pesticides and human health to general public.
I am currently serving on two national committees organized by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) to provide continuing review on the Vietnam War veterans’ health in relate to exposure to Agent Orange and to review California’s 21st Century risk assessment for pesticides, respectively. In addition, I serve as a member on the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to US Environmental Protection Agency under the authority of the Federal Insecticides, Fungicides, and Rodenticides Act (FIFRA) since 2004. I am an Associate Editor for Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP, impact factor 7.79), one of the leading peer-review journals for environmental health, since 2006, and as an ad hoc reviewer for approximately 20 scientific journals. Before joining Harvard, I was an Assistant Professor at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, from 2004-2008. I received my PhD degree from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle WA, in 1996.
PhD in Pesticide Toxicology from U. Mass Amherst
Dick is a biologist and bee hobbyist. He currently has twelve hives and investigates the sublethal effects of insecticides on honeybees. Dick received his PhD in Pesticide Toxicology from U. Mass Amherst in 1968. He determined that sublethal exposures of birds to insecticides disrupted estrogen metabolism; later linked to thin egg shells. He developed the method used to destry agent Orange and designed and ran the largest marine environmental survey with 19 Universities participants. After a 20 year career as an environmental scientist he spent 20 years founding and running pharmaceutical and electronics companies. In retirement he returned to various biological pursuits, including bee keeping, and research. He has raised a National champion canary, horses, many kinds of birds, snakes, bonsai and orchids. He currently has an African Grey parrot (Liberty), a standard poodle (Sky), an exotic cat (Spot) and seventeen Koi. Dick has been active in environmental organizations for 45 years and believes in a responsible and knowledgeable use of chemicals in agriculture as well as in human health. He and his wife Peni travel and spend quality time with their three children and six grandchildren.
Four years ago Dick was asked by Ken Wachol and Chensing (Alex ) Lu to collaborate with them investigating the effects of sublethal exposures of neonicotinoid insectisides on honeybees. Tonight they will share with you what they have found.
Worcester County Bee Inspector
Ken Warchol is a 6th generation beekeeper keeping honeybees his entire life. After college, Ken served two years in the army with the 101st airborne division and then taught high school for 36 years at Northbridge High School before retiring in 2009. He started as an apiary inspector for the state of Massachusetts in 1977 working during the summers and continues in that position today. Ken served as Vice-President, President, Bee School Director, and Program Chairman for the Worcester County Beekeepers over the years and continues as Program Chairman bringing in some of the top apiary scientists in the world to speak at meetings. Ken was the WCBA Beekeeper of the year in 1987 and the state beekeeper of the year in 1988. In recent years,Ken runs 120 of his own hives and has been involved in working on a 4 year USDA study with Jeff Pettis of the USDA Beltsville Bee Lab and on a 4 year Harvard University study with Dr. Alex Lu. It is safe to say that Ken has not had a chance to enjoy retirement working with bees now instead of students. He says he will enjoy retirement when he retires from retirement.