BOZEMAN – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Montana State University, formerly MSU Wonderlust, will present “What’s Killing the Bees? Impact of Pathogens and More on Honey Bees” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21. The virtual event, held in partnership with the Belgrade Community Library, is free and open to the public.

Michelle Flenniken, a microbiologist in MSU’s Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology and co-director of the Pollinator Health Center, will lead the discussion. For the last 10 years, honey bee colonies have approached an annual loss of 30 percent. Flenniken will discuss the importance of managed and wild native bees as pollinators of plants that enhance biodiversity, as well as fruit, nut and vegetable crops. She will describe the role of pathogens and other factors in honey bee colony deaths and the importance of basic and applied science to address the global challenge.

Flenniken directs a research program investigating honey bee host-pathogen interactions and teaches genetics and virology courses. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Iowa. Prior to receiving her doctorate in microbiology from MSU, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana.

Registration is required for the presentation and can be found at montana.edu/olli. Upon registration confirmation, participants will receive an email with the Webex link and instructions to join the program.

This collaborative community event is free and open to the public thanks to a sponsorship by Kenyon Noble Lumber and Hardware.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at MSU is a program of Academic Technology and Outreach at MSU. ATO works across the university to support and advance its land-grant mission through unique and innovative opportunities for outreach and engagement.

For more information on OLLI or this community event visit www.montana.edu/olli/.