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Sept 11 Big Muddy Speaker Series - Rocheport 2012


Bee on butterfly milkweed blossom. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

"Bottomland Bees"

presented by Wedge Watkins, biologist for the Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

7 p.m. presentation
lower floor of the Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
in Rocheport, MO (directions below)
Click here for flier (pdf)»

Presentation is FREE and open to the public! Come early to purchase a great dinner upstairs at the Bistro!

Most often, bees are thought of annoying creatures that fly around in the summer, and occasionally sting. Biologist Wedge Watkins knows that isn't the case. Bees are an essential part to the pollination and overall livelihood of flowering plants. These flying creatures are responsible for pollinating over 75 percent of  flowering plants and almost 75 percent of crops. Because these creatures do not migrate, it is important to understand where the bees habitate. Without this knowledge monitoring plant communities and climate adaptation would be very difficult.  

Refuge biologist and Midwest Region Pollinator Coordinator Wedge Watkins will share more information about these native populations of bees, an update on the Overton Bottoms survey, as well as his recent work with a new survey that started this summer.

This new survey takes place along the Mississippi River and at nine different refuges. From LaCrosse, Wisc. to south of St. Louis, these sights have discovered species that are new to science; as well as, new state and county records. At some locations that were thought to be scarcely inhabited, bees have been found in large numbers. Wedge Watkins IDs Big Muddy pollinators

Wedge has been leading a sampling at Cora Island as part of the survey. Mike Arduser from MDC is doing the ID work with the survey. Along with Missouri Master Naturalists and a MU student, this survey has discovered many new findings and fascinating results. Come to Les Bourgeois to learn more about these bottomland bees. 


  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It's the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in the lower level. You can either enter at the restaurant entrance then go down the stairs to your left past the bar, or you can follow the walk to the right of the restaurant and enter through a glass door into the lower level.
  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO (click for Google Map)

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