Double dose of bees at Science at the Local

Science at the Local returns for its sixth year of free bi-monthly talks at Springwood Sports Club on Sunday, March 15 from 2.30pm.

Associate Professor Tanya Latty from the University of Sydney will be speaking about bees, ants and swarm intelligence.

Also speaking will be Professor Dee Carter from the University of Sydney, on the healing properties of honey.

"After a pretty full on summer, it's great to be back," said co-founder Hamish Clarke. "As usual we've got a great range of speakers and topics this year, plus a few special events up our sleeve, including a return to Lithgow after our first ever events there last year."

Co-founder Kevin Joseph thanked Australia Government initiative Inspiring Australia, "who were kind enough to support us in 2020".

Associate Professor Latty is an entomologist with a special interest in insect behaviour and ecology, gaining her PhD at the University of Calgary in Canada. Her work involves collaborations in a broad range of fields including mathematics, computer science, forestry and operations research. Along with collective intelligence and swarm behaviour, she is also interested in Australian native bees and pest management.

Professor Carter leads a group studying disease-causing eukaryotic micro-organisms and finding new ways to treat them. Her interest in honey stems from its ability to work together with other antimicrobial agents.

"Natural products can be very useful as they are often non-toxic and work in multiple ways. While they may not be sufficiently potent to kill pathogens on their own, they can be combined with more traditional antimicrobials to great effect," she said.

Other 2020 Springwood events will be on May 17, July 26, September 13 and November 22, with topics including radiation and health, paleontology, and climate science. Two more special events will be held in Lithgow on May 31 and October 25. To get involved, go to scienceatthelocal.org.

The initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.