Florida Matters 2019 In Review: Honey Bees, Coral Reefs, And The Environment - WUSF Public Media | Tampa NPR, Local News Coverage

Florida Matters 2019 In Review: Honey Bees, Coral Reefs, And The Environment

This week on Florida Matters, we share some of our favorite discussions about plants, animals and environmental challenges facing our state.

We look back at the state of bees, the role of invasive species, endangered sea turtles and efforts to save Florida Coral Reefs.

Florida Matters says goodbye to 2019 with bees, bugs, sea turtles and Florida’s coral reef.

We start our final look back at 2019 with Dr. Jamie Ellis, a professor of entomology and director of honey bee research at the University of Florida.

We talk with Ellis about how honey bee populations are faring, and why beekeepers are having to work harder to maintain healthy colonies.We started this conversation with Jamie about the controversy of pesticides.

SPECIAL REPORT: The Buzz On Florida’s Honey Bees

We moved our look back from bees to love bugs, and termites. We learned from Phil Koehler, endowed professor at the University of Florida who specializes in urban entomology, and Steve Puhs, service coordinator with the pest control company Truly Nolen’s Port Richey office. We opened our discussion with Phil and love bugs.

RELATED: Bugs to Watch Out For This Season

Florida Matters reporter Cathy Carter talks with Melissa Bernard, senior biologist with Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and its Sea Turtle Conservation and Research program, about the habitats of sea turtles.

RELATED: Sea Turtle Populations On The Rise In Florida But Still Face Threats

We know Florida is the home to more than 500 kinds of invasive species, but what happens once these animals we call ‘invasive’ have been here long enough to adapt? Todd Campbell, associate professor of biology at the University of Tampa, and John Humphrey, wildlife biologist with the USDA Natural Wildlife research center’s Florida Field Station in Gainesville, answers our questions.

RELATED: Combatting Invasive Species In Florida

To wrap up, we talk about Florida’s coral reefs. We talked with Erin Muller, science director of the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research at Mote Marine, and Keri O’Neil, senior coral scientist at the Florida Aquarium who’s also known as the “coral whisperer.” O’Neil explains exactly how coral forms.

RELATED: Saving Florida’s Coral Reefs

Ultimate Medical Academy