January 19: Joseph Elkington (UMass Entomology)

posted Jan 29, 2016, 2:39 PM by Amherst Club

President Andrea Battle called the meeting of the Amherst Club to order at noon on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016, and welcomed us all.

She asked the members to please put donations for a New Year’s tip for the Monkey Bar staff – who are so pleasant and helpful to us – in an envelope that is being passed around. Anyone not present this week may bring in their donation next week, when the envelope will be passed around for a second time before being given to the staff.

Allen Hanson asked the members to please take their name badges from the box where they have been kept, as this will no longer be kept on-site – there is no place for it at the Monkey Bar.

Therese Brady Donohue reminded us that gift certificates and objects donated to the Cabaret Silent Auction need to be brought in on March 1st and put in her car which will be parked outside. Anyone who can solicit more auction items is encouraged to do so!

Surinder Mehta updated us on Glenn Gordon’s improved condition.

Tina Berins is leaving for Mexico soon and requested donations of old eye-glasses. Please call her at 549-5395 if you have any to donate.

Raffle:  Miriam Dayton won the wine, and Andrea Battle won the $10.


Ruth Hazard introduced our speaker,  Joseph Elkinton, a forest entomologist at UMass Entomology Dept.  He travels all around the world to find solutions for regional agriculture pest problems. He spoke on  “Biological Control of Invasive Forest Insects". He explained that the imported insects that attack our plant life and other beneficial insects are brought here accidentally from areas where they are kept in check by natural predators which don’t exist here. In the 20th century our response was to fight back with general wide-ranging pesticides; ultimately we recognized that this was killing beneficial insects as well as pests, so nowadays the response is to look for preventatives that kill only the pests. Particularly under attack in our area are hemlocks, attacked by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid from Japan, which has already killed millions of trees, and the Emerald Ash Borer, which is expanding in Massachusetts along route 2.


Your scribe,                                                                                                                                                    
Linda Honan