It is my very great pleasure, to welcome you all to this, the 8th International Symposium on Pollination, and to do so on behalf of ICPBR, the International Commission for Plant-Bee Relationships, under whose auspices this meeting is organised.
As you will know, this Symposium has been made possible largely through the hard work over the past three years of our host, Professor Pal Benedek and his colleagues.
I’d like to take this opportunity of thanking him, both personally and on behalf of the Commission, on his achievement in getting us together, in these attractive surroundings for what promises to be a most stimulating and congenial meeting.
It’s great to see so many old friends here again and to welcome so many new young pollination scientists to our gathering.
In my address this morning, I’d like to tell you about ICPBR. I know that many of you are already members and well aware of ICPBR activities. But I am sure that some of you are not yet members and I very much hope that you will decide to join our Commission over the next few days.
So what is ICPBR and what does it do? This Commission was instigated in 1950, exactly 50 years ago, during the International Botanical Congress in Stockholm and founded at the International Beekeeping Congress in UK the following year.
It was then the International Commission for Bee Botany.
The newly founded Commission soon became a scientific member of The International Union of Biological Sciences and remains so to this day.
Anna Maurizio, the renowned mellissopalynologist, was the first President of the Commission and continued as such until 1975. Anna Maurizio’s important role in founding and guiding the Commission during those early years was officially acknowledged on her death in 1993, when, at the suggestion of our Past President, Jean Louveaux, we added the words ‘Founded in 1950 by Anna Maurizio’ to our official title.
Jean Louveaux himself devoted much time to promoting and supporting the Commission and organised the 5th International Symposium on pollination at Versailles in 1983. Sadly, he died last year, aged 79. These two bee botanists then did much to lay the foundations of our Commission.
The Commission was set up with three objectives.
Firstly, to promote and coordinate research into the relationships between plants and bees.
Secondly, to organise meetings related to plant-bee relationships and to publish and disperse their proceedings, and, thirdly, to collaborate closely with other national and international institutions interested in the relationships between plants and bees, for example, the International Bee Research Association and the International Society for Horticultural Science.
The work of the Commission is organised through its Working Groups, of which there are currently three: the Pollination Group led by Aad de Ruijter in Holland, the Nectar Group led by Art Davis in Canada and the Bee Protection Group led by John Stevenson in the UK. All of these groups have organised or contributed to successful International meetings at regular intervals in recent years.
So ICPBR is a thriving organisation.
Membership has almost doubled during the last decade from 120 in 1991 to 257 in 2000. Our members are from 42 different countries.
Benefits of membership include an annual Directory of members giving their research interests and contact addresses and an annual Circular reporting news of the activities of the different Working Groups and other matters of interest to our members.
Both of these are circulated by our Secretary, Jean-Noel Tasei.
So how much does membership cost? Nothing! It’s free! So join today.
To do so, contact our Secretary who is here with us at the Symposium and sign up.
If you do so today, you are also welcome to come to the General Assembly of the Commission to be held tomorrow evening, at which we will review past achievements, plan future activities and elect officers.
Ten years ago, at the Pollination Symposium in Holland, Dr.
Holm, in handing over the Chairmanship of ICPBR to me, also handed me two numbers, a seven and an eight, as symbols of my responsibility to ensure that the next two Symposia would be organized.
Four years ago, we held a very successful and enjoyable 7th Symposium in Lethbridge in Canada, organised by Ken Richards, well supported by his whole family.
Every Symposium is different and every country adds its own flavour to a meeting.
I am sure that this Symposium will have a particularly good flavour all of its own and that it will be an event to remember.
Thank you for your attention and I wish you all an interesting and enjoyable meeting.
Ingrid H. Williams