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2011

Penn State Entomology and our Future Outlook
December 21, 2011
A message from Gary Felton about the restructuring process of the College of Agricultural Sciences and future outlook for the Department of Entomology at Penn State.
The CPR, PDA, and PSBA Cooperate to Establish a Research Program Aimed to Benefit Pennsylvania Beekeepers.
December 1, 2011
In the summer 2010, three organizations committed to honey bee and pollinator health, the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association (PSBA), the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research (CPR), created a new research fund to support applied research projects which would directly benefit beekeepers. The PA Pollinator Research Program received $10,000 from each organization. Furthermore, the Montgomery County Beekeepers, recognizing the potential benefit of the program, contributed to the fund and urged other small associations to donate as well.
Maryann Frazier and Elina Lastro Niño Recognized by the Eastern Apiculture Society.
December 1, 2011
This past summer the Eastern Apiculture Society (EAS) announced the recipients of its annual awards and two of Penn State’s own were honored. Maryann Frazier was presented with the Roger Morse Award for Extension, Education, and Regulation and Elina Lastro Niño was the recipient of the EAS Student Award.
Penn State scientists part of new stink bug research project
November 7, 2011
Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are part of a new, multi-state project to study the brown marmorated stink bug.
Graduate Student Recruitment Weekend
October 27, 2011
February 9 - 11, 2012 - By invitation only - Travel expenses for eligible applicants will be paid by the Penn State Entomology Department. Apply by January 6th for priority consideration!
Parasite Turns Wasps Into Outsider Zombie Queens
October 21, 2011
Even in a world where parasites routinely turn insects into zombies, radically altering their bodies and behavior to serve the parasites’ demands, the story of Polistes dominulus and Xenos vesparum stands out for its weirdness.
Publication presents solutions to roaches, bed bugs and other pests
October 18, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Are you being bugged by bugs? Are mice or rats chewing on your last nerve? Maybe you could use some good advice about how to deal with them.
Dan Rather Reports, "Bee Aware"
September 23, 2011
An investigation into pesticides and possible new effects on honeybees.
Gypsy moth caterpillars hormonal slaves to virus gene
September 9, 2011
Gypsy moth caterpillars infected with baculovirus forfeit safety and stay in the treetops during the day because a virus gene manipulates their hormones to eat continuously and forego molting, according to entomologists. The caterpillars die where they climb and infect other gypsy moth caterpillars.
Annual Friends and Founders Event at the Arboretum at Penn State
August 22, 2011
On August 12, 2011, more than eighty people gathered for the annual Friends and Founders Event at the Arboretum at Penn State. The focus of the evening was the importance of pollinators and the contribution the Arboretum's Pollinator Gardens are making in disseminating the research, education and outreach programs of the faculty of Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research. Both people and pollinators showed their appreciation of the many species of flowering plants during the post-discussion tour of the gardens.
International Symposium on Functional Genomic Tools in Honey Bees
July 13, 2011
Penn State's Department of Entomology and Center for Pollinator Research are hosting the "International Symposium on Functional Genomic Tools in Honey Bees". The symposium will feature 22 speakers from 8 countries, who will discuss recent advances in using genomic tools to study epigenetics, social behavior and polyphenisms in honey bees and other social insects.
Gardeners can help keep pollinators healthy
July 8, 2011
Despite widely published reports, many people are unaware that bees -- both managed colonies of honeybees and wild bees alike -- are in trouble due to Colony Collapse Disorder and other environmental factors.
Slowing the spread of drug-resistant diseases is goal of new research
July 5, 2011
In the war between drugs and drug-resistant diseases, is the current strategy for medicating patients giving many drug-resistant diseases a big competitive advantage? That is the question being asked in a research paper that will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Using Traps to Detect Asian Longhorned Beetle
June 6, 2011
This summer, researchers from the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station and Penn State University will join forces to place 500 pheromone traps for Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) in the communities of Worcester, West Boylston, Boylston, Shrewsbury, and Holden, Massachusetts. The traps will be hung in the lower canopy of trees from June until September. In the past two years, this trap has caught beetles and additional infested trees have been found after a re-survey near areas where they were trapped.
Penn State's First Annual Queen Rearing Workshop was a success!
June 1, 2011
On May 28-29th, 2011, twelve beekeepers from around Pennsylvania gathered at Penn State to attend the first annual Queen Rearing Workshop. The course participants learned about honey bee queen biology, honey bee mating behavior, swarming behavior, parasites, and of course, the practicalities of rearing queens in Pennsylvania and breeding for strains of bees with desirable traits. The workshop included several hands-on experiences to learn different methods for queen rearing and stock evaluation, including testing for hygienic behavior, Varroa mite and Nosema microsporidia loads. An extremely valuable aspect of the course were the discussions, where the beekeepers shared their experiences and strategies. The course instructors (Christina Grozinger, Maryann Frazier, Warren Miller, Elina Lastro Nino, Bernardo Nino, Holly Holt, Jessica Richards and Gabe Villar) learned as much as the participants! Special thanks to Harland Patch for the t-shirt design. For more information and photos from the workshop, please see the following blog from Joe DeLuca, a participant in the course:
Penn State leads in Honey Bee Health initiative
May 19, 2011
A nationwide network to monitor and maintain honeybee health is the aim of the Bee Informed Partnership, a five-year, $5 million program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and led by Penn State.
Chemical ecologist Baker receives high honor
May 11, 2011
The International Society of Chemical Ecology has named Distinguished Professor of Entomology Thomas Baker as the winner of its Silver Medal Award for 2012.
Mining the honey bee genome - May 10, 2011
May 11, 2011
Over 100 researchers from 15 countries gathered at the 2011 Honey Bee Genomics & Biology conference at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in May 2011. The conference showcased the great strides the honey bee community has made in understanding the molecular bases of many complex social behaviors and phenotypic traits, and the evolution of these traits, with the use of the sequenced honey bee genome. The conference was organized by Christina Grozinger (Penn State University), Uli Mueller (Saarland University, Germany) and Rob Page (Arizona State University). Further coverage of the conference is provided by Gwyneth Dickey Zakaig, Nature News:
Zombie Ants Have Fungus on the Brain, New Research Reveals
May 9, 2011
9 May 2011 — New research has revealed how infection by a parasitic fungus dramatically changes the behavior of tropical carpenter ants (species Camponotus leonardi), causing them to become zombie-like and to die at a spot that has optimal reproduction conditions for the fungus. The multinational research team studied ants living high up in the rainforest canopy in Thailand. A paper describing the research will be published in the BioMed Central open-access journal BMC Ecology on 9 May 2011.
Penn State researchers develop stink bug monitoring tool
May 6, 2011
University Park, Pa. -- As crop growers and homeowners brace for another year of infestations by the brown marmorated stink bug, Penn State researchers have released a Web-based tool that they hope will help enhance their understanding of this invasive insect pest.
The March/April Issue of Penn State's online IT magazine, Stream, featuring the story "The Queen of Green," is out.
May 2, 2011
The Stream magazine seeks to illuminate the efforts, people, interactions and IT driving discovery at Penn State. Our focus for this month's issue is "Green IT."
Short Course in RNAi Technology
April 18, 2011
We are pleased to announce a new training opportunity for graduate students and postdocs. This is a practical and theoretical course in honey bee RNA interference technology, to be held at Penn State University and the University of Life Sciences – Norway. The course is sponsored by the Research Council of Norway. This support covers registration fees, materials and supplies, local accommodations, lunch/coffee breaks, and provides all attendants with stipends to put toward their travel costs.
Dangers of ticks and Lyme disease most significant in spring
April 15, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As spring turns Pennsylvania's fields and forests lush and green -- and outdoors enthusiasts turn out to go trout fishing, gobbler hunting, hiking, mountain biking, camping, canoeing and more -- they will be greeted by sun and fun and at least one dangerous pest: Blacklegged ticks (commonly called "deer" ticks).
Hibit awarded first place at the 17th Annual Agricultural Research Expo.
March 28, 2011
Josh Hibit, a senior Agricultural Sciences, was awarded the first place (undergraduate division) at the 17th Annual Agricultural Research Expo sponsored by the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society for Agricultural Science on March 16, 2011.
Entomologist researching how to control stink bugs
March 25, 2011
University Park, Pa. -- A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received funding to study how Pennsylvania fruit growers can limit crop damage caused by brown marmorated stink bugs.
Northeastern IPM Center to establish a NE Pollinator IPM Working Group
March 18, 2011
Alex Surcica and Christina Grozinger recently received funding from the Northeastern IPM Center to establish a NE Pollinator IPM Working Group. This group will consist of 10-15 researchers, growers, industry representatives, and extension specialists, who will discuss critical needs for promoting pollinator health and ecosystems services in the Northeast region. Those needs will then be communicated to the NE IPM Center in order to establish future priority areas for funding. Current members of this Working Group are as follows:
Spring Native Plant Sale - May 7th 2011
March 11, 2011
Sponsored by: Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society (PNPS)
Beekeeping: Indigenous Knowledge Lost and Found
February 8, 2011
By Elliud Muli and Maryann Frazier -- Beekeeping has been an important cultural and economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa since time immemorial.
Honey Bees in Africa; Back to the Future
January 19, 2011
ICIK E-News Fall 2010 -- It surprises many people to learn that honey bees are not native to the New World. The earliest records indicate that honey bees, Apis mellifera, were brought to North America from Europe in 1621. However today, honey bee populations, as well as the populations of other pollinators, are now declining. This decline is documented in a 2007 report by the National Academies of Science, The Status of Pollinators in North America. Due to this report and the mapping of the honey bee genome, as well as the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder (CCD) and the media’s response to it, there has been a lot of attention paid to this tiny creature.