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2013

Corn pest decline may save farmers money
December 19, 2013
Populations of European corn borer (ECB), a major corn crop pest, have declined significantly in the eastern United States, according to Penn State researchers. The decline suggests that the use of genetically modified, ECB-resistant corn hybrids -- an expensive, yet effective, solution that has been widely adopted by farmers -- may now be unnecessary in some areas.
How growers can protect honeybees
December 12, 2013
Maryann Frazier from Penn State University talks about how tree fruit growers can help honeybee populations by reducing pesticides and fungicides at the 2013 Great Lakes Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Dec. 10, 2013. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower magazine)
Seven faculty named Fellows of AAAS
November 27, 2013
Seven Penn State faculty members have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
International Short Course in Insect Chemical Ecology
November 26, 2013
Penn State University's Center for Chemical Ecology is pleased to announce a summer course in Insect Chemical Ecology called ICE 14 that will be conducted on the Penn State campus June 1 -15, 2014
Microbiologists are using a fungus to wipe out bedbugs
November 25, 2013
There has been a huge increase in bedbug infestations – in homes, hotels, dorm rooms and even movie theaters. Once a pest of the past, bedbugs now infest every state in the U.S. Many bedbugs are now resistant to pesticides, so getting rid of these pests is neither easy nor cheap.
Highlights of th 2013 International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy
November 21, 2013
By Peter Loring Borst
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to queen bee reproduction signals
November 13, 2013
Queen bees convey honest signals to worker bees about their reproductive status and quality, according to researchers at Penn State, North Carolina State University and Tel Aviv University, who say their findings may help to explain why honey bee populations are declining.
Entomologist uses ScholarSphere repository to preserve rare insect collection
November 7, 2013
Andy Deans is searching high and low for a 130-year-old insect. He knows it’s around here somewhere — but among the nearly 2 million insect specimens in the collection room of Penn State’s Frost Entomological Museum — the museum’s oldest specimen could be anywhere.
Graduate Student Recruitment Weekend
November 6, 2013
February 6th through February 9th 2014 - By invitation only - Travel expenses for eligible applicants will be paid by the Penn State Entomology Department. Apply by January 10th for priority consideration!
New Ornamental Insect Pest Identified in Pennsylvania
September 19, 2013
The lily leaf beetle was recently identified by Penn State ornamental extension entomologist, Greg Hoover, and confirmed by state and federal regulatory agencies as a new ornamental insect pest in Pennsylvania.
New study on pesticide effects on bees
September 17, 2013
Penn State researchers have demonstrated that there are significant differences in the toxicity of pesticides to honey bees and orchard bees, and found that commonly applied mixtures of pesticides are substantially more toxic than individual pesticides.
Entomology Today: Microbes Help Beetles Defeat Plant Defenses
September 12, 2013
Some symbiotic bacteria living inside Colorado potato beetles can trick plants into reacting to a microbial attack instead of a chewing herbivore, according to a team of Penn State researchers who found that the beetles with bacteria were healthier and grew better.
Entomological Society of America Names its 2013 Award Winners
September 12, 2013
The Entomological Society of America is pleased to announce the winners of its 2013 awards. The awards will be presented at Entomology 2013, ESA's 61st Annual Meeting in Austin, TX from November 10-13, 2013.
Entomological Society of America names winners of 2013 student travel grants
September 12, 2013
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 Entomology Student Travel Grants. These travel grants, which will help entomology students attend Entomology 2013 – ESA's Annual Meeting in Austin this November – are funded by USDA-NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program on Plant-Associated Insects and Nematodes. The grants were created to provide financial support to graduate students for new networking, presentation, and research opportunities
Entomological Society of America Announces 2013 Fellows
September 12, 2013
The Governing Board of the Entomological Society of America has elected ten new Fellows of the Society for 2013. The election as a Fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions to entomology in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration. The following Fellows will be recognized during Entomology 2013 -- ESA's 61st Annual Meeting -- which will be held November 10-13, 2013 in Austin, Texas:
Herbivore exploits orally secreted bacteria to suppress plant defenses
September 10, 2013
Induced plant defenses in response to herbivore attack are modulated by cross-talk between jasmonic acid (JA) - and salicylic acid (SA) - signaling pathways.
Bee Experts Speak at Penn State Pollinator Conference
September 6, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The majority of our agricultural crops depend on pollinators, however pollinators are facing a number of stressors in their environment. These stressors and approaches to mitigating their effects were the focus of the 2nd International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy held recently at Penn State.
Science on Set
August 30, 2013
Depictions of science in television and movies can affect individual health decisions, influence public policy, and inspire imagination. Practicing scientists who consult for the entertainment industry aim to help accurately communicate complex scientific topics, without forgetting that the story is king.
On Point: The Global And Growing Use Of Pesticides
August 30, 2013
Guests include: Edwin Rajotte, professor of entomology at Penn State, Erik Stokstad, staff writer for Science and Brenda Eskenazi, professor at the school of public health at the University of California Berkeley.
Temperature alters population dynamics of common plant pests
August 14, 2013
Temperature-driven changes alter outbreak patterns of tea tortrix – an insect pest – and may shed light on how temperature influences whether insects emerge as cohesive cohorts or continuously, according to an international team of researchers. These findings have implications for both pest control and how climate change may alter infestations.
Consuelo De Moraes selected as ESA Fellow
July 23, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Consuelo De Moraes, Professor of Entomology, for being selected as ESA Fellow.
Penn State professor lends zombie expertise to film
June 27, 2013
In a scene of the movie “World War Z,” hundreds — maybe thousands — of virus-infected people swarm at the base of a wall in Jerusalem to find more humans to bite and infect. These zombies then form a human ladder to charge over the wall, which Israel’s government had put up in the hope of sparing the city the wrath of the creatures.
Rescuing Honey Bee Hives
June 13, 2013
“To the bee, a flower is a fountain of life, and to the flower, a bee is a messenger of love,” wrote poet Kahlil Gibran. Whether or not love is involved in the exchange, the evolutionary dance between pollen-transporting honey bees and nectar-producing flowers is one of nature’s most extraordinary symbiotic relationships, a hundred million years in the making.
Final Agenda Announced for Penn State International Conference on Pollinator Health
June 12, 2013
Early registration continues for the International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy as conference organizers have announced the final agenda.
Mosquito behavior may be immune response, not parasite manipulation
May 24, 2013
Malaria-carrying mosquitos appear to be manipulated by the parasites they carry, but this manipulation may simply be part of the mosquitos' immune response, according to Penn State entomologists.
Getting to the bottom of the zombie ant phenomenon
May 22, 2013
While unraveling a dramatic case of mind control, biologist David Hughes is taking calls from Hollywood—and gaining new insights into the role behavior plays in spreading disease.
Penn State's Jim and Maryann Frazier featured on BBC News
May 16, 2013
Skip forward to 17:50 in the broadcast to hear Matt Well's piece with Jim and Maryann
Online beekeeping course receives international recognition
May 14, 2013
A Web-based Penn State Extension course designed to help beginning and experienced beekeepers gain the knowledge they need to be successful has been recognized for online excellence.
Brood II of the periodical cicadas will emerge in a few weeks in eastern Pennsylvania
May 14, 2013
The geographic location of Brood II in Pennsylvania is in wooded/forested areas in the eastern 1/3 of our state in Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, and Wyoming counties. We have 8 different broods of the periodical cicadas in Pennsylvania all of which require 17 years to reach maturity. In addition to eastern Pennsylvania, members of Brood II will also emerge in most of Connecticut, New Jersey, southeastern New York, Maryland, central Virginia, and extreme north central North Carolina. Periodical cicadas are unique to eastern North America and are found nowhere else in the world. The emergence of periodical cicadas often begins in mid- to late May when soil temperatures are approximately 64°F. I've observed over the years in Pennsylvania that the start of the mass emergence of periodical cicadas is usually preceded by a warm rainfall event.
Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health: Key Findings
May 2, 2013
Since formation of the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) Steering Committee early in 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and public and private partners have invested considerable resources to better address pollinator declines and major factors adversely affecting bee health. Several individuals from the Committee, along with Pennsylvania State University, organized and convened a conference on in October 2012 that brought together stakeholders with expertise in honey bee health. This new report is the product of unprecedented collaboration and shows that there is much work yet to do. The key findings are summarized below.
Declining Bee Populations Pose A Threat to Global Agriculture
May 1, 2013
The danger that the decline of bees and other pollinators represents to the world’s food supply was highlighted this week when the European Commission decided to ban a class of pesticides suspected of playing a role in so-called “colony collapse disorder.”
Penn State to host international conference on pollinator health
May 1, 2013
With populations of wild and domesticated pollinators, such as honeybees, in decline, some of the world's foremost scientists in the field will converge on Penn State this summer to discuss the latest research aimed at understanding and overcoming challenges to pollinator health.
Integrated Crop Pollination
April 22, 2013
Honeybees have probably the largest and most loyal following of any insects in the animal kingdom. Honey is considered the most natural and purest sweetener, beeswax the only proper substance for candles in churches, and the bees’ work as pollinators is lauded as so essential, we’d all starve without their services.
Bug Camp opens kids' eyes to fascinating world of insects
April 3, 2013
Children attending one summer camp this year will encounter a lot of bugs. But they won't have to pack insect repellent.
Ag Sciences faculty members to appear on PBS 'Nature'
March 28, 2013
Two faculty members in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will be featured during an episode of the PBS series "Nature" that will air in most markets at 8 p.m. on April 3.
Registration for the 2013 International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy is now open!
February 22, 2013
We have an outstanding group of internationally renowned speakers, with sessions including behavioral ecology, physiology and development, host-parasite interactions, ecology and conservation, ecosystems services, and policy. A theme of the conference will be examining and mitigating the effects of environmental contaminants on pollinators.
Decoys could blunt spread of ash-killing beetles
February 19, 2013
After 25 years, researchers may have found a way to keep the emerald ash borer in check.
Applications now being accepted for the 2013 Dutch Gold Honey Scholarship
February 1, 2013
The Penn State Department of Entomology is seeking undergraduate student applicants for the Dutch Gold Honey Scholarship for honey bee research.