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:
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.
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 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."
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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
Sponsored by: Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society (PNPS)
By Elliud Muli and Maryann Frazier -- Beekeeping has been an important cultural and economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa since time immemorial.
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.
In Australia, when crossing from one state to another, travelers may encounter a quarantine stop and may be required to forfeit recently purchased fruits and vegetables as a hedge against invasive pests. But in the U.S., crossing state lines is freewheeling, according to researchers from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, who evaluated the threat of invasive pests to states from within the country.
There has been considerable research demonstrating the benefits of both increasing genetic diversity of our honey bee stocks and selecting for strains of bees that are resistant to the effects of Varroa and other diseases.
With apologies to William Shakespeare, something is -- or, more accurately, smells -- rotten in the state of Pennsylvania, and in other states across the country.
Fruits and nuts are high-value crops in the Mid-Atlantic states and are being heavily impacted by honeybee shortages for pollination. A new $1.4 million grant from the USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) program to Penn State will look into future impacts on fruit pollination and the development of alternative pollinators to supplement honeybees.
Transgenic corn's resistance to pests has benefited even nontransgenic corn, according to agricultural researchers and entomologists.
PITTSBURGH A "bait ball" of salema fish swirling off the Galapagos Islands, one of the world's largest Adelie penguin colonies basking on an Antarctic beach and ancient petroglyphs in northern Saudi Arabia depicting hunters and their prey are three of the arresting scientific panoramas selected for a juried gallery show in conjunction with the Fine International Conference on Gigapixel Imagery for Science.
Visitors flocked to Penn State's Great Insect Fair on Saturday, Oct. 2. Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences' Department of Entomology, the fair featured games, educational displays, insect-related arts and crafts, a butterfly tent, an insect petting zoo and of course, the Insect Fair's insect deli, where visitors were able to sample "chocolate chirpies" (chocolate-covered crickets.)
On Wednesday, September 22, nearly 14,000 people visited our college’s website to learn about the brown marmorated stink bug.