Latest News

May 2, 2014

This is the First of twelve short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.

Image: Joseph Berger,
April 30, 2014

What can ants teach us about the transmission and spread of human disease? Perhaps a lot, according to a team of researchers who recently received a grant of more than $1.8 million from the National Science Foundation to explore this question.

African honey bee, Apis mellifera scutellata, on ornamental succulent, Kitui, Kenya. Image: Maryann Frazier/Penn State
April 24, 2014

Several parasites and pathogens that devastate honeybees in Europe, Asia and the United States are spreading across East Africa, but do not appear to be impacting native honeybee populations at this time, according to an international team of researchers.

Youngsters collect insects on a field trip during Bug Camp for Kids in 2013
April 23, 2014

Children attending one summer camp this year will encounter a lot of bugs. But they won't have to pack insect repellent.

April 18, 2014

Collapse of honeybee colonies may be caused by a number of factors. Christina Grozinger and her colleagues at Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research are looking for answers and we'll talk about some upcoming research on Food and Farm on America's Web Radio, brought to you by Feedstuffs FoodLink and Feedstuffs FoodLink - Connecting Farm to Fork

hoto by Stephen Ausmus, courtesy of USDA-ARS
April 18, 2014

Regarding the challenges of the continuing decline of pollinators, Dr. Christina Grozinger said, "There is no one solution." Grozinger is a professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University.

April 17, 2014

Bees in Kenya stay healthy despite parasites and viruses that collapse U.S. and European hives.

Victoria Bolden
April 7, 2014

Victoria Bolden is the recipient of the 2014 Dutch Gold Scholarship in Honey Bee Health. Victoria is a senior undergraduate student, with a major in Horticulture and a minor in Entomology. Victoria has extensive experience in garden design and maintenance, and is interested in designing pollinator friendly gardens to conserve and expand pollinator communities. The Dutch Gold Scholarship will support her research efforts identifying attractive native plant species for honey bees.

March 24, 2014

It is with sadness that I inform you that Stan Gesell passed away on March 21st. Stan was one of the founding members of our Department and made very important contributions to pest management of crop pests. Nearly a dozen of our fact sheets were authored by Stan and remain posted and relevant for today.

March 21, 2014

A local startup’s Big Idea has won $25,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Nina Jenkins of Penn State’s Department of Entomology and her business partner, Giovani Bellicanta, have developed a patent-pending, nontoxic, bio-pesticide that successfully removes and further prevents bed bug infestations in homes and hotel rooms.

March 4, 2014

Scientists in the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State have received three grants from the United States Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation to study various threats to honey bees, including disease, pesticides, and the extinction and invasion of other species into their habitats.

March 4, 2014

Last summer, Finian Stroup was inspired to save the bees. She read the Time Magazine cover article describing the massive losses of honey bee colonies around the world, and knew that she could make a difference. And in just a few months, the eight year old raised over $1000 to help support research on honey bee health, while also raising awareness of the plight of bees in her community.

February 26, 2014

Brown marmorated stink bugs cause millions of dollars in crop losses across the United States because of the damage their saliva does to plant tissues. Researchers at Penn State have developed methods to extract the insect saliva and identify the major protein components, which could lead to new pest control approaches.

February 14, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The environment significantly influences whether or not a certain bacterium will block mosquitoes from transmitting malaria, according to researchers at Penn State.

The Asian longhorned beetle is ranked among the top quarantine pests in the world. Image: Maya Nehme/Penn State
February 14, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Female Asian longhorned beetles lure males to their locations by laying down sex-specific pheromone trails on tree surfaces, according to an international team of researchers. The finding could lead to the development of a tool to manage this invasive pest that affects about 25 tree species in the United States.

February 14, 2014

Justin Runyon, a 2008 graduate of the Ph.D. program in entomology at Penn State, has received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Polistes fuscatus colony-founding queens fighting in a laboratory setting. Image: Jennifer Jandt/Iowa State University
February 11, 2014

Aggression-causing genes appeared early in animal evolution and have maintained their roles for millions of years and across many species, even though animal aggression today varies widely from territorial fighting to setting up social hierarchies, according to researchers from Iowa State University, Penn State and Grand Valley State University.

February 3, 2014

Ke Chung Kim, Professor Emeritus, Founding Curator of the Frost Entomological Museum and Former Founding Director of the Center for BioDiversity Research, has been chosen as the recipient of the Forensic Biology Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr Kim will be presented with the award at the Pathology/Biology Sections's 2014 Business Meeting at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle later this month.

Image: Maryann Frazier/Penn State
January 28, 2014

Four pesticides commonly used on crops to kill insects and fungi also kill honeybee larvae within their hives, according to Penn State and University of Florida researchers. The team also found that N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) -- an inert, or inactive, chemical commonly used as a pesticide additive -- is highly toxic to honeybee larvae.

January 24, 2014

Mosquitoes carrying a malaria-causing parasite develop an increased desire for sugar. Baldwyn Torto of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi and his colleagues monitored the attraction of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes (pictured) to plant odours and the investigative behaviour of the insects around nectar sources. In laboratory experiments, the authors showed that insects infected with Plasmodium falciparum parasites were more attracted to plant odours and demonstrated increased pre-feeding probing activity compared with uninfected individuals. Plant odours could be used to trap parasite-infected mosquitoes, the authors suggest.