Latest News

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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."

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.

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, often carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
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).

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.

The brown marmorted stinkbug is damaging fruit crops in Pennsylvania.
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.

Photo by: Nick Sloff
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:

March 11, 2011

Sponsored by: Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society (PNPS)

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.