Do you know where your food comes from? If you enjoy crisp apples, juicy tomatoes, and plump berries, thank a farmer, thank a scientist, and thank a bee. We need strong, healthy and diverse bee populations to provide pollination for us to eat our most healthful foods. While we can all thank a bee, the Penn State undergraduate students who received the 2016 Apes Valentes Undergraduate Research awards directly contributed to our understanding of how to keep bees healthy.
What made these women strap on bee bonnets and venture into the world of another species? An undergraduate research project examines the sting of undervalued gender-related labor.
The IPE program will train graduate Fellows to holistically tackle issues in pollinator health and ecology. Fellows will develop integrative research, education and outreach programs that span multiple disciplines - from genomics to land management – and interface with diverse stakeholder groups. Fellows will develop skills to respond to current and emerging challenges in pollinator health, sustainable, agriculture and conservation.
Sarah McTish, a senior in Agriculture Sciences, minor in Entomology at Penn State, and current Pennsylvania Honey Queen was awarded the 2016 Dutch Gold Honey Scholarship. Thanks to the generous donation of William and Kitty Gamber from Dutch Gold Honey in Lancaster PA, undergraduate students each year are afforded the opportunity to work in a premier honey bee research lab and receive a scholarship.
In 2005, New York City officials discovered Asian long-horned beetles in Central Park elms. To combat these pernicious pests, which can destroy entire forests, park personnel sprayed insecticides known as neonicotinoids on tens of thousands of trees infested by that beetle and another invasive pest, known as the emerald ash borer.
The "Great Insect Fair" at Penn State is a great way to explore the natural world and learn about the role bugs play in the ecosystem and the food chain.
September 2016 Newsletter
What do traditional gender roles of women and domestic work have in common with the non-visible labor of honeybees? Through her $4500 Apes Valentes Undergraduate Research Award, Christina Dietz, who is double-majoring in visual arts and psychology, spent her summer drawing connections between the two. What she found is that, in both subjects, the value of labor is lessened based on the lack of visibility it receives.
During this time of year, thousands of students and alumni gather around Beaver Stadium to tailgate the afternoon away before a home football game. Just a few feet away from the tailgating grounds, some smaller members of the Penn State community are working hard not to grill burgers, but to produce honey.
On Tuesday August 2, 2016, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this year's Specialty Crop Research and Extension Investments (SCRI) funded projects. These grants are funded through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). IR-4's Executive Director, Jerry Baron, is proud to announce that two of these projects were awarded to IR-4's Ornamental Horticulture Program based at Rutgers University.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Vikas Khanna, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, with a $259,582 grant to investigate the impact of declining insect-mediated pollination on the United States economy.
“Oohs” and “ahhs” filled the air as Penn State Master Gardener Doug Ford released about 50 monarch butterflies into Snetsinger Butterfly Garden.
This is the 12th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
In this photo gallery, Penn State Extension Master Gardener Martha Moss has shared tips and pointers for constructing your very own pollinator-friendly garden, a project that can help pollinators in your neighborhood to thrive. To learn more about creating a pollinator-friendly garden, keeping your own bees and more, visit the Penn State Center for Pollinator Research
An apple orchard in full bloom: for many, a simple harbinger of spring. But for David Biddinger and his colleagues and graduate students at Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center, the delicate blooms carry the promise of a future in which bees and pesticides can do their work in harmony at fruit farms across the nation. Their work is part of ongoing efforts across the College of Agricultural Sciences and throughout the University to develop a holistic approach to pollinator health, an area in which Penn State has built a strong reputation.
Elina Lastro Niño's curiosity about honey bees dates back to her childhood in Bosnia, where her father kept bees for a time. After perhaps one bee sting too many, her father gave up his bees, and Niño's interest in honey bees waned — but not her fascination with insect biology.
Air pollutants interact with and break down plant-emitted scent molecules, which insect pollinators use to locate needed food, according to a team of researchers. The pollution-modified plant odors can confuse bees and, as a result, bees' foraging time increases and pollination efficiency decreases. This happens because the chemical interactions decrease both the scent molecules' life spans and the distances they travel.
Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.
Although more than 1,000 new beekeepers have registered in Pennsylvania since 2014, it is unclear how big a contribution they are making.
Studies show that the honeybee population has diminished rapidly over the past decade. This decline is due to colony collapse disorder, a syndrome defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “a dead colony with no adult bees and with no dead bee bodies, but with a live queen, and usually honey and immature bees, still present.” The cause is unknown, although research has pointed to a variety of factors, including poor nutrition for the bees, the overuse of pesticides and exposure to parasites.