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.
The recent swarms on the Penn State campus have come from managed roof colonies. Although swarming bees look quite frightening and dangerous to onlookers, the bees are actually quite docile and are not prone to stinging.
Bees and bee health are still making headlines, and sorely needed research results are finally starting to emerge. In early May, Horticultural Research Institute participated in a research symposium at Penn State University where early results from several research projects relevant to pollinator health were shared.
This talk given at a recent workshop of the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation is notable for what it borrows. The innovation is the use of cell phones in a way that enables African beekeepers to share data. My favorite line comes early in the piece.
Penn State’s Maryann Frazier and her team use cell phones to improve honey production. Project managers weekly call a network of Kenyan beekeepers to discuss best practices for the highest honey production that maximizes income.
Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research is the bee’s knees. Committed to studying the factors impacting pollinator health and developing and implementing creative approaches to pollinator conservation, the center is on the front lines of a fight to help the hard-working honeybee that along with other insects pollinates three-fourths of America’s crops.
Since the time she was 8 years old—after attending the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Great Insect Fair—Sarah McTish knew she wanted to study entomology at Penn State.
This issue features a small urban pollinator garden, new plans for the pollinator garden at the Penn State arboretum, information about a Penn State Center for Pollinator Research collaboration to determine great pollinator plants and more.