Biologist seeks to unravel the genetics behind adaptive radiation and mimicry.
Recently, there has been a lot of press related to pollinator health, and some troubling information indicates that certain fungicides, when used during bloom, can negatively affect the health of honey bees. This is a complicated problem with the solutions relying on understanding the detailed relationships among chemicals, pollinators and pest management needs. It is not prudent to treat this topic with a broad brush with statements such as "All neonicotinoid insecticides are bad for all pollinator species," or "No fungicides should be sprayed during bloom." Research is on-going, and we do not know all of the details yet.
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.
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
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.
Bees in Kenya stay healthy despite parasites and viruses that collapse U.S. and European hives.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maryann Frazier from Penn State University talks about how tree fruit growers can help honeybee populations by reducing pesticides and fungicides at the 2013 Great Lakes Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Dec. 10, 2013. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower magazine)
By Peter Loring Borst
Queen bees convey honest signals to worker bees about their reproductive status and quality, according to researchers at Penn State, North Carolina State University and Tel Aviv University, who say their findings may help to explain why honey bee populations are declining.
Penn State researchers have demonstrated that there are significant differences in the toxicity of pesticides to honey bees and orchard bees, and found that commonly applied mixtures of pesticides are substantially more toxic than individual pesticides.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The majority of our agricultural crops depend on pollinators, however pollinators are facing a number of stressors in their environment. These stressors and approaches to mitigating their effects were the focus of the 2nd International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy held recently at Penn State.
“To the bee, a flower is a fountain of life, and to the flower, a bee is a messenger of love,” wrote poet Kahlil Gibran. Whether or not love is involved in the exchange, the evolutionary dance between pollen-transporting honey bees and nectar-producing flowers is one of nature’s most extraordinary symbiotic relationships, a hundred million years in the making.
Early registration continues for the International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy as conference organizers have announced the final agenda.
Skip forward to 17:50 in the broadcast to hear Matt Well's piece with Jim and Maryann
A Web-based Penn State Extension course designed to help beginning and experienced beekeepers gain the knowledge they need to be successful has been recognized for online excellence.
Since formation of the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) Steering Committee early in 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and public and private partners have invested considerable resources to better address pollinator declines and major factors adversely affecting bee health. Several individuals from the Committee, along with Pennsylvania State University, organized and convened a conference on in October 2012 that brought together stakeholders with expertise in honey bee health. This new report is the product of unprecedented collaboration and shows that there is much work yet to do. The key findings are summarized below.