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.
The danger that the decline of bees and other pollinators represents to the world’s food supply was highlighted this week when the European Commission decided to ban a class of pesticides suspected of playing a role in so-called “colony collapse disorder.”
With populations of wild and domesticated pollinators, such as honeybees, in decline, some of the world's foremost scientists in the field will converge on Penn State this summer to discuss the latest research aimed at understanding and overcoming challenges to pollinator health.
Honeybees have probably the largest and most loyal following of any insects in the animal kingdom. Honey is considered the most natural and purest sweetener, beeswax the only proper substance for candles in churches, and the bees’ work as pollinators is lauded as so essential, we’d all starve without their services.
We have an outstanding group of internationally renowned speakers, with sessions including behavioral ecology, physiology and development, host-parasite interactions, ecology and conservation, ecosystems services, and policy. A theme of the conference will be examining and mitigating the effects of environmental contaminants on pollinators.
The Penn State Department of Entomology is seeking undergraduate student applicants for the Dutch Gold Honey Scholarship for honey bee research.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State will be hosting the second International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy from August 14-17, 2013. The conference will be held at Penn State’s campus in University Park, PA.
Shelby Fleischer and David Biddinger are members of a US-wide consortium of researchers and Extension specialists who received funding from the USDA to study pollination of multiple specialty crops in different regions throughout the country.