It may not come as a surprise that the “Green Mountain State” of Vermont is considered one of America’s greenest regions, in terms of its carbon footprint, energy efficiency, and air quality. If our Research On The Road trip to Vermont earlier this month is any barometer, let’s add bees to the list of things that matter deeply to Vermonters.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $6.9 million to Michigan State University to develop sustainable pollination strategies for specialty crops in the United States.
Dr. Robert “Butterfly Bob” Snetsinger says there’s a long tradition of children playing in butterfly fields and catching them with nets, but the popular past-time has been slowly decreasing with the habitats of many wild butterflies.
Frazier, a Penn State senior extension associate with the university’s Center for Pollinator Research, is part of a team of scientists studying the effects of pesticides on honeybee colonies.
An international team of researchers has discovered honey bee colonies in Newfoundland, Canada, that are free of the invasive parasites that affect honey bees elsewhere in the world. The populations offer a unique opportunity to investigate honey bee health, both with and without interfering interactions from parasites.
After a long winter, summer finally has arrived. And with the new season comes the activity of pollinators -- birds, bees, butterflies and more.
Parasites, lack of food, cold snaps, pesticides, and poor management all can stress honeybee colonies, making it difficult to pin their collapse on a single source. However, in controlled field tests, honeybee colonies show evidence of Allee effects (a positive correlation between population size and individual fitness) and tipping points that are early warning indicators of collapse, MIT physics graduate student Lei Dai says.
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.