Pollinators are declining rapidly throughout the world, and researchers are scrambling to figure out why. To assist Pennsylvania's beekeepers, growers and others as they face this crisis, the Department of Entomology at Penn State has created a new faculty position that will be responsible for conducting research, education and outreach on pollinator health, conservation and management.
Ancestors of American honey bees shed light on pollinator health - The honey bearers arrived in the early 17th century, carried into the United States by early European settlers. Apis mellifera--the name truly translates as bee honey-bearer, though they are better known as honey bees.
Bees do more than just sting, make honey and buzz. In fact, these insects have a proven positive effect on our ecosystems. A national strategy was created to save honeybees and other pollinators because of this impact and Penn State Brandywine is now an important part of the movement.
Researchers believe that long term honey bee declines are a result of a complex set of factors. The primary suspects are: poor nutrition, pesticides, pathogens/ parasites, and poor quality genetic stock. Here we will consider recent research results describing how pesticides might affect pollinators.
Scientists look at how to use insect’s antiviral response to control viruses and parasites in crops and bee colonies
Domestic honey bees hives are down by 59% compared to 60 years ago with rapid declines over the last forty years. This long term decline was punctuated by recent average losses of 30% per winter since 2006. The populations of some native bee species may also be declining.
Pollinators need a diverse, abundant food source and a place to build their nests and rear their young. As land managers, if we keep these two elements in mind we can encourage native bee populations.
Approximately three quarters of our major food crops are pollinated. At the same time domestic honey bees hives are down by 59% compared to 60 years ago. Here we will look at how wild bees provide insurance against ongoing honey bee losses. Keep a look out for upcoming articles on factors affecting pollinators and ways farmers can promote pollinator health.
Use of a class of insecticides, called neonicotinoids, increased dramatically in the mid-2000s and was driven almost entirely by the use of corn and soybean seeds treated with the pesticides, according to researchers at Penn State.
Honey bees use different sets of genes, regulated by two distinct mechanisms, to fight off viruses, bacteria and gut parasites, according to researchers at Penn State and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The findings may help scientists develop honey bee treatments that are tailored to specific types of infections.
Crafting hives, making honey, what could bee better? New this semester, the Penn State Beekeepers Club is hoping to garner some buzz around Penn State.
“Herbicide drift impact on floral resources and pollination services: A landscape approach.” by David Mortensen & Melanie Kammerer, Plant Sciences Department, Penn State University
Center for the Performing Arts staff member Medora Ebersole is using her experience as an education and community programs manager to develop an interdisciplinary project aimed at increasing knowledge of pollinator behavior—from bees and bats to birds and butterflies—in order to benefit food production efforts and battle the use of pesticides world-wide.
Four third graders researched the important role of honey bees in agriculture and mounted a local public awareness and fundraising campaign to support bee health.
Insecticides aimed at controlling early-season crop pests, such as soil-dwelling grubs and maggots, can increase slug populations, thus reducing crop yields, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of South Florida.
Feeding honey bees a natural diet of pollen makes them significantly more resistant to pesticides than feeding them an artificial diet, according to a team of researchers, who also found that pesticide exposure causes changes in expression of genes that are sensitive to diet and nutrition.
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.