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June 17, 2016

Although more than 1,000 new beekeepers have registered in Pennsylvania since 2014, it is unclear how big a contribution they are making.

June 3, 2016

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.

Philip Moore, Research Technologist in the Grozinger Lab, removes a large swarm from a linden tree on the Penn State campus. The cluster of thousands of bees was easy to remove since the branch they were on was already broken by the weight.
May 26, 2016

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.

May 24, 2016

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.

May 6, 2016

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.

May 6, 2016

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.

April 26, 2016

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.

April 26, 2016

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.

April 6, 2016

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.

March 11, 2016

There has been considerable discussion about the impact of pesticides – particularly neonicotinoids – on biodiversity in general and pollinator health specifically. While we have made significant progress in understanding these impacts, often missing from these discussions is whether the current neonicotinoid usage patterns actually benefit growers. As we all know (but often do not discuss), it is not simply a question of either using pesticides with no restrictions or banning them completely – the best approach is to use them in a way that maximizes the benefit while minimizing the cost to growers, consumers, and the environment.

February 5, 2016

Project Goal: Evaluate native plant species and their cultivars for their attractiveness to pollinators and their suitability for homeowner and agricultural use.

February 3, 2016

The world is awash in glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, produced by Monsanto. It has now become the most heavily-used agricultural chemical in the history of the world, and many argue that’s a problem, since the substance comes with concerning albeit incompletely-determined health effects.

January 13, 2016

Using modern genetic approaches, a team of researchers has provided strong support for the long-standing, but hotly debated, evolutionary theory of kin selection, which suggests that altruistic behavior occurs as a way to pass genes to the next generation.

December 16, 2015

The Hippocratic Oath says first, do no harm. This pledge is exemplified by not only the physicians at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center but also facilities staff who maintain the campus grounds.

December 4, 2015

Dicamba herbicide drift onto plants growing adjacent to farm fields causes significant delays in flowering, as well as reduced flowering, of those plants, and results in decreased visitation by honey bees, according to researchers at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.

November 30, 2015

America's beekeepers are having a rough time. They lost an estimated 42 percent of their hives last year.

November 20, 2015

What does being a healthy bee mean? The seven students selected for the 2015 Apes Valentes Awards had some very different ideas. To some of them, Apes Valentes (Latin for “healthy bee”) included bumble bees, others honey bees, and to another Japanese orchard bees. Some students sought to identify the flowering plant species that are most nutritious for bees, while others worked on developing new management approaches to help breed and maintain healthy bee populations.

November 2, 2015

Even as larvae, honey bees are tuned in to the social culture of the hive, becoming more or less aggressive depending on who raises them, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.

October 22, 2015

A new Penn State project aimed at improving the food system in East Africa by enhancing pollination services and promoting bee-derived products has received a Food Systems Innovation Grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, based at Michigan State University.