Online beekeeping course offered
December 13, 2017
Beginner and experienced beekeepers and those thinking about taking up backyard beekeeping can get the information they need to be successful from Beekeeping 101, an online beekeeping course offered by Penn State Extension.
Doug Sponsler Talks about the Risk of Pesticides to Honey Bees and Ecotoxicology
December 7, 2017
Listen in as we go over pesticide’s effects on pollinators, the difficulties in testing, and the advantages certain insects have in fighting pesticides.
Bed Bug Prevention Method Developed In Pennsylvania Seeing Positive Results
December 6, 2017
Move over stink bugs, bed bugs are back in the prime pest spotlight. They actually never went away, but instead have continued to grow as an issue for anyone who lays their head down at night to sleep.
Ways to protect against bugs from coming in on Christmas trees
November 29, 2017
Each year nationwide, families bring trees into their homes hoping to bring some Christmas joy and cheer, but what some people don't know is that they might be bringing in some unwanted house guests.
Penn State Department of Entomology offers insect identification services
November 29, 2017
With more than a million different species of insects in the world, it is no wonder that bugs "bug" us.
Researchers Develop App to Alert Farmers of Crop Diseases
November 27, 2017
A grant to refine a mobile application (app) that will use artificial intelligence to detect crop diseases and the alert farmers on the diagnosis has been secured.
COMB, Conventional & Organic Management of Bees Stakeholder Meeting
November 21, 2017
On November 17, 2017 stakeholders from across Pennsylvania converged to State College to discuss beekeeping protocols for our upcoming research project.
Penn State team receives $7M award to enlist insects as allies for food security
November 20, 2017
A Penn State-led research team is hoping to enlist insects as allies in an effort to make crops more tolerant of environmental stressors, after the crops are already growing in the greenhouse or field.
Researchers aim to develop best practices for organic beekeeping industry
November 20, 2017
A nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will support Penn State researchers in determining best management practices for organic beekeeping by comparing organic and chemical-free to conventional management systems. The funding comes from the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
New species of wasp found in Maine
November 17, 2017
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service announced that a new species of wasp has been found in Maine. Hillary Morin Peterson of Brunswick Maine discovered a new species of Pteromalidae wasp while conducting her thesis work in collaboration with the Maine Forest Service. The new discovery is detailed in a recently published paper.
Puppeteer Parasite That Creates Zombie Ants Hijacks Their Bodies—Not Brains
November 15, 2017
In a macabre discovery, scientists have found that a parasite, which creates armies of zombie ants, does so by hijacking their bodies—not their brains as was previously thought.
ESA Names Recipients of 2017 Professional and Student Awards
November 14, 2017
The Entomological Society of America is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 awards. The awards recognize scientists, educators, and students who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to entomology. Winners were honored at Entomology 2017, November 5-8, in Denver, Colorado.
What makes zombie ants obey
November 10, 2017
Yesterday (November 8, 2017), researchers at Penn State University released new information about one of Earth’s weirdest natural phenomena: zombie ants. These are carpenter ants in tropical locations, infiltrated and controlled by Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato, sometimes called zombie ant fungus. This fungal body-snatcher forces ants to a forest understory and compels them to climb vegetation and bite into the underside of leaves or twigs, where the ants die. The invasion culminates with the sprouting of a spore-laden fruiting body from a dead ant’s head. The fungus thereby benefits because infectious spores are released onto the ground below, where they can infect other foraging ants. The new research shows that the fungal parasite accomplishes all this without infecting the ants’ brains.
Scientists Were All Wrong About That Zombie Ant Fungus on 'Planet Earth'
November 10, 2017
An early episode of the beloved BBC show Planet Earth made it clear that Cordyceps fungus is one of the most gruesome killers in the world. Forget sharks, bears, lions, or whatever that gleaming pair of eyes hiding in the bushes might be. Targeting insects, the terrifying parasitic fungus infects their bodies and controls their movements, eventually killing them and using their discarded corpses to breed its spawn.
Penn State researchers take aim at invasive, 'pernicious' spotted lanternfly
November 9, 2017
As populations of the invasive spotted lanternfly explode — and the state-imposed quarantine area in southeastern Pennsylvania expands — researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are looking for solutions to help stop the insect's spread and save agricultural crops from serious damage.
Penn State Extension: The Buzz
November 6, 2017
November 2017 Newsletter
What's the buzz? Pennsylvania developing plan to help save the bees
October 17, 2017
Beekeeping was simpler 30 years ago, when Ron Bogansky first set up hives on the small hobby farm he shares with his wife.
New app diagnoses crop diseases and notifies farmers
October 11, 2017
Technology will help farmers identify crop diseases and the nearest support system
The Morning Mixtape: “Wanna study bugs with me?” “I do.”
October 11, 2017
Jared Ali and Sara Hermann are entomologists at Penn State, and they’re also married. Their research is focused on growing safer food. We also learn how they met.
Beware the invasion of venomous caterpillars
October 11, 2017
Beware the white hickory tussock moth caterpillar. It’s the time of year the crawling critters, with their distinctive furry white and black markings, are most noticeable, said Dr. Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., director of the Penn State Department of Entomology Insect Identification Lab. Despite the fuzzy appearance, contact with the caterpillar and their hair could leave people with a red, itchy rash similar to the results from a close encounter with poison ivy, Skvarla said.
2018 Graduate Student Recruitment Weekend
October 6, 2017
By invitation only - Travel expenses for eligible applicants will be paid by the Penn State Entomology Department. Apply by December 20th for priority consideration!
Graduate training program in pollinator ecology gets a boost with USDA grant
October 5, 2017
A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enhance an innovative Penn State graduate training program in entomology and ecology aimed at helping to solve the multifaceted problem of pollinator decline.
New York Post (via A.P.): The bacteria in a mosquito’s gut may rid us of malaria
October 4, 2017
This Associated Press story, which also appeared in the New York Times and other outlets, quotes Jason Rasgon, professor of entomology.
Phone-Powered AI Spots Sick Plants With Remarkable Accuracy
October 4, 2017
Amanda Ramcharan, Ph.D. candidate in agricultural and biological engineering, and David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology, talk about a mobile app they helped to develop that can help farmers diagnose crop diseases.
Agriculture Department, Penn State Researchers Seek Public Input on State Pollinator Protection Plan
September 27, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – Farmers, gardeners and other Pennsylvanians concerned about the health of pollinators given their critically important role growing and producing food now have the chance to comment on a draft of the state’s proposed Pollinator Protection Plan. The plan, developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University is designed to protect bees and other insects that pollinate nearly 75 percent of the commonwealth’s food crops.
Platform for Big Data in Agriculture: Presenting our winners of the Inspire Challenge
September 27, 2017
We are proud to present the five winners of our US$100K Inspire Challenge grant.
Cricket cookies, carnivorous plants of Pennsylvania and more at Penn State's Great Insect Fair
September 25, 2017
Thousands of families turned out for the annual Great Insect Fair in Penn State’s Snider Ag Arena on Saturday, September 23. They encountered strange insects they thought only existed in movies, tasted fired waxworms and baked crickets, and learned about the often unseen of insects.
Bug enthusiasts swarm to the Great Insect Fair
September 25, 2017
Campus may seem quiet on an away game weekend, but on Saturday, just north of Beaver Stadium, the Snider Agricultural Arena was buzzing with excitement. Every year, the Department of Entomology hosts The Great Insect Fair, a celebration of all things creepy and crawly that aims to both amuse and educate. Stations lined the arena with activities for bug enthusiasts young and old, including honey tasting, insect-related crafts, a butterfly tent, and educators excited to share their knowledge.
Grad Student Seeks Solution for Pollinator Decline
September 15, 2017
With the decline of insect pollinators alarming scientists, Emily Erickson, a Penn State doctoral student in entomology, is focused on a conservation solution.
Maintaining the Right-of-Way in the Right Way
September 11, 2017
Faculty, staff, and students partner with energy and vegetation-management representatives to measure the impact of right-of-ways on local wildlife.
Penn State's Great Insect Fair offers a view of the 'unseen'
August 31, 2017
Although insects are all around us, we tend to pay attention primarily to the ones that sting, bite, eat our garden plants or invade our homes. But there is much more about the world of insects and other arthropods that goes unnoticed.
Plant 'smells' insect foe, initiates defense
August 28, 2017
It cannot run away from the fly that does it so much damage, but tall goldenrod can protect itself by first "smelling" its attacker and then initiating its defenses, according to an international team of researchers.
Core Concept: Probing the phytobiome to advance agriculture
August 23, 2017
The Colorado potato beetle had Gary Felton stumped. Felton, an entomologist at Pennsylvania State University, has built his career on revealing how plants defend themselves against voracious insects. Plants often detect chemicals in an insect’s oral secretions and respond by producing proteins that wreak havoc on insect digestion and nutrient absorption.
Researchers win funding for new tomatoes, wood packaging pest treatment
August 23, 2017
RAIN grants from the College of Agricultural Sciences' Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program aimed at moving solutions from lab to marketplace
Grant enables study of mosquito virus as a genetic lab tool, malaria biocontrol
August 18, 2017
A virus that infects a species of malaria-transmitting mosquito could help scientists gain a better understanding of mosquito biology and eventually could lead to methods for stopping or slowing the spread of the disease, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
The Morning Mixtape: Insects! Bugs!
August 9, 2017
John Tooker and Elizabeth Rowen from the Penn State Department of Entomology talk about insects: what they are, why we need them, and why reaching for your shoe when you see a bug might not be the right move. This is the first installment of a monthly entomology series that will air on the second Wednesday of each month.
Video: Penn State researchers find new solution to combat age-old bedbug problem
August 4, 2017
As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, Penn State researchers have found a potential solution to those unwanted guests that can turn a relaxing vacation into a skin-crawling nightmare.
Student Research Spotlight - Elizabeth Davidson-Lowe
August 4, 2017
This is the 13th, and final, of the short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Scientist Discusses Global Pollinator Crisis
July 21, 2017
Wednesday evening the Wild Center with AdkAction hosted a presentation by Dr. Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University. The research center is home to the largest group of pollinator researchers in the world. Following a reception at 6 p.m., Groizinger addressed an attentive audience from 7-8 p.m., a lecture that will be repeated Thursday evening at the View in Old Forge. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Student Research Spotlight - Julie Baniszewski
July 21, 2017
This is the 12th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Researchers to develop new gene-editing method for the study of arthropods
July 11, 2017
A grant from the National Science Foundation will enable a Penn State-led team of entomologists to develop and disseminate a technology they say could bring gene-editing capabilities within reach of everyday scientists, regardless of the arthropod species they study.
Widely Used Pesticide Is a Buzzkill for Honeybees
July 10, 2017
Findings add fuel to the debate over whether a commonly used chemical damages insect populations
Student Research Spotlight - Hannah Stewart
July 7, 2017
This is the 11th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Student Research Spotlight - Emily Erickson
June 21, 2017
This is the 10th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Scientists to study how soil health is influenced by pest-management tactics
June 19, 2017
An entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study and compare how various pest-management regimes affect the health of soils.
WRAIR and ASTMH: 2nd Annual Alan Magill Malaria Forum
June 19, 2017
On June 9, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research held its Second Annual Malaria Forum in tribute to the late Alan Magill (Col., Ret.). In partnership with ASTMH, this annual event focused on malaria elimination and highlighted the themes of Discovery and Mentorship, two of Alan's passions.
Student Research Spotlight - Alexandra Duffy
June 8, 2017
This is the 9th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Slugging it out with a new contender in the GMO debate
June 7, 2017
It was the closest thing you get to a blind date between a scientist and a journalist.
Higher tick populations or not, take precautions against Lyme disease
June 7, 2017
Recent media reports have suggested that tick populations in Pennsylvania may be particularly high this year, leading to an increased risk of Lyme disease in the state.
Pa lawmakers hear the plight of beekeepers
June 1, 2017
For years, beekeepers have been trying to raise the alarm on the declining population of bees, which play a big role in pollinating our crops. On Monday, Pennsylvania lawmakers on the Joint Legislation Conservation Committee heard testimony on the challenges facing beekeepers in the commonwealth.
How to create a butterfly garden
June 1, 2017
Butterfly gardens can add a splash of color to your yard, while the butterflies themselves are good for the local ecosystem. They are crop and flower pollinators, who play an important role in the food chain.
Student Research Spotlight - Alexandra Duffy
May 26, 2017
This is the 8th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
How you can help save the bees and help pollinator research in Pennsylvania
May 17, 2017
Pennsylvania has one of the highest bee colony losses in the country, with about 45 to 50 percent of colonies dying. Scientists are researching colony collapse disorder and trying to stop it. You can help. There are two citizen science projects in the research lab of Margarita Lopez-Uribe, Penn State extension apiculturist.
Student Research Spotlight - Tyler Jones
May 12, 2017
This is the 7th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Buzzworthy: How you can help America's pollinators
May 9, 2017
The mysterious disappearance of honeybees known as colony collapse disorder no longer is the threat that it once was. But bees of all stripes still need a little help.
Dr. Andrew Read gives Graduate School Commencement Speech
May 8, 2017
Andrew F. Read, Ph.D., Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Entomology and Eberly Professor of Biotechnology, was the keynote speaker for this year's Graduate School commencement ceremony held on May 7, 2017.
Student Research Spotlight - Hillary Morin
April 28, 2017
his is the 6th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Penn State Extension: The Buzz
April 27, 2017
April 2017 Newsletter
Ticks coming early, fast and furious in Pa.
April 26, 2017
Veterinarian Daniel Oliver diagnosed his first case of Lyme disease in a dog this season last Saturday. “The dog had a mild to moderate fever, was achy and sore and was not eating. He was not acting himself,” said Oliver, who is part of a six-doctor team at Greencastle Veterinary Hospital. “Our in-house test for exposure to Lyme disease was positive.
Former Student in the news
April 25, 2017
It is our great pleasure to tell you that the Fisher Prize Committee of the SSE has selected Megan Greischar as this year's Fisher Prize winner for her paper, "Predicting optimal transmission investment in malaria parasites.”
Penn State researchers receive NIH funding to explore malaria transmission in Southeast Asia
April 25, 2017
Researchers at Penn State have received more than $1 million in first-year funding from the National Institutes of Health to investigate malaria transmission in Southeast Asia with a goal of working toward the disease's elimination in the region. They will receive up to approximately $9 million over seven years for this project.
Waking From Hibernation, the Hard Work of Spring Begins
April 19, 2017
For animals that hibernate, making it to spring is no small feat. Torpor — the state of reduced bodily activity that occurs during hibernation — is not restful. By the time they emerge, hibernating animals are often sleep-deprived: Most expend huge bursts of energy to arouse themselves occasionally in the winter so their body temperatures don’t dip too low. This back-and-forth is exhausting, and hibernators do it with little to no food and water. By winter’s end, some have shed more than half their body weight.
The Morning Mixtape: Pollinators & Pesticides
April 18, 2017
Entomologists Dr. Christina Grozinger and Dr. John Tooker are tonight’s speakers at Science On Tap, sponsored by the PSU Science Policy Society. It takes place at 7 pm at Liberty Craft House. Grozinger and Tooker joined Karly Regan on the Mixtape to talk about saving pollinators and reducing pesticide use.
Researchers Take Aim at Insecticide-Resistant Bedbugs
April 12, 2017
There's a potential new weapon in the fight against the scourge of travelers everywhere -- bedbugs. Researchers from North Carolina State University and Penn State say they have created a fungal "biopesticide" to battle even the strongest bedbugs.
Student Research Spotlight - Brianna Flonc
April 12, 2017
This is the 5th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Student Research Spotlight - Brandon Gominho
March 31, 2017
This is the 4th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Scientists Have Some Wild Ideas for Solving Our Big Bee Problem
March 27, 2017
Last year the U.S. lost a mind-boggling 44 percent of its honeybee colonies. Certain bee species — including the rusty-patched bumblebee and Hawaiian yellow-faced bees — are on the brink of extinction. Even "Buzz the Bee" disappeared from Honey Nut Cheerios boxes earlier this month because General Mills decided removing the familiar mascot could help spotlight the problem.
Bedbugs beware: New research may beat back bedbug epidemic
March 24, 2017
A new biopesticide developed by Penn State scientists has the potential to turn the bedbug control market on its ear, thanks to a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem taking root at Penn State that’s helping to push crucial discoveries out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.
News from the Eastern Branch ESA Meeting
March 23, 2017
Our students had great success at the Eastern Branch Entomological Society of America meeting in Rhode Island.
Student Research Spotlight - Emily Sandall
March 17, 2017
This is the 3rd of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Scientists reveal core genes involved in immunity of honey bees
March 3, 2017
A core set of genes involved in the responses of honey bees to multiple diseases caused by viruses and parasites has been identified by an international team of researchers. The findings provide a better-defined starting point for future studies of honey-bee health, and may help scientists and beekeepers breed honey bees that are more resilient to stress.
Student Research Spotlight - Ryan Reynolds
March 3, 2017
This is the 2nd of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Grower Spotlight: Brian Campbell Farms
March 2, 2017
Over the past four years, Project ICP has partnered with specialty crop growers across the country to carry out on-farm research on the pollination and yield of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops. Many of these growers, including Brian Campbell of Brian Campbell Farms in central Pennsylvania, are going beyond the scope of Project ICP’s research to test and implement innovative practices to improve crop pollination – and their bottom line.
Bug Camp for Kids 2017 - Registration is now open!
February 22, 2017
Bug Camp for Kids is an educational day camp for eight- to eleven-year-olds. Taught by faculty, staff, and graduate students from the Department of Entomology, the camp offers opportunities for students to observe and collect insects and participate in laboratory exercises to learn a broad range of biological, ecological, and environmental topics.
Three-way dance between herbivores, plants and microbes unveiled
February 21, 2017
What looks like a caterpillar chewing on a leaf or a beetle consuming fruit is likely a three-way battle that benefits most, if not all of the players involved, according to a Penn State entomologist.
A Bee Mogul Confronts the Crisis in His Field
February 17, 2017
KERN COUNTY, Calif. — A soft light was just beginning to outline the Tejon Hills as Bret Adee counted rows of wizened almond trees under his breath.
Student Research Spotlight - Angela Coco
February 17, 2017
This is the 1st of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Authentic Plant Pollinator Landscape Research for Educators (APPL-RED) Workshop
February 16, 2017
A unique teacher professional development experience for middle and high school teachers. July 24-28, 2017
Trump’s Hiring Freeze Could Imperil Breakthrough Discovery On Bees
February 7, 2017
The president’s early actions have created uncertainty for the country’s scientists, and could be standing in the way of important research.
Gary Felton named new Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Chemical Ecology
January 31, 2017
In a Letter from the Editor in the latest issue of the Journal of Chemical Ecology, John Romeo, who has served as Editor-in-Chief for the journal over the past couple of decades, announced that he is stepping down and that Gary Felton of Penn State University will take over in this position beginning with the February issue of the Journal. Romeo stated, “Gary brings breadth, leadership, and experience to the Journal, as well as a commitment to keeping our standards high and continuing to raise our profile in the competitive publishing arena. I am pleased and confident that the Journal is in good hands.”
Pesticide Additive Could Be One Culprit in Bee Deaths
January 25, 2017
A common pesticide additive, known as an "inert" ingredient, could be one of the causes of the die-offs beekeepers have observed in their hives. Christopher Intagliata reports.
2016 Newsletter: Center for Pollinator Research
January 18, 2017
We have had a very productive and exciting year at the CPR! Please enjoy a copy of our 2016 newsletter, with highlights of the great research, education and extension projects we have led, and the students and postdocs who made this work possible! Special thanks to Katy Evans and Philip Moore for compiling this.
Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses
January 17, 2017
A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops — such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits — to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.