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2020

Bug of the Month - April 2020
April 1, 2020
Bug of the Month is a student–run monthly post which highlights the diversity of insects found in Pennsylvania.
Beescape Monthly Update for March
March 30, 2020
Greetings from the Beescape Team!
Pollen nutrition may guide broad patterns of bee species host-plant preferences
March 23, 2020
Bees balance their protein and lipids from pollen of different flowers. Our new research article analyzes a suite of plant species pollen nutritional values to discover trends in bee-flower interactions. This dataset could help growers, gardeners, and conservationists when selecting plant species to choose for pollinator habitat restoration by providing species rich and nutritionally diverse landscapes.
Pesticide seed coatings are widespread but underreported
March 23, 2020
Pesticide-coated seeds — such as neonicotinoids, many of which are highly toxic to both pest and beneficial insects — are increasingly used in the major field crops, but are underreported, in part, because farmers often do not know what pesticides are on their seeds, according to an international team of researchers. The lack of data may complicate efforts to evaluate the value of different pest management strategies, while also protecting human health and the environment.
Viruses in honey bees: identification and management strategies
March 20, 2020
Honey bees are infected with many different kinds of viruses. However, most virus infections are not problematic, if the honey bee colony is healthy and does not experience chronic stress.
Blossoms get a boost from the blues
March 17, 2020
Researcher shows blue orchard bees improve fruit set in Washington cherries and pears.
'Sustainable intensification' of cropping systems good for farmers, environment
March 16, 2020
By diversifying their crop rotations to create conditions that promote beneficial, predatory insects to combat pests, farmers can reduce their reliance on insecticides to control early-season crop pests, such as caterpillars, and still produce competitive yields of corn and soybeans.
Safe pest management in schools and childcare facilities is focus of manual
March 11, 2020
Like all living things, pests need food, water and shelter to survive, and childcare and school buildings provide an abundant supply of each, much to the dismay of administrators, teachers, staff, parents and children.
Spotted lanternfly battle heating up for 2020
March 5, 2020
At events like the Pennsylvania Farm Show and programs by Penn State Extension, among the hand-out materials this year is a business card-sized rectangle of plastic imprinted with photos of the spotted lanternfly and egg masses of the insects and instructions on using the too to scrape the egg masses from surfaces like trees, rocks and patio furniture.
Bug of the Month - March 2020
March 3, 2020
Bug of the Month is a student–run monthly post which highlights the diversity of insects found in Pennsylvania.
Wildflower Power: wildflower plantings benefit blue orchard bee reproduction in commercial orchards
February 26, 2020
Insect-mediated pollination provides an essential ecosystem service to wild and managed landscapes, and ensures the production of food, fuel and fiber that is vital for human survival.
Spot on: Efforts to stop spotted lanternfly are ongoing for Penn State, agencies
February 26, 2020
For residents of southeastern Pennsylvania, winter provides a brief respite from the spotted lanternfly, an insect invader that has impeded their warm-weather enjoyment for the past several years.
Penn State responds: App aids UN efforts to control Africa's locust infestation
February 24, 2020
A partnership with the UN enables Penn State researchers to rapidly respond to the locust crisis with an artificial intelligence tool that tracks the insects’ spread.
Rethinking Laser Pointers
February 24, 2020
Laser pointers are perhaps the most abused visual aids in lectures and conference presentations. Yes, I know that they’re a lot of fun to use, but when you’re giving a talk, it’s not about you -- it’s about your audience and how to effectively communicate your work to them.
Center for Pollinator Research 2019 Newsletter
February 19, 2020
Events, Special Announcements, Awards and more...
An Introduction to Queen Honey Bee Development
February 17, 2020
The queen is the most important individual in a colony. She is the only bee capable of producing workers and tens of thousands of workers are required for strong colonies.
Berks County landscapers offer advice on fighting spotted lanternfly.
February 13, 2020
Spotted lanternfly populations declined in many parts of Berks County in 2019, but experts believe the pest is here to stay and will only continue branching out into neighboring communities.
National Geographic: Bumblebees are going extinct in a time of ‘climate chaos’
February 13, 2020
BUMBLEBEES, AMONG THE most important pollinators, are in trouble. Fuzzy and buzzy, they excel at spreading pollen and fertilizing many types of wild flora, as well as crucial agricultural crops like tomatoes, blueberries, and squash.
Shelby Fleischer Receives 2020 Annual Award
February 12, 2020
Each year the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association gives its Annual Award to an individual who has a long-standing record of service and dedication to the vegetable, potato and/or berry industry or the Association.
Pollinator Protection Data Informs EPA Neonicotinoid Risk Assessments
February 10, 2020
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed interim registration review decisions for neonicotinoid insecticides (Federal Register Feb 3, 2020).
Penn State and University of Freiburg team up to create new educational programs on integrated pest and pollinator management
February 6, 2020
Penn State and the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg have announced the selection of two proposals for a novel initiative in piloting an online classroom project between the two universities.
Coronavirus Question: What Is a Super Spreader? A Scary Infectious Disease.
February 5, 2020
Whether by biology or behavior, some people in the crowd will transmit coronavirus to more than the average number of others.
New Pollinator And Bird Garden Will Expand Penn State Arboretum By 60%
February 5, 2020
Construction is underway on the Arboretum’s new Pollinator and Bird Garden. The $9 million project is the culmination of years of development going back nearly a decade.
Applications now being accepted for the 2020 Dutch Gold Honey Undergraduate Scholarship for research in bee biology and health!
February 4, 2020
The Penn State Center for Pollinator Research is seeking undergraduate student applicants for the Dutch Gold Honey Scholarship for bee research, preferably on honey bees but projects on other bees will be considered as well.
Penn State University’s Center for Chemical Ecology presents ICE 20
February 3, 2020
Short Course in Insect Chemical Ecology Penn State University, USA, June 1 – June 15, 2020
Collectors find plenty of bees but far fewer species than in the 1950s
January 31, 2020
Far fewer bee species are buzzing across Earth today, following a steep decline in bee diversity during the last three decades, according to an analysis of bee collections and observations going back a century
Spotted lanternfly egg masses found in Conway
January 31, 2020
Recently, egg masses of the dreaded spotted lanternfly were discovered in an area surrounding Conway Yards, though not within the rail yard itself, said Shannon Powers, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
New legislation targets bed bug infestations in Philadelphia
January 28, 2020
“Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” is more than just a bedtime rhyme for many Philadelphians afflicted by bed bug infestations. But thanks to new legislation passed last month that aims to reduce infestations of the itchy pest, the city’s residents could soon be snoozing more peacefully.
Wild bees provide a bigger slice of the pie in pumpkin pollination
January 24, 2020
Pumpkin growers frequently rent managed honeybee colonies to pollinate their crops, but a recent study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology suggests wild bees may be able to do the job just as well and for free. During a three-year study, researchers at Penn State found that bumble bees and squash bees, alone, could meet the pollination demands for sufficient pumpkin production in wholesale commercial fields in Pennsylvania.
New Study Identifies Ornamental Nursery Plants Used by Honey Bees for Pollen
January 24, 2020
The nursery industry sells over $4.3 billion worth of ornamental plants in the United States each year, representing a tremendous investment in the appearance of our managed landscapes. Current concerns about the health of pollinators generally, and honey bees in particular, raise the question – Are we helping honey bees with the flowering ornamental plants we choose? Beekeepers have honey bee hives in a range of suburban, urban, and rural environments, and honey bees in mostly managed landscapes could be using the flowering plants we choose as a source of food.
Technology that destroys pests in wood moves closer to commercialization
January 23, 2020
A technology that uses dielectric heating and radio frequency energy to destroy destructive pests lurking within wood products is closer to reaching the marketplace after a recent commercial trial at Penn State’s University Park campus.
What to do when pests become homewreckers
January 23, 2020
Shortly after Donald Dickson built a home on the five acres he owns in Gainesville, Fla., he faced a problem all too familiar to him. Within a year, termites invaded the wooden door leading to Dickson’s garage.
Nasty stuff hunters find on and in their deer: Oozing green gunk, huge warts, parasitic insects and more
January 23, 2020
A white-tailed deer, its neck bulging with huge, ugly, wart-like growths, has made startling headlines out of Alabama. But many hunters were already familiar with the grotesque growths on the buck, and many other strange things they find on and in their deer.
Study: Spotted lanternfly costing Pennsylvania $50M annually
January 23, 2020
The spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest from Asia that is wreaking havoc on valuable trees and vines, is costing the Pennsylvania economy about $50 million and eliminating nearly 500 jobs each year, according to a Penn State study released Thursday.
One of the most common North American bumble bee species is actually two species
January 22, 2020
Bumble bees are some of our most abundant and recognizable pollinators, essential for the pollination of many native flowering plant species. As such, the diversity of bumble bees has a long history of study by both professionals and amateurs. Because of such extensive study, it is felt that new species of bumble bees are unlikely to be found. Outstanding controversies remain, however, in what comprises a given bumble bee species.
Insecticides Have Become More Toxic to Bees Over the Last 20 Years
January 22, 2020
Farmers might not be using as much insecticide as they used to, but those they do use appear to be more toxic today than they were 20 years ago. In some states, these chemicals are 121-times as toxic for bees in 2012 as they were in 1997, a study published in Scientific Reports found.
Poster Presentations: Tips and Trick
January 21, 2020
Poster presentations are a staple of academic conferences. They’re a valuable way to share research visually, and it pays to know how to design one well. The good news is, we seem to be living in a time of a new poster renaissance!
Insecticides becoming more toxic to honey bees
January 21, 2020
Researchers discover that neonicotinoid seed treatments are driving a dramatic increase in insecticide toxicity in U.S. agricultural landscapes, despite evidence that these treatments have little to no benefit in many crops.
2020 Apes Valentes Undergraduate Research Award
January 17, 2020
We are now accepting applications for the for the 2020 Apes Valentes Undergraduate Research Award for research in pollinator biology and health!
Scientists examine potential economic impact of spotted lanternfly in PA
January 17, 2020
If not contained, the spotted lanternfly potentially could drain Pennsylvania’s economy of at least $324 million annually and cause the loss of about 2,800 jobs, according to a study carried out by economists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.