Insecticides becoming more toxic to honey bees

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.

2021 Apes Valentes Graduate Student Award

We are now accepting applications for the for the 2021 Apes Valentes Graduate Student Award for research and other projects in pollinator biology and health!

Scientists examine potential economic impact of spotted lanternfly in PA

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.

Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses

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.

Three-way dance between herbivores, plants and microbes unveiled

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.

Scientists reveal core genes involved in immunity of honey bees

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.

Bedbugs beware: New research may beat back bedbug epidemic

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.

Scientists to study how soil health is influenced by pest-management tactics

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. John Tooker, associate professor of entomology, will lead the project, which is titled "Exploring Soil Health and Pest Management Trade Offs to Maximize Crop Productivity."

Researchers to develop new gene-editing method for the study of arthropods

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. The $2.5 million award is part of NSF's Enabling Discovery through GEnomic Tools (EDGE) program.

Video: Penn State researchers find new solution to combat age-old bedbug problem

A team of Penn State scientists has developed a potential game-changer in the war against bedbugs — a naturally derived, fungal-based pesticide that uses the bugs’ own natural tendencies to humankind’s advantage.

Penn State's Great Insect Fair offers a view of the 'unseen'

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. Giving the public a glimpse into this fascinating world is the goal of Penn State's Great Insect Fair, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the Snider Ag Arena on the University Park campus.

Graduate training program in pollinator ecology gets a boost with USDA grant

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.

Penn State researchers take aim at invasive, 'pernicious' spotted lanternfly

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.

Researchers aim to develop best practices for organic beekeeping industry

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.

Land-grant ag research and education highlighted during visit by USDA Secretary

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue paid a visit to Penn State's University Park campus on Jan. 24 as part of a tour through Pennsylvania to unveil the Department of Agriculture's legislative principles as Congress prepares to enact a new five-year farm bill.

Infected 'zombie ants' face no discrimination from nest mates

Carpenter ants infected with a specialized parasitic fungus are not subjected to aggression or isolation from their nest mates, and they continue to share in the colony's food resources until they leave the nest for the last time to die, according to a study led by Penn State researchers.

$2.1 million enables creation of decision-support tools for pollinator health

The Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State, in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, Davis; the University of Minnesota; and Dickinson College will receive more than $2 million from the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research and the United States Department of Agriculture to translate basic research into online decision support tools to help beekeepers and land managers maintain and expand populations of managed and wild bees.

Penn State-developed plant disease app recognized by Google

A mobile app designed by Penn State researchers to help farmers and others diagnose crop diseases has earned recognition from one of the world's tech giants. PlantVillage, developed by a team led by David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology, was the subject of a keynote video presented at Google's TensorFlow Development Summit 2018, held March 30 in Mountain View, California.

Penn State Extension, ag officials look to slow spread of spotted lanternfly

Grape growers, orchardists, nursery operators, homeowners and others in southeastern Pennsylvania are bracing for the spring emergence of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect from Asia that appeared for the first time in the United States in Berks County nearly four years ago. Penn State Extension educators and College of Agricultural Sciences researchers are working with state and federal agriculture officials to stop the pest's spread.

Pennsylvania bear mange epidemic focus of Penn State and Game Commission project

Pennsylvania's black bear population is experiencing a mange epidemic, and a Penn State research team will work with the state Game Commission to gain a better understanding of the disease and develop strategies to manage it.

Wasp warriors: Entomologists on samurai mission to slay stink bugs

Hillary Peterson is every brown marmorated stink bug's worst nightmare. The Penn State doctoral degree student does not intend to rest professionally until she and other entomologists devise a way to reduce burgeoning populations of the invasive insect, originally from Asia, which are damaging crops and aggravating people. The goal of their research is to develop biological controls to interfere with the pest's reproduction.

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt

Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant. Now the researchers know that the choice of leaves or twigs is related to climate and that climate change forced the fungi to adapt to local conditions.

Penn State scientists spotlight spotted lanternfly research on Capitol Hill

As the emergence of the spotted lanternfly continues to threaten portions of Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry, two researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences who are studying the invasive insects joined colleagues from more than 20 universities on Capitol Hill today (June 6) to show members of Congress and their staffs the importance of funding agricultural research.

Lanternfly's penchant for -- and potential to harm -- grapevines focus of study

The spotted lanternfly is starting to sour the grape and wine industries in southeastern Pennsylvania, and research underway in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences aims to spoil the invasive pest's party.

Gluttonous grubs: Insecticide efficacy in turfgrass is focus of study

Research underway at the Joseph Valentine Turfgrass Research Center on the University Park campus is focusing on the effectiveness of a neonicotinoid insecticide — imidacloprid — in controlling grub populations.

Penn State helps to assemble expert task force to combat spotted lanternfly

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences helped to assemble a multistate, interdisciplinary task force of more than 80 university, regulatory and agricultural industry representatives to fight the looming threat presented by the spotted lanternfly.

Plant virus alters competition between aphid species

In the world of plant-feeding insects, who shows up first to the party determines the overall success of the gathering; yet viruses can disrupt these intricate relationships, according to researchers at Penn State.

Fruit research and extension projects receive funding from industry groups

The State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Program recently awarded nearly $233,000 in funding to support new and ongoing fruit research and extension projects in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The grants will support projects aimed at enhancing pest management, production efficiency and fruit quality.

Citizens play a vital role in spotted lanternfly management efforts

Citizens are important allies in the fight against the spotted lanternfly, a war that is being waged in 13 counties -- Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill.

Gates Foundation grant to support research on satellite crop surveillance

A research team in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Led by David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology, the group will study the potential role of satellites in diagnosing crop pest and disease problems on African smallholder farms.