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.

Beescape Monthly Update for January

January 14, 2020

This is the fifth of our new monthly updates (January 2020) from us here at Beescape!

Some Pollinators Swipe Right on Annual Ornamental Flowers

December 13, 2019

When it comes to flowers, the traits humans prefer—things like low pollen production, brighter colors, and changes to the height and shape of plants—are a mixed bag for pollinators. Plants bred for larger flowers or extended bloom times may be a boon for some hungry pollinators, but structural changes in the plants can make it harder for pollinators to handle the flowers, access nectar, or even find the flowers in the first place.

Beescape Monthly Update for December

December 12, 2019

This is the fourth of our new monthly updates (December) from us here at Beescape! This month we have three main topics to discuss --

Passionate 14-Year-Old Raises Awareness – and Funds! – to Support Bee Populations

December 5, 2019

Finian Stroup has been dedicated to helping save the bees since she was 8 years old. Over the years, she has organized numerous events to raise awareness about bee declines.

Bacteria-infected mosquitoes take bite out of deadly dengue

December 5, 2019

They still bite, but new research shows lab-grown mosquitoes are fighting dangerous dengue fever that they normally would spread.

Extension experts: Risk of spotted lanternfly on Christmas trees is minimal

December 5, 2019

Folks worried that the spotted lanternfly will put a “bah humbug” into their holiday by taking up residence in their live Christmas tree should toss those concerns to the side like used wrapping paper, according to Penn State Extension experts.

Fourteen Penn State faculty recognized with lifetime honor

December 4, 2019

American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows are honored for extraordinary achievements in advancing science

Which flowers attract the most pollinators?

December 2, 2019

People often ask me "Which plants are best for pollinators?" There's no perfect answer, but I usually urge people to plant native perennials. But, is this right from the BBB (Birds, Butterflies, and Bees) point of view?

Grant will support expanded use of artificial intelligence for crop health

November 25, 2019

A research team developing artificial-intelligence-based solutions for diagnosing and managing threats to crop health has received a grant to expand the technology to assist more smallholder farmers around the world. Co-led by David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology, the team developed a smartphone app that is capable of accurately diagnosing crop diseases without an internet connection.

Much-anticipated Pollinator and Bird Garden underway in Arboretum at Penn State

November 22, 2019

Recent visitors to The Arboretum at Penn State may have noticed a bright blue construction fence surrounding about 3 acres of open meadow between the botanic gardens and the College Heights neighborhood. The fence delineates the future site of the Pollinator and Bird Garden, which will increase the size of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens by about 60%.

No, Spotted Lanternflies Are Not Hiding in Your Soon-to-Be-Christmas Tree

November 22, 2019

I, like so many others, find it necessary to usher in the holidays by picking out a good ol’ Christmas tree and plopping it in a watering basin in my living room. It’s a surefire way to get into the festive spirit — and a live tree fills your home with that fresh forest smell, after all. So this past weekend, I was dismayed when my equally holiday-crazed roommate told me she might not want to get a live tree.

Spotted lanternfly DNA may hold key to eradication, researchers say

November 22, 2019

Is there a better way to kill a spotted lanternfly? While stomping them out seems to be the most prevalent method, researchers now believe they are getting closer to finding a more sophisticated way to dispatch the hated invasive species.

Penn State entomological museum reopens

November 22, 2019

After being closed to the public for more than six years, Penn State’s Frost Entomological Museum has reopened with new and improved exhibits, storage facilities and research capacity.

Tools, funds target spotted lanternfly

November 22, 2019

Research funds and new tools are fueling another year of the fight against spotted lanternfly. The colorful, polka-dotted insects are an invasive species native to China, Bangladesh and Vietnam – and a significant risk to U.S. fruit growers, especially those who grow grapes. Other crops affected by the pests include almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries and peaches.

What is the status of the spotted lanternfly in Lebanon County?

November 22, 2019

The spotted lanternfly made its presence known in Lebanon County this year, gnawing on trees from Bethel Township to Cornwall and beyond.