Grape Growers Grapple With Increasing Population of Spotted Lanternfly

July 14, 2020

Spotted lanternflies damaged more than a quarter of Pennsylvania’s vineyards last year, and the persistent pest isn’t showing any sign of retreat this year.

Penn State researchers still need the public’s help to fight the spotted lanternfly, but a new tracking technique can help target emerging infestations

July 14, 2020

Penn State scientists have found new ways to track the spotted lanternfly and slow the spread of the plant damaging insect.

NSF CAREER grant supports entomologist in study of sterility mechanisms in bees

July 13, 2020

A grant of more than $1 million from the National Science Foundation will support a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences in a study of mechanisms that induce sterility in social insects. Etya Amsalem, assistant professor of entomology, received the award from the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

Engaging children in STEM during a pandemic

July 10, 2020

In recent years, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities have become popular workshops for children to increase an interest in STEM careers later in life. These activities are particularly important for female, underrepresented, and underserved populations to show that they are welcome in these types of environments. However, the pandemic has thrown a wrench into hands-on, in person activities.

Gall fly outmaneuvers host plant in game of 'Spy vs. Spy'

July 10, 2020

Over time goldenrod plants and the gall flies that feed on them have been one-upping each other in an ongoing competition for survival. Now, a team of researchers has discovered that by detecting the plants’ chemical defenses, the insects may have taken the lead.

Gall fly outmaneuvers host plant in game of 'Spy vs. Spy'

July 9, 2020

Over time goldenrod plants and the gall flies that feed on them have been one-upping each other in an ongoing competition for survival. Now, a team of researchers has discovered that by detecting the plants’ chemical defenses, the insects may have taken the lead.

Penn State Pollinator Webinar Series: Mason bee management for backyard and orchard pollination (Natalie Boyle)

July 7, 2020

Pollination by animals is essential for both agricultural and natural ecosystems. While honey bees provide the majority of managed pollination services, in this webinar the focus was on a different species of managed bees.

Virgil inspires donor to create endowed professorship in College of Ag Sciences

July 7, 2020

Thanks to a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor, the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Entomology have established the Publius Vergilius Maro Professorship.

Bug of the Month - July 2020

July 2, 2020

Bug of the Month is a student–run monthly post which highlights the diversity of insects found in Pennsylvania.

Beescape Monthly Update for July

July 2, 2020

Greetings, once again, from the Beescape Team! This is another entry in our monthly updates from us here at Beescape!

Gene-edited mosquitoes are ready for the U.S. — but is the U.S. ready for them?

July 1, 2020

In mid-June, Florida’s department of agriculture and consumer services approved a plan to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild. The idea is that, when released, these mosquitoes will venture out and mate with wild mosquitoes in the area, and due to their genetic modifications, produce offspring that never fully mature — thereby reducing the mosquito population over time.

Smart Talk Tuesday: Farmers opting against tilling; Taking steps to protect pollinators

June 30, 2020

“The healthiest soil is the soil that has never been disturbed.” That sentiment was made at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January by a former state Agriculture Department official who advocates for no till practices.

Checklist of Pa. bees documents 49 new species and some that may be endangered

June 30, 2020

A study documenting bees that are reported to occur in Pennsylvania has found the presence of 437 species, including 49 never before recorded in the state. Researchers said the resulting checklist of bees in the commonwealth also identifies species not native to North America and several native species that may be of conservation concern.

Penn State Extension: What’s the Buzz?

June 30, 2020

Inside this issue: Pollinator Garden of Merit, Outstanding Pollinator Plants, Protecting Pollinators and Pollinator Garden FAQs

Penn State Pollinator Webinar Series: "Bee nutritional ecology: from flowers to landscapes" (Christina Grozinger)

June 30, 2020

Animal mediated pollination supports nearly 90% of plant species. Animals also gain nutritional benefits from this process. Bees collect pollen from flowering plants to feed to their offspring, and thus bee and flowering plant species have coevolved to benefit both species involved.

Bug of the Month - June 2020

June 29, 2020

Bug of the Month is a student–run monthly post which highlights the diversity of insects found in Pennsylvania.

Checklist of Pa. bees documents 49 new species and some that may be endangered

June 29, 2020

A study documenting bees that are reported to occur in Pennsylvania has found the presence of 437 species, including 49 never before recorded in the state.

Penn State Extension educator offers advice on insecticide use for lanternflies

June 29, 2020

As summer progresses — and spotted lanternflies make themselves at home just about anywhere, including on residential properties — frustrated homeowners might find themselves wrestling with the idea of using insecticides to vanquish the insect interlopers.

Pollinator project supports biodiversity at Penn State Orchard Road solar array

June 29, 2020

An innovative project is creating a buzz around Penn State’s University Park campus, especially among the many species of pollinators that call Centre County home.

TikTok Videos Reveal Tiny Bugs Living In Strawberries

June 29, 2020

Viral TikTok videos dubbed the ''Strawberry Challenge’’ have some consumers squirming.

How to build a spotted lanternfly circle trap

June 29, 2020

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive insect that feeds on grapevines and trees. There are a variety of options for SLF management, but one way to kill a lot of SLF without using insecticides is to trap them. The immature lanternflies (called nymphs) are often blown out of the canopy of the trees where they are feeding. Nymphs then walk to the trunk of trees and climb back up to start feeding again. We can take advantage of this predictable behavior of the nymphs by using traps to catch them as they climb up trees.

First ASEV Invasive Pest Webinar Focuses on the Spotted Lanternfly

June 29, 2020

In introducing the speaker for the first ASEV webinar on invasive pests on June 3, moderator Michelle Moyer, a board member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and associate professor of viticulture and extension specialist at Washington State University, commented that grape growers on the East Coast are very concerned about the problems presented by the spotted lanternfly (SLF) and that those on the West Coast should be. She then introduced the webinar presenter, Heather Leach, extension associate in entomology at Penn State’s College of Agriculture Sciences, who focuses specifically on the SLF.

Late planting robs slugs of buffet this year

June 29, 2020

If there was one good thing about farmers delaying planting this year, it created less of a buffet for pesky slugs to feed on emerging corn and soybeans.

Check it out: Resource can aid citizens in stopping spread of spotted lanternfly

June 26, 2020

A printable checklist developed by Penn State Extension and the state Department of Agriculture can help citizens tick all the boxes when it comes to preventing the spread of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is threatening the agricultural, timber and ornamental industries.

Pollinator project supports biodiversity at Penn State Orchard Road solar array

June 25, 2020

An innovative project is creating a buzz around Penn State’s University Park campus, especially among the many species of pollinators that call Centre County home.

Penn State Pollinator Webinar Series: Queen rearing basics (Kate Anton)

June 23, 2020

Beekeepers are always looking for the best ways to improve the health and productivity of their honey bee colonies.

Penn State Pollinator Webinar Series: The three most important steps to ensuring honey bee colony survival over the long term (Dr. Robyn Underwood)

June 23, 2020

In this second installation of the “Penn State Pollinator Webinar Series”, Dr. Robyn Underwood, an Assistant Research Professor at Penn State, goes in depth on beekeeping and how to best care for colonies.

Asian giant hornets currently not a concern for Pa., eastern North America

June 17, 2020

Recent alarming news reports aside, Asian giant hornets — sometimes referred to, hyperbolically, as "murder hornets" — are not an immediate concern in the Northeast, nor are they likely to be for a long time, if ever, according to an entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Penn State Extension webinars focus on bee biology, ecology and management

June 17, 2020

An eight-part webinar series developed by Penn State Extension aims to teach people all about bees, discussing topics as diverse as colony survival, queen bee rearing and transforming one’s garden into a pollinator-friendly habitat.

Summary of Pollinator Health Challenges: A bee’s perspective (Margarita López-Uribe)

June 9, 2020

Bees are a highly diverse group of pollinators. There are over 20,000 species of bees worldwide, 4,500 in North America, and 437 in Pennsylvania alone. Despite this variety, when people think of bees their minds tend to go to the image of a cute little honey bee living in a huge hive. However, that is not always the case. In this webinar, Dr. Margarita López-Uribe, Assistant Professor of Entomology and an Evolutionary Ecologist dispels two big myths about bees, discusses how human activity has impacted bees throughout their life cycle and provides guidance for how to make our gardens and landscape better for bees.