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April 1, 2020

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

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.

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.

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.

March 17, 2020

Researcher shows blue orchard bees improve fruit set in Washington cherries and pears.

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.

March 3, 2020

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

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.

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.

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.

February 10, 2020

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed interim registration review decisions for neonicotinoid insecticides (Federal Register Feb 3, 2020).

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.

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.

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.

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

Bumble bees foraging on pumpkin blossom.
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.

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.

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.