New Penn State gardens, oak woes, and changes in growing conditions: The latest in gardening news

February 21, 2019

Let's catch up this week on some gardening news and interesting tidbits ... Bird and pollinator gardens coming to Penn State

Bee dispersal ability may influence conservation measures

February 7, 2019

The abilities of various bee species to disperse influences the pattern of their population's genetic structure, which, in turn, can constrain how they respond to environmental change, as reported by an international team of researchers.

Colony Size Drives Honey Bees’ Overwinter Survival

January 16, 2019

When the temperature drops and the days get shorter, honey bees don’t hibernate—they huddle. Meanwhile, worker bees produced in the fall are plump and have longer lifespans than their spring counterparts. These winterized workers form a “thermoregulatory cluster” around their queen. Powered by honey stores, they shiver their muscles to produce heat, keeping temperatures at the center of the cluster around a comfortable 21 degrees Celsius (C). Still, winter is a stressful time for honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. In the United States around 30 percent of colonies don’t survive until spring.

The sting left by a fallen bee colony is felt by researchers, volunteers

January 16, 2019

For university scientists and student volunteers, the reality of bee deaths during winter is harsh. Just last year, the Beekeepers Club lost all of its bees to the cold weather, thus slowing its productions and making this year one of rebuilding.

Registration is open for the 2019 Authentic Plant Pollinator Landscape Research for Educators Workshop!

January 8, 2019

A unique teacher professional development experience for middle and high school teachers. June 24th - 28th, 2019

Dicamba drift affects non-target plants and pollinators

December 5, 2018

Dicamba herbicide drift onto plants growing adjacent to farm fields causes significant delays in flowering, as well as reduced flowering, of those plants, and results in decreased visitation by honey bees, according to researchers at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.

Penn State earns 'Bee Campus USA' certification

December 3, 2018

Penn State has become the 55th educational institution in the nation to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strength of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators.

Senior class chooses Pollinator’s Garden Entry Gate as 2019 class gift

October 26, 2018

Penn State’s class of 2019 has chosen as its class gift legacy the Pollinators’ Garden Entry Gate at the Arboretum at Penn State.

Penn State Beekeepers Club fosters importance of honey bees

October 15, 2018

A club in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is creating quite a buzz around campus.

Penn State Altoona students help protect monarch butterfly species

October 9, 2018

Every fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies make their way from the United States and Canada to overwintering sites in Mexico. In recent years, this phenomenal migration is threatened by habitat loss in North America and at their overwintering grounds, so people across the continent have been setting up monarch way stations to help protect this species.

The Pest Management Professional Magazine has announced their 2018 Hall of Fame

October 2, 2018

The Pest Management Professional Magazine (PMP) staff is pleased to announce the five newest nominees for the PMP Hall of Fame.

Tracking the Health of Feral Bees in PA, 2018

September 17, 2018

Since 2016 the López-Uribe lab has been leading a citizen science project that aims to map and characterize the health status of feral bees across Pennsylvania

Program combines mobile devices and the outdoors in an unlikely pairing

September 13, 2018

In the age of digital technology, mobile devices are good for more than just text messaging and playing games. According to Penn State College of Education researchers, the combination of technology and the outdoors is getting children and their families outside to learn more about science and their communities.

How Humans Are Messing Up Bee Sex

September 12, 2018

From pesticides to land development to electromagnetic pollution, humans often harm the ability of honeybees to reproduce.

Sterner, Grozinger recognized as outstanding postdoc and mentor

September 10, 2018

The Penn State Postdoctoral Society has announced postdoctoral researcher Glen Sterner III and Distinguished Professor of Entomology Christina Grozinger as the recipients of the 2018 Outstanding Postdoc Award and Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award, respectively.

TREE Fund grant allows rights-of-way research to continue

August 29, 2018

Penn State Altoona has been awarded a grant for year one of a four-year research project from the Tree Research and Education Endowment (TREE) Fund. The grant will support research evaluating long-term effects of electrical right-of-way vegetation management on floral and faunal communities.

The Entomological Society of America Names Winners of 2018 Professional and Student Awards

August 22, 2018

Please join us in congratulating Margarita Lope-Uribe who is the recipient of the Early Career Research Award. This award recognizes a student transition or early professional who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of entomology.

Native? Exotic? Do We Care? Squash Bees

August 8, 2018

Entomologist and urban bee specialist Doug Sponsler joins Billy and Tony early in the morning in a community garden spot in West Philadelphia to observe squash bees and talk about what counts as native. Squash are not strictly native to Philadelphia. They were introduced by Indians before European colonization. The bees followed the squash cultivation from its original distribution. Are they native? How much does it matter?

Helping pollinators highlighted at Ag Progress Days Yard and Garden Area

July 31, 2018

The benefits of creating pollinator-friendly landscapes is a focus of the Yard and Garden Area this year at Ag Progress Days, Aug. 14-16.

Dr. Christina Grozinger elected as Fellow of the Entomological Society of America

July 31, 2018

The Governing Board of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) has elected 10 new Fellows of the Society for 2018. Election as a Fellow of ESA acknowledges outstanding contributions to entomology in research, teaching, extension and outreach, administration, or the military.

Pollinator Panic: Interdisciplinary team creates pollinator education video game

July 30, 2018

Communicating the intricate structure of pollinator communities can be a difficult task, but thanks to a collaboration between the School of Visual Arts and the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State, there is a new tool that could have success both inside and outside of the classroom.

Survey: Pollination Services of Blueberries in the Mid-Atlantic Region

July 30, 2018

If you grow blueberries on your farm, please consider participating in this short survey.

Buzzworthy: Dickinson College using grant to save bees

July 13, 2018

A field of flowers in Carlisle isn't being grown for its beauty. It's a pollinator garden and is now being used for bigger research.

Buzzing Hard, Part 2

July 10, 2018

It’s not just about honey. Cities are full of bees, and in this double episode we hear about Brisbane bees and the Australian native alternative to European honey bees from Tim Heard of Sugarbag Bees, we talk with urban bee researcher Scott MacIvor from Toronto, and we go on an urban bee field trip on top of a chocolate factory with researcher Doug Sponsler and bee keeper Don Shump of the Philadelphia Bee Company.

Why it’s time to curb widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides

June 27, 2018

Planting season for corn and soybeans across the U.S. corn belt is drawing to a close. As they plant, farmers are participating in what is likely to be one of the largest deployments of insecticides in United States history.

Scientists find evidence of 27 new viruses in bees

June 22, 2018

Study represents largest effort to date to identify novel pathogens in global bee populations. An international team of researchers has discovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees. The finding could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators.

What Can Bees Teach Us About Building Better Urban Ecosystems?

June 11, 2018

Vacant land and urban agriculture are rejuvenating wild bee populations. Bees love cities. What can cities do to love them back?

Native Bees prove their worth

May 23, 2018

Story and photos by Jim Hale

Penn State Master Gardener programs promote pollinator populations

May 16, 2018

When it comes to the importance of bees, Connie Schmotzer does not mince words. "Without bees, the world's food supply would be cut drastically, threatening the survival of many plants, animals and humans," said the Penn State Extension Master Gardener coordinator and horticulture educator. "Life, as we know it, would be much different — and not for the better."

Researchers aim to develop best practices for organic beekeeping

May 10, 2018

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.