Study reveals important flowering plants for city-dwelling honey bees

April 30, 2020

Trees, shrubs and woody vines are among the top food sources for honey bees in urban environments, according to an international team of researchers. By using honey bees housed in rooftop apiaries in Philadelphia, the researchers identified the plant species from which the honey bees collected most of their food, and tracked how these food resources changed from spring to fall.

Beekeeping: Cell Builder Basics

April 27, 2020

Honey bee colony behavior is dynamic and extremely adaptable, which allows for easy manipulation and management of these amazing social insects.

For a limited time, Penn State Extension offers Beekeeping 101 online course for free

April 6, 2020

As a way to support its customers during the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State Extension is offering its library of online courses at no cost through April.

Beescape Monthly Update for April

April 3, 2020

This is the eighth of our new monthly updates from us here at Beescape! As always, we will use this newsletter to share Beescape updates, interesting study results, and other relevant information related to Beescape and associated projects!

Bug of the Month - April 2020

April 1, 2020

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

Beescape Monthly Update for March

March 30, 2020

Greetings from the Beescape Team!

Pollen nutrition may guide broad patterns of bee species host-plant preferences

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.

Pesticide seed coatings are widespread but underreported

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.

Viruses in honey bees: identification and management strategies

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.

Blossoms get a boost from the blues

March 17, 2020

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

'Sustainable intensification' of cropping systems good for farmers, environment

March 12, 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.

Bug of the Month - March 2020

March 3, 2020

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

Wildflower Power: wildflower plantings benefit blue orchard bee reproduction in commercial orchards

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.

Center for Pollinator Research 2019 Newsletter

February 19, 2020

Events, Special Announcements, Awards and more...

An Introduction to Queen Honey Bee Development

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.

National Geographic: Bumblebees are going extinct in a time of ‘climate chaos’

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.

Pollinator Protection Data Informs EPA Neonicotinoid Risk Assessments

February 10, 2020

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

Penn State and University of Freiburg team up to create new educational programs on integrated pest and pollinator management

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.

New Pollinator And Bird Garden Will Expand Penn State Arboretum By 60%

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.

Applications now being accepted for the 2020 Dutch Gold Honey Undergraduate Scholarship for research in bee biology and health!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.