Wild Honey Bees in Community Environments

In the Arizona School and Home Integrated Pest Management Newsletter

by Shaku Nair, Dawn H. Gouge, Shujuan Li, Peter Warren, Al Fournier, Michael Wierda, Kai Umeda, Dave Kopec

The term ‘bee’ can refer to many insects belonging to different families under the insect order Hymenoptera. Bees are closely related to ants and wasps. Most bees are pollinators (Fig.1) and are regarded as beneficial, but some are feared and considered pests because of their painful stings, and damage caused by nesting activities. True honey bees belong to the genus Apis. The most common species in North America is the western honey bee (also known as the European honey bee), Apis mellifera. This species is domesticated and maintained by beekeepers for the pollination of crops and production of honey. Continue reading

Texas wheat producers eye canola in crop rotations

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is conducting several studies on canola in both the Rolling Plains and High Plains regions as interest in the crop continues to grow.

The canola plots were showcased recently at field days at both the AgriLife Research Chillicothe Station, south of Chillicothe in the Rolling Plains, and at the AgriLife Research Bush Farm, 600 Farm-to-Market Road 2381 north of Bushland in the Panhandle. Continue reading

New AgriLife Extension fact sheet gives buzz on indoor flies

By: Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

It’s getting close to fly season again and a new Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service publication will help people identify different types of indoor flies, understand their biology and, most importantly, learn how to eliminate them.

“Next to ants, flies may be the most common household pest problem,” said Dr. Mike Merchant, AgriLife Extension entomologist in Dallas. Merchant is the author of the new six-page fact sheet “Indoor Flies and Their Control,” which provides pictures, descriptions and behavioral details on the most common indoor flies. Continue reading

AgriLife Extension experts: Time for pecan growers to scout, treat for casebearer

By: Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

Now is the time for pecan growers to look for and possibly spray to kill an insect pest that poses a threat to their crop, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.

“One of the most destructive infesting insects of nut-bearing trees is the pecan nut casebearer,” said Dr. Larry Stein, an AgriLife Extension horticulturist based in Uvalde. “Casebearer larvae tunnel into nutlets and frequently destroy all the nutlets in a cluster.” Continue reading

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $130 Million Available for Foundational Agricultural Research, Education and Extension

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that $130 million in funding is available for research, education, and extension projects to support sustainable, productive and economically viable plant and animal production systems, including certified organic production. This funding is available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Investing in agricultural research ensures that our farmers and ranchers have innovative, safe and sustainable management practices to meet the food needs of the rising world population,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “In addition, studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research now returns over $20 to our economy.” Continue reading

FY 2016 AFRI Foundational Program RFA Released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational Program’s Request for Applications (RFA).

A few changes have been made in the organization of the Plant Health and Production and Plant Products program area in FY 2016.  Two program area priorities offered in FY 2015 (Plant-Associated Insects and Nematodes; and Weedy and Invasive Species) have been combined in a single program area priority in FY 2016, titled “Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems”. Two other program area priorities offered in FY 2015 (Growth and Development, Composition and Stress Tolerance; and Photosynthesis and Nutrient Use in Agricultural Plants) have been combined in a single program area priority in FY 2016, titled “Physiology of Agricultural Plants”. Lastly, another program area priority offered in FY 2015 (Plant-Associated Microbes and Plant-Microbe Interactions) is being offered as a joint program with the National Science Foundation (NSF) titled “Plant Biotic Interactions”. Continue reading