Consumers be aware of unsuspecting insects in Christmas trees

NOTE: If you buy a real Christmas tree, you should also look for invasive pests such as hemlock woolly adelgid, balsam woolly adelgid, and pine bark beetles.

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

This holiday season, consumers should be aware of unwanted critters that may find their way into homes clinging to a freshly cut Christmas tree,  said a Texas A&M University entomologist.

Dr. David Ragsdale, head of the university’s entomology department in College Station, said it’s not uncommon for insects to sometimes make their way into homes after a tree has been purchased from a tree farm or retailer. Continue reading

Study finds small bees carry pollen further than larger ones

by Christine Sinatra, University of Texas at Austin

​When it comes to sex between plants, tiny bees the size of ladybugs play a critical role in promoting long-distance pairings. That’s what scientists at the University of Texas at Austin discovered after one of the most detailed paternity tests in wild trees ever conducted.

The research gives new insight into how tiny pollinating animals promote genetic diversity that is essential for plants’ adaptation in the face of disease, climate change and other threats relevant for agriculture and reforestation efforts worldwide. Continue reading

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Reuse, Water Scarcity, and Drought Grants Progress Review Meeting & Webinar

Meeting Information

EPA is hosting a two-day conference and webinar highlighting research from the Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices and National Priorities: Systems-Based Strategies to Improve the Nation’s Ability to Plan and Respond to Water Scarcity and Drought Due to Climate Change Request for Applications (RFA). Register today to participate in person or via webinar!

Under the Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices RFA, EPA awarded grants to five institutions for research that measures the health and ecological impacts of water conservation practices such as potable reuse and agricultural water reuse. Continue reading