NC State Researcher Awarded Grant to Improve Honeybee Health

by Dee Shore, NC State University

With a grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research’s Pollinator Health Fund, NC State University scientist David Tarpy is researching the impact of pesticide exposure on honeybee colony disease prevalence and reproductive potential.

Tarpy, a professor of entomology and plant pathology and the NC State Extension apiculturist, recently received a $217,000 grant from FFAR, a nonprofit established through bipartisan congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill. The FFAR grant is being matched by a graduate fellowship from the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc., supporting a Ph.D. student in the NC State Apiculture Program, Joe Milone. Continue reading

Want pollinators? Lower the temperature

Researchers at NC State University recently published a paper about wild bee abundance in relationship to urban warming.

The paper challenges the idea that planting more flowers will attract more pollinators. Although the number of larger bees do increase as flower populations increase, populations of small bees tend to decline at some of the hottest sites. Continue reading

BeeMORE Undergraduate Summer Research paid internship

If you are an undergraduate science major who is interested in pursuing a career in STEM, there is an exciting new opportunity to develop your skills while studying the interface between microbes and beesBeeMORE is a USDA-funded Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates who are interested in significantly advancing their research skills in the field, the laboratory, or both. Continue reading

NCSU Transition Team for Methyl Bromide helps growers maintain yields while improving the ozone layer

A group of extension specialists at NC State University have helped growers use integrated pest management to transition away from a toxic fumigant while maintaining their yields. Decreased use of the fumigant has had positive environmental consequences as well: the decreased use has led to lower bromine levels in the atmosphere, accounting for one-third of the measured decrease in ozone depleting halogens above the Antarctica.

The transition away from the pesticide methyl bromide began in 2005, in response to scientific data linking it to decreasing ozone levels in the atmosphere. Developed countries banned methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty signed in 1987 to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. In the United States, the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture devised a funding mechanism to help scientists gradually wean farmers away from methyl bromide use. Each year, scientists would apply for “critical use exemptions” to specify how much methyl bromide they felt farmers in their state would need while they searched for alternatives. The funding mechanism was called the “Methyl Bromide Alternatives Program.” Continue reading

NC State Center for IPM Leader Receives State Entomology Award

Karl Suiter and Heather Moylett, NC Entomology Society Chair

NSF Center for Integrated Pest Management Associate Director Karl Suiter received the 2017 Outstanding Contributions to Entomology Award from the North Carolina Entomology Society last week during their annual meeting.

Dr. Suiter leads several teams of scientists and programmers who develop products for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service plant protection and quarantine (APHIS-PPQ) program. An entomologist by trade, Dr. Suiter is highly skilled in implementing custom IT solutions that support regulatory decision making, data warehousing and information sharing. His entomology expertise helps him link biology to information technology to design practical tools for pest prevention and pest management. He has been with the Center since 2003. Continue reading

Climate’s Effects on Flowers Critical for Bumble Bees

by Mick Kulikowski, NC State University

In a study that shows the importance of climate change on critical pollinators, North Carolina State University researchers found that earlier and longer flowering seasons can have poor effects on the bumble bees that rely on these flowers to live and thrive.

“We wanted to understand how climate change is affecting bee populations – specifically three species of bumble bees that live at higher altitudes and are important pollinators,” said Rebecca Irwin, an NC State professor of applied ecology and co-principal investigator on the study, which is published in the journal Ecology Letters. “We asked whether variation in snowmelt timing and summer precipitation directly affected bumble bee colonies and their survival, or if the snowmelt and precipitation effects on flowers were more important. It turns out that the effects on flowers played a more critical role in affecting bee populations.” Continue reading

ProNR Forest Management Series Webinar: Green Value, A tool for simplified financial analysis of forest-based initiatives

Title: ProNR Forest Management Series Webinar: Green Value, A tool for simplified financial analysis of forest-based initiatives

What will you learn?

Introducing Green Value, a tool being adapted for use in the USA by its developers, the Earth Innovation Institute (EII) and the USDA Forest Service. Dr. Shoana Humprhies and Dr. Thomas Holmes will introduce webinar participants to this tool designed to support the needs of family forestland owners and conservation land managers. It will also be of benefit to consultants or agency personnel assisting private landowners. learn more here… Continue reading