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

Venus flytraps don’t eat insects that pollinate them

by Matt Shipman, NC State University

While most people are familiar with Venus flytraps and their snapping jaws, there is still a lot that scientists don’t know about the biology of these carnivorous plants. Researchers have for the first time discovered which insects pollinate the rare plants in their native habitat – and discovered that the flytraps don’t dine on these pollinator species.

Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) are in a genus all their own, and are native to a relatively small area, restricted to within a 100-mile radius of Wilmington, N.C. Continue reading

Register for the 9th International IPM Symposium today

Pollinator protection, biopesticide technology, and resistance management will be featured at the 9th International Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Symposium, March 19-22, 2018 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland USA. The symposium is the premier global event for networking with leading scientists and learning the latest technologies for effectively managing pests. Those who register by February 19 will pay a reduced price. https://ipmsymposium.org/2018/registration.html  Continue reading

IPM keeps food on our table–at a price we can afford

I read a blog article today written by one of the Southwest Farm Press editors, resolving to eat more doughnuts in 2018. The editor, Shelley Huguley, discussed how one of America’s favorite treats was in jeopardy because of a pest insect that attacks sugarcane, the sugarcane borer. Although I didn’t come up with the idea to discuss the idea of pest management in terms of the products that we love, I know a great idea when I see one, so I decided to take her idea and run with it to talk about our own contributions to America’s products.

Keeping products in our homes is just one of the benefits for good pest management. With so many insects and diseases that can adapt to a single pest management technique, such as a particular pesticide, scientists have to get creative to make sure farmers and others who need to manage pests can do it at a cost that won’t break America’s banks. Continue reading

Baskin Elementary in San Antonio receives $1,000 grant for pollinator program

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

Baskin Elementary School in San Antonio recently received a $1,000 grant to establish a pollinator garden on the school campus.

The money, provided from a Feed-A-Bee program grant by the Bayer CropScience Division, was part of a larger grant given to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to fund pollinator initiatives and activities throughout Bexar County. 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