Pathogen transmission from honey bees to wild bees has been attributed as one of the major negative impacts that managed honey bees have on wild bee populations. Among the many pests and pathogens that attack honey bees, the varroa mite and its associated virus, deformed wing virus (DWV), are most abundant and detrimental to honey bee health. The synergistic interactions between this virus and varroa mites have increased the amount of DWV in honey bees
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  With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a group of biologists, engineers and climate scientists from Penn State (USA), University of Kansas (USA), Universidad Militar Nueva Granada (Colombia), and Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Peru) launched a summer research program for undergraduate students to help shed light on how pollinators and pollination are responding to our changing world. In 2021, the program was offered virtually to 12 students from the USA, Colombia, and
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I visit pumpkin farms across Pennsylvania to investigate host-pathogen dynamics in bee communities. In pumpkin fields, we typically see three bee species foraging – honey bees, wild bumble bees and wild squash bees. Haven’t heard of squash bees before? These are incredibly important, solitary bees that specialize on the pollen of pumpkin and squash. In fact, they are some of the best pollinators for pumpkin crops in Pennsylvania! Unlike social honey bees and bumble bees
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The impact of climate change on crop-pollinator interactions This International Research Experiences for Students (iRES) program will provide undergraduate student eight-week of a virtual research experience working with mentors from Colombia and Peru. Projects will focus on studying how environmental factors impact plant-pollinator interactions in agricultural areas. Students will participate in interdisciplinary research guided by mentors representing entomology, ecology, engineering, and climate science. Students will receive $4,000 for their participation in the program. Mentors participating
Educational Program, iRES Program
Honey bee colonies have been in decline in recent years due to many factors, including lack of high-quality nutrition, exposure to pesticides, and pressure from pests and pathogens. Infestations of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor play a large role in these staggering colony losses. These mites feed on the fat body and hemolymph of bees, and in the process, they transmit a cocktail of viruses that weakens the individuals and eventually the whole colony. For
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