If the climate continues warming as predicted, spruce beetle outbreaks in the Rocky Mountains could become more frequent.
Beekeepers across the United States lost 40.7% of their honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019, according to preliminary results of the latest annual nationwide survey conducted by the University of Maryland-led nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership. The survey results indicate winter losses of 37.7%, which is the highest winter loss reported since the survey began 13 years ago and 8.9 percentage points higher than the survey average.
The common perception that pesticides reduce or eliminate target insect species may not always hold. Jennifer Weathered and Edd Hammill report that the impacts of agricultural pesticides on assemblages of aquatic insects varied resulting in distinct ecological winners and losers within aquatic communities.
Getting an excellent rabbiteye blueberry harvest requires helpful pollinators -- particularly native southeastern blueberry bees -- although growers can bring in managed honey bees to do the job, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. This is especially true for commercial rabbiteye blueberry producers in Mississippi and Louisiana. With sufficient pollinators, they have been able to increase the percentage of flowers setting fruit from 10-30% to 70% or more. A mature rabbiteye blueberry bush can produce as much as 15 pounds of berries.
A shady refuge on a hot day could be more than a simple comfort in a warming world. Finding a cooler spot might save several species that would otherwise go extinct due to global warming, according to an analysis by ecologists at a dozen institutions.
Aphids and the plant viruses they transmit cause billions of dollars in crop damage every year. Researchers at Boyce Thompson Institute and USDA-ARS are examining this relationship at the molecular level, which could lead to new methods for controlling the pests. As described in the May 22 issue of Phytobiomes, the researchers uncovered what may be the first example of cooperation between a plant virus and an insect virus to increase their likelihood to spread.
Biological control of the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive pest that devastates gardens and crops, would be more effective in natural areas bordering crops or at times when certain insecticides aren't being applied.
Ants adjust their social interactions to accommodate changes in population density, according to researchers at Penn State and Georgetown University. The findings suggest that ant colonies are capable of maintaining their sophisticated social organization despite potentially drastic changes in their environments.
A mite that spreads a dangerous virus among honeybees also plays an indirect role in infecting wild bumblebees, new research shows.
The diversity and availability of pollen foraged by honey bees across urban and suburban areas in the US varies drastically with the seasons, according to a study published June 12, 2019 in PLOS ONE by Juliana Rangel from Texas A&M University, USA, and colleagues.