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Bee Proactive - Top 10 Ways to Help Bees

Marla Spivak was featured in a Star Tribune article written by Rhonda Hayes, Star Tribune garden writer, photographer, and blogger. Hayes describes Spivak as an 'entomologist and bee guru' for the UMN. Hayes recently attended a talk given by Spivak, and "loved her first piece of advice. She told everyone to take a chair out to the garden and watch the bees." This is the first step in everyday folks doing their part to help bees. Full Article

Monarch Butterfly Decline Leads to Warning over Famed Migration

Karen Oberhauser, a conservation biologist from the University of Minnesota who has been studying Monarch migration for 30 years, says this is primarily because of the explosion in the use of herbicide-resistant genetically modified corn and soybean. The consequent rise in the use of herbicides is killing other plants present in the fields, such as milkweed. Full Article

Whole Foods Market, Lake Calhoun & Minnetonka Community Support Day Helps Bees

[4/8/14] On March 14th, Dr. Marla Spivak was pleased to accept a new gift from Whole Foods Market, to further support the Bee Research and Outreach efforts in Marla's lab.

Ento Whole Food Spivak
Photo left to right: Phillip Higgs, Katie Eiser, Amy Finckle,
Professor Marla Spivak and Lorne Petkau

Box Elder Bugs and Ants Make Appearances this Spring

[4/8/14] You may think bugs are invading your house every spring, but think again. You've actually been living with them all winter. "They're already in our home, the ones you're seeing today are the ones that came into your house last October and November. But they've been inactive because of the cold weather," said Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist. KSTP-TV

House DFL unveils bonding, $975 million for public projects

[4/8/14] The James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History would move from its old art deco building in Minneapolis to a new home, including a planetarium, on the U's St. Paul campus under the bill. The U also would receive $12 million for research laboratory improvements, including replacing its world-renowned bee lab that's housed in a small shed on the St. Paul campus and modernizing the Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center located nearby in a century-old tractor garage. Minnesota Public Radio Star Tribune

Bruce Potter interviewed for Lakefield Standard

[4/7/14] Bruce Potter was interviewed regarding his work as the Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) specialist at the UMN Southwest Research and Outreach Center near Lamberton, MN.  Full Interview

Grow with KARE: Insecticides impact on bee populations?

[4/2/14] Last month, Dr. Vera Krischik was featured in a Grow with KARE segment, focusing on the use of neonicotinides in nurseries and the subsequent impact on bee populations.During the interview, Krischik said "we have enough research now, and we have enough observational information from beekeepers that systemic insecticides, especially used in higher dosages in landscape are impacting bees. Watch the full interview.

Western Corn Rootworm Resistance to Bt Confirmed in Four States

ento-corn-rootworm[3/31/14] University Extension entomologists report that field-based western corn rootworm (CRW) resistance to the Bt toxin Cry3Bb1 is now found in four states.... Ken Ostlie, University of Minnesota Extension entomologist, is finding similar problems in that state as well. Full Article.  

Vera Krishik provides expert advice for TakePart article 
[3/18/14] Vera Krischik, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota, says notable levels of neonicotinoid residue have been found in the pollen and nectar of typical urban garden plants, ranging from pumpkins to flowering plants to citrus, maple, and chestnut trees. Although it takes 192 parts per billion to kill a bee, levels above 10 ppb are enough to impact their behavior. Full article.

Marla Spivak and the Bee Lab make local headlines 

[3/17/14] Critical research on Minnesota’s aquatic pests and food supply is being conducted in a century-old tractor garage and a condemned workshop on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus...Both labs are headed by world-renowned researchers: Marla Spivak at the bee lab and Peter Sorenson at the invasive species lab. See full articles in the Pioneer Press and the Fargo Forum.

Science Exhibit Visits students at McKinley Elementary in Owatonna

Ento McKinley Students[3/16/2014] With the help of a scholarship, an Owatonna, MN teacher was able to bring the Bell Museum of Natural History, as well as the expertise of graduate student and curatorial assistant Heather Hendrickson, and colleague Sarah Komperud to some luck elementary students! The third-graders were able to experience the ExploraDome, which fit with their current Astronomy curriculum, and were able to skip ahead to their next focus: invertebrates. Students discussed invertebrates with Hendrickson, and were able to look at dead insects that had been encased for observation. Hendrickson also showed nervous yet curious students a live Madagascar hissing cockroach! Full article.

Entomology Students & Staff Active at NCB-ESA, 2014! 

Ento.ncbesa.gradstudentphoto[3/13/14] Congratulations are in order for several graduate students who participated in the oral and poster competitions this year at NCB-ESA. Theresa Cira (PhD) (pictured left) won 1st place for her 10-min talk, “Lethal and sub-lethal effects of insecticides on brown marmorated stink bug”; Mike Goblirsch (pictured left) won 2nd place for his 10-minute talk, entitled, “Use of the honey bee cell line, E-711, as a model for Nosema sp. infection”; and, Amy Morey (pictured left) won 1st place for her poster, entitled, “Forecasting the distribution of an invasive, polyphagous moth, Epiphyas postvittana, in a changing climate.” The department is also very appreciative of our Linnaean Team. They were confronted with some very challenging questions in the first round, and carried themselves very well throughout the competition. Our team this year included: Trisha Leaf, Anthony Hanson, Tavvs Alves, and Mike Goblirsch. We also appreciate the new Coach this year for the team, Dr. Deane Jorgenson, a research scientist with Syngenta (Stanton, MN). Thanks again to all the students and technical staff who participated in the meeting by submitting posters, including: Wally Rich, Celia Silverstein, and Anh Tran. Finally, two of our Graduate Students, Matt Smart and Elaine Evans, gave invited talks in a “Protecting our Pollinators” symposium, and Dr. Bob Koch co-organized a symposium on “Stink bugs: emerging threats…”. Last but not least, an excellent red wine selection, ‘Voyageur,’ provided by Alexis Bailly Vineyard (Hastings, MN) won the “People’s Choice Award” as the first-place, outstanding red wine at the 1st Annual NCB-ESA Wine Competition. Thanks to Nan Bailly for providing an outstanding choice for us to bring to the meeting. We are also pleased to see that 'Voyageur' was recently named the Best MN Wine in the current issue of Minnesota Monthly. 

Jane Mazack awarded a Sawyer Seminar Graduate Fellowship

[3/11/14] Jane Mazack (Ph.D. student of Len Ferrington) was awarded a Sawyer Seminar Graduate Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Sawyer Seminar ( is funded through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is entitled: “Making the Mississippi: Formulating new water narratives for the twenty-first century and beyond.” In addition to contributing to seminar activities, Jane will continue her dissertation research, which focuses on the dynamics of winter-active aquatic insects and other macroinvertebrates in southeastern Minnesota's trout streams. As part of her duties, Jane will be involved in translating empirical results into educational media for dissemination to the general public.

Marla Spivak's TED Talk Exceeds 1,424,618 views!

[3/7/14] Insects are Awesome on TED Talks too! If you've not yet heard Marla's 2013 TED Talk held in Scotland, check it out. Her presentation on "Why bees are disappearing" has now been viewed >1,424,618 times. In addition to Dr. Spivak's talk, there are 11 other cool bug talks from the "Dung Beetle Dance" to E.O. Wilson's "Encyclopedia of Life," and more! See the TED Network -- and click here for recent Bug talks.

25th Annual Midwest Organic and Sustainability Education Service (MOSES) Organic Farming Conference

[3/1/14] Anna Hansen (M.S. student of Roger Moon), won a third-place award for her poster, "Stable fly production from different organic dairy cow winter housing systems," at the Midwest Organic and Sustainability Education Service (MOSES) Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, WI. 

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Marla Spivak's TED Talk

Crop Scouts in the Sky Video!!!

IPM3 Courses - Online!

Grad Student Profiles

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Insect Pest Information

Bed Bug Information

New findings from Dr. Kells on how to keep bed bugs away (KSTP).

Recent Publications

Blahnik, R.J., and R.W. Holzenthal. 2014. Review and redescription of species in the Oecetis avara group, with the description of 15 new species (Trichoptera, Leptoceridae). ZooKeys 376: 1-83.

Robertson, D.R., and R.W. Holzenthal.
2013. Revision and phylogeny of the caddisfly subfamily Protoptilinae (Trichoptera: Glossosomatidae) inferred from adult morphology and mitochondrial DNA. Zootaxa 3723: 1-99.

Hanson, A.A., R. C. Venette, J. P. Lelito. 2013. Cold tolerance of Chinese emerald ash borer parasitoids: Spathius agrili Yang (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), and Oobius agrili Zhang and Huang (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). Biological Control 67: 516-529.

Hanson, A. A. and R. C. Venette. 2013. Thermocouple design for measuring temperatures of small insects. Cryoletters 34: 261-267. 

Click here for more publications. 

Dr. Kells' website and Hotline Info

ESA News

NCB Meeting (Des Moines, IA)
March 9-12,2014

ESA National Meeting (Portland, OR)
November 16-19, 2014
ESA Logo 2014 (smallest)