In the Media

Siehl Prize

[3/17/16]Congratulations to Dr. Spivak and the other Siehl Prize winners! Read article

Marla Spivak[3/11/2016] Honey Nut Cheerios (whose mascot happens to be a honey bee) has launched the "Bring Back The  Bees" campaign in Canada, to raise awareness of the issue. For six weeks, the cereal's mascot Buzz will be missing from boxes, and the brand is giving away free seed packs through its Bring Back The Bees site, in the hopes of planting 35 million wildflowers to help save the bees. In a statement from the brand, University of Minnesota Entomology prof Dr. Marla Spivak supported the project. "There are a range of threats to Canada's bee population, but among the biggest are the elimination of flowering plants and ground cover in urban and rural areas alike," Spivak said. 

Jeff Hahn [3/11/2016]This mild, short winter means most of Minnesota's tick population survived. Even though it's only early March, the disease-carrying blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are already out and active. "We know they can be active when the temperatures are in the mid -to upper-30s, so that could be today," University of Minnesota Entomologist Jeff Hahn said.

Tim Kurtti [3/1/16] An international team of scientists led by Purdue University has sequenced the genome of the tick that transmits Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne illness in North America. Ixodes scapularis, known as the blacklegged tick or the deer tick, is the first tick species to have its genome sequenced. Entomology Today

Oberhauser[2/8/16]An unlikely new group of monarch allies emerged in 2015: companies from throughout Minnesota's rapidly growing solar industry. It turns out, fields of ground-mounted solar panels can provide excellent habitat for monarchs and bees as well as song and game birds. .. Monarch scientist Karen Oberhauser is a professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. 

Bob Koch[2/1/2016]More than half of all U.S. soybean farmers use seeds coated with an insecticide meant to protect the plant from its ­biggest foes. But a new report from a dozen public universities, including the University of Minnesota, says the coatings are providing few if any benefits in most cases, while raising expenses for farmers and affecting the surrounding environment in negative ways... a co-author, University of Minnesota entomologist Bob Koch , said neonicotinoid coatings are effective in suppressing a few insects other than soybean aphids, but those are rarely a problem for farmers in northern states where most of the nation's soybeans are grown.

Anthony Auletta[1/26/16]In this episode we'll explain how spiders weave those amazing webs and stick to walls. We'll also hear how spider venom is being used to find new medicines for humans. Plus, did you know some spiders can fly and others can live underwater? Entomology graduate student Anthony Auletta is interviewed. 
Brains On 

Bob Koch[1/12/2016] MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Neonicotinoid seed treatments are used on a large percentage of soybean acres. However, the value of these treatments was questioned in a 2015 EPA report. In response, field crops entomologists from 12 northern states, including Robert Koch and Bruce Potter from the University of Minnesota, collaborated to create a new multipage extension publication, entitled "The Effectiveness of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Soybean", which explains the role of neonicotinoid seed treatments in northern soybean.

Neonicotinoid seed treatments can be a useful tool for management of some early-season soybean pests in targeted high-risk situations. However, the current widespread use of these treatments exceeds the risk posed by pests and may cause adverse consequences, such as impacts to beneficial organisms, such as predatory insects, and lead to development of pest resistance. For the full discussion, see The Effectiveness of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Soybean (.pdf).

Marla Spivak [1/12/16]University of Minnesota bee researcher Marla Spivak studies how bees defend themselves and their colonies from threats like illness. And right now, she says, they're having a hard time staying healthy."Breaks my heart, really," Spivak says....Some of the American Beekeeping Federation’s conference's panels are focused on finding a safe way to rid bees of the parasites without using pesticides. WJCT-TV

Dr. Ken Ostlie[12/21/15]  More aggressive rootworm management has recently helped manage this pest, says Dr. Ken Ostlie, University of Minnesota Extension entomologist. "We now have corn hybrids with the pyramid Bt traits with multiple modes of action," Ostlie says. "We've used more soil insecticides and more crop rotation. We even had some aerial spraying for rootworm beetles in 2014, which we haven't used much in Minnesota before. Plus, more fields are being scouted now. We have some areas where up to a third of all cornfields were regularly scouted by farmers and their consultants. See full story at: