In the Media
[7/27/2015] The work of Ian MacRae and Bob Koch has again made headlines, this time featured on the front page of the Star Tribune. “Unmanned aircraft vehicles are really going to change the way that we actually do agriculture,” said Ian MacRae, professor of entomology at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, who is one of the researchers. “This is really a very exciting time.” “The aphids are tiny, so we’re not trying to see the insect itself,” said University Extension entomologist Bob Koch, another researcher on the project. “We’re trying to see changes that the insect causes to the plants,” and whether those look different from changes caused by disease or a combination of insects and disease. Read the full article.
[7/24/2015] Under a partnership with the UMN Bee Squad, Urban Ventures has hired women to supervise its bees and learn the craft of making honey. Reinas de Miel, or Honey Queens, look after hives on a farm in Lakeville as part of a program aimed at getting low-income women involved in beekeeping. Under the tutelage of Bridget Mendel, a U Bee Squad mentor and teacher, the Reinas del Miel tend to their hives by searching the boxes for honey and checking to see if the queen bees were producing eggs. The six women use the money they earn from beekeeping to support their families, and the comraderie of the group of beekeeping women has been transformational. Read the full article.
[7/20/2015] Chris Philips recently spoke with the St. Cloud Times regarding his work with spotted-wing drosophila. What makes the spotted-wing drosophila different from other invasives: It affects ripe fruit. Because the flies lay their eggs in developing fruit, there's no outward sign of infestation. "It changes the game of growing small fruit pretty much across the country," said Chris Philips, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center in Grand Rapids. "We've kind of been in a scramble these past few years." Read the full article.
[7/20/2015] Minnesota is counting on a ground-nesting wasp known as the smoky winged beetle bandit to detect new locations where ash trees are coming under attack from the emerald ash borer. “We’ll be watching one insect to discover another,” said Jeff Hahn, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota. “It’s another tool in our arsenal.” Current funding should carry the program through mid-2017, but organizers will likely seek to extend taxpayer support. Besides targeting the emerald ash borer, the wasp-watcher program also will screen for other unwanted insects. Read the full article (complete with photos of our own Jennifer Schultz!).
[7/17/15] A team of University of Minnesota researchers is working to give farmers better tools and techniques to protect their crops from pests like the soybean aphid. Using high-tech robotics and sensors and computer modeling software, the team aims to develop faster and more efficient methods of monitoring crops that help farmers make informed decisions on exactly when and where to apply pesticides. Demoz Gebre-Egziabher (CSE) Ian MacRae, and Bob Koch are taking this reasearch 'to the skies.' They have equipped small, remote-controlled planes, known as uninhabited aerial vehicles, or UAVs, with specific types of sensors that can detect near-infrared light, which is invisible to the naked eye. Read the full article
[7/7/2015] The "Internet of Things" could be the next advance in saving honeybees. Marla Spivak is working with agricultural communications firm Eltopia and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications specialist Gemalto to develop a non-chemical way to control varroa mites. MiteNot is a smart beehive frame specifically designed to monitor and manage the internal temperature of the hive in which it is installed. Read the full article.
[6/24/2015] If you're part of the equestrian world, you may have heard of the radio show Horses in the Morning. This week, Roger Moon was a featured guest, answering cracking jokes and questions about the different types of insects that may be pestering horses, and what to do about them. You can hear the interview by going to the Horses in the Morning website. Click on 6-24-15 episode. Roger is on the air starting 18:20 minutes into the show.