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Category: Research News

Recent entomological research from ESA journals and ESA members

bees at hive

Colony Size Drives Honey Bees’ Overwinter Survival

Research in Pennsylvania shows that overall colony weight and the number of worker bees to be the leading factors in determining overwintering survival of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. For colonies in which the combined weight of adult bees, brood, and food stores exceeded 30 kilograms, overwinter survival rates were about 94 percent.

four species of Euwallacea

So Many Shot Hole Borers: New Research Charts Four Nearly Identical Species

Tiny beetles once known as tea shot hole borers are actually a group of four distinct species that appear almost exactly the same to even the trained eye. In a new study, researchers combine both physical measurements and molecular genetics to better define the members of the Euwallacea fornicatus cryptic species complex.

honey bee basitarsi on blueberry stigma

No Buzz, No Problem: Study Shows How Honey Bees Pollinate Blueberries

Honey bees are incapable of buzz pollination, but they can (and do) perform pollination duties in highbush blueberry. A new study shows that, while honey bees rarely collect blueberry pollen in the pollen baskets on their hind legs, they frequently contact it with other body parts and transfer it to other flowers.

Need to Mail Mosquitoes? Pack Them Up Nice and Snug

Several emerging mosquito-management methods require the transport of mosquitoes to precise locations. There, lab-reared mosquitoes—for instance, sterilized males—mix with wild mosquitoes and hinder the population's ability to reproduce or transmit disease. But, getting mosquitoes from lab to wild presents logistical challenges. A team led by researchers at New Mexico State University are tackling this problem and have made a surprising discovery about just how tightly live mosquitoes can be packed up.

Harmonia axyridis

Tabloid Sensationalism Aside, Lady Bugs Are Still Fascinating

Despite headlines to the contrary in British tabloids this fall, harlequin ladybird beetles are not killing off native species by giving them a sexually transmitted fungal infection. "There have been stories mixing up various research findings into quite sensational headlines, which is a shame because these fungi and the ladybirds are fascinating in their own right," says ecological entomologist Helen Roy, Ph.D., of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford, England.

Coptotermes formosanus termites

So, You Want to Study Termite Control? Step 1: Raise a Few Million Termites

Subterranean termite colonies can be as large as 1 million individuals with a foraging territory and underground galleries stretching up to 100 meters long. How does an entomologist study something that large? Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how researchers at the University of Florida have raised entire termite colonies from scratch and devised experimental setups that mimic large foraging and nesting areas while still fitting inside a lab.