Purdue Department of Entomology

Tom Campbell / Purdue University

A new study from Purdue University finds honeybees are exposed to far more pesticides than previously thought.

Most research on pesticide use and honeybees focus on neonicotinoids, an insecticide applied to corn and soybean crops that’s harmful to bees.

But Purdue entomology professor Christian Krupke wanted to know what happens to bees when they’re not feeding on crop pollen.

John Flannery / https://www.flickr.com/photos/drphotomoto/

It took 93 people 10 years to complete, but a team led by Purdue University scientists has finally sequenced the deer tick genome, an achievement that may uncover better ways to prevent illnesses such as Lyme Disease.

Ticks transmit a huge number of pathogens and parasites that kill thousands of humans and animals each year. But partly because of its long, complicated genome, the tick is also a somewhat neglected area of study.

Specially-Bred Purdue Bees Are Biting Back

Oct 28, 2015
Sarah Fentem / WBAA

  

For around a decade, beekeepers have seen around one-quarter to one-third of their colonies die every year. There are many potential causes for the die-off, but most scientists agree a parasitic mite is a major factor.

Purdue entomologist Greg Hunt says if a bee were human-sized, the mite would be about the size of a balled-up fist. Other scientists say the size is more comparable to a pancake.

But now, Purdue University scientists have bred special bees that are biting back.

USDA / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

Open the Purdue Tree Doctor app and select the kind of tree you’re having trouble with. Then scroll through several pictures to determine which ones look like your tree. The app will tell you what the problem most likely is and give you recommendations on how to fix it.

Purdue entomologist Cliff Sadof helped create the app that he says will particularly help with the invasive emerald ash borer, that’s been wreaking havoc on trees throughout Indiana.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Termites have long been seen as unique in the animal kingdom – Think about it: how many other species can you name that digest wood? But until a few years ago, it wasn’t affordable to sequence a termite’s entire genome.

Now that the price has come down, Purdue entomology professor Mike Scharf and about 60 colleagues worldwide have developed a gene map and are looking for weak spots in the bugs’ genetic code.

“We can target those particular things in a more efficient way to eventually get better termiticides,” Scharf says.

Two Purdue professors will be at the White House next week to receive recognition for their work. They are recipients of the Presidential Early Career awards for Scientists and Engineers.

Entomology Assistant Professor Ian Kaplan says he was surprised to learn about the nomination and is honored to be recognized for his work on ecological pest management.

"People are familiar with insects that are pests, but a lot of species are beneficial. Whether they're native bees that pollinate crops or insects that eat other insects that are pests."

Warm weather brings EAB out sooner than expected

Apr 22, 2012
Agricultural Research Service / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Homeowners in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties who want to protect their ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) have to act quickly. That’s according to Purdue’s Department of Entomology.

This insect has already killed many ash trees in Delphi was found to be responsible for the death of several ash trees in Lafayette last year.