|As the Worm Turns|
On Six Legs
April 23, 2015
My mother always referred to a day or two in springtime as a wormy day. One day this month - April 15 to be exact - was such a day here in central Indiana and not just because income taxes were due! At least that is how it appeared to me when I walked down our asphalt driveway to retrieve the morning newspaper. Worms were crawling every which way on the road.
It was one of those spring days that began with an early morning rain. An April shower of the type that is purported to bring May flowers. But this little bit of precipitation also brought worms to paved roadways and sidewalks.
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|Greg Hunt and Krispn Given quoted in Exponent this week|
Purdue Exponent Online
April 21, 2015
The Purdue Exponent featured an article about bees in the April 21st issue and included quotes from both Dr. Greg Hunt and Krispn Given in the Hunt lab. Entitled "The buzz about honey bees," you can view the entire article by clicking the buzz about honey bees.
|Greg Hunt quoted by Christian Science Monitor|
The Christian Science Monitor
April 17, 2015
A truck crash in Washington state prompted a call to Dr. Greg Hunt after millions of angry bees escaped. To read his comments and the entire article, click on bees flee truck crash.
|President Daniels cites PICS research in addressing global food security|
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
April 15, 2015
During his presentation at the Global Food Security Symposium 2015 organized by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, President Mitch Daniels mentioned the PICS project:
"Perhaps most illustrative are the Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags. What started as a simple realization by an entomology professor that without oxygen, crop-destroying insects couldn't metabolize starch into water, has become an innovative crop storage solution that has already saved farmers in West and Central Africa millions of dollars in lost crops at a cost of less than 1 penny per pound of crop produced."
|Chicago Post-Tribune highlights Bug Bowl|
April 15, 2015
Photo courtesy John Obermeyer
An article carried this week in the Chicago Post-Tribune Describes Spring Fest and highlights the Bug Bowl activities. Entitled "Family destinations: Visitors go buggy over Spring Fest at Purdue," you can read the entire article here.
|Linda Mason is "In the Spotlight" in Purdue Today|
April 14, 2015
Purdue Profiles: Linda Mason
Linda Mason has a storied career in entomology. She's implemented and presented her pest management programs in numerous countries such as Greece and Japan. She's also appeared on national television shows, including MTV's "Road Rules" and "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, all in the name of entomology. Mason has been a professor of entomology at Purdue since 1991, but her more recent appointment as associate dean of the Graduate School has allowed her to share her passion for preofessional development with all graduate students.
|Invasive beetle found in Indiana|
The Walnut Twig Beetle - the insect involved in Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut - has been detected in Indiana for the first time at a Franklin County sawmill. To read the DNRs press release, click walnut twig beetle.
Shown here are a walnut twig beetle and the cankers they can cause.
|AP Staff Advancement|
Congratulations to Susan Schechter in CERIS, and Krispn Given in Entomology who were promoted in their respective AP ranks! These promotions take effect on July 1st.
|Christian Krupke promoted|
Congratulations to Christian Krupke!
Christian has been promoted to Professor. The Board of Trustees gave final approval for this promotion on Friday. The promotion takes effect on July 1st. Attached is a photo of Christian receiving the official word from Dean Jay Akridge.
|Greg Hunt says honeybee die-off less severe this year|
The Associated Press
April 9, 2015
The online news site FortWayne.com carried an Associated Press article on April 9, 2015 regarding Indiana honeybees' overwintering survival rates. To read the verdict, click honeybee die-off less severe.
On Six Legs
April 9, 2015
A colleague of mine once described a necktie as an elongated piece of fabric worn around the neck for no apparent reason. I'm sure some of our more fashionable friends might disagree. After all, even with questionable functionality the necktie is certainly a fashion statement.
The necktie is purported to have arisen from a scarf worn by Croatian mercenaries back in the 17th century. At that time the scarf was a functional item that kept the neck of a shirt closed. The French adopted this type of scarf, named it cravat - French for Croat - and made it into a fashion item.
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|Murdock's interest sparked by doing brother's classwork|
Dr. Larry Murdock is featurd in the current issue of Purdue Agriculture Connections, an alumni news publication. He discusses his start in entomology, some of his amazing research, and his philosophy on how to succeed. To take advantage of Larry's words of wisdom, click on the two-dollar investment.
|Greg Hunt's entire bee lab attends ABRA Conference|
The 2015 American Bee research Conference (ABRC) was held in Tucson, Arizona, on January 22-23. The entire Hunt lab attended this year to present their findings and research. Pictured here are Greg Hunt, Krispn Given, Gladys Andino and Josh Gibson.
Also depicted is Krispn Given with their poster entitled "Breeding for bees that bite varroa mites and groom them from their bodies."
|Cate Hill helps identify safer, more effective mosquito control|
Two researchers at Purdue "have identified a new class of chemical insecticides that could provide a safer, more selective means of controlling mosquitoes that transmit key infectious diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and elephantiasis." According to the April 1, 2015 article in Agriculture News new insecticides developed through the efforts of Cate Hill from Entomology anf Val Watts from Medical Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology are more selective and potentially more cost-effective than conventional pest control devices.
|Purdue's bee lab helps ensure quality queens|
Purdue's Bee Lab, led by Dr. Greg Hunt is a part of a newly-formed organization called Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative [HHBBC]. Their goal is to produce bees who are gentle, healthy and can overwinter successfully. A recent article in Bee Culrure magazine reports on last fall's collaboration on campus "to inseminate virgin queens . . . with semen collected from Purdue stock" which exhibits certain desirable traits.
The article, entitled "Quality Queens" was written by Ginger Davidson and is featured in the September 2014 issue of the magazine. It states, "As National Pollinator Week was kicking off around the nation, HHBBC members recently came together at the Purdue University Bee Lab. Braving the hot and humid Indiana weather, queen breeders from Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania arrived to collaborate with Greg Hunt and Krispn Given from the lab . . .
"Although six insemination devices were often in simultaneous operation during the week, Krispn Given was the primary person collecting semen from drones and inseminating the breeder queens for this project. His schedule over the five days was long, often arriving early and staying late. The hard work paid off, though. When he finished there were 74 inseminated breeder queens; great job Krispn!"
|Clock full of insects|
On Six Legs
March 26, 2015
Time has been so important to humans that we have been keeping track of it in some way for thousands of years. The earliest approach to chronicling time was probably related to obvious cycles in nature such as day and night, the phases of the moon and the changing of seasons. We may have scratched a mark on something or dropped a small stone in a container each time the sun rose or the growing season ended as a way to tally days or years.
Early devices developed to provide an indication of the progression of time included sundials, clepsydra and clepsammia. Today we know the clepsydra as water clocks and clepsammia as hourglasses.
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|Judy Loven, USDA-APHIS State Director, retiring this month|
Coffee Break on March 25th honored special guest Judy Loven who is retiring from her position as State Director of the USDA-APHIS program at the end of the month. Judy has held this position in excess of twenty years and is looking forward to returning to her native Lone Star State to pursue other interests.
We all wish Judy happiness as we bid her goodbye. To see others in the department expressing their best wishes, click on this link:
|Dr. Clémentine Dabire receives award|
On Friday, March 20, 2015, Dr. Clémentine Dabire from Burkina Faso in Africa was presented with a plaque recognizing her special efforts and success with the PICS program. Department Head Steve Yaninek made the presentation. Clémentine is pictured here with Dieudonné Baributsa, who is directing the PICS 3 program.
|Ian Kaplan - 2015 University Faculty Scholar!|
Dr. Ian Kaplan has been selected as a 2015 University Faculty Scholar from the College of Agriculture. Ian is being recognized for advancing the fundamental body of knowledge in insect-plant interactions, and his commitment to excellence in the classroom.
The University Faculty Scholars Program recognizes outstanding faculty members at the West Lafayette campus who are on an accelerated path for academic distinction. Eligible faculty must hold the rank of tenured associate or full professor and have been in that rank for no more than five years. Faculty Scholars are appointed for a nonrenewable five year term and receive an annual $10,000 discretionary allocation.
Attached is a photo of Ian receiving the good news this afternoon from Dean Jay Akridge. Congratulations Ian!
|Consider beekeeping as part of your landscaping architecture|
Indiana Nursery & Landscape News
Apiculture is the science of beekeeping. Humans have collected honey from wild beehives for more than 8,000 years, as shown in Mesolithic rock paintings dating from 6000 B. C. E. By 2500 B. C. E. Egyptians were keeping bees in artificial hives. Hives exploit the honeybees' natural tendency to build nests in cavities, and allow apiculturists to easily move (via boat, wagon, truck) and manipulate bee colonies. This mobility has allowed beekeepers to introduce honeybees around the world; European settlers brought the first hives to the New World in the 1620s.
As many of you reading this will recall, honey bees have had some health issues in recent years. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are experiencing unprecedented challenges with pesticides and the blood-sucking mites (Varroa destructor). Varroa is an external parasitic mite that attacks honey bees and transmits viruses, it is basically a eight legged hypodermic needle. Since the mid eighties when varroa destructor was first detected in beekeepers colonies in the United States (Wisconsin) it has cost billions of dollars and economic loss in the apicultural industry globally. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a syndrome that hit during 2005/2006 decimating thousands of beehives. It is not certain what the causes are but mites and viruses were probably a big part of it. If you are considering keeping bees in an urban environment some caution is required. It is best to get bees from an experienced individual that can help you out in the beginning phase. There has been a tremendous resurgence in new beekeepers in the United States the last few years. With the heightened awareness of bee health, now is a good time to get started in beekeeping. States have there own beekeeping organizations that are experiencing a growth in membership. In Indiana I have attended meetings with 600 + beekeepers!
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