In this episode, we talk with Dr. Christina Grozinger, from Penn State’s Department of Entomology. Her recent research and and plant growing season has confirmed many suspicions on the long term impact these changes have on all bees, both native...
In this episode, we talk with Dr. Christina Grozinger, from Penn State’s Department of Entomology. Her recent research and paper of climate changes impact on honey bee survival and plant growing season has confirmed many suspicions on the long term impact these changes have on all bees, both native and honey bees.
Climate change, growing degree days, too warm, too wet, not wet enough, too cold, not enough nectar, last summer’s weather, winter temperatures – all of these environmental experiences have some effect on honey bee behavior. But this research at Penn State indicates, interestingly, that the temperature last summer is the best predictor of that colony making it through to the winter and into the next season.
In the northeast US the changing climate shows warmer winters, more intense precipitation in the winter and spring, and longer growing seasons with higher maximum temperatures. These changes are affecting the success of populations of both wild bees, and those we keep in hives. Bees are experiencing habitat loss and climate change simultaneously, plus greater exposure to the bad sides of agriculture.
So, Penn State has started several projects, looking at these variables and surprisingly, found that, yes, varroa is still the greatest problem beekeepers have with their bees, but that doesn’t explain why the abundance and diversity of wild bees is declining at the same time.
Listen today as Christina discusses the important findings of this research and on Penn State’s continuing projects investigating the questions they’re exploring. And there are many ways you can participate!
Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:
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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott
Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC
Christina Grozinger is the Publius Vergilius Maro Professor of Entomology and the Director for the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State. She is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology at McGill University, and her master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
Grozinger uses an integrative approach – from genomics to ecology – to study health and social behavior in bees. Together with other members of the Penn State Center for Pollinator Research, Grozinger is developing comprehensive approaches to improve the health of wild and managed pollinators, and coordinates networks of researchers, stakeholders, educators and policymakers to address these issues.