T. B. Mitchell: The Man Behind The Bees of the Eastern United States

from American Entomologist
September 2016

by Elsa Youngsteadt, Heather Moylett, Margarita López-Uribe, and April Hamblin

In the mothball-scented NC State University Insect Museum, thousands of bees bear the name T. B. Mitchell. The tiny, terse specimen labels, now caramel-colored and flaking, convey a skeleton history of a long and active career. “Highlands, NC, 1920, T. B. Mitchell” reads one . . . → Read More: T. B. Mitchell: The Man Behind The Bees of the Eastern United States

Squash Bees Are Pollinating Your Pumpkins and Zucchini

from the Frank Lab Website
August 17, 2015

A female squash bee foraging in a male pumpkin flower (note the pollen on her back legs). (Photo: E. Youngsteadt)

For years, I have felt rather sheepish for never having seen a squash bee. As native bees go, these fetching little stripey, round-faced bees get a lot of press. They’re . . . → Read More: Squash Bees Are Pollinating Your Pumpkins and Zucchini

Cicada Killer Wasps Are on the Wing

from the Frank Lab Website
July 20, 2015

A male cicada killer perches atop a retaining wall, keeping watch over his territory. (Photo: E. Youngsteadt)

North Carolina’s steamy July days bring out some of our most spectacular solitary wasps. These sleek and streamlined hunters are quite docile toward humans, but are to be feared by other insects and . . . → Read More: Cicada Killer Wasps Are on the Wing

New paper: Ants make cities cleaner

from the Frank Lab Website
December 2, 2014

This is an essay I wrote about our research on ecology of urban insects; the results were just published in Global Change Biology.

The first time we came back to an empty cage in Highbridge Park, I thought there was a problem.

This was a cage cobbled together out of a fry . . . → Read More: New paper: Ants make cities cleaner

Cities as a glimpse of the future

from the Frank Lab Website
August 27, 2014

This is an essay I wrote about my recent research on cities and climate change; the results were just published in Global Change Biology.

About a year ago, I found myself sitting ruefully in a patch of chiggery grass by the side of the road near the little town of Bahama, . . . → Read More: Cities as a glimpse of the future

Gardening for pollinators: A quick-start guide

July 26, 2014

A few weeks ago, the Ridgewood Whole Foods Market in Raleigh kindly invited my colleague April Hamblin and me to represent native bees at their Share the Buzz event. I put together this mini-guide to providing room and board for native pollinators. April and I had a great time introducing passers-by to the more . . . → Read More: Gardening for pollinators: A quick-start guide

Chestnut Growers’ Guide to Site Selection and Environmental Stress

from The Journal of the American Chestnut Foundation
May-June 2014

American chestnuts are tough, efficient trees that can reward their growers with several feet of growth per year. They’ll survive and even thrive under a range of conditions, but there are a few deal breakers that guarantee sickly, slow-growing trees. This guide, intended for backyard and small-orchard growers, . . . → Read More: Chestnut Growers’ Guide to Site Selection and Environmental Stress

This bench is habitat

from the Frank Lab Website
May 22, 2014

A few weeks ago, while I was sitting on a bench on campus eating lunch, a female carpenter bee startled me by flying up directly between my knees. She looked me in the eye and buzzed off. Turns out I was sitting right above the nest hole she had carved . . . → Read More: This bench is habitat

Chestnut Growers’ Guide to Pests and Diseases

from The Journal of the American Chestnut Foundation
May-June 2013

Growing American chestnuts is an adventure with many rewards: stately trees, delicious nuts, and conservation of an important species. But today’s chestnuts have to fend off much more than the notorious blight fungus. Other exotic pathogens and pests have arrived on the scene, and a whole host of . . . → Read More: Chestnut Growers’ Guide to Pests and Diseases

Biodiversity’s Invisible Palette

from American Scientist
July-August 2012

Tropical ecologists have a long tradition of tromping through the forest in rubber boots, tracking the fates of individual trees and perhaps scaling some of these 50-meter giants to sample their foliage. But forests—and the conservation issues they face—dwarf even the most ambitious on-the-ground studies. Ecologist Greg Asner, of the Carnegie Institution for . . . → Read More: Biodiversity’s Invisible Palette