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

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

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

Decoding a Flower’s Message

from American Scientist
July-August 2012

Texas gourd vines unfurl their large, flared blossoms in the dim hours before sunrise. Until they close at noon, their yellow petals and mild, squashy aroma attract bees that gather nectar and shuttle pollen from flower to flower. But “when you advertise [to pollinators], you advertise in an open communication network,” says chemical . . . → Read More: Decoding a Flower’s Message

Insect Escape Artists

Book review in American Scientist
May-June, 2012

How Not to Be Eaten: The Insects Fight Back. Gilbert Waldbauer. xiv + 221 pp. University of California Press, 2012. $27.95.

Rarely does one have reason to compare a moth and a croquet ball, but entomologist Gilbert Waldbauer finds the parallel. In an anecdote in How Not to Be Eaten, he recalls . . . → Read More: Insect Escape Artists

How a Fungus Boosts a Beetle’s Invasion

Microbial evolution helps explain why a mild-mannered American beetle has become a tree killer in Asia . . . → Read More: How a Fungus Boosts a Beetle’s Invasion

Interview: Hanging Around in the Rainforest

In a reversal of roles, I’m on somebody else’s podcast…talking about my own research: “Insect biologist Elsa Youngsteadt explains to Curiouser & Curiouser host Jai Ranganathan why tropical ants create gardens up in trees.”
Click here to check out that episode, along with many other engaging interviews on Curiouser & . . . → Read More: Interview: Hanging Around in the Rainforest

In the News: Honeybee Cooties

from American Scientist
March-April 2011

For bees and wasps, flowers may be as germy as a kindergarten sandbox. Also in this issue’s news roundup: The Vikings might have taken a Native American woman back to Iceland. Data collected in the 1970s finally reveal the moon’s molten core. And more.

read . . . → Read More: In the News: Honeybee Cooties