Here are some of the recent trending headlines that IPMers and Feed the Future fans are talking about.
The Buzz on Bees
The big news in the insect world is that the EPA has found that neonicotinoid pesticides cause harm to exposed bee populations. Beyond just bees, many species of pollinators are in trouble, including birds, moths, and wasps.
Bananas in Trouble
The bananas you’re pretty much guaranteed to find in any U.S. grocery store, a genetic variety called Cavendish, is being threatened by a deadly fungus known as Tropical Race 4, or Panama disease. It was first found on these bananas in southeastern Africa, and has spread to Australia. While it has not yet reached Latin America, where most of U.S. bananas are grown, scientists believe it is only a matter of time and are working hard to find a solution.
In some good news, there has been a resurgence in the number of monarch butterflies hibernating in the Mexican mountains this winter. The chairman of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas in Mexico estimates that the population could have risen to 140 million, a sharp increase from the estimated 35 million just two years ago.
Virginia Tech has been in the news thanks to the work of Professor Marc Edwards, who helped bring the Flint water crisis to light. For spring break, he and a team of students went to Michigan to do water testing. The lead contamination of Flint’s water came to light when a resident of the town reached out to Edwards for help after officials had assured residents that their orange water was safe to drink. Edwards and his team tested the water and found that it had high levels of lead and was unsafe for human consumption.