UW team that revolutionized grasshopper control is recognized

A man holds big grasshopper, nother takes phone picture, third looks on.
Alexandre Latchininsky (center) and Scott Schell (right) have taught an entomology short course at the University of Wyoming for 13 years. Ken Black (left), an airman at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, is one of hundreds of professionals who have completed the 3-day course. The Eastern lubber grasshopper Schell holds is not native to Western rangelands.

A University of Wyoming Extension team that changed how grasshopper outbreaks are treated in North America and beyond has received the 2018 Western Extension Directors Association Award of Excellence for its efforts.

Prior to 2010, large-scale applications of broad-spectrum pesticide neurotoxins were common. The University of Wyoming Grasshopper Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Team of entomologists developed an approach in which lower-risk insect growth regulators are applied to rangeland in alternating swaths. This method affects only immature insects (pest grasshopper nymphs) and is benign to honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Since the late 1990s, the UW team has introduced the program in 10 states and 11 countries through demonstrations, hands-on train-the-trainer workshops, and UW Extension and academic publications. Now it is the preferred option for grasshopper management in the West.

In 2010, a major grasshopper outbreak was averted in Wyoming when the reduced agent and area treatments (RAATs) were applied to 6 million acres. The cost was $1.25 per acre and resulted in $14 million savings for the state’s agriculturists.

The extension award recognizes Grasshopper IPM Team leader Alexandre Latchininsky, professor and UW Extension entomologist; and members Scott Schell, assistant extension entomologist; John Connett, IPM specialist; Cindy Legg, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) database manager; Douglas Smith, Wyoming CAPS coordinator; Lee Noel, former graduate student; and team founder Jeffrey Lockwood, now professor of natural sciences and humanities in the University of Wyoming Department of Philosophy.

The Western Extension Directors Association Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding extension education that addresses contemporary issues in one or more of the 13 Western states and Pacific Island U.S. Territories.

The 2018 award will be presented at the Western Region Joint Summer Meeting in Tamuning, Guam, July 9-12, 2018.

For more information, contact Latchininsky at 307-766-2298 or latchini@uwyo.edu.

Bee Girl, scary movies featured at Wyoming Bee College

A honey bee hive at the Converse County Extension office.

University of Wyoming Extension offers the 2018 Wyoming Bee College Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18 at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

Bee College is for everyone, from new and aspiring beekeepers to advanced and master beekeepers and those interested in gardening for pollinators, said UW Extension educator Catherine Wissner.  The $85 conference fee includes a dinner and two lunches. There is no charge for Bee Buddies ages 7 to 15 accompanied by an adult.

The pre-conference Bee University Friday, March 16 is an all-day advanced program. Participants may choose tracks on apitherapy – the hive as medicine chest; making honey wine; raising your own queens; or a course on becoming a master beekeeper.

To learn more about Wyoming Bee College and University, special hotel rates and registration, go to bit.ly/BeeCollege.

“This year’s event is bigger, and we have three great keynote speakers,” Wissner said.

Opening Saturday is Bee Girl founder Sarah Red-Laird with the latest on education, research and a university collaboration to save bees.

Saturday night, Raymond Cloyd presents Hollywood and Entomology, a history of the 1950s “big bug” science fiction movies.

The topic Sunday morning is American foulbrood disease with Sandra Hope of Brigham Young University.

These and other regional and national experts present five concurrent tracks on Saturday and four on Sunday. Speakers and workshop leaders bring long-time beekeeping experience and expertise in conservation and habitat development. Participants learn best management practices, how to avoid pitfalls and building their business through new products (honey money). Hands-on demonstrations help new or aspiring beekeepers learn the basics.

For more information, contact Wissner, the “dean” of Wyoming Bee College, at 307-63­3-4383 or cwissner@uwyo.edu.

 

UW Extension bulletin identifies Wyoming pollinators, plants that attract

Picture of the pollinator guide coverIdentifying pollinators in Wyoming, their lifecycles and how to attract them are part of a new booklet from the University of Wyoming Extension.

“Promoting Pollinators on Your Place” looks at not only the myriad of insects – and hummingbirds – but also the flowers and other plants that attract them.

Pollination is essential for flower reproduction and many crops in Wyoming.

“Growing conditions for plants in Wyoming can be tough,” said Jennifer Thompson, extension small-acreage team coordinator. “Despite this, the state is host to an amazing variety of pollinators that visit them.”

The booklet also has raising bees and beekeeper information sections.

Copies of the bulletin are available at extension offices and many conservation district and weed and pest control district offices. A pdf version is available for download at bit.ly/wypollinators. The website contains links to all references mentioned in the booklet.

Jones said knowing what pollinators are there and what they are looking for, such as nectar, pollen and nesting sites, can help people create conditions that promote pollinator well-being in backyards, vegetable plots, hoop houses and fields.

Continue reading UW Extension bulletin identifies Wyoming pollinators, plants that attract

Wyoming Bee College is back, bigger

Hand-drawn illustration of beehive, clover and bee, plus text about event on tan background.
This year’s event is bigger, said Catherine Wissner, UW Extension educator. National and regional experts present five concurrent tracks on Saturday and four concurrent tracks on Sunday geared toward every level of beekeeper, wanna-bee, gardener and pollinator advocate.

For a “degree in bees,” University of Wyoming Extension offers 2017 Wyoming Bee College Saturday and Sunday, March 18-19 at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

The $75 conference fee includes a dinner and two lunches. There is no charge for Bee Buddies ages 7 to 15 accompanied by an adult. To learn more about Wyoming Bee College, special hotel rates and registration, go to bit.ly/BeeCollege.

Speakers and workshop leaders bring current research on pollinators, long-time beekeeping experience and expertise on conservation and habitat development. Participants learn best management practices and how to build their business through new products, certification and food safety. New or aspiring beekeepers get hands-on demonstrations of the basics.

Author and “Bee Culture Magazine” contributor James E Tew is the keynote speaker both days. “He is truly a beekeeper with his boots on the ground,” said Catherine Wissner, UW Extension educator. “His knowledge is research-based and practical, plus he brings beekeeping humor, tips, wisdom and stories from the hive,” she said.

Author and beekeeping expert Les Crowder teaches a half-day course on top bar beekeeping, which is a low-cost, high wax yield system that mimics a hollow log.

The Denver Butterfly Pavilion presents classes on butterflies, native bees and habitat development and how to help them and native bees.

For more information, contact Wissner, the “dean” of Wyoming Bee College, at 307-63­3-4383 or cwissner@uwyo.edu.