Department of
Entomology

Department of Entomology - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bee gold: Honey as a superfood

From pesticide detox to increased longevity, the benefits of the sweet stuff go well beyond simply nourishing the hardworking insects in the hive. May Berenabaum answers questions for Knowable Magazine about honey and its health benefits.

New book celebrates Illinois couple’s turning back time in their own backyard

Wildflowers peek their heads through the grass. An eastern tailed-blue butterfly flits among the tall, swaying blades as a red-winged blackbird flies overhead.

When Fred Delcomyn looks outside, this is what he might see.

In 2001, when he and his wife, Nancy, moved to their home outside of Urbana, Illinois, it looked a lot different.

Hunting a creature that hunts me

It’s a sweltering summer afternoon. I’m pushing aside tree limbs and crunching leaves to get back to the trap that I baited two hours ago with dry ice to attract ticks. When I get closer, I can see a gossamer mist hovering over a bright white cloth in the dark underbrush. Dry ice “sublimates” in the open air, going from a solid to a gaseous state. It gives off a vapor of carbon dioxide gas that’s denser than the air, mimicking the breath of a tick host resting on the ground.

Honey bees prosper with quality, not quantity, of food in novel laboratory setup

Honey bee workers collect pollen and nectar from a variety of flowering plants to use as a food source. Honey bees typically forage from up to 1-2 miles away from the hive, though sometimes they travel even further, including up to 10 miles away. However, much of the modern landscape consists of agricultural fields, which limits the foraging options for honey bees in these areas.

Grad Student Visionary: Elizabeth Bello

This edition of Beckman's Grad Student Visionaries series features Elizabeth Bello, a graduate student studying entomology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She takes advantage of Beckman’s Microscopy Suite to further her research in the Alleyne Bioinspiration Co-LAB-orative, or ABCLab.

This Q&A is a spin-off of our Student Researcher Spotlight that highlights the state-of-the-art equipment housed in Beckman's Microscopy Suite and Visualization Laboratory and the graduate students who use it.

Solar farms could double as pollinator food supplies

Pollinator habitats and solar farms may seem like ecologically great neighbors, but we still don't understand very much about that relationship. A team of researchers recently published a paper surveying the ins and outs of keeping solar production alongside the kinds of plants that pollinators like bees and butterflies love. The paper notes that there's a good amount of potential here, but more work needs to be done to fully understand the potential partnership.

Featured Photo

A female lone star tick climbing towards the camera.
Amblyomma americanum (Ixodida: Ixodidae)
Photo: Tanya Josek