About Us

We are a group of scientists doing research to explore the relationships between bees, environmental horticulture plants, and pesticides.

Our research is primarily targeted towards helping environmental horticulture growers, but our activities also produce valuable resources for home gardeners or anyone interested in the interplay between bees, plants, and pesticides.

This website is our hub to:

  • Share our research results
  • Provide customized plant lists to help gardeners—see Buzz Your Garden
  • Provide resources to plant growers
  • Share related pollinator news and resources
Sunflower with a bee in the middle.

Research Areas

Bees &
Plants

GOAL: Identify which envrionmental horticulture plants attract the most bees.

Environmental horticulture plants are often bred to be attractive to humans with big showy flowers, but whether bees also find them attractive is less known.

Determining which plants are most visited by bees will help growers identify 1) the best plants to grow for pollinator gardens, and 2) those plants where special care is needed when selecting pesticides.

Bees &
Plant Pests

GOAL: Help growers manage plant pest outbreaks while minimizing the risks to bees.

If neonicotinoid pesticides are harmful to bees, growers need accurate information on alternatives to non-neonicotinoid pesticides.

For growers to produce high quality plants at the expected quantities, they often require some use of pesticides. The term pesticide means any product used to manage pest, disease, or weed populations. These products can be biopesticides, organic, natural, or human designed chemistry. Pesticides are often needed to satisfy regulatory requirements for interstate or international shipments, as they prevent pests or diseases from spreading to new regions.

To assess whether a non-neonicotinoid pesticide is a viable option for growers, we need data on how effective these pesticides are in eliminating pests, how much they cost, and whether they have adverse effects on the environment. Right now this information is scattered among many different resources. We want to make it easy for people to find it.

Bees &
Public Perception

GOAL: Measure people's perceptions and level of interest in pollinator-friendly plants.

When it comes to purchasing pollinator-friendly plants, knowing people’s preferences and their willingness to pay for those preferences will help growers foster a viable pollinator-friendly market.

Ultimately, growers will only supply pollinator-friendly plants if there is sufficient demand. Gauging the level of interest and purchasing power among growers, landscape professionals, beekeepers, and consumers, is crucial for successfully creating more pollinator-friendly habitat.

Resources

Icon of a small bee.

Pollinator Info

Learn about the pollinators visiting your garden. Read the latest pollinator news.

Icon of a plant

Buzz Your Garden

Use our database to create a customized pollinator-friendly plant list for your garden.

Pollinators in the News

Three large fake flowers, with a little girl placing a ball (representing pollen) in the middle of the flower.

The Penn State Center for Pollinator Research is partnering with Discovery Space to develop and expand a new exhibit to educate young children about honey bees.

Honeybee on white clover flower.

As you plan your spring garden, consider adding pollinator-friendly trees and plants to provide food and habitat for bee populations that are in decline across the country and worldwide.

Honeybees on capped honeycomb.

The purpose of this newsletter is to further the understanding of these bee-related problems and issues surrounding the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. UC Davis bee biology expert Elina Niño introduces the subject of bee health and the significant effect of parasitic mites and pathogens in bee decline.