Entomology Weekly Review - March 3 2023

Entomology Weekly

Weekly Review for March 3, 2023

This informal report by the Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology is a commentary on insects, diseases, and curiosities division staff encounter on a week-to-week basis. Comments and questions about this report are welcome and can be sent to your respective Inspector.

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Eric Biddinger (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - EBiddinger@dnr.IN.gov 

Welcome to Spring 2023. Amazing since, as I write this, it is still February. But we have seen a few early tree shipments coming into stores and the greenhouses are gearing up quickly. Hang on tight – I do not need to warn you folks about the wild turns spring in Indiana can make.

A couple of notes. First, Jared Spokowsky has taken the lead on all things apiary and bees. As such, he is trying to do more outreach and will be writing articles in the Weekly Review to help accomplish this. Several other inspectors are also training up on bee regulations and inspections to assist Jared this season.

Second, as we noted last year, we have a couple new faces. Diane Turner is in the Noblesville field office and Caydee Terrell is in the Lafayette field office. With these additions we have moved the staff territories around. I will be getting the maps and contact information updated on our website shortly.

Jared Spokowsky (Nursery Inspetor & Compliance Officer)Jspokowsky@dnr.IN.gov

I was able to give brief introduction to the new beekeepers at this past weekend’s TOBI Bee School. I wanted to follow up with some information that new beekeepers might find useful for evaluating their apiary locations. If you live in an area with only one or two crops, your bees can suffer from limited floral sources during different times of the year.

An increased diversity of floral resources is going to be advantageous to a colony but sometimes we have a hard time visualizing this. I realize this is Indiana where beans and corn rule, but I think it’s still worth looking for sites which give colonies the best chances. So, I would like to point you to two resources which might help make this a little clearer.

Beescape.org was built mainly by Penn State University with the help of some other researchers and USDA input. Using the tool, you can place a pin on a map at an apiary location and it will calculate the forage, nesting, and pesticide exposure for a given area. This is done primarily based on landcover use maps and previous cropping data.

On the Beescape.org site, scroll down to the bottom left-hand side of the page you will see the Beescape map tool. Once you click on that link you will have the option of putting in an address or manually dragging a circle to anywhere you want. Once the circle is in place you click inside the circle and it will calculate the various values and give you a low, mid, or high value for nesting, insecticide, spring, summer and fall forage at a three-kilometer and five-kilometer ranges. I spent a little time playing around with this and it does respond well to different variables. I have one local dairy near me which has several fields of alfalfa and clover and when I place the circle over this area, I get a significant increase in the floral resource bars. The same is true for the nesting habitat when I move the circle around from areas which are mainly crop land to predominantly wooded.


Figure 1. Screen shot showing a possible apiary location and corresponding forage, nesting, and insecticide values.

Another tool that beekeepers might find useful is the USDA CropScape Database. This database shows all the previous year’s crops for the United States. For the majority of Indiana you are going to see a lot of green (soybeans) and yellow (corn), but if you are interested in possible bee forage, it is worth a look.

No reports this week

Megan Abraham (Division Director & State Entomologist) - MAbraham@dnr.IN.gov

Eric Bitner (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - EBitner@dnr.IN.gov

Kallie Bontrager (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KBontrager@dnr.IN.gov

Vince Burkle (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - VBurkle@dnr.IN.gov

Ken Cote (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KCote@dnr.IN.gov

Ren Hall (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) RHall@dnr.IN.gov

Phil Marshall (State Forest Health Specialist) - PMarshall@dnr.IN.gov

Angela Rust (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - ARust@dnr.IN.gov

Kristy Stultz (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KStultz@dnr.IN.gov

Caydee Terrell (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - CTerrell@dnr.IN.gov

Diane Turner (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer)DTurner2@dnr.IN.gov

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