Häagen-Dazs has sweetened funding for research into honey bee colony collapse disorder with a second donation of $125,000 to Penn State University.
Last year, the Oakland, Calif.-based maker of premium ice creams donated $150,000 toward honey-bee-related research. In addition, it contributed $100,000 toward similar programs at the University of California, Davis.
The year, the money will go to the following Penn State projects:
• Two Häagen-Dazs graduate fellowships in pollinator health will be created, each with a $25,000 stipend. Both will work on topics, such as pathogens of bees and native pollinators, the role of pesticides in declining bee health, parasites of bees, effects of infectious disease on bee physiology, and ecology and manipulation of native bees.
• The citizen-based Native Bee Survey, an ongoing effort to determine the species and population sizes of native pollinators in Pennsylvania, will receive $15,000.
"The information from this survey is key to helping understand the full impact of declines in honeybee and other native pollinator populations," says Dennis vanEnglesdorp, Penn State senior Extension associate and acting state apiarist for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
• The purchase of high-pressure liquid chromatography equipment for pesticide analysis will be supported with $45,000.
According to Diana Cox-Foster, professor of entomology and co-chair of a national working group of CCD researchers, this equipment more easily separates and detects chemicals in a sample. Among those chemicals are individual pesticides in pollen, wax and bee samples. This equipment can perform initial screenings before more expensive analyses are undertaken.
• The Master Gardener Program at Penn State will receive $15,000 to support the Pollinator Education Program, a statewide initiative established with last year's gift from Häagen-Dazs.
Through the program, Master Gardeners teach homeowners and gardeners how to establish local, pollinator-friendly plantings and habitats. The new funding will expand the program by which homeowners can have their own gardens certified as pollinator friendly.
For more information on honeybee research at Penn State, visit http://www.ento.psu.edu/HoneyBeeResearch.html.
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