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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Media Advisory: Ohio State Experts Available to Speak on Bees and Pesticides

April 16, 2012

WOOSTER, Ohio -- Two Ohio State University experts are available to speak to reporters about honey bees, native pollinators and the potential effects of pesticides on them.

  • Reed Johnson, assistant professor, Department of Entomology, Wooster, who conducts research on apiculture (beekeeping) and on pollinator toxicology (adverse effects of chemicals) and genomics (genes and their function). His research, he says, seeks "to understand how to protect pollinators from the pesticides and toxins they encounter." He can be reached at 330-202-3523 (office), 330-765-9455 (cell) or
  • Denise Ellsworth, program director, Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education, Department of Entomology, Wooster, who conducts public outreach programs on honey bees and other pollinators; has expertise in bee health, integrated pest management, and pollinator identification, conservation and habitat enhancement; and is a garden writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. She can be reached at 330-263-3723 (office), 330-495-1284 (cell) or

Two recent European studies have implicated a common class of farm, lawn and garden insecticides, called neonicotinoids, in crashing bee populations.

Also of note, Dave Shetlar, a professor in the Department of Entomology based in Columbus, described a less-toxic alternative to neonicotinoids in a Jan. 24 Ohio State press release available at Shetlar specializes in pests of turfgrass and landscape plants.

Johnson, Ellsworth and Shetlar have appointments with the university's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State University Extension, or both.

OARDC and OSU Extension are the research and outreach arms, respectively, of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

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Kurt Knebusch
Reed Johnson, Denise Ellsworth