Bug Appetit

Oct 15, 2015

The fourth annual “Bug fest” is Saturday, 10/17 at Virginia Tech. It’s not an ‘infestation’… It’s a chance for the entomology department to celebrate insects of all kinds..  But this year, Bug FEST could turn into a ‘bug’ FEAST, and the public is invited .

“I’m going to make two recipes.  I’m going to make teriyaki grass hoppers.  I’m also going to make a deep fried Tarantula spider…

The nation’s eagle population has made a comeback, rising from a low of 417 breeding pairs in 1963 to more than 7,000 pairs in 2005.  Here in Virginia, there are more than 700 nesting eagles, but wildlife experts say  our national bird still faces serious dangers.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia  says some eagles collide with wires or vehicles.  Others are shot, but 11 percent are poisoned.  Intern Kendra Jacomo recalls one young bird that died at the center this year.

A government agency has moved to protect thousands of square miles of ocean bottom habitat – including areas off the Virginia coast – from damage by commercial fishing operations.....and a thriving elk population in southwest Virginia has created complications for state wildlife managers.  Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link on vpap.org.

You’ve probably seen it in your garden, along roadways, just about everywhere: Garlic Mustard.  It’s an invasive plant that stealthily out-competes native species, threatening the diversity of forests in many parts of the country. But what if there were a recipe to change that?

They don’t call it garlic mustard for nothing. Rachel Collins is Associate Professor of Biology at Roanoke College. 

“The chemical that it’s making that smells like garlic is one of these herbivore defense chemicals like basil and all the other yummy flavors in bail and mint.”


Annually for about 13 years, Virginia—like many other states—has been losing about 30% of its honey bee population to a host of problems.  

Some might think that there’s no need to worry.  But aside from the delicious honey they produce, bees are a major contributor to the production of Virginia agriculture, the state's top commodity.

Kill the bees, kill the economy—not to mention furthering the slow breakdown of the ecosystem. So what's leading to the decline? Virginia Tech entomologist Dr. Troy Anderson says a lot of factors are responsible.