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On a seven-acre research site in Plains, Georgia, where former President Jimmy Carter’s family used to grow peanuts and soybeans now sits a solar farm of more than 3,800 panels. UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences researchers are testing wildflowers like red clover (pictured) planted among the panels to measure habitat success over several seasons. CAES News
Biodiversity on Solar Farms
As solar farms pop up across the U.S., researchers at the University of Georgia are working to improve the biodiversity on solar sites as part of a larger, multidisciplinary research program designed to support both sustainable energy and ecosystem health.
solitary oak leafminer damage CAES News
Solitary Oak Leafminer
“What’s wrong with the leaves of my oak tree? Is my tree dying?” Over the past several weeks, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices across north Georgia have been flooded with calls from residents asking about their oak trees. Whether white, red or chestnut oaks, the question has been the same.
A monarch butterfly rests on a leaf in Nova Scotia, Canada. (Photo courtesy of Pat Davis) CAES News
Monarch Butterfly Populations
For years, scientists have warned that monarch butterflies are dying off in droves because of diminishing winter colonies. But new research from the University of Georgia shows that the summer population of monarchs has remained relatively stable over the past 25 years.
Aerial photo of soybean field at the UGA Northwest Research and Education Center in Rome, Georgia, by Henry Jordan CAES News
MyIPM Row Crops
New insect wreaking havoc in your cotton field? Troublesome disease in your peanut stand you don’t recognize? No idea where to start? There’s an app for that.
Fire ant mounds seen on the surface of our lawns and fields are just a small portion of the ant colony where soil has been excavated to the surface. These colonies are unsightly and occasionally dangerous. CAES News
Fire Ant Management
There are many things you come to expect living in the Southern U.S. You can count on sweetened ice tea being available at every restaurant, there will always be festivals named after fruits and vegetables, and the weather after Easter will never make any sense. You can also count on fire ant mounds appearing in late spring. 
Close-up of a firefly against a dark background with its abdomen lit up.
Fireflies' bioluminescence comes from light-producing lantern organs in their abdomen where the chemicals work with other substances in the insect’s body to produce light. CAES News
Firefly Season
Georgia is home to more than 50 species of fireflies — or lightning bugs — more than any other U.S. state. The dancing light patterns we enjoy in our gardens and landscapes are an important, and nostalgic, part of Georgia summer evenings. To protect these insects and ensure that we continue to enjoy them, it is important to understand their lifecycle and habitat needs.
“This is beyond just a feel-good program — we’ve had students learn to read just so they could participate,” said Jennifer Berry, a doctoral student and research professional in UGA's Department of Entomology. “It clicks in their minds that they can learn — through beekeeping they can learn. CAES News
Prison Beekeeping Program
“I was one of those teenagers — I wanted to be an actress. I went to college for theater but dropped out and got on drugs.” This is certified beekeeper Joy Ishi (Cornett) Smith’s story. Or it was for a while.
The four-day event, held in person at Young Harris College, is an immersion experience for anyone interested in bees and beekeeping, regardless of experience level. Registration is open through May 16 CAES News
2022 Beekeeping Institute
Beekeepers, it’s time to grab your smoker and hive tool — the Young Harris Beekeeping Institute will celebrate its 30th year May 18 to 21. The four-day event, held in-person at Young Harris College, is an immersion experience for anyone interested in bees and beekeeping, regardless of experience level. Registration is open through May 16.
Kelseyresearchpic ent CAES News
Beneficial Viruses
Inheriting a virus may sound like an undesirable bequest, but for certain insects, the phenomenon of beneficial virus inheritance is key to their survival. In the case of certain parasitoid wasps, viruses not only help these beneficial insects survive, they eliminate many agricultural pests in the process.
Plant selection and landscape maintenance play a critical role in pollinator populations, particularly as land use shifts to urban landscapes. Rooftop gardens, like this one on the UGA Geology Building, can provide needed resources for insects. CAES News
Urban Pollinator Conservation
Urban landscapes have become a focus in pollinator conservation. Practices in urban plant selection and landscape maintenance play a critical role in pollinator populations and the preservation of essential ecosystem services.