07 June 2023
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In the main build­ing of the Forestry Engi­neer­ing Uni­ver­si­ty there is a For­est Ento­mol­o­gy Muse­um at the forestry fac­ul­ty. There are many valu­able and unusu­al exhibits in the four halls of the muse­um. Ento­mo­log­i­cal muse­um is a real world of for­est insects.

In one of the halls of the muse­um there is a por­trait of the pro­fes­sor NA. Kholod­kovsky (1858–1921) – the pro­fes­sor of the Impe­r­i­al For­est Insti­tute, an out­stand­ing sci­en­tist and writer, the founder of the Russ­ian for­est ento­mol­o­gy, who was the ini­tia­tor of the cre­ation of the Museum.

The first col­lec­tion of insects, which laid the foun­da­tion for the Muse­um, was in the Lisin­sky Forestry Train­ing Col­lege, where in 1859 an Ento­mo­log­i­cal Study Room was cre­at­ed for prac­ti­cal class­es of stu­dents. For this study room, a col­lec­tion, which at the begin­ning con­sist­ed of only about 1,300 species of insects, was acquired.

Dur­ing the first years of Sovi­et pow­er, the Muse­um was sig­nif­i­cant­ly expand­ed and replen­ished. The out­stand­ing Sovi­et ento­mol­o­gist  M.N. Rim­sky-Kor­sakov (1873–1951), who for 30 years was the head of the For­est Ento­mol­o­gy Depart­ment of the For­est Insti­tute, played a great role in its development.

Under his lead­er­ship and with the direct par­tic­i­pa­tion of spe­cial ento­mo­log­i­cal expe­di­tions that trav­eled to var­i­ous parts of the Sovi­et Union, they stud­ied forestry of the coun­try. In the post­war peri­od it fell into decay: huge for­est tracts per­ished from pests, and ento­mo­log­i­cal expe­di­tions were to devel­op sci­en­tif­ic meth­ods for com­bat­ing for­est pests. Teach­ers, grad­u­ate stu­dents, stu­dents of the Forestry Acad­e­my, explor­ing the forests of Siberia, the Urals, the Vol­ga region, the Cau­ca­sus, have done a great job in iden­ti­fy­ing and study­ing insect pests and in devel­op­ing meth­ods of pest control.

Col­lec­tions of the Muse­um has about 5000 species of insects now. Among them there are species use­ful and harm­ful to humans. Insects dif­fer in shape, col­or, size and play a huge role in nature. Use­ful insects pol­li­nate plants, loosen soil, and destroy harm­ful insects. Insects-pests not only spoil the foliage, bark, wood, but also are able to com­plete­ly destroy the forest.

Var­i­ous species of for­est insects are wide­ly rep­re­sent­ed in the Muse­um. Such a rich col­lec­tion of for­est pests show­ing all stages of devel­op­ment of each species, as in the Muse­um of For­est Ento­mol­o­gy of the Forestry Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty, is not found in any muse­um or uni­ver­si­ty of the world.

One of the newest exhibits of the muse­um tells how to deal with the For­est cockchafer (Melolon­tha). Ento­mol­o­gists sug­gest­ed spray­ing the crown of birch with bio­log­i­cal prepa­ra­tions that are harm­less to plants and the envi­ron­ment and direct­ed only at the Melolon­tha genus. A series of exper­i­ments have already been car­ried out in Roshchin­sky Leskhoz, which proved the effec­tive­ness of this method of bio­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion of pine trees.

Among the exhibits is a tree trunk, entire­ly cov­ered with a bizarre pat­tern. This is the work of bark bee­tles, dan­ger­ous and insid­i­ous pests, which cause great dam­age to the forest.

The pride of the Muse­um is the rich­est col­lec­tion of butterflies.

Sci­en­tists-ento­mol­o­gists, study­ing the devel­op­ment, repro­duc­tion and behav­ior of insect pests, are work­ing hard to pre­serve the coun­try’s main wealth, its “green gold” — the forest.