Items of potential interest to beekeepers 16 October 2018

Rosanna Mattingly Editor, Western Apicultural Society Journal Editor, The Bee Line, Oregon State Beekeepers Association



Deadline for Reduced Cost and Mail-In Is Today, October 16, 2018

The OSBA Fall Conference provides an opportunity meet and learn from some of the top researchers in the US and Canada—as well as continue the conversations we began last year and engage in new ones. This fine, quickly moving year of 2018 is no different! Join us in welcoming scientists and others involved with bees from near and far at the Salem Convention Center in October. We’ll gather Friday evening, October 26, in preparation for two full days of talking bees and beekeeping. Does it get any better . . .?

As seen in the Agenda, we’ll start with Michelle Flenniken with honey bee health and pathogens and then take a look at the work of Apis m. regarding the industry and Varroa-resistant bees with Danielle Downey,  honey bee queens and American foulbrood with James Tew, and  current efforts of the USDA with Anna Childers. We’ll gain the latest on Varroa management with Jennifer Berry, American foulbrood and bee breeding with Steve Pernal, and honey bee reproduction and behavioral resistance to Varroa with Krispn Given. And we’ll learn what’s happening here at home with updates on the research and extension activities of the OSU Honey Bee Lab with Ramesh Sagili as well as contributions of others in the region.

The Conference Agenda and Presenter Bios, Abstracts, and additional conference news are at: Once there, you are also able to register online. For registration by mail, you may download the Registration Form. Please note that rates increase after October 16, which is also the deadline for registering by mail. Additional conference events include opportunities to learn directly about the work of the OSU Honey Bee Lab, attend Bee School and other breakout sessions, explore the Exhibitors Area, and participate in the Silent and Benefit Auctions. Additional activities include a preconference Commercial Beekeeper Workshop and Honey Show. The Commercial Beekeeper Workshop will be just before the OSBA conference, on Friday, October 26, 2018, from 9 am to 12:30 pm at the Salem Convention Center. Details and registration information: Commercial Beekeeper Workshop. Categories and criteria for entering the honey show are at: Source:

—— Oregon Varroa Alert Ramesh Sagili, Oregon State University We would like to take this opportunity to alert / caution you regarding high mite populations in honey bee colonies this year due to another unusually long bee season similar to past years (2015 and 2016). We had another long bee season this year due to prevailing warm weather of about 7 months. Longer brood cycle (abundance of larvae) usually results in higher mite populations, as the mites get a greater opportunity to breed and increase their populations compared to bees. It has been reported that mite populations could increase exponentially (up to about 50 fold increase) in years when the brood is present in colonies almost round the year (Martin 1998). We are observing significantly higher mite intensities this year in both commercial and backyard beekeeping operations. Some beekeepers have treated their colonies several times this year and are still struggling to achieve desired/optimal mite control. Please monitor your mite levels and consider using a suitable mite control product immediately before the weather gets too cold. The next 10 days (Oct 11 to 20) look OK (if not ideal) to use one of the following products: formic acid (FORMIC PRO) or Thymol (Apiguard) to get some last minute mite clean up. Later on please also consider oxalic acid treatment if needed when there is no brood (possibly during November). Oxalic acid is approved by EPA and is available from the bee supplier Brushy Mountain Bee Farm ( Following are some consequences of inadequate or no Varroa mite control this fall:

  1. Bee population may decline significantly or the colonies might totally collapse during December/January.
  2. Colonies that survive the winter will start upcoming year / season with higher mite loads and hence could reach damaging levels soon by late spring or summer.
  3. High mite infested colonies may contribute to higher mite drifting via robbing bees to other beekeeper colonies and your existing healthy colonies, as your mite infested dead colonies may be robbed by other strong colonies and aid in greater mite dispersal.

Also, please continue feeding protein to your colonies if pollen stores are not adequate in the colonies. Protein feeding not only helps with brood rearing, but also helps boost the immune system of bees. We have observed colonies to consume protein until October 25 in the Willamette valley and few other locations in Oregon when the weather is still OK (temperatures around 55 to 60° F). Thank you and good luck.   Source: ——

Colony Health for the Hobbyist/Sideliner Beekeeper


November 17th, 2018 – 8 a.m to 5 p.m. – Hemmingson Center at Gonzaga University


This event is designed to bring current information on bee colony health to the hobbyist/sideliner beekeeper.

We will be at the John J. Hemmingson Center at Gonzaga University.

Parking will be free in the parking garage off Hamilton onto E. Desmet Ave.

Lunch is furnished as part of your ticket and we will be eating in the student dining area.

We will have 6 great speakers speaking from 8am to 5pm with a lunch in the middle.

The price for this event is $50.

Registration is online only at Brown Paper Tickets by clicking here:

Scheduled speakers:

  1. Dr. Michelle L. Flenniken, from Montana State University     The Impact of viruses on honey bees at the colony,   individual, and cellular levels Q&A at end of talk
  2. Dr. Dennis vanEnglelsdorf, from University of Maryland,   Keeping Colonies Alive-Survey says and Varroa-wow
  3. Dr. Dewey M. Caron, from University of Delaware,

Dead Bee Colony Forensics.

It is interactive with questions from the audience

  1. Dr. Ramesh Sagili, Oregon State University, “Honey Bee   Nutrition: What We Know and What We Need to Know”
  2. Dr. Steve Sheppard, Washington State University
  3. Dr. Brandon Hopkins, Washington State University ——

National pollinator strategy: A strategy for viable populations of wild bees and other pollinating insects

The Government has published a national strategy, as requested by the Norwegian Parliament (Storting), with the aim of ensuring continued diversity of wild bees and other pollinating insects.

Pollinators play vital roles in ecosystems and in food production. At an international level, the decline in numbers of these beneficial insects is on the agenda of the IPBES (the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), with some countries having drawn up their own strategies.

One important objective of this strategy is to establish common goals and focus areas for a coordinated national commitment that builds on what has already been initiated in the public and private sectors. Anyone who manages an area of land can make a difference for pollinators, and the effect of individual efforts will be reinforced by means of effective cross-sector coordination. This strategy can help to strengthen the knowledge base and target established actions, as well as to identify and implement new actions that are essential in order to secure the living conditions necessary for pollinators in the long term.

While there is sufficient knowledge to implement targeted actions, it is also necessary to find out more, about trends in pollinator populations and habitats, and about which actions are most effective.

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Pathogenicity of Serratia marcescens Strains in Honey Bees

Kasie Raymann, Kerri L. Coon, Zack Shaffer, Stephen Salisbury, Nancy A. Moran


Although few honey bee diseases are known to be caused by bacteria, pathogens of adult worker bees may be underrecognized due to social immunity mechanisms. Specifically, infected adult bees typically abandon the hive or are removed by guards. Serratia marcescens, an opportunistic pathogen of many plants and animals, is often present at low abundance in the guts of honey bee workers and has recently been isolated from Varroa mites and from the hemolymph of dead and dying honey bees. However, the severity and prevalence of S. marcescens pathogenicity in honey bees have not been fully investigated. Here we characterized three S. marcescens strains isolated from the guts of honey bees and one previously isolated from hemolymph. In vivo tests confirmed that S. marcescens is pathogenic in workers. All strains caused mortality when a few cells were injected into the hemocoel, and the gut-isolated strains caused mortality when administered orally. In vitro assays and comparative genomics identified possible mechanisms of virulence of gut-associated strains. Expression of antimicrobial peptide and phenoloxidase genes was not elevated following infection, suggesting that these S. marcescens strains derived from honey bees can evade the immune response in their hosts. Finally, surveys from four locations in the United States indicated the presence of S. marcescens in the guts of over 60% of the worker bees evaluated. Taken together, these results suggest that S. marcescens is a widespread opportunistic pathogen of adult honey bees and that it may be highly virulent under some conditions such as perturbation of the normal gut microbiota or the presence of Varroa mites that puncture the integument, thereby enabling entry of bacterial cells.

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What bees did during the Great American Eclipse

When the 2017 Great American Eclipse hit totality and the sky went dark, bees noticed.

Microphones in flower patches at 11 sites in the path of the eclipse picked up the buzzing sounds of bees flying among blooms before and after totality. But those sounds were noticeably absent during the full solar blackout, a new study finds.

Dimming light and some summer cooling during the onset of the eclipse didn’t appear to make a difference to the bees. But the deeper darkness of totality did, researchers report Oct. 10 in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. At the time of totality, the change in buzzing was abrupt, says study coauthor and ecologist Candace Galen of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The recordings come from citizen scientists, mostly school classes, setting out small microphones at two spots in Oregon, one in Idaho and eight in Missouri. Often when bees went silent at the peak of the eclipse, Galen says, “you can hear the people in the background going ‘ooo,’ ‘ahh’ or clapping.”

There’s no entirely reliable way (yet) of telling what kinds of bees were doing the buzzing, based only on their sounds, Galen says. She estimates that the Missouri sites had a lot of bumblebees, while the western sites had more of the tinier, temperature-fussy Megachile bees.

More western samples, with the fussier bees, might have let researchers see an effect on the insects of temperatures dropping by at least 10 degrees Celsius during the eclipse. The temperature plunge in the Missouri summer just “made things feel a little more comfortable,” Galen says.

This study of buzz recordings gives the first formal data published on bees during a solar eclipse, as far as Galen knows. “Insects are remarkably neglected,” she says. “Everybody wants to know what their dog and cat are doing during the eclipse, but they don’t think about the flea.”



Several species of insects have almost completely vanished from some tropical forests

Erik Stokstad

Insects and other arthropods have declined by up to 99% over 4 decades in a Puerto Rican forest, apparently because of climate change, according to new study. And that’s not the only bad news.

Previously, most insect declines have been documented in temperate ecosystems and blamed on habitat destruction, insecticides, and climate change. In 1976–77, one of the authors of the new study surveyed insects and other arthropods—such as millipedes and pillbugs—in the protected Luquillo rainforest of Puerto Rico with sticky traps and nets. He returned several times between 2011 and 2013 to see how the populations were faring. The weight of arthropods collected in traps on the ground was 97% less than before, he and a colleague report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The 10 most common species living in the forest canopy also declined, as did the population of walking stick insects (photo).

Something similar happened in the Chamela forest of Mexico when the two researchers compared the abundance of arthropods in 2014 with their previous survey in 1987–88. Meanwhile, the average maximum daily temperatures in the Puerto Rican forest have risen 2°C, and by 2.4°C in the Mexican forest. Ecologists know excessive heat can harm animals, especially those that have evolved to live in relatively constant tropical temperatures.

The damage hasn’t been limited to arthropods. . .

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A bee’s-eye view of Seattle

Tantri Wija

Imagine Seattle from the perspective of a bee.

Roads don’t matter. Traffic is just noise. Lakes are vast swaths of desert, meant only to be doggedly crossed in search of what may be growing on the other side. Buildings are nothing but giant stone mountains around which (and sometimes inside of which) food sometimes grows.

To a bee, any source of pollen is attractive: the wildflowers by the side of the road, the tomato plants in your yard, the hanging baskets of flowers cheering up outdoor malls and — especially — the omnipresent jungles of feral blackberry bushes. A humble patch of dandelions pushing through a construction site is a mini-oasis, an empty lot overgrown by weeds is a forest of delights.

But Seattle is far from ideal beekeeping territory. It’s wet (bees won’t fly when it’s raining) and the winters are too long, the nectar season too short. But what Seattle does have is a vibrant urban-farming ethos, a community where people keep chickens and grow squash in their yards, taking advantage of abundant rainfall and mild temperatures. And where there’s gardening, bees have a place to thrive,

When I say “bees,” I’m talking specifically about honeybees, a European import that, while not indigenous to the United States, is essential to pollinating our many nonindigenous plants (like those blackberries.) There are some feral hives around, perhaps in chimneys or the odd hollow log, but by and large, the honeybees in the area are domesticated little communities kept alive by the tireless efforts of Seattle’s beekeepers.

And there are lots of bees.

Jeff Steenbergen, the current president of the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association (aka the PSBA,, estimates that there may be a hive on every other block or two in the city — in backyards, in community gardens or even tucked away on the upper floors of high-rises and office buildings. According to Steenbergen, a city is actually an ideal environment for bees — and in some ways far better than a more rural area. A country bee, its hive often amid a theoretically idyllic field of clover or almond trees, has abundant food of only one kind. But a city bee can choose from the wide variety of flowers, trees, ornamental shrubs and backyard gardens condensed into an urban footprint. There’s always something blooming in the city, so the bees have a cornucopia of sugars to choose from — maple in April, then blackberries, maybe some knotweed toward the end of the summer, and everything in between.

And urban honey gives new meaning to the concept of “eating local.” While grocery-store honey is produced by bees feeding off monoculture fields of clover or other crops, trips to local farmers markets in the city can yield honey bottled by neighborhood, the flavors of your several-block radius condensed into a golden goo with notes of whatever you pass on your morning run mixed with whatever is growing in your neighbor’s window box. Companies like Peter Nolte’s Rainy Day Bees sell Victory Heights honey, for example, and Ridgecrest honey; Bob Redmond’s Urban Bee Company even sells hyperlocal honey bottled according to whose yard it came from. And in the city, every batch of honey from every hive is different.

“They might be over here working someone’s peach tree and apple tree, and the hive next to them might be working the maple tree down the street, and that honey will have the nuances of maple,” says Steenbergen. “There are a lot of things that bloom that we don’t even think about.”

You may know a beekeeper and not realize it . . .

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Alan Harman

A new study offers hope for a relatively simple mechanism to promote bee health and well-being – give them access to sunflowers.

The study by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst shows two different species of bees fed a diet of sunflower pollen had dramatically lower rates of infection by specific pathogens.

Bumble bees on the sunflower diet also had generally better colony health than bees fed on diets of other flower pollens.

The study found sunflower pollen reduced infection by the pathogen Crithidia bombi in bumble bees (Bombus impatiens).

Sunflower pollen also protected European honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Nosema ceranae.

These pathogens have been implicated in slowing bee colony growth rates and increasing bee death.

The study also showed a deleterious effect, however, as honey bees on the sunflower diet had mortality rates roughly equivalent to honey bees not fed a pollen diet and four times higher than honey bees fed buckwheat pollen.

This mortality effect was not observed in bumble bees.

Jonathan Giacomini, a Ph.D. student in applied ecology at NC State, said bees already seem adept at collecting sunflower pollen.

Annually, some two million acres in the United States and 10 million acres in Europe are devoted to sunflowers, he said, making sunflower pollen a ready and relevant bee food.

“We’ve tried other monofloral pollens, or pollens coming from one flower, but we seem to have hit the jackpot with sunflower pollen,” said Rebecca Irwin, a professor of applied ecology at NC State. “None of the others we’ve studied have had this consistent positive effect on bumble bee health.”

Irwin said sunflower pollen is low in protein and some amino acids, so it should not be considered as a standalone meal for bee populations.

“But sunflower could be a good addition to a diverse wildflower population for bees,” she said, “especially generalists like bumble bees and honey bees.”

The NC State researchers are planning to follow up on the study to examine whether other species of bees show the positive effects of sunflower pollen and to gauge the mechanism behind the mostly positive effects of sunflower pollen.

“We don’t know if sunflower pollen is helping the host bees fight off pathogens or if sunflower pollen does something to the pathogens,” Irwin said.





Steve Sheppard and his team provide the mushroom extract to a bee colony as part of their experiment. Bees that received the extract showed significant declines in viral infections within days.

A mushroom extract fed to honey bees greatly reduces virus levels, according to a new paper from Washington State University scientists, the USDA and colleagues at Fungi Perfecti, a business based in Olympia, Washington.

In field trials, colonies fed mycelium extract from amadou and reishi fungi showed a 79-fold reduction in deformed wing virus and a 45,000-fold reduction in Lake Sinai virus compared to control colonies. Though it’s in the early stages of development, the researchers see great potential in this research.

“Our greatest hope is that these extracts have such an impact on viruses that they may help varroa mites become an annoyance for bees, rather than causing huge devastation,” said Steve Sheppard, a WSU entomology professor and one of the paper’s authors. “We’re excited to see where this research leads us. Time is running out for bee populations and the safety and security of the world’s food supply hinges on our ability to find means to improve pollinator health.”

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The hope is that the results of this research will help dwindling honey bee colonies fight viruses, that are known to play a role in colony collapse disorder.

“One of the major ways varroa mites hurt bees is by spreading and amplifying viruses,” Sheppard said. “Mites really put stress on the bees’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to viruses that shorten worker bee lifespans.”

This is the first research paper to come out of a partnership between Sheppard’s lab and Fungi Perfecti. Their co-owner and founder Paul Stamets is a co-author on the paper.

“Paul previously worked on a project that demonstrated the antiviral properties of mycelial extracts on human cells,” Sheppard said. “He read about viruses hurting bees and called us to explore the use of the extracts on honey bees. After two years, we demonstrated that those anti-viral properties extend to honey bees.”

Stamets is passionate about the various benefits of fungi, both to humans and wildlife. And he’s been enjoying this partnership with Sheppard and his lab.

“This is a great example of connecting the dots between two fields of biological science,” Stamets said. “I am excited about new discoveries and opportunities. For me, the best of science is when it is used for practical solutions. Our team is honored to work with WSU researchers and look forward to continuing collaboration.”

Limited supplies

Right now, the mycelium extract isn’t currently available in levels for beekeepers to purchase for their hives.

“We are ramping up production of the extracts as rapidly as is feasible, given the hurdles we must overcome to deploy this on a wide scale,” Stamets added. “Those who are interested in being kept up to date, can sign up for more information at”

Sheppard said he and his colleagues plan to do more work to refine their now-published results. That way beekeepers will have the best information when supplies are more available.

“We aren’t sure if the mycelium is boosting the bees’ immune system or actually fighting the viruses,” Sheppard said. “We’re working to figure that out, along with testing larger groups of colonies to develop best management practices and determine how much extract should be used and when to have the best impact.”

 Mites and viruses

Over the last decade, beekeepers have seen a disastrous decline in the health of honey bee colonies, often averaging over 30 percent loss annually. Varroa mites, and the viruses they proliferate, play a major role in those losses. Deformed wing virus, which causes shriveled wings on bees, greatly reduces the lifespan of worker bees.

Lake Sinai virus is also associated with varroa mites and is widespread in bee colonies around the United States. While the virus has no obvious or overt symptoms, it’s an important virus to fight because it was found at higher levels in bees from collapsing colonies. It is closely related to chronic bee paralysis virus and it likely makes bees sick and weak, according to WSU assistant research professor Brandon Hopkins.

 Treating with fungi

The treated bee colonies in this experiment were fed an oral treatment of mycelial extracts in dozens of small WSU bee colonies infested with varroa mites.

“It’s a really easy treatment to apply,” Sheppard said. “After we follow larger colonies for a full year, we can develop recommendations for how to use the extracts. Then it is expected that Fungi Perfecti will ramp up production.”

There is currently no timeline for when the extract would be available at a scale large enough for beekeepers.

More information: Paul E. Stamets et al, Extracts of Polypore Mushroom Mycelia Reduce Viruses in Honey Bees, Scientific Reports (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-32194-8




Osaka, Japan–Pesticides have been linked with declining honey bee numbers raising questions about how we might replace the many essential uses of these chemicals in agriculture and for control of insect-borne diseases. As many governments seek to restrict uses of pesticides, more information on how pesticides affect different insects is increasingly beneficial. Greater insight into how these chemicals interact with insects could help develop new and safer pesticides and offer better guidance on their application.

Now a team at Osaka University has developed a new method of visualizing the behavior of pesticides inside insect bodies. Their findings were recently published in Analytical Sciences and highlighted on the journal’s cover.

As lead author Seitaro Ohtsu explains, “There have been no reports on the distribution of agricultural chemicals in insects to date. This is probably because it’s very difficult to prepare tissue sections of Drosophilia specimens for imaging studies.”

Researchers from Osaka University examined an insect from the Drosophila-family, a type of fruit fly which is widely used for testing pesticides. They developed a technique that let them slice the insect body into thin sections for analysis while preserving the delicate structures of the specimen.

Imidacloprid-a highly effective nicotine related pesticide -was chosen for the analysis. Applying their sample preparation method to insects treated with this chemical allowed the team to follow its uptake, break down, and distribution in the insects’ bodies.

The team applied a method that involves scanning a laser across the thin sections of the insect body to eject material from small areas of the surface. By analyzing the chemical composition of the ejected material with a mass spectrometer at different locations they were able to build up a picture of the pesticide and its breakdown products over the whole insect body.

Senior researcher Shuichi Shimma says “This is a timely contribution while the evidence for the negative effects of certain pesticides on ecosystems is accumulating. We hope our technique will help other researchers gain new insights into pesticide metabolism that might help limit the effects of pesticides to their targets without harming beneficial pollinating insects.”

Source (with image):





Karen Fleur Tofti-Tufarelli

The royal jelly-producing glands of bees exposed to Round-up® experience premature aging, according to a Brazilian study published online.  Round-up® is a widely-used glyphosate-based herbicide; many other herbicides are also glyphosate-based.

The study used the commercial formulation of Round-up® in order to simulate real commercial conditions.

The study was released around the same day in early August that a California Superior Court awarded a former school groundskeeper $289 million, finding that Round-up® contributed to his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to various media reports.

Tara Cornelisse, a Senior Scientist with the Environmental Health Program, Center for Biological Diversity in Portland, Oregon, said that the Round-up® verdict against Monsanto was a “game-changer.”

Cornelisse said that while “the science has been showing (glyphosate-related) impacts on honey bees, habitat, and people, Monsanto (persists) in calling Round-up® safe while the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) continues to allow its use across the country.” ( In 2015, Cornelisse said, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), found glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen (

“The verdict in favor of the groundskeeper “almost gives more tangible credibility to the truth — and maybe will encourage the public to hold the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more accountable . . . ” Cornelisse said.

In the Brazilian study, six-day old bees exposed to Round-up® appeared as if they were greater than 25 days old. The result, she said, “seem(ed) to advance cell death or aging,” and is “not only an issue because bees may die sooner or produce less royal jelly in their lifetime, “ but (also) because of the transition of roles that honey bees undergo.”

Worker bees feed the jelly to all larvae for a few days but feed it continuously to future queens, Cornelisse said. Then they transition from “nurse bees” — bees that take care of larvae — to foraging bees, or those that go out of the hive to get pollen and nectar.

“The premature aging of the royal jelly-producing glands could make it likely that the nurse bees transition too quickly to foraging bees, leaving (fewer) bees taking care of the brood, potentially reducing the brood, or number of offspring,” Cornelisse said.

Further, this reduction (19-days+ plus) in the lifespan of the honey bee is a “big deal,” according to Cornelisse, as the lifespan of a honey bee is relatively short . . .

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There are so many ways to describe nature’s perfect sweet – honey: aroma, flavor, texture and color. This course will teach you the tools to taste and describe each unique honey and the characteristics you will discover. Plan to learn more at the Sensory Evaluation of Honey Certificate Course, October 26-28, 2018 at the Honey and Pollination Center, Robert Mondavi Institute, UC Davis in Davis, CA.

Over three days, students will be immersed in the world of honey sensory analysis, beginning with an introduction to Sensory Analysis by Professor Jean Xavier Guinard and then travel through the world of honey learning from trained teachers and sensory experts.

“UC Davis’ Sensory Evaluation of Honey] blew any expectations I had out of the water! The presenters were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their areas of expertise. Every session was a fun learning experience.” Karen Summerlot; Product and Process Improvement Manager, Sees Candy.

The Honey and Pollination Center will use this course to describe its research into monofloral honeys of North America. With this definitive information attendees will learn the nuances of three of the myriad of honeys available in the US as defined by work in the pilot program. The Center is presently applying for grants and funding to continue this research using both sensory tools and instrumentation – gas chromatography, nutritional analysis, pollen analysis and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center explains. . .

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—— FROM ABJ EXTRA 1. IGB Director Gene Robinson Elected to National Academy of Medicine Entomology professor and director of the IGB Gene Robinson, an international leader in honey bee research, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine “for pioneering contributions to understanding the roles of genes in social behavior.” Election to the NAM “is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service,” the Academy writes. This honor follows Robinson’s receipt of the 2018 Wolf Prize in Agriculture earlier this year.
  “It is unusual for a scientist to be recognized for contributions both to agriculture and medicine, but Robinson’s work with honey bees has real relevance to our understanding of the brain and behavior,” said Robert Jones, the chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus. “These two honors – in a single year – show how basic research can lead to all kinds of unexpected benefits. Thanks to Robinson’s work, we now have a better understanding of honey bee behavior and its genetic underpinnings – and we see compelling parallels to human brain plasticity and function.” Robinson earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1986. He has been a faculty member at the U. of I. since 1989. He holds the Swanlund Chair in Entomology and Center for Advanced Study professorships in entomology and neuroscience. With numerous awards and honors, including election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005, Robinson is recognized as a pioneer in the use of genomics to study the brain and social behavior. “Gene Robinson made an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of the honey bee, an understanding that has shaped the present and future of the world of beekeeping,” the Wolf Foundation wrote earlier this year. “His impressive discoveries have also influenced other disciplines, including the science of social behavior and mental disorders.” Source: Source: