Our lab studies the behavioral ecology of insect societies, with a primary focus on the proximate and ultimate mechanisms of honey bee queen behavior. In doing so, we attempt to address questions of basic science that have practical relevance. Our approach is to integrate a general understanding of bee biology to help improve overall colony health and productivity; in an era when the honey bee population is being severely impacted by any number of factors, we feel that it is necessary to become more proactive in asking questions that address not just basic (long-term) or applied (short-term) questions, but both.
I have had several visiting scientists from overseas over the years. First, Nguyen Ngoc Vung (May 2010) was here from Vietnam to learn about bee breeding and honey bee instrumental insemination. Second, Daiana A. De Souza (July – October, 2014) was a visiting postdoc working on the developmental biology of queen reproductive quality. Third, like Daiana, Igor Medici de Mattos (February 2015 – December 2015) was from Sao Paulo Brazil, who was a visiting PhD student studying the effects of miticides on grooming behavior of worker bees, as well as the antioxidant properties of pollen. Fourth, Cintia Oi (August 2015) was briefly here from the Netherlands to sample social wasps in the Triangle area.