Current Research Projects

HBREL Research Programs

Honey Bee Husbandry – investigations into managing honey bees more effectively. Projects in this category focus on three research emphases: (1) integrated pest management - control of honey bee pests/diseases, (2) understanding the proximal causes of colony losses and  (3) honeybee pollination ecology.


Effects of Pesticides on Honey Bees – determining how honey bees are affected by pesticides present in the environment and in their colonies. In this research category, we are attempting to determine how pesticide exposure alone and in tandem with other pesticides or bee pests/diseases affect overall colony health, thus permitting us to understand proximal causes of global declines in managed bee populations as they relate to pesticide exposure.

Native Pollinator Conservation and Ecology – determining how to conserve native pollinators through sound ecological principles and understanding. Within this research effort, we investigate the impact of native pollinators on U.S. agriculture and attempt to understand native pollinator ecology as it relates to the environment. The results should permit us to develop targeted conservation practices for native pollinators and make recommendations to farmers about how to enhance native pollinator biodiversity on their farms.

Africanized Honey Bees – research into the spread and threat of African honey bees in the Americas. Due to the presence of African bees in Florida, we are working to develop and test accurate/efficient diagnostic tools for identifying African and Africanized honey bees. Furthermore, we undertake research projects testing the use of managed honey bee colonies to limit the spread and impact of African bees in Florida and the southeastern U.S.

Honey Bee Ecology – understanding the relationship between honey bees and their environment. Within this research effort, my lab is trying to determine how complex behavioral interactions develop between honey bees and their nest invaders with a long term goal of developing novel control approaches targeting the invaders. Furthermore, we study honey bee natural history in areas where they are native in an effort  to initiate and improve honey bee conservation practices.