Bee Lab

About Us

bees

The UNL Bee Lab pursues research questions and extension programs focused on better understanding various stressors impacting pollinator health.

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2017 Bee Fun Day Event Herbie Husker Swarm Demonstration

Photo: Herbie Husker Bee Beard at 2017 BEE FUN DAY

ABOUT UNL

Workshops

Introductory (Year 1) Beekeeping Workshop - North Platte, NE

This is an introductory level course that focuses on everything you need to start beekeeping, including topics on beekeeping equipment, protective gear, honey bee biology, stressors, and management basics. Part I of the course includes lectures by several speakers & hands-on activities. Part II of the course is a field day that gets you in the hives and takes the lessons from Part I into practice. Learn how to setup the equipment, install and handle bees safely, and perform hive inspections.

Date, Time, Location:

Part I (lecture) = Saturday January 20th, 2018 (10a-4p) West Central Research and Extension Center, 402 W. State Farm Road, North Platte, NE 69101

Part II (field Day) = April (TBD)  at UNL East Campus Pollinator Garden and Outdoor Classroom, Lincoln NE

Cost:  $60 per person includes beekeeping handbook, lecture slides, equipment catalogs, Varroa kit  refreshments & Lunch.  $30 for each additional family member (does not include handbooks)

***Please check back for 2019 Schedule.

Introductory (Year 1) Beekeeping Workshop - Lincoln area

This is an introductory level course that focuses on everything you need to start beekeeping, including topics on beekeeping equipment, protective gear, honey bee biology, stressors, and management basics. Part I of the course includes lectures by several speakers & hands-on activities. Part II of the course is a field day that gets you in the hives and takes the lessons from Part I into practice. Learn how to setup the equipment, install and handle bees safely, and perform hive inspections.

Date, Time, Location:

Part I (lecture)= February 24th, 2018 (9a-4p)  at UNL’s Eastern Nebraska Research and Education Center (Formerly ARDC), Mead, NE

Part II (field Day) = April (TBD)  at UNL East Campus Pollinator Garden and Outdoor Classroom, Lincoln NE

Cost: $70 per person, includes beekeeping handbook, lecture slides, equipment catalogs, Varroa kit, refreshments & lunch.  $35 for each additional family member (does not include handbooks 

***Please check back for 2019 Schedule.

Introductory (Year 2) beekeeping - Lincoln

This course builds upon the basic management practices covered in Year 1 beekeeping and focuses on how to maintain healthy honey bee colonies. This course is meant for beekeepers with at least one year of experience. Part I of the course includes lectures by several speakers & hands-on activities. Topics include swarm management, splitting colonies, reversals, pest and pathogen management, honey production, and value-added products. Part II of the course is a field day that gets you in the hives and takes the lessons from Part I into practice.

Date, Time, Location:

Part I (lecture)= March 24th, 2018 (9a-4p)  at UNL’s Eastern Nebraska Research and Education Center (Formerly ARDC), Mead, NE

Part II (field Day) = April (TBD) at UNL East Campus Pollinator Garden and Outdoor Classroom, Lincoln NE

Cost: $70 per person, includes beekeeping handbook, lecture slides, equipment catalogs, refreshments & lunch.  $35 for each additional family member (does not include handbooks

***Please check back for 2019 Schedule.

Queen Rearing - Lincoln

This course is meant for advanced beekeepers with 3+ years of experience. Learn how to manage hives for queen production and learn about queen quality, difference races, and trait selection for Varroa mite and disease resistance. 

  • Manage hives for queen rearing
  • Queen qualityes for local needs
  • different races of queens
  • Trait selection for varroa mite & diseas resistance

Date, Time, Location:

June 23rd 9a-4p  at UNL’s Eastern Nebraska Research and Education Center (Formerly ARDC), Mead, NE

Cost:  $150 per person.  $100 for 1 additional family member

*Workshop is limited to 40 people.  Register today!

Pre-registration is required for all workshops:

Send: Name(s), address, phone number, email and class fee to:

         Jeri Cunningham

         University of Nebraska-Lincoln

         Department of Entomology

        103 Entomology Hall

         Lincoln, NE 68583-0816

         email: jcunningham1@unl.edu

         phone: 402-472-8678

Make checks payable to: University of Nebraska

People

Dr. Judy Wu-Smart

Image result for judy wu-smart

Hi there! I've been the Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for the UNL Bee Lab since Fall 2015. I recieved my BS in Zoology at Humboldt State University, Arcata, California and received my MS degree in Entomology at Washington State University under the advisement of Dr. Walter Sheppard. My MS research examined the effects of pesticide residue accumulation in brood comb on honey bee health. I continued onto a PhD program with Dr. Marla Spivak at the University of Minnesota where I examined the effects of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bee and bumble bee queens and colony development. In my new role at UNL, I'm committed to developing a pollinator health program to help beekeepers, scientists, policy makers, and land managers understand the underlying stressors in bee health and their interactions with other biotic and abiotic factors, such as environmental toxicants. My goal is to integrate the research and extension efforts with policy to inform the regulatory-decision making process by identifying risk mitigation opportunities and best management practices that will better protect beneficial pollinators in agricultural and urban landscapes (https://entomology.unl.edu/faculty/dr-judy-wu-smart).

Graduate Students:

Jennifer Mai Albrecht

Hometown: Salina KS

Degree(s): Natural Resource & Conservation Management

Lab Focus:·       

  • I am examining how pesticide residues impact the health of the hive.

  • I  will be finding out how residues impact the fecundity of varroa mite which is a major pest of honey bees.

  • And my research will also look at dead bee traps and how effective they are, as well as comb replacement that is more economic and easier.

Natalia Bjorklund

Natalia BjorklundHi, my name is Natalia Bjorklund and I am a graduate student studying native bee in urban landscapes.  I have a Master’s degree in Horticulture.  I am an Extension Educator for 10 counties in Nebraska with my office in Fremont, NE.  Because of my background in horticulture, and my developing love of bees, many of the projects I work on dovetail the two together.  The Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification Program is one of them (https://entomology.unl.edu/pollinator-habitat-certification).  We aim to help homeowners, businesses, and schools implement conservation practices.  It's been a lot of fun so far!  I love my dogs and my dude, Jay.  I also have been told that I have the most infectious laugh ever.

Tugce Karacoban

Tugce KaracobanI am Tugce Karacoban. I grew up in Ankara which is the capital of Turkey. I graduated in 2014 with a B.S. from the faculty of veterinary medicine. Then, I started to work at VCOM (Veterinary Surgical and Orthopedics Center) animal hospital as a veterinarian between 2014-2015. During working, I got a scholarship from the Turkish Government to get a master’s degree about viral bee disease.

Before starting my master’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I had been getting an Intensive English Course in Kent State University. I started my master degree in August 2016. My advisor is Dr. Judy Wu-Smart. My research topic is an examination of pathogenic and viral transmission among bees in different landscapes.

In my spare time, I am interested in dancing. Learning new languages is really attractive for me, so I am trying to learn German while making an effort to improve my English. Also, fashion is a very important part of my life, that is, I am following some videos and social media about fashion as well as creating new clothes.

 

Katie Lamke

Katie Hi, my name is Katie and I began my masters in the Fall of 2016. I will be studying wild bee communities within Lincoln's Prairie Corridor, specifically how their diversity & abundance are effected by various land management techniques. I have carried out wild be surveys with both USFWS and USGS, and as a component of my research I will continue to manage the Pollinator Library website & database (https://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/pollinator/home). I'm originally from Northern California and received my B.S. in Environmental Biology from Humboldt State University in 2015. 

2017 Update:  During the 2017 field season I collected a little under 300 plant-pollinator interactions in prairies under various land management practices. Of the identified specimens, the interactions span across ~60 plant genera and ~20 bee genera.

Kayla Mollet

reasearch

Hello, my name is Kayla Mollet. I am a masters student studying native bee populations in wildflower islands on roadsides in eastern Nebraska.  My undergraduate degree is from Oregon State University in Natural Resources.  I have always loved being in nature and learning about the natural sciences. I have had a variety of jobs since graduating college, including production assistant on my family’s corn and soybean farm in South Dakota, naturalist intern at an outdoor campus, Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, and research technologist for UNL’s Agroecosystems Entomology Lab in North Platte.  As a research technologist, I worked with many different groups of insects that impact agricultural ecosystems. I fell in love with pollinators, especially native bees, which led me to my current position here in UNL’s bee lab.  I want to spread my enthusiasm for our native bees as well as honeybees to the wider community.

Surabhi Vakil

bee labHello, my name is Surabhi Vakil and I am a graduate student studying on effective in field and edge of field landscape enhancement options for increasing pollinator and beneficial insect habitat while maintaining or improving production and stewardship services. My undergraduate degree and is from Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University, India. My masters degree was form the same university in Entomology. My research was Distribution and abundance of Brahmina coriacea in Himachal Pradesh. I have worked as Agriculture officer (extension), interacted with the farmers and the agricultural community, I also have teaching experience as Assistant Professor in LPU in India. I got interested in working with pollinators after working for one year in All India Coordinated Research Project on Honeybees and Pollinators at Indian Agriculture Research Institute. I worked mainly on Role of pollinators in increasing the productivity of Horticultural crops. Apart from this I love to travel a lot with my husband and cooking and dancing are my other passions.

2017 update: Since it is the first year of the research project, Pollinator plots were established (Still establishing and needs resowing and weeding) at ARDC, Mead. Transects were conducted to determine background diversity and abundance of the pollinators, Milkweed leaves were collected from the plots adjoining corn plantations, were analysed to determine the concentration of the Bt pollen on them.

Technicians:

Dustin Scholl (Apiary Manager):

Hometown: Valentine, NE

Degree:  Associates of Computer Science

Lab Focus

  • Hi, my name is Dustin Scholl and I am the Apiary Manager for the UNL Bee Lab.  In my role as Apiary Manager, I manage the bee hives we have here at UNL for research & extension.  I order and maintain the beekeeping equipment.  I help conduct preliminary research studies, coordinate and put on extension events, assist in teaching beekeeping workshops, order lab supplies, perform honey bee health surveys across the state, answer beekeeping questions we get from the public, un-tip porta-potties and ward off sugar syrup hungry raccoons.

  • I have been keeping bees with my wife since 2010.  In 2009 we took a Beginning Beekeeping class at Southeast Community College –Continuing education here in Lincoln.  I also sit on the board for the Nebraska Beekeepers Association as the Information Director.  In my spare time I tend to my personal bee hives with my wife, Kat.  I also enjoy gardening and video games.

Sheldon Brummel (Research Technician):

Hometown: Papillion, NE

Degree(s):

  • B.S. Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Nebraska Lincoln, 2016

Lab Focus:

  • Research technician for the UNL Bee Lab, I split my time between helping the masters and PhD students.

  • Help conduct surveys in Nebraska for the APHIS (Animal/Plant Health Inspection Service) program for the USDA. The APHIS program surveys honey bees across the state from both stationary and migratory beekeepers and it quantifies the health of the hives. This feeds into the nationwide surveys on honey bee health and colony losses (https://bip2.beeinformed.org/reports/state_reports/state_report/?year=2016&state=NE ). This is some of the work we do here at the lab but I am blessed in being able to help all the other students with their projects as well. In my spare time I love to grow native wildflowers and plants, woodwork, shoot guns, hike, and tend my own beehive.

Email: sheldonbrum@gmail.com

Shalyn Miller (student technician):

Hometown: Norfolk, Nebraska

Degree(s):I’m an undergraduate student majoring in Pre-vet Veterinarian Science.

Lab Focus:

  • I help all of the technicians and graduate students with their various research projects

  • I also help the lab manage it's honeybee colonies; I started beekeeping in 2014 when I became a scholarship recipient of the Nebraska Beekeepers Association. Before this, my FFA Ag advisor had cultivated my interest in bees and introduced me to the association and the scholarship which made pursuing my interest possible. My fascination with bees and beekeeping has since grown by leaps and bounds, and I love the involvement I have with the various research and extension projects we do at the lab. When I’m not in the lab or class, I love to read, ride my horses, and be involved with the UNL Rodeo Association and UNL FFA Alumni.

Paola Perez (student technician):

Hometown: Crete, NE

Degree(s): student majoring in Entomology.

Lab Focus:

  • I had the opportunity to become a part of the lab in the Fall of 2016. I help manage the honey bees that are located around or near Lincoln. Since the fall, I have managed to conduct a little observation experiment on beneficial nematodes. Within our field observations we were noticing a very high number of small hive beetles. A widespread problem occuring not only in our bee yards, but in bee yards all over the country. Beneficial nematodes were suggested as a biological control and I have been collecting data on my findings.

  • I hope to continue my research so I can maybe one day publish concrete evidence on the correlation between nematodes and SHB. More than anything I want to continue promoting and underlying the importance of pollinators (Not limited to just bees and butterflies).

Whitney McDaniel

Sushant Ttimalsina

Projects

Bees of Nebraska

Pollinators Along the City of Lincoln Prairie Corridor (Phase 2)

Establishment of Wildflower Islands to Enhance Roadsides for Pollinators

Viral Transmission Among Pollinators in Enhanced Landscapes

Urban Landscapes for Urban Bees

Sustainable Landscape Enhancements to Reduce Pesticide Exposure & Promote Establishment of Beneficial Insect Communities in Agroecosystems

Customized Landscape Designs to Promote Honey Bee Health & Honey Production in Nebraska

Conservation Efforts

Breaking Entomological News...