Dr. Judy Wu-Smart

Dr. Judy Wu-Smart
Extension & Research Entomologist
Extension and Research

We believe in the power of every person.

Faculty Profile


Dr. Judy Wu-Smart leads the Bee Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Lab staff and students organize beekeeping workshops and field days, and answer questions about pollinator health and management. Her appointment is 65% Extension and 35% research.


  • B.A. in Zoology, Humboldt State University (California), 2005
  • M.S. in Entomology, Washington State University, 2010
  • Ph.D. in Entomology, University of Minnesota, 2015

Professional Responsibilities and Activities

  • The UNL Bee Lab pursues research questions and extension programs focused on better understanding various stressors impacting pollinator health in both managed and wild bee communities. Our lab also focuses on integrating research findings to mitigate stressors and inform sustainable pollinator-friendly policies as well as develop practical applications for integrated pest management in managed bee colonies. Current research projects examine the non-target effects of pesticide exposure on bees in agroecosystems, the impact of landscape enhancements on bee communities, interaction effects of multiple stressors on bee behavior and colony development, pest control strategies (including management of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies), and resistance management. Through our extension programming, we work closely with beekeepers, growers, various industries and small businesses, gardeners, and nature enthusiasts to develop best management practices and educate about the importance of pollinators and ecosystem diversity.


 Refereed Journal Publications (2008-present):

  • Chen X, Liu B, Li X, et al. (including Judy Wu-Smart). 2021. J. Extracell. Vesicles. 2021;10:e12069. Identification of anti-inflammatory vesicle-like nanoparticles in honey. https://doi.org/10.1002/jev2.12069
  • Olgun T, Everhart SE, Anderson T, Wu-Smart JY. 2020. Comparative analysis of viruses in four bee species collected from agricultural, urban, and natural landscapes. PLoS ONE 15(6): e0234431. doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234431
  • Metz B,  Wu-Smart JY, Simone-Finstrom M. 2021. Proceedings of the 2020 American Bee Research Conference. Insects 2021, 11, 362. https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/11/6/362.
  • Simone-Finstrom M, Nino E, Flenniken M, Arrowsmith H, and Wu-Smart JY. 2020. Proceedings of the 2019 American Bee Research Conference. Insects 2020, 11, 88. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11020088
  • Iwanowicz DD, Wu-Smart JY et al. 2020. An up-dated genetic marker for detection of Lake Sinai Virus and metagenetic applications. Peer J 8:e9424. doi:  
  • Schacht, W. and Wu-Smart JY. 2019. Establishment of Wildflower Islands to Enhance Roadside Health & Aesthetics. NDOT Research Report SPR-1(17) M058. 
  • O'Neal ST, Anderson TD, Wu-Smart JY. 2018. Interactions between pesticides and pathogen susceptibility in honey bees. Current opinion in Insect Science, 26:57-62. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214574517302079.
  • LaLone CA, Villeneuve DL, Wu-Smart JY, et al. 2017. Weight of evidence evaluation of a network of adverse outcome pathways linking activation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in honey bees to colony death. Science of the Total Environment. Vol. 583-585: pp 751-775. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.113
  • Wu-Smart JY and Spivak M. Effects of neonicotinoid imidacloprid exposure on bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) queen survival and nest initiation. Environ Entomol, 47:1, pp 55–62, https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvx175
  • Wu-Smart JY and Spivak M. 2016. Sub-lethal effects of dietary neonicotinoid insecticide exposure on honey bee fecundity an and colony development. Sci. Rep. 6, 32108; doi: 10.1038/srep32108.
  • Wu-Smart JY, Krischik V, Spivak M. (in prep). Evaluation of neonicotinoid toxicity testing in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumble bees (Bombus impatiens).
  • Wu JY, Smart MD, Anelli, CM, Sheppard WS. 2012. Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) reared in brood combs containing high levels of pesticide residues exhibit    increased susceptibility to Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) infection. J Invertebr Pathol. 109:326-329.
  • Wu JY, Anelli CM, Sheppard WS. 2011. Sub-lethal effects of pesticide residues in brood comb on worker honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) development and longevity. PLoS  ONE 6(2): e14720. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014720.

Book Chapters:

Pacific Northwest Insect Pest Management Handbook 2009- 2015: http://pnwhandbooks.org/insect/

Special Review of Neonicotinoid Use, Registration and Insect Pollinator Impacts in Minnesota (in process) - The Minnesota Depart. of Agriculture Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Division

Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees? A Review of Research into the Effects of Neonicotioid  Insecticides on Bees with Recommendations for Action – Xerces Society   http://www.step-project.net/files/DOWNLOAD2/Are-Neonicotinoids-Killing-Bees_Xerces-Society1.pdf

Gardeners Beware: Bee-toxic Pesticides found in “Bee Friendly” plants sold at Garden Centers Nationwide – Friends of the Earth

Honey-Maker: How the Honey Bee Worker Does What She Does – Beargrass Press


15 scientific presentations + 42 invited presentations: 7 guest lectures; 27 industry conferences; 3 public events; 5 scientific conferences
       (Key:  *invited, **multiple invited presentations at one meeting)

American Bee Research conference, Jan 9, 2016: Neonicotinoid effects on queens & colony development

CA state Beekeepers conference, Nov 17-19, 2015: Neonicotinoid effects on queen bees & colony development

Kansas Beekeepers conference: Oct 29-31, 2015

            Pesticide residues in brood comb

            Neonicotinoids effects on queen bees and colony development        

            BeeSquad Programing and future research at UNL                

Center for Grasslands business meeting, Oct 23, 2015: Protecting pollinators

UMN Dissertation, Sept 15, 2015:  Integrating science and policy: examining effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) and bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) queens, worker bees, and colony development

*UMN Plants, Insects and Microbes Course (CFANS 3333), Nov 24, 2014: Guest lecture          

National Entomological Society of America, Portland OR, Nov 17, 2014 (poster)

*Community of Scholars Program Symposium, Nov 14, 2014 (poster)                          

*Wisconsin Honey Producer Association, Trego WI, Nov 7, 2014                   

*St. Thomas University, Theology & Environment Course (THEO459), St. Paul MN, Sept  23, 2014: Guest lecture                                                            

*Minnesota Honey Producers Association, St. Cloud MN, Jul 18, 2014

*Café Scientifiqué, Minneapolis MN, Apr 15, 2014      

*UMN Pollinator protection in managed landscapes (HORT 4850), Apr 10, 2014, Guest lecture

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Nashville TN, Nov 21, 2013

*National Entomological Society of America (Beyond the LC50: Advancements in

Toxicological Research on Pollinators, Austin TX, Nov 9, 2013

UMN Landscape Arboretum Healthy Food Summit, Oct 14, 2013

UMN Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Group Seminar, Saint Paul MN, Apr 26, 2013

*North Central Beekeepers Association, Brainerd MN, Apr 15, 2013

1st Natural Resources Association of Graduate Students (NRAGS) Graduate Student Research Symposium, Saint Paul MN, Apr 12, 2013

*Bayer Bee Care Center Tour, Saint Paul MN, Apr 3, 2013

UMN non-thesis seminar: Orchid bees (Euglossa viridissima), Mar 26, 2013

*Oneida County Beekeepers Association, Rhinelander WI, Jan 19, 2013

National Entomological Society of America, Knoxville TN, Nov 11-14 2012

*St. Croix Beekeepers Association, St. Croix WI, Oct 11 2012

*MN Honey Producers, Duluth, MN, Jul 13-14, 2012

*UMN: Seminar for Visiting Scientists/Agriculture representatives, Jul 17, 2012

American Bee Research Conference, Washington D.C., Feb 7-9, 2012

*Oregon Sate Beekeeper’s Association, Seaside, OR, Nov 18-20, 2011

*California Sate Beekeeper’s Association, Sonoma, CA, Nov 15-17, 2011

*Wisconsin Honey Producers Association, Rapid City, WI, Nov 3-6, 2011

*MN Honey Producers Association, Detroit Lakes, MN, Jul 14-16, 2011

North American Beekeeping Conference and Tradeshow (ABF)/ American Bee

Research Conference (ABRC), Galveston, TX, Jan 4-8, 2011

*California State Beekeepers Association, San Luis Obispo, CA, Nov 16-18, 2010

**North Dakota Beekeepers Association, Bismarck, ND, Oct 7-10, 2010   

Minnesota Honey Producers, North Mankato, MN, Jul 15-17, 2010

**American Bee Research Conference (ABRC), Orlando, FL, Jan 12-16, 2010      

National Entomological Society of America, Indianapolis, IN, Dec 13-16, 2009

*Idaho Honey Industry Association, Boise, ID, Dec 3-4, 2009

*WSU: Honey bee biology class (Entom 365), Pullman, WA, Dec 3, 2009 

*Northwest corner beekeepers conference, Seaside, OR, Nov 22, 2009

*California State Beekeeper’s Association, San Diego, CA, Nov 17, 2009

*Montana State Beekeeper’s Association, Missoula, MT, Oct 17, 2009

*Northwest District Beekeeper’s Association, Snohomish, WA, Oct. 13, 2009

*Palouse Beekeeper’s Association, Moscow, ID, July 21, 2009

*South Dakota Beekeeper’s Association, Rapid City, SD, July 10-11, 2009

*Pierce County Beekeeper’s Association, Puyallup, WA, June 1, 2009

Entomological Society of America (Pacific Branch), San Diego, CA, Mar. 29, 2009         

WSU Academic Showcase, Pullman, WA, March 27, 2009: (poster)                             

American Honey Producers (National Meeting), Fresno, CA, Jan. 9-12, 2009

*Inland Empire Beekeeping Association, Spokane, WA, Dec. 12, 2008

*Idaho Honey Industry Association, Boise, ID, Dec. 6-7, 2008

*California State Beekeeper’s Association, Lake Tahoe, CA, Nov.11-13, 2008

*Washington State Beekeeper’s Association/ Oregon State Beekeeper’s Association, Joint meeting, Vancouver, WA, Oct 16-18, 2008


  • NDA National Honey Bee Survey Grant ($12,000): service contract, Apr 2016
  • NE Department of Roads Research Grant ($130,000): Co-PI, Apr 2016
  • USDA-NIFA Postdoctoral Grant ($141,200): PI, declined 2015
  • California Beekeepers Association Research Grants (total: $28,800): PI 2009-2013
  • Washington State Beekeepers Association Research Grants ($4,000): PI 2008-2009
  • University Travel Grants (total: $1,500)
  • in review:
    - Project Apis m. Health Hives Research Grant ($87,000): Co-PI submitted Feb 2016
    - CA Almond Board Research Grant ($70,000): Co-PI submitted Feb 2016
    - UNL Multistate Hatch Funding ($100,000): PI submitted Jan 2016
    - NE Corn Board Research Grant ($200,000): PI submitted Jan 2016

Awards and Honors

  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Univ. of MN (1 yr tuition: $41,700): 2014    
  • American Association of Professional Apiculturists Student Scholarship ($1,000): 2012                              
  • Environmental Protection Agency Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship (3 yrs tuition: $126,000): 2011-2014           
  • American Bee Research Conference (1st place student paper): 2010
  • WSU Award for Outstanding Women in Graduate Studies: 2009                                    
  • Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees Scholarship ($2,000): 2009
  • Entomology Society of America: Pacific Branch Meeting (1st place student paper): 2009
  • WSU Dept. of Entomology Louis W. Getzin Memorial Scholarship ($500):2009


  • Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification: https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/douglas-sarpy/nebraska-pollinator-habitat-certification/


Relevant Workshops:

  • Introductory Beekeeping, UNL Mead, NE: 2016
  • Introductory Beekeeping field day, UNL Lincoln, NE: 2016
  • Introductory Beekeeping, UNL North Platte, NE: 2016
  • Pesticide Applicator’s Certification MNLA sponsored, Saint Paul, NE: 2012         
  • Successful queen rearing, UMN Saint Paul, MN: 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Beekeeping in Northern Climates, UMN Saint Paul, MN: 2012, 2013
  • Beginning beekeeping, UMN Saint Paul, MN: 2011, 2012
  • Beekeeping & Diagnostics short course, WSU Pullman, WA: 2009


Department of Entomology
105A Entomology Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583-0816


65% Extension, 35% Research

Professional Society Memberships

  • Entomology Society of America (ESA)