Change at Beltsville: Jeff Pettis Steps Down

This message brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ: Kim Flottom   July 8, 2014

After nine productive years, Dr. Jeffery Pettis is stepping down as Research Leader of the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory (BRL) in Beltsville, MD, and will devote his energy to his research program and collaborations with colleagues and beekeepers. Dr. Pettis guided the Laboratory through the turbulent times of Colony Collapse Disorder and helped build a balanced staff devoted to improving bee management and bee health. He did this while maintaining a strong research program focused on queen and colony traits and managing bees for pollination. Drs. Judy Chen and Jay Evans will serve consecutive 120-day terms as Acting Research Leader of the BRL, prior to the naming of a new Research Leader for the group. Through this process the BRL will remain focused on maintaining close collaborations and connections with the beekeeping community as we all strive to reduce the impacts of stress and disease on bees.

A Note from Jeff Pettis   July 7, 2014:

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

I would like to address the recent decision by ARS to change the leadership of the Beltsville Bee Laboratory. While I have strong reservations about this decision, I do not wish to challenge it. The truth is I have been stretched too thin over the past few years to meet all the demands of the Research Leader position and my own research. The administrative aspects of my job as Research Leader have suffered because my research took precedence over administrative responsibilities. I am looking forward to a full return to an applied research agenda focusing on addressing your concerns as stakeholders. 

Looking toward the future direction and leadership of the lab, it is important that you, the stakeholders have a direct line of communication to the decision makers who drive the research agenda. I am very proud of the relationship I have built with the industry and feel this is crucial to meeting your needs through research. Please continue to be a strong voice with ARS. 

I appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support from all of you and I look forward to working with you as before. As always, I will continue to conduct research with the stakeholders' best interests in mind. 

I thank you for the support and I look forward to our continued partnership in addressing beekeeping and pollinator health issues.

Jeff Pettis

CATCH THE BUZZ: Kim Flottom,  Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping, published by the A.I. Root Company. Twitter.FacebookBee Culture’s Blog