Seminar: All About Honey Bee Health and Disease Resistance

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey

It's a topic we've all been waiting for: "Honey Bee Health and Disease Resistance."

Jay Evans, a research entomologist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Beltsville Bee Research Laboratory for the past 14 years, will discuss "Bee Disease Resistance and Colony Health" on Wednesday, Oct. 2  to  open the fall seminar series hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.

His lecture, open to all interested persons, is from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in Room 122 of Briggs Hall, located on Kleiber Hall Drive, UC Davis campus.

"Honey bees are vulnerable to poor nutrition, parasites and pathogens, and exposure to chemicals," Evans said. "These threats can occur in batches and little is known about the impacts of multiple challenges to honey bee health, and about the abilities of bees to fend off these threats. I will present recent work aimed at determining the impacts of multiple parasites on bee health. I will also discuss the impacts Varroa mites, chemicals, and bacterial symbionts on bee health and colony losses."

As a research entomologist, Evans has focused his projects on a range of bee pests including bacteria, fungi, viruses andmites, and beetles. He is especially interested in the immune defenses of bees toward these threats. 

Evans was an early proponent of the Honey Bee Genome Project and helped recruit and organize scientists interested in applied genomics for bees.  He has improved and applied genetic screens for possible causes of colony collapse disorder and is now heading a consortium to sequence the genome of the Varroa mite in order to develop novel control methods for this key pest.

Evans holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Princeton and a doctorate in biology from the University of Utah.

The fall seminars, coordinated by faculty members Joanna Chiu and Brian Johnson, will be held every Wednesday noon through Dec. 11 in 122 Briggs Hall, except for Nov. 27, Thanksgiving Week, when no seminar will be held.

Under the coordination of professor James R. Carey, all seminars are to be videotaped and posted at a later date on UCTV.

Anyone with a computer can view the seminars, and yes, they're free.

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey

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