Research

The Honey Bee Research and Extension program at Oregon State University focuses on honey bee health, nutrition, and pollination with a goal of servicing commercial beekeepers, backyard beekeepers, producers, and all citizens that are interested in bees.

Honey bees are currently faced with numerous maladies

such as pests, diseases, viruses, poor nutrition, and chemicals, just to name a few. Healthy and properly nourished honey bees may be better equipped to deflect the destructive effects of these maladies. By monitoring colonies during crop pollination, studying the honey bee diet, investigating honey bee diseases, and conducting other experiments, we hope to contribute to the body of knowledge necessary for maintaining healthy honey bee colonies.

Ongoing research and extension projects:
  • Examining the long-term, sub-lethal effects of pesticide exposure and pesticide interactions on honey bee colony health and immunity.
  • Investigating the efficacy of various miticide treatments and exploring potential Varroa mite resistance to amitraz.
  • Evaluating the exposure of honey bees and their protein diet to agrochemicals during crop pollination and the impacts of that exposure.
  • Coming soon…diagnosing and quantifying bacterial and viral pathogen loads in honey bees
  • Oregon Master Beekeeper Program: the goal of this extension program is to improve honey bee colony health throughout Oregon via education and service.

Our Publications

Research Publications

Carlson EA, Melathopoulos A and Sagili R (2022) The value of hazard quotients in honey bee (Apis mellifera) ecotoxicology: A review. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.824992 

Metz, B.N., Chakrabarti, P. and Sagili, R.R. (2021) Honey bee nursing responses to cuticular cues emanating from short-term changes in larval rearing environment. Journal of Insect Science 21: 7. (IF 1.846)

Kelly Kulhanek, Steinhauer N, Wilkes J, Wilson M, Spivak M, Sagili RR, Tarpy DR, McDermott E, Garavito A, Rennich K, vanEngelsdorp D (2021) Survey-derived best beekeeping management practices improve colony health and reduce mortality. PLoS ONE 16(1): e0245490. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0245490. 

Tsuruda, J.M.#, Chakrabarti, P.# and Sagili, R.R. (2021) Honey Bee Nutrition. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice – Honey Bee Veterinary Medicine.  DOI: 10.1016/j.cvfa.2021.06.006. (# Equal first author contributions) (IF 1.632)

Topitzhofer, E., Lucas, H.M., Carlson, E.A., Chakrabarti, P., Sagili, R.R. (2021) Collection and Identification of Pollen from Honey Bee Colonies. Journal of Visualized Experiments DOI: 10.3791/62064. (IF 1.325)

Hopkins, B.K., Chakrabarti, P., Lucas, H.M., Sagili, R.R. and Sheppard, W.S. (2021) Impacts of different winter storage conditions on the physiology of diutinus honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Journal of Economic Entomology toaa302: 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toaa302. (IF 1.938)

Milone, J.P.#, Chakrabarti, P.# *, Sagili, R.R. and Tarpy, D.R. (2021) Colony-level pesticide exposure affects honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) royal jelly production and nutritional composition. Chemosphere 263: 128183. (# Equal first author contributions) (IF 5.778)

Sagili RR, Caron DM (2020) Honey bee pollination in the Pacific Northwest. American Bee Journal 160 (5): 575-577.

Chakrabarti, P.* and Sagili, R.R.* (2020) Changes in Honey Bee Head Proteome in Response to Dietary 24-Methylenecholesterol. Insects 11(11): 743. (IF 2.220)

Chakrabarti, P.*, Carlson, E.A., Lucas, H.M., Melathopoulos, A.P. and Sagili, R.R.* (2020) Field rates of Sivanto™ (flupyradifurone) and Transform® (sulfoxaflor) increase oxidative stress and induce apoptosis in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). PLoS ONE 15(5): e0233033. (IF 2.776)

Chakrabarti, P.*, Lucas, H.M. and Sagili, R.R. (2020) Novel Insights into Dietary Phytosterol Utilization and Its Fate in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.). Molecules 25: 571. DOI: 10.3390/molecules25030571 (IF 3.060)

Chakrabarti, P.*, Lucas, H.M. and Sagili, R.R. (2019) Evaluating effects of a critical micronutrient (24-methylenecholesterol) on honey bee physiology. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. DOI: 10.1093/aesa/saz067. (IF 1.665)

Hooven, L.A., Chakrabarti, P., Harper, B.J., Sagili, R.R. and Harper, S.L. (2019) Potential Risk to Pollinators from Nanotechnology-Based Pesticides. Molecules 24: 4458. DOI: 10.3390/molecules24244458 (IF 3.060)

Chakrabarti, P.*, Morre, J.T., Lucas, H.M., Maier, C.S. and Sagili, R.R. (2019) The Omics Approach to Bee Nutritional Landscape. Metabolomics 15: 127. (IF 3.167)

Topitzhofer, E., Lucas, H.M., Chakrabarti, P., Breece, C., Bryant, V. and Sagili, RR. (2019) Horticulture Assessment of pollen diversity available to honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in major cropping systems during pollination in the western United States. Journal of Economic Entomology 1-9. DOI: 10.1093/jee/toz168. (IF 1.938)

Man-Yeon Choi, Hannah Lucas, Ramesh Sagili, Dong H Cha, Jana C Lee. (2018) Effect of Erythritol on Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in the Presence of Naturally-Occurring Sugar Sources, and on the Survival of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 112, Issue 2,  https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toy362

Topitzhofer E+, Marshall C, Royce L and Sagili R (2018) First published report of triungulin larvae of Meloe sp. (Coleoptera: Meloidae) on honey bees in Oregon, U.S.A. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 94(3): 163-167.

Metz, B.N., Lucas, H.M+., Sagili RR (2018) sucrose response thresholds of honey bee foragers are not modulated by brood ester pheromone. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 21: 592-597. 

Sagili, R.R., Metz, B.N., Lucas, H.M., Chakrabarti, P. and Breece, C.R. (2018) Honey bees consider larval nutritional status rather than genetic relatedness when selecting larvae for emergency queen rearing. Scientific Reports 8, 7679. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-25976-7. (IF 4.122)

Kulhanek K, Steinhauer N, Rennich K, Caron DM, Sagili R, Pettis J, Ellis JD, Wilson M, Wilkes J, Tarpy DR, Rose R, Lee K, Rangel J, vanEngelsdorp D (2017) A national survey of managed honey bees 2015-2016 annual colony losses in the USA. Journal of Apicultural Research https://doi.org/10.1080/00218839.2017.1344496.

Houston L, Capalbo S, Seavert C, Dalton M, Bryla D, Sagili R (2017) Specialty fruit production in the Pacific Northwest: adaptation strategies for a changing climate. Climatic Change DOI 10.1007/s10584-017-1951-y. 

Sagili R, Caron DM (2017) Insights into Honey Pollination in the Pacific Northwest. American Bee Journal.157 (9): 973-976. 

Jack CJ*, Lucas+ HM, Webster TC, Sagili RR (2016) Colony level prevalence and intensity of Nosema ceranae in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). PLoS ONE 11(9): e0163522. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163522. 

DeVetter L, Watkinson S, Sagili R, Lawrence T (2016) Honey Bee Activity in Northern Highbush Blueberry Differs across Growing Regions in Washington State. HortScience 51(10): 1228-1232 

Sagili, R., & Marshall, C. (2016). First report of Apocephalus borealis Brues, 1924 (Diptera: Phoridae) parasitizing honey bees in Oregon, USA. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 92(3), 168-169.

Sagili RR, Breece C+, Cline A (2016) First report of Brachypeplus basalis Erichson, 1842 (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) infesting honey bee colonies in Oregon, USA. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 92(4): 213-216. 

Sagili R and Caron DM (2016) Honey Bee Pollination in the Pacific Northwest. American Bee Journal 156 (7): 805-808.

Seitz N, Traynor KS, Steinhauer N, Rennich K, Wilson ME, Ellis JD, Rose R, Tarpy DR, Sagili RR, Caron DM, Delaplane KS, Rangel J, Lee K, Baylis K, Wilkes, JT, Skinner JA, Pettis JS, vanEngelsdorp D (2016) A national survey of managed honey bee 2014 - 2015 annual colony losses in the USA. Journal of Apicultural Research DOI:10.1080/00218839.2016.1153294

Jack CJ, Uppala S, Lucas H, Sagili RR (2016) Effects of pollen dilution on infection of Nosema ceranae in honey bees. Journal of Insect Physiology 87: 12-19.

Sagili, R.R, C.R. Breece, B.R. Martens, R. Simmons and J.H. Borden (2015) Potential of Honey Bee Brood Pheromone to Enhance Foraging and Yield in Hybrid Carrot Seed. HortTechnology 25 (1): 98-104.

Lee KV, Steinhauer N, Rennich K, Wilson M, Tarpy D, Caron DM, Rose R, Delaplane KS, Baylis K, Lengerich EJ, Pettis, J, Sagili RR, Skinner JA, Wilkes JT, vanEngelsdorp D (2015) A national survey of managed honey bee 2013-14 annual colony losses in the USA. Apidologie 46: 292-305.

Borden JH, Campbell M, Card W, McLean JA, Foster B and Sagili RR (2013) Can treatment with brood pheromone increase honey production? American Bee Journal 153 (4): 338-339.

Caron DM, Sagili RR (2012) Pacific Northwest (PNW) Pollination. American Bee Journal 152 (5): 503-506.

Sagili, R. R. and C. R. Breece. 2012. Effects of Brood Pheromone (SuperBoost) on Consumption of Protein Supplement and Growth of Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies During Fall in a Northern Temperate Climate. J. of Econ. Entomol. 105(4): 1134-1138.

Sagili, R. R., T. Pankiw, and B. N. Metz. 2011. Division of Labor Associated with Brood Rearing in the Honey Bee: How Does It Translate to Colony Fitness? PLoS ONE 6(2): e16785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016785

Caron DM, Sagili RR (2011) Pacific Northwest Honey Bee Colony Mortality. American Bee Journal 151 (1): 73-76.

Caron DM, Sagili RR (2010) Honey Bee Colony Mortality in the Pacific Northwest: Winter 2009/2010. American Bee Journal 150 (2): 45-48.

Sagili, R. R. and T. Pankiw. 2009. Effects of brood pheromone modulated brood rearing behaviors on honey bee (Apis Mellifera L.) colony growth. J. Insect Behav. 22: 339-349.

Pankiw,T., R. R. Sagili, and B. N. Metz. 2008. Brood pheromone effects on colony protein supplement consumption and growth in the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a subtropical winter climate. J. Econ. Entomol. 101 (6): 1749-1755.

R. R. Sagili and T. Pankiw. 2007. Effects of protein-constrained brood food on honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pollen foraging and colony growth. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 61:1471-1478.

R. R. Sagili, T. Pankiw, and K. Zhu-Salzman. 2005. Effects of soybean trypsin inhibitor on hypopharyngeal gland protein content, total midgut protease activity and survival of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). J. Insect Physiology 51:953-957.

T. Pankiw, R. Roman, R. R. Sagili, K. Zhu-Salzman. 2004. Pheromone-modulated behavioral suites influence colony growth in the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Naturwissenschaften 91:575-578.

Extension Publications

Breece C., Topitzhofer E., Sagili RR. 2021. Identifying American Foulbrood. Oregon State University Extension Publication 

Topitzhofer, E., Mahoney, M. Sagili, R. (2021). Guide to Shipping Honey Bee Queen Cells. Project Apis m. Technical Guide.

Topitzhofer E., Hedstrom C, Chakrabarti P#, Melathopoulos A, Rondon S, Langellotto G, Sagili R. 2020. Asian Giant Hornet: A potential threat to honeybee colonies in Oregon. OSU Extension Service EM 9297. 

Topitzhofer E., Breece C., Wyns D., Sagili R. 2020. Operational Equipment Expenses for a Commercial Beekeeping Operation in the Pacific Northwest. Fact Sheet #2 of Budgeting for a Commercial Beekeeping Operation in the Pacific Northwest. OSU Extension Service PNW 743. 

Topitzhofer E., Breece C,. Wyns., Sagili R. 2020. Beekeeping Equipment Expenses: Woodenware and Other Components. Fact Sheet #3 of Budgeting for a Commercial Beekeeping Operation in the Pacific Northwest. OSU Extension Service PNW 744. 

Topitzhofer E., Breece C.. Wyns D., Sagili R. 2020. Honey Bee Colony Maintenance Expenses: Supplemental Feed, Requeening, and Medication. Fact Sheet #4 of Budgeting for a Commercial Beekeeping Operation in the Pacific Northwest. OSU Extension Service PNW 745. 

Topitzhofer, E., Breece, C., Wyns, D., & Sagili, R. R. (2020). Revenue Sources for a Commercial Beekeeping Operation in the Pacific Northwest. Pacific Northwest Extension Publishing.

Melathopoulos, A., Rodia, M., Holt, J., & Sagili, R. R. (2018). Residential Beekeeping: Best-practice Guidelines for Nuisance-free Beekeeping in Oregon. Oregon State University Extension Service.

Breece C. and Sagili RR (2019) Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program. Journal of Extension [On-line] 57(3) Article 3RIB5 https://joe.org/joe/2019june/rb5.php. (https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol57/iss3/5/)

Dreistadt SH, Nino EL, Varela LG, Hooven L, Sagili R, Phillips B, Vinchesi AC, Lawrence T (2018) Bee precaution pesticide ratings. University of California IPM 

Breece, C., Wyns, D., & Sagili, R. R. (2018). Protecting Honey Bees from Yellowjacket Wasps. Oregon State University Extension Service.

Caron, D. M., Togerson, K., Breece, C., & Sagili, R. R. (2016). The small hive beetle: a potential pest in honey bee colonies in Oregon. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University, Extension Service.

Hooven L, Sagili RR, Johansen E (2016) Smartphone app: How to reduce bee poisoning from pesticides. OSU Extension Service PNW 591. 

Edmunds B, Little R, Sagili R (2016) Nurturing Mason Bees in Your Backyard in Western Oregon. Oregon State University Extension Publication EM 9130. 

Breece C., Sagili R (2016) Small Hive Beetle identification card. OSU Extension Publication EM 9150.

Breece C., Sagili RR (2016) Sampling for Varroa Mites from a Honey Bee Brood Nest. Oregon State University Extension Publication EM 9147. 

Topitzhofer E., Breece C., Sagili RR (2016) Nosema analysis in Honey Bees. Oregon State University Extension Publication EM 9146. 

Topitzhofer E., C. Breece., Sagili RR (2016) Dissecting Honey Bees for Tracheal Mites. Oregon State University Extension Publication EM 9145. 

Sagili, R. R., Breece, C., Vanderpool, H., & Torgerson, K. (2015). Overwintered Honey Bee Nucleus Colonies: Big Solutions in Small Packages. Oregon State University Extension Service.

Sagili, R. R., Kling, J., & Breece, C. (2015). Pollination and seed set in meadowfoam. Oregon State University, Extension Service.

Breece, C.R and Sagili, R.R (2015) Hands-on training emphasized in the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program. Journal of Extension [On-line] 53 (3) Article 3IAW6 http://www.joe.org/joe/2015june/iw6.php

Hooven, L., R. Sagili, and E. Johansen. 2013. How to Reduce Bee Poisoning From Pesticides. Pacific Northwest Extension Publication PNW 591.

Sagili, R.R. and D.M. Burgett. 2011. Evaluating Honey Bee Colonies for Pollination: A Guide for Commercial Growers and Beekeepers. Pacific Northwest Extension Publication PNW 623.