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:

  • Comprehensive analysis of honey bee health in Oregon by statewide sampling and monitoring of honey bee colonies for honey bee pests and diseases.
  • Investigating colony-level prevalence and intensity of the gut parasite, Nosema ceranae, and examining the role of optimal nutrition in concurrence with N. ceranae.
  • Evaluating effects of nutrition (pollen diversity) on honey bee health, physiology, and immunocompetence.
  • Enhancing pollination efficiency of honey bee colonies in hard-to-pollinate crops using brood pheromone technology.
  • Oregon Master Beekeeper Program: the goal of this extension program is to improve honey bee colony health throughout Oregon via education and service.

Extension Publications

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.

Research Publications

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.

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

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.