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Nicholas Naeger

Assistant Professor



My research program focuses on understanding the interactions between honey bee nutrition, diseases, and the bee immune system.  Pollens, nectars, and other food sources contain numerous chemicals that can affect the immune system and physiology of bees, changing the ways colonies handle pesticide and disease pressures.  We use molecular and cellular methods in the laboratory to identify immune dysfunction and explore means for correcting it.  The applied side of this research includes developing bee feed additives that beekeepers can use to improve nutrition.  Many honey bee colonies in the United States do not have access to good wildflower resources throughout the year, and beekeepers commonly feed their bees sugar syrup solutions to help keep their bees alive.  We are developing fungal based products that can be added to this sugar syrup to make them more like natural nectars.



Ph.D. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, Entomology, 2015
M.S. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, Entomology, 2010
B.S. The Ohio State University, Entomology and Molecular Genetics, 2005

Courses Taught

Entomology 361: Honey Bee Biology
Entomology 550: Insect Physiology


  • Directed evolution of Metarhizium fungus improves its biocontrol efficacy against Varroa mites in honey bee colonies (2021) Jennifer O. Han, Nicholas L. Naeger, Brandon K. Hopkins, David Sumerlin, Paul E. Stamets, Lori M. Carris, and Walter S. Sheppard. Scientific Reports 11:10582
  • Extracts of polypore mushroom mycelia reduce viruses in honey bees (2018) Paul E. Stamets, Nicholas L. Naeger, Jay D. Evans, Jennifer O. Han, Brandon K. Hopkins, Dawn Lopez, Henry M. Moershel, Regan Nally, David Summerlin, Alex W. Taylor, Lori M. Carris, and Walter S. Sheppard. Scientific Reports, 8: article #13936.
  • Transcriptomic analysis of instinctive and learned reward-related behavior in honey bees (2016) Nicholas L. Naeger and Gene E. Robinson. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219: p3554-3561.
  • Altruistic Behavior by Egg-Laying Worker Honeybees (2013) Nicholas L. Naeger, Marianne Peso, Naila Even, Andrew B. Barron, and Gene E. Robinson. Current Biology, 23:16 p1574-1578.
  • Neurogenomic Signatures of Spatiotemporal Memories in Time-Trained Forager Honey Bees (2011) Nicholas L. Naeger, Byron N. Van Nest, Jennifer N. Johnson, Sam D. Boyd, Bruce Southey, Sandra D. Rodriguez-Zas, Darrell Moore, and Gene E. Robinson. The Journal of Experiment Biology, 214, p979-987.

Department of Entomology
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6382