Q: Masters or Ph.D., and how far into your program are you?
A: I am a Master’s student in my second and final year. I will be graduating on time this semester.
Q: What is your research project?
A: “Exploring biological and chemical control methods in an integrated pest management approach for Varroa destructor in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies”
This might be biased, but my research is super cool! My research aims to combat an invasive, mite, Varroa destructor, by utilizing cold storage intervals and an entomopathogenic fungus.
These mites parasitize honey bee colonies and their brood to such an extent that current industry treatments are having a hard time keeping up. Miticides aren’t working as well as we would like, so cold storage could possibly augment these chemical treatments. As for the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium, when placed into honey bee colonies the spores are spread around the hive by the bees. When encountering the mites, they are encapsulated and parasitized by the Metarhizium, directly killing the mite.