Blog Archives

OCBA July 2020 Membership Meeting

Juliana Rangel PhotoOn Thursday July 9th at 7PM Juliana Rangel will be presenting to us on the “Effects of exposure to miticides during development on the reproductive quality of queens and drones”. Information on how to connect to this meeting will be sent to the OCBA listserv, or you can e-mail Carrie at cdonley33 at for connection information.

Most honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in the United States have been exposed to the beekeeper-applied miticides amitraz, coumaphos, and tau-fluvalinate. Colonies are also often exposed to agrochemicals, which bees encounter on foraging trips. These and other lipophilic pesticides bind to the beeswax matrix of comb, exposing developing bees. We explored whether pesticide contamination of beeswax used for queen and drone rearing affects the reproductive health of adult reproductives. We did so by measuring queen physiology markers including mandibular gland chemical composition, egg-laying rate, worker retinue response, sperm viability, and mating frequency. Our results support the idea that pesticide exposure of wax during bee development is an important and concerning factor impairing honey bee health.

Born in Colombia, South America, in 2004 Juliana obtained a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego. In 2010 she obtained a Ph. D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, working with Dr. Tom Seeley. In 2010-2013 she was a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow working with Dr. David Tarpy at North Carolina State University. In January 2013, Juliana became Assistant Professor of Apiculture in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in College Station, TX. She became Associate Professor with tenure in 2018. Her research program focuses on the biological and environmental factors that affect the reproductive quality of honey bee queens and drones, the genetics of feral honey bees, and the quality and diversity of honey bee nutrition. She is an active member of the Texas Beekeepers Association and has spoken to dozens of beekeeping associations across the USA. She teaches the courses Honey Bee Biology, Introduction to Beekeeping, and Professional Grant Writing. Since 2014 she has been the coach of TAMU’s undergraduate and graduate teams of the Linnaean Games at the branch and national games of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), earning first and second place nationally three years in a row. She is the 2020 Secretary Elect for the Southwestern Branch of the ESA and is the past elected chair of the National ESA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She also currently serves as chair of Entomology’s Graduate Student Forum Committee, the Graduate Admissions Committee, and is chair of the Graduate Student Recruitment Travel Grant. She was 2014 President of the American Association of Professional Apiculturists.

Category: Club Meetings  

OCBA June Member Meeting

Tom Seeley, the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University, will be presenting to us at our regularly scheduled meeting on June 11 at 7PM!   Dr. Seeley will be presenting on “The bee colony as a honey factory”.  We will explore how a colony of honey bees operates as a factory that produces honey efficiently despite tremendous day-to-day swings in the supply of nectar, the raw material for making honey.  An important feature of the organization of the honey production process is a division of labor between the nectar foragers, elderly workers who toil outside the hive collecting the nectar, and the nectar receivers, middle-age workers who toil inside the hive converting the nectar into honey.   We will see how the bees can boost their colony’s rate of nectar collecting during a honey flow, using the waggle dance and the shaking signal.  And we will see how the bees can also boost their colony’s rate of nectar processing—to keep the rates of nectar collecting and nectar processing in balance—by means of the tremble dance and stop signal.   In this talk, he will show videos of bees producing all the signals mentioned above:  waggle dance, shaking signal, tremble dance, and stop signal.

Dr. Thomas D. Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University. He is based in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, where he teaches courses on animal behavior and does research on the behavior and social life of honey bees. His work is summarized in three books: Honeybee Ecology (1985), The Wisdom of the Hive (1995), and Honeybee Democracy (2010).  In recognition of his scientific work, he has received the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished U.S. Scientist Prize, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, received a Gold Medal Book Award from Apimondia for The Wisdom of the Hive, and been elected a Fellow of both the Animal Behavior Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  His most enduring honor, though, is to have had a species of bee named after him: Neocorynurella seeleyi

Information on how to connect to this meeting was sent to the OCBA listserv.  If you are not on the listserv, but would like to join us, please send an e-mail to Carrie at cdonley33 at

Category: Club Meetings  

May Meeting Recording

OCBA held its monthly May meeting by Zoom, and Patrick Jones, Deputy Director for Pesticide Programs at the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Service, presented on different types of mosquito applications and protective measures that are in place to protect pollinators from adverse effects from the spray.  If you missed the meeting, you can watch it at the link below!
Category: Club Meetings  

OCBA May Meeting

On May 14th at 7PM, Patrick Jones will present “Pollinator Protection and Mosquito Applications”. Patrick is the Deputy Director of Pesticide Programs in the Structural Pest Control & Pesticides Division within the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. He will talk about different types of mosquito application and protective measures that are in place to protect pollinators from adverse effects from the spray.

Patrick Jones, Deputy Director for Pesticide Programs at the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Service, Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division has worked for the department for over 36 years in various positions including a pesticide inspector, field supervisor and enforcement manager. One of his focus items is the outreach and education efforts to inform growers on the pollinator protection and FieldWatch Programs implemented by NCDA&CS to enhance communication between growers, beekeepers, and applicators. As deputy director, he oversees pesticide registration, field compliance, enforcement and outreach programs focused on ensuring the safe use of pesticides in North Carolina. He has also served as the Region 4 Representative to SFIREG the State-FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group, a network of state officials interested in Federal/State “co-regulation” of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and served as a member of the Pesticides Operation Management Working Committee under SFIREG. He is currently serving on the AAPCO (Association of American Pest Control Officials) Board of Directors, Chairs the Worker Protection Committee, and Co-Chairs the Pollinator Committee. He has been very active in regional and national training for pesticide inspectors. He also serves on the FieldWatch Board of Directors, representing State Departments of Agriculture. He is a graduate of N.C. State University with a degree in Agronomy.

If you’d like to attend the meeting, send an e-mail to cdonley33 at and Carrie will send you the link to the Zoom meeting.

Category: Club Meetings  

The OCBA held its first Zoom monthly meeting, and it was a great success with over 50 people attending!  Anya McGuirk presented on some of the weight, temperature, sound, and video data SAS is collecting and analyzing from their hives.  If you missed the meeting, we recorded it, so you can watch it at the link below. 
Category: Club Meetings