University of Minnesota Research & Extension

Dr. Marla Spivak & Gary Reuter

Our goal is to promote the health of bee pollinators. Our primary research focus is on honey bees, ranging from basic studies on mechanisms of social behaviors to applied studies on bee breeding and management. We work as a team to provide the richest learning environment for students and the public at all levels and from all backgrounds. For details on our current research projects, see our web site

The MHPA generously donates research money every year to support our research. In addition, members of MHPA have donated their time, effort and bee colonies to support our field trials. Our program is strong because of continued MHPA moral and financial support.
As an example, the MHPA, along with beekeeping associations from ND, SD, IA, WI and CA supported our development of the "MN Hygienic" line of honey bees, which is sold throughout the U.S. by MN beekeepers.
As another example, MHPA members and ND beekeepers allowed us to sample their colonies for Varroa mites over several years, which is not easy on their colonies! Our goal is to develop a simple and standardized sampling plan for commercial beekeepers to help them determine the infestation level of Varroa destructor mites in their colonies. We will guidelines for migratory beekeepers on making educated treatment decisions for the mite based on the sampling plan.
Our newest research focuses on propolis and its benefits to bees' immune systems. We are also collaborating with chemists to determine the components in propolis that make it active against bee and human viruses.
We teach courses for the public on how to keep bees in northern climates (taught every March), and how to raise queen bees (taught every July). We have an on-line course called "Healthy Bees" which instructs beekeepers how to keep bees healthy, emphasizing management techniques and the use of resistant bees rather than chemical controls.


Visit our website more information!