Maryann Frazier and Elina Lastro Niño Recognized by the Eastern Apiculture Society.

Posted: December 1, 2011

This past summer the Eastern Apiculture Society (EAS) announced the recipients of its annual awards and two of Penn State’s own were honored. Maryann Frazier was presented with the Roger Morse Award for Extension, Education, and Regulation and Elina Lastro Niño was the recipient of the EAS Student Award.

The prestigious Roger Morse Award, supported by the Anita Weiss Memorial Fund, recognizes individual excellence in teaching/extension and/or regulatory activity in apiculture; Frazier was selected for this award due to her continuous contributions to each of these aspects.  In her formal role as a Senior Extension Associate, Frazier provides advice and support to beekeepers in Pennsylvania, but she has also excelled in research, education, and public outreach.  Understanding that problems encountered by Pennsylvania’s beekeepers occur throughout the mid-Atlantic region, she has taken a lead role in organizing and coordinating the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture and Extension Consortium (MAAREC).  Frazier has also developed and published a number of readily available materials to assist beekeepers in identifying and mitigating bee diseases.  In order to address industry concerns about queen quality, she is assisting with the new PA Queen Project, which seeks to organize local and regional beekeepers to breed locally adapted bee stocks which are resistant to pathogens and parasites.  As an educator, Frazier has organized a four-day “Bug Camp for Kids”, which has taught middle school students about entomology, biodiversity, and ecology.  Each year she teaches an apiculture course to graduate and undergraduate students and acts as an instructor in the Center for Pollinator Research’s Queen Rearing Short Course. She is also actively collaborating with two other faculty members, Jim Frazier and Chris Mullin, to characterize the types and magnitude of pesticides residues in colonies and the effects of these at lethal and sublethal levels.  Finally, Frazier has been heavily involved in international research and outreach efforts and is part of a team of collaborators from Penn State and the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) surveying the health of honey bee populations in East Africa, and developing training courses for beekeepers in the region. 
The EAS Student Apiculture Award, supported by the EAS Life Membership Fund, was established to annually recognize an exceptional student studying apiculture at the undergraduate or graduate level at a university in the U.S. or Canada.  Elina Lastro Niño is a PhD candidate in the Department of Entomology at Penn State.  Elina is working on the behavioral, physiological, and molecular characterization of instrumental insemination factors causing post-mating changes in honey bee queens.  She is also interested in how these factors (e.g., carbon dioxide, physical manipulation, insemination volume and substance) modulate queen pheromone production and how this in turn affects queen worker-interactions.  Elina also participates in numerous outreach and extension activities and most recently she played a key role in organizing and teaching the Center for Pollinator Research’s First Annual Queen Rearing Short Course.   She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lillian and Alex Feir Graduate Student Travel Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, or Molecular Biology and a scholarship from the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees. .

Maryann Frazier and Elina Lastro Niño are excellent examples of the outstanding faculty staff and students engaged in research, education and outreach as members of the Center for Pollinator Research.  Penn State, the Center for Pollinator Research, and the PA State Beekeepers will host the Eastern Apiculture Society annual meeting in August 2013 at West Chester University in West Chester, PA. 

Media contact:  Jeremy Fitzgerald,