For the last several years, the Apes Valentes Research Awards have supported summer research on pollinator health for both graduate or undergraduate researchers.

These generous awards have provided opportunities to collect valuable data to improve the health and public awareness of pollinators, while supporting the research development of students. In 2019, there were five recipients of the Apes Valentes Graduate Research Award from several research labs here at PSU. Awardees and their research projects are highlighted below.

López-Uribe and Hines labsShelby Kilpatrick, López-Uribe and Hines labs, Form and function: examining coevolution between specialist pollinators and their host plants through comparison of bee pollen collection/transport and pollen grain structures. Shelby tested whether there was a link between the morphology of pollen collecting structures and the morphology of pollen in the squash bees, which are host plant specialists, using microscopy-based imaging. She also has worked towards converting her images into 3D pollen models to be used for public education.

López-Uribe labBrooke Lawrence, López-Uribe lab, Maintaining the colony pantry: impact of pesticides on pollen preservation in honey bee colonies. Brooke examined how miticide treatments in honey bee colonies impacts the microbiome of their pollen stores, thus ultimately testing whether there could be impacts of the miticides on bee nutrition. Her results were presented to beekeepers at the PSU Beekeepers Association annual meeting.

Grozinger and Rasgon LabAllyson Ray, Grozinger and Rasgon Lab, Using genomics to understand the tripartite interaction between bees, virus, and Varroa. Allyson tested the comparative virulence of different strains of DWV upon transmission by Varroa mite vectors. She presented her research to scientists and beekeepers.

Schilder labDavid Stupski, Schilder lab, HotHive - a prototype hive design to measure seasonal energetics of honey bee thermoregulation. David examined the thermal properties of honey bee hives across seasons, data which can be used to maximize thermal energy efficiency through hive design. He has disseminated his knowledge and the application of thermal imaging technologies to beekeepers.

Amsalem labErin Treanore, Amsalem lab, The making of a queen: examining nutrient acquisition and cold tolerance in pre-diapause bumblebee queens. Erin studied how overwintering bumble bee queens process and store nutrients, and demonstrated the importance of nutrient acquisition on successful queen overwintering. Her results were presented in scientific meetings and through local outreach events.

Applications for the 2020 Apes Valentes Awards for Undergraduate Research are now open.