I (Erin) had the privilege of attending the New Zealand Bee Research Symposium and Apiculture New Zealand (APINZ) conference in Christchurch earlier this year. The Bee Research Symposium allows scientists and students from across the country to get together and share their research, giving their insight into where we are headed in the world of beekeeping, honey, mite management, and pollination. The research symposium, along with APINZ conference, create a space for science and industry to mix, ideas to be shared, and for all things honey bees to be celebrated!
I had the opportunity to present my work on the role of drone honey bees in varroa mite dispersal. This included varroa preference for different honey bee castes, and the correlation between varroa captured on drones at drone congregation areas and varroa captured from bees in a colony. Presenting my research in front of other scientists was a great experience, and I got some helpful feedback and comments.
Hearing about the work that other researchers are working on was really exciting too. A particular highlight was hearing from Dr Sammy Ramsey about his fascinating work on the varroa mite and the tropilaelaps mite. Getting to hear from and interact with other people with a passion for honey bees and science was really inspiring, and I feel very lucky to be working in such an exciting field alongside other enthusiastic scientists.
Erin Steed is a MSc student at the University of Waikato working on the role of drone honey bees in varroa mite dispersal. She’s supervised by Chrissie Painting & Ashley Mortensen (Plant & Food Research).