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Graduate Student Winners - Bee Symposium 2017

Winners of the Graduate Student Poster Contest at the Bee Symposium 2017 on May 7th.

The Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Graduate Student Poster contest at the annual Bee Symposium held May 7, 2017. The Symposium, hosted by the Center and the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis, is underwritten by the Springcreek Foundation.

Fourteen entries came from across the United States, each having something to do with insects, bees and/or pollination. Graduate students defended their research to a panel of three judges, selected from participating speakers and faculty. This year’s winners and their topics were:

  • 1st Place award of $1000; Phillipp Brand, UC Davis, ”The Evolution of Sex Pheromone Communication in a Pair of Sibling Species of Orchid Bees”;
  • 2nd Place Award of $750; Jacob Peters, Harvard University, “Self-Organization of Collective Nest Ventilation by Honey Bees”;
  • 3rd Place Award of $500; John Mola, UC Davis, “Fire Induced change in Flowering Phenology Benefits Bumble Bees”;
  • 4th Place Award of $250; Devon Picklum, University of Nevada, Reno, “Floral Visitation and pollen Deposition Bombus Pollinated Dodecatheon Apinum and Pedicularis Groenlandica in the Sierra Nevada”

Lead speaker at this year’s Symposium was Steve Sheppard, Thurber Professor of entomology at Washington State University. His topic “Bees, Mushrooms and Liquid Nitrogen… What?” reflects the broad spectrum of his research from broadening the genetic pool of honey bees to health related aspects of mushroom slurry. Other speakers included Margaret Lombard, CEO of the National Honey Board and Maj Rundlof, International Career Grant Fellow at UC Davis from Lund University, Sweden. Dr. Michael Karle discussed the new FDA rule concerning the use of antibiotics in beehives.

Another highlight of this year’s Symposium was the awards ceremony of the first class of Apprentice Level Master Beekeepers. Over 50 Apprentices received their first level pins from Instructors, Elina Nino, UC Davis Extension Apiculturist and Apiarist Bernardo Nino.

The Bee Symposium, 2018 will feature Dr. Thomas Seeley, the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University and author of Honey Bee Democracy.

For more information about the Honey and Pollination Center and its events and program, go to

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