Lecture: Decline and Fall of Bees; Pollinators in Peril

 On April 19, 2011 from 12-1 pm Dr. James C. Nieh spoke about “The Decline and Fall of Bees:  Pollinators in Peril” in the Events Room at the Biomedical Library.

Honey bees face multiple natural and manmade dangers in their environment. Ironically, they are highly successful because of their use in modern agriculture, yet are suffering because modern agriculture imposes stresses from pesticides, diseases, parasites, and management practices such as mobile beekeeping. The research in Dr. Nieh’s laboratory explores natural threats and, more recently, the effects of pesticides on honey bee foraging. Come learn about the amazing solutions that bees have evolved in response to natural perils and how our use of pesticides may be contributing to their decline.

Dr. Nieh was born in Taiwan, but grew up in Southern California. He received his B.A. at Harvard in 1991 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1997. He subsequently received a NSF-NATO Postdoctoral fellowship to study at the University of Würzburg in Germany after which he received the prestigious Harvard Junior Fellowship.  In 2000, he joined the faculty in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California San Diego where he is currently a professor in the Section of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution. Dr. Nieh’s interests focus on bee communication and cognition.  He studies many types of social bees, including honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees. Currently, his laboratory is interested in exploring the evolution of bee language, how bees communicate and recruit nestmates to food, and how pesticides and disease affect bee behavior, navigation, and communication.  More information about his laboratory’s research on bees can be found at http://www-biology.ucsd.edu/labs/nieh


Audio also available in mp3 format (right-click to download)