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The Bee Group at VT

Welcome to the Bee Group at Virginia Tech

Faculty Contributors

Margaret Couvillon, Ph.D.

Asst. Professor of Pollinator Biology and Ecology

Research Focus: The Couvillon Lab investigates the dynamics of how pollinators collect their food in the landscape, with a specific focus on honey bee foraging, recruitment, and health. For example, lack of forage is considered a factor contributing to bee declines. This stressor can act directly, where hungry bees are unable to meet their nutritional needs, or indirectly, where the resulting nutritional stress reduces the bees’ ability to cope with diseases and pesticides. For more on Dr. Couvillon's lab please go to her website:

Aaron Gross, Ph.D.

Asst. Professor of Insect Physiology and Toxicology

Research Focus: The goal of the Molecular Physiology and Toxicology Laboratory is to control arthropod pests that have an impact on pollinator and public health.  This includes the discovery of new chemistry and molecular targets for the development of new insecticides/acaricides, characterization of insecticide/acaricide resistance, and understanding vector-host relationships. 

Roger Schürch, Ph.D.

Research Asst. Professor of Behavior, Ecology, & Evolution of Social Insects

Research Focus: The only non-human animals known to live in large-scale complex societies are the eusocial insects such as bees, wasps, ants and termites, which can be beneficial (pollinators, detritivores, and honey producers) but also pests. We study behavioral, ecological and evolutionary questions in insects along the social gradient (solitary to eusocial) to better understand how animal societies work and efficiently cooperate. For more on Dr. Schürch's Lab, please visit his website:

James M. Wilson, Ph.D.

Collegiate Assistant Professor, Apiculture

Research Focus: Pest and beneficial insect interactions, qualification of pesticide exposure risk to honey bees, and the pollination services of Virginia bees.  Dr. Wilson maintains Virginia Tech’s Extension and teaching apiaries and is looking forward to expanding the impact of Apiculture Extension throughout Virginia and surrounding states. Learn more about beekeeping at: 

Graduate Researchers

General Research Interests: Varroa mite treatment resistance in Virginia, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in small hive beetle control

General Research Interests: Honey bee foraging ecology, bee behavior, pollinator health

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