Washington State University
Honey Bees + Pollinators

Honey Bees + Pollinators

A Global Problem

Honey bees are the single most important pollinator contributing to a healthy global food supply. Declines in insect pollinators worldwide present a challenge for food security.

Washington State University’s new Honey Bee and Pollinator Research, Extension, and Education Facility at Othello, Wash., offers a home for development of the world’s best programs to help save the bees. This facility, which opened in 2020, is located amid the pollinator-dependent agriculture of central Washington.

“This facility will increase collaboration and allow for enhanced short courses, demonstrations, and classes for beekeepers—which will directly help the agricultural industry since honey bees are vital to our food supply,” said Steve Sheppard, P. F. Thurber Endowed Professor of Pollinator Ecology in WSU’s Department of Entomology. “This facility will really help upgrade the work we do.”

Bee Informed

Honey Bee Reproductive Technology Symposium

In-person and virtual symposium with presentations, workshops, and demonstrations on germplasm cryopreservation and instrumental insemination. July 20-23, 2022 in Pullman, WA and online.


Honey bee workshops and conferences for beginner and advance beekeepers including queen rearing and bee breeding.


Meet the WSU honey bee program’s diverse and passionate team of researchers.

Research Labs

Learn about the diverse honey bee research programs at WSU that are addressing questions about beekeeping, honey bee health and biology.

Breeding Program

The WSU Breeding program provides selected honey bee stocks to beekeepers and works with collaborating bee breeders to provide NWC stock to the honey bee industry.


Factsheets, videos, and links to useful resource that both beekeepers and non-beekeepers will find helpful and interesting.

WSU Entomology

Come see what our colleagues in the entomology department at WSU are up to.

Bee Friendly

Join Us in Saving the Bees

We’re partnering with Paul Stamets and Fungi Perfecti to protect honey bees and pollinators. Our renowned global research program works with beekeepers, scientists, environmentalists and communities to improve honey bee and pollinator health. This effort supports research on how fungi can help honey bees.

Together, our work will ensure the thriving pollination system critically needed for domestic and global food security.

Bee Social

Can mushrooms save the honey bee?

Paul Stamets has had a life-long love affair with mushrooms, one that goes well beyond their culinary and psychedelic qualities. Wearing his signature hat — made from mushrooms — a turtle pendant and, always, a blue scarf, the nearly 60 year-old mycologist runs Fungi Perfecti, a family-owned farm and business in Shelton, Washington.

Early last year, Stamets asked Washington State University entomologist Steve Sheppard to help confirm his hunches about bees and fungi. The two have since joined forces to explore the connections that, as far as they know, no one has ever made before. This unlikely pairing of entomology and mycology could lead to less toxic and more effective ways to control the diseases and pests that are implicated in winter hive losses and colony collapse disorder.

Sheppard with honey bees