Principal Investigators

Dr. Brandon Hopkins

Dr. Brandon Hopkins

Honey bee reproductive biology, germplasm collection and cryopreservation, research apiary laboratory oversight, field research.

Hopkins Lab

Dr. Saumik Basu

Microbial biopesticides for varroa mite control and molecular aspects of honeybee-mite-fungus interactions to improve honey bee colony health.

Basu Lab

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Walter (Steve) Sheppard

Dr. Steve Sheppard has been at WSU since 1996. He recently retired (2024) and is currently a Professor Emeritus at WSU Honey Bees + Pollinators Program. Previously, he was the Thurber Professor of Apiculture in the Department of Entomology, and served as the entomology department chair for a number of years. He specializes in honey bee genetics and evolution, honey bee breeding, colony health research, honey bee gene diversity, and honey bee germplasm acquisition.

More about Dr. Sheppard


Scientific Staff

Bri Price, M.Sc.
Extension Coordinator

Bri attended Oregon State University for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees and has strong interests in pollinators and education. She does extension and outreach about honey bees and other pollinators through seminars, workshops, bee program blogging, attending bee association meetings, and writing factsheets. She is also developing an improved Master Beekeeper Certification with the WA State Beekeepers Association.


Jenny Eason,
Pullman Apiary Manager

Jen manages various research projects both in the field and labs. She has a strong background in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation Sciences. When not working with bees, you will more than likely find her with her pup, hiking mountains, or working with volunteer groups on wildlife studies.


Ben Moline,
Othello Apiary Manager

Ben found his passion for honey bee hive health after dabbling in beekeeping as a hobby 10 years ago. Since then, Ben has expanded his knowledge and skills by capturing feral swarms for research in the remote canyons of southern Utah. He has also worked as a field trial monitor assisting the development of an RNAi miticide for varroa control, and most recently, he worked on a project to develop in-hive technology that monitors the conditions within a bee colony.


Pooja Malhotra, M.Sc.
Program Lab Manager

Pooja did her Bachelor’s of Science in Biotechnology from West Bengal University and Master’s of Science in Biotechnology from Presidency University (India, Kolkata). After coming in USA, her passion for insects encouraged her to get another Master’s degree from the Dept. of Entomology (WSU, Pullman). She was an instructor after graduation, then became an office manager in Carson College of Business (WSU). Her passion for science and management motivated her to be the Lab Manager for the WSU bee program. 

Molly Quade

Molly Quade,
Research Technician

Molly graduated from WSU in 2023 with a Bachelor’s degree in education. She has stayed in with the Bee Program to continue developing her beekeeping skills, and has supported our research with an enthusiastic commitment to the research. She hopes to attend graduate school in the future.


Administrative and Research Support

Dr. Rae Olsson,
Program Administrator

Rae received their Ph.D. from WSU in 2020, and worked for almost three years as a postdoctoral research associate in the Hopkins Lab. Since then, they have found a love for teaching and supporting other folks’ research, and have been working as the Bee Program Administrator since March 2023. This role allows them to help organize workshops, offer research support, and serve in an outreach and education role.


Jenifer Silva,
Honey Bee and Pollinator Facility Front Desk Assistant

Jenifer grew up in Othello, WA. She enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, documentaries and photographing wildlife. 
Exploring new places brings her joy. Her passion for environmental conservation started 5 years ago and she realized that if we all work together, we can provide a sustainable future for generations to come. Jenifer is proud to be part of the honey bee research program as a Front Desk Assistant and looks forward to serving the community. 


Postdoctoral Research Faculty

Dr. Ge Zhang

Ge has been beekeeping and studying bees for the past ten years. He received his PhD from Iowa State University and completed his first post-doc project at New Mexico State University.  He is now studying how honey bee health is affected when they are moved from California to Washington State for pollinating specialty crops such as almond, blueberry, apple and canola.


Dr. Ryan Kuesel

Ryan is originally from Holland, Michigan, and he completed his PhD at the University of Kentucky in the Gonthier lab studying spotted-wing drosophila in blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry crops. His doctoral work focused on identifying landscape influences on spotted-wing drosophila and management practices that reduce damage to small fruit crops. His work also made him an excellent small fruit grower and a novice organic vegetable grower. He has a passion for landscape ecology and multivariate statistics and his work at WSU applies both to commercial honey bee colony health. In his free time, Ryan hikes in pursuit of plant, insect, and landscape photos and plays video games.


Dr. Taylor Reams

Taylor is 4th generation beekeeper and has worked with honey bees for over 10 years. She is a postdoctoral researcher in the Hopkins lab. Her doctoral work focused on the behavioral ecology and genetics of Varroa destructor. While at WSU, she is largely working on studying the impacts of different supplemental diets on honey bee health within stationary and migratory colonies. Taylor also studies difference in Varroa mite population structure across the United States. In her free time Taylor creates social media content about all things women’s history. 


Graduate Students

Kiersten Ritchie
Ph.D. Candidate

Kiersten Ritchie is interested in pollinators, agriculture, and honey bee reproductive biology.  Her research centers around differential sperm use by honey bee queens of different subspecies.  Kiersten received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Washington where she took an entomology course that sparked her passion for honey bees and all insects.

Riley Reed

Riley Reed
Ph.D. Candidate

Riley caught his first swarm during his junior year of high school and was immediately hooked. He completed his B.Sc. from WSU while working as a technical assistant in the honey bee program. His research interests include Varroa and beekeeping management and improving pollinator forage.


Taydin Macon
Ph.D. Student

Taydin’s interest in insects has been lifelong, but his formal entomological education starts in 2023. He is joining the Hopkins lab after spending time working in pediatric medical research. Their work will focus on honey bee health, pest management, and ecology, and they are co-advised by Dr. David Crowder.


Undergraduate Students

Joey Rosario

Joey Rosario is majoring both in Biology and Fine Arts! She joined the honey bee program to learn more about bees and to see if she likes conducting research. Outside of school, she enjoys both indoor and outdoor activities such as skiing, watching anime, and arts and crafts.


Jaden Rossmeisl

Jaden is an undergraduate studying Fruit and Vegetable Management, and loves honey bees! Jaden has always wanted to be a hobbyist beekeeper, and has already learned so much about bees and how to care for them. Jaden says “working for the WSU Honey Bee Program is a blast!”

Zhe Yu Lim

Owen Quinlan