Marla Spivak is an entomologist at the University of Minnesota, developing practical applications to protect honey bee populations from decimation by disease while making fundamental contributions to our understanding of bee biology. Spivak’s research focuses on genetically influenced behaviors that confer disease resistance to entire colonies through the social interactions of thousands of workers. Her “Minnesota Hygienic” line of bees offers an effective and more sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides in fighting a range of pests and pathogens, including the Varroa mite, a highly destructive parasite that spreads rapidly through Western honey bee colonies.
She is this year's winner of the MacAurthur Foundation's pestigeous Fellowship Grant enabling her to really help propel beeissues into the mainstream. Shes got beekeeping in northern climate class still open for enrollment April 16, 2011.