Photo courtesy of Marla Spivak.

Photo courtesy of Marla Spivak.

In honor of National Honey Bee Day, we’d like to recognize Marla Spivak, a leading entomologist who has worked diligently to protect honey bees.

Spivak will be recognized with the WINGS WorldQuest Conservation Award at our Women of Discovery Awards gala in October.

Spivak is known for her work in breeding bees that are able to detect and eliminate diseased larvae and pupae. Her more recent work includes research on the benefits of propolis, a substance collected by honey bees from trees, and the health of commercial honey bee colonies.

Bees are a critical piece of the world’s ecosystem and are responsible for pollinating most of the crops grown for human consumption. They contribute billions of dollars in food production in just the U.S. In recent years, there has been a significant decline in the numbers of honey bees around the world, a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. The disappearance of bees has been linked to the use of insecticides.

Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and a McKnight Distinguished Professor of Entomology at the University of Minnesota.

To learn more about Spivak and her work, watch her 2013 TED Talk: 

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