Apiculture Program

Welcome to the Apiculture Program at the Central State University. Dr. Li-Byarlay and her lab are interested in testing innovative hypotheses in the fields of sustainable apiculture, genetics, behavior, and physiology of honey bees. Why? Because honey bees are the most important managed pollinators! They pollinate a lot of fruits and veggies we human eat each meal. If we don't have bees anymore, no more almonds, apples, blueberries, pumpkins...

One of the fundamental questions in behavioral biology is how does the molecular composition of genetics provide the basis for their special functional properties? What is the mechanism by which a behavior is accomplished? How did that mechanism come to be?

Our lab's research aims to:
1) understand the evolutionary genetics and epigenetics, the brain, and the social behaviors of social insects such as honey bees,
2) discover new molecular mechanisms modulating social behaviors,
3) investigate the variation of the life history and physiological traits of social bees under parasitic and pathogenic stresses, and
4) develop innovative strategies for improving honey bee health.

We are addressing these questions using a combination of multifaceted and novel approaches, including next generation sequencing, functional genomics/epigenomics, genome editing, RNA interference, field, semi-field and lab behavioral assays, and physiological assays.

Contact us

We are recruiting highly motivated undergraduate students to join our program with scholarships available. In addition, domestic or international postdoctoral researchers or visiting scholars are encouraged to join us.

If you are interested in working with us, please contact the P.I. by sending your C.V. and contact info for 2 references to hli-byarlay at centralstate dot edu.

Current project
Comparative physiology between feral bees and managed bees
We are asking the community and citizens to help on our science! What we need is to collect honey bees from wild feral colonies (often time on trees and woods) in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana. We would like to compare the different perspectives of physiology and genetics between feral colonies and managed colonies.
Please fill out this form to inform us about the location if you know any.
Thank you for your participating!



Department of Natural Sciences
Central State University
1400 Brush Row Road,
Wilberforce, OH 45384