Keith S. Delaplane Professor Entomology
Portrait of Keith S. Delaplane
Contact Information 706-542-9034 706-542-2279
Mailing Address Athens, CAES Campus 463C Biological Sciences Building, Athens, GA 30602

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Portrait of Keith S. Delaplane

Dr. Keith S. Delaplane, MBE
Professor, Walter B. Hill Fellow & Honey Bee Program Director

Bee Program


  • Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), 2014


  • B.S., 1983, Purdue University,
  • Animal Science
  • M.S., 1986, Louisiana State
    University, Entomology
  • Ph.D., 1989, Louisiana State University, Entomology

Research Publications

  1. Delaplane, K.S., & J.R. Harbo. 1987. Drone production by young versus old worker honeybees in queenless colonies. Apidologie 18(2): 115-120
  2. Delaplane, K.S., & J.P. Harbo. 1987. Effect of queenlessness on worker survival, honey gain, and defence behaviour in honeybees. Journal of Apicultural Research 26(1): 37-42
  3. Delaplane, K.S., & J.P. La Fage. 1987. Variance in feeding on equivalent wood blocks by the Formosan subterranean termite in laboratory choice tests. Sociobiology 13(3): 227-233
  4. Delaplane, K.S., & J.R. Harbo. 1988. A re-examination of double grafting. American Bee Journal 128(6): 439-440
  5. Delaplane, K.S., & J.P. La Fage. 1989. Preference for moist wood by the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 82(1): 95-100
  6. Delaplane, K.S., & J.P. La Fage. 1989. Suppression of termite feeding and symbiotic protozoans by the dye, Sudan Red 7B. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 50(3): 265-270
  7. Delaplane, K.S., & J.P. La Fage. 1989. Preference of the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) for wood damaged by conspecifics. Journal of Economic Entomology 82(5): 1363-1366
  8. Delaplane, K.S., & J.P. La Fage. 1989. Foraging tenacity of Reticulitermes flavipes and Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Sociobiology 16(2): 183-189
  9. Delaplane, K.S., & J.P. La Fage. 1990. Wood excavations of three species of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 54(1): 81-87
  10. Delaplane, K.S., & J.P. La Fage. 1990. Variable chlordane residues in soil surrounding house foundations in Louisiana. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology 45: 675-680
  11. Delaplane, K.S., A.M. Saxton, & J.P. La Fage. 1991. Foraging phenology of the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Louisiana. American Midland Naturalist 125: 222-230
  12. Delaplane, K.S. 1991. Tests for intraspecific agonism in a Louisiana population of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Journal of Entomological Science 26(3): 357-359
  13. Delaplane, K.S. 1992. Survey of miticide use in Georgia honey bee hives. American Bee Journal 132(3): 185-187
  14. Delaplane, K.S. 1992. Controlling tracheal mites (Acari: Tarsonemidae) in colonies of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) with vegetable oil and menthol. Journal of Economic Entomology 85(6): 2118-2124
  15. Henderson, G. & K.S. Delaplane. 1994. Formosan subterranean termite swarming behavior and alate sex-ratio (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Insectes Sociaux 41: 19-28
  16. Delaplane, K.S. 1995. Effects of Terramycin antibiotic and Apistan™ acaricide on colonies of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) infested by Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans (Parasitiformes: Varroidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 88(5): 1206-1210
  17. Delaplane, K.S. & W.M. Hood. 1997. Effects of delayed acaricide treatment in honey bee colonies parasitized by Varroa jacobsoni and a late-season treatment threshold for the south-eastern USA. Journal of Apicultural Research 36(3/4): 125-132
  18. Delaplane, K.S. 1999. Effects of the slatted rack on brood production and its distribution in the brood nest. American Bee Journal 139(6): 474-476
  19. Delaplane, K.S. & W.M. Hood. 1999. Economic threshold for Varroa jacobsoni in the southeastern USA. Apidologie 30: 383-395
  20. Elzen, P.J., J.R. Baxter, D. Westervelt, C. Randall, K.S. Delaplane, F.A. Eischen, L. Cutts, & W.T. Wilson. 1999. Field control and biology studies of a new pest species, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), attacking European honey bees in the Western Hemisphere. Apidologie 30: 361-366 PDF file
  21. Dedej, S. & K.S. Delaplane. 2000. Effects of hygienic queens, comb age, and colony microclimate on expression of chalkbrood disease symptoms. In Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference. American Bee Journal 140(11): 903-904
  22. Berry, J.A. & K.S. Delaplane. 2000. Effects of top- versus bottom-supering on honey yield. American Bee Journal 140(5): 409-410  PDF file
  23. Dedej, S., K.S. Delaplane & E. Gocaj. 2000. A technical and economic evaluation of beekeeping in Albania. Bee World 81(2): 87-97
  24. Berry, J.A. & K.S. Delaplane. 2001. Effects of comb age on honey bee colony growth and brood survivorship. Journal of Apicultural Research 40(1): 3-8  PDF file
  25. Ellis, J.D., Jr. & K.S. Delaplane. 2001. A scientific note on Apis mellifera brood attractiveness to Varroa destructor as affected by the chemotherapeutic history of the brood. Apidologie 32: 603-604 PDF file
  26. Ellis, J.D., Jr., K.S. Delaplane, & W.M. Hood. 2001. Efficacy of a bottom screen device, Apistan, and Apilife VAR in controlling Varroa destructor. American Bee Journal 141(11): 813-816 PDF file
  27. Delaplane, K.S. & S. Dedej. 2001. Pollination of blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) by honey bees (Apis mellifera) and nectar-thieving carpenter bees (Xylocopa virginica). In Proceedings of Apimondia Congress, Durban, South Africa, 133-147
  28. Dedej, S. & K.S. Delaplane. 2001. Interactions and pollinating efficacies of honey bees and nectar thieving carpenter bees. In Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference. American Bee Journal 141(12): 887
  29. Delaplane, K.S. 2001. Progress report: Integrating mite mitigation measures with published economic thresholds for Varroa destructor. In Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference.American Bee Journal 141(12): 888
  30. Ellis, J.D., Jr, K.S. Delaplane, H. R. Hepburn, & P. J. Elzen. 2002. Controlling small hive beetles (Aethina tumida Murray) in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies using a modified hive entrance. American Bee Journal 142(4): 288-290
  31. Ellis, J.D., K.S. Delaplane, W.M. Hood. 2002. A scientific note on small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) weight, gross biometry, and sex proportion at three locations in the southeastern United States. American Bee Journal 142(7): 520-522
  32. Ellis, J.D., Jr., R. Hepburn, K.S. Delaplane, P. Neumann, & P.J. Elzen. 2003. The effects of adult small hive beetles, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), on nests and foraging activity of Cape and European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Apidologie 34: 399-408 PDF file
  33. Ellis, J.D., Jr., R. Hepburn, K.S. Delaplane, & P.J. Elzen. 2003. A scientific note on small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) oviposition and behavior during honey bee (Apis mellifera) winter clusters and absconding events. Journal of Apicultural Research 42(1-2): 47-48  PDF file
  34. Dedej, S. & K.S. Delaplane. 2003. Honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) pollination of rabbiteye blueberry Vaccinium ashei var. 'Climax' is pollinator density-dependent. Journal of Economic Entomology 96(4): 1215-1220   PDF file
  35. Ellis, J. D., Jr., K.S. Delaplane, R. Hepburn, & P.J. Elzen. 2003. Efficacy of modified entrances and a bottom screen device for controlling Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) infestations in Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies. Journal of Economic Entomology 96(6): 1647-1652   PDF file
  36. Dedej, S. & K.S. Delaplane. 2004. Nectar-robbing carpenter bees reduce seed-setting capability of honey bees (Hymenoptera : Apidae) in rabbiteye blueberry Vaccinium ashei, 'Climax.' Environmental Entomology 33(1): 100-106  PDF file
  37. Ellis, J. D., Jr., K.S. Delaplane, C.S. Richards, R. Hepburn, J.A. Berry, & P.J. Elzen. 2004. Hygienic behavior of Cape and European Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) toward Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) eggs oviposited in sealed bee brood. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 97(4): 860-864  PDF file
  38. Dedej, S., K.S. Delaplane, & H. Scherm. 2004. Effectiveness of honey bees in delivering the biocontrol agent Bacillus subtilis to blueberry flowers to suppress mummy berry disease. Biological Control 31: 422-427  PDF file
  39. Dedej, S. & K.S. Delaplane. 2005. Net energetic advantage drives honey bees (Apis mellifera L) to nectar larceny in Vaccinium ashei Reade. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 57: 398-403  PDF file
  40. Ngugi, H.K., S. Dedej, K.S. Delaplane, A.T. Savelle, and H. Scherm. 2005. Effect of flower-applied Serenade biofungicide (Bacillus subtilis) on pollination-related variables in rabbiteye blueberry. Biological Control 32: 33-38  PDF file
  41. Delaplane, K.S., J.A. Berry, J.A. Skinner, J.P. Parkman, & W.M. Hood. 2005. Integrated pest management against Varroa destructor reduces colony mite levels and delays economic threshold. Journal of Apicultural Research 44(4): 117-122  PDF file
  42. Ellis, A.M. & K.S. Delaplane. 2005. An evaluation of Fruit-Boost™ in enhancing honey bee pollination of seedless watermelons. Final Report to Zeraim Gedera Seed Company and Phero Tech, Inc.
  43. Ellis, J.D. and K.S. Delaplane. 2006. The effects of habitat type, ApilifeVAR™, and screened bottom boards on small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) entry into honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. American Bee Journal 146(6): 537-539 PDF file
  44. Ellis, J.D. and K.S. Delaplane. 2007. The effects of three acaricides on the developmental biology of small hive beetles (Aethina tumida). Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World 46(4): 256-259 PDF file
  45. Ellis, A. & K.S. Delaplane. 2008. Effects of nest invaders on honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollination efficacy. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 127: 201-206 doi:10.1016/j.agee.2008.04.001, to request a PDF reprint, email
  46. Ellis, J.D., K.S. Delaplane, A. Cline, and J.V. McHugh. 2008. The association of multiple sap beetle species (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) with western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in North America. Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World 47(3): 188–189  PDF file
  47. Ellis, J.D. & K.S. Delaplane. 2008. Small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) oviposition behaviour in sealed brood cells with notes on the removal of the cell contents by European honey bees (Apis mellifera).Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World 47(3): 210-215 PDF file
  48. Berry, J.A., W.A. Owens, & K.S. Delaplane. 2008. A test of Asmall cell foundation as an aid to Varroa control. Proceedings of American Bee Research Conference, Sacramento, California. American Bee Journal 148(6): 553
  49. Ellis, A. & K.S. Delaplane. 2009. An evaluation of Fruit-Boost™ as an aid for honey bee pollination under conditions of competing bloom. Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World 48(1): 15-18 PDF file
  50. Ellis, A. & K.S. Delaplane. 2009. Individual forager profits in Apis mellifera unaffected by a range of colony Varroa destructor densities. Insectes Sociaux doi: 10.1007/s00040-009-0040-2 PDF file
  51. Delaplane, K.S. & J.A. Berry. 2009. A test for sub-lethal effects of some commonly used hive chemicals. Proceedings of American Bee Research Conference, Gainesville, Florida. American Bee Journal 149(6): 586
  52. Berry, J.A., W.B. Owens, & K.S. Delaplane. 2010. Small-cell comb foundation does not impede Varroa mite population growth in honey bee colonies. Apidologie 41: 41-44 doi 10.1051/apido/2009049 PDF file
  53. Ellis, J.D., S. Spiewok, K.S. Delaplane, S. Bucholz, P. Neumann, & L. Tedders. 2010. Susceptibility of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) larvae and pupae to entomopathogenic nematodes. Journal of Economic Entomology 103(1): 1-9 doi 10.1603/EC08384 PDF file
  54. Pettis, J.S. and K. S. Delaplane. 2010. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA. Apidologie PDF file
  55. Afik, O., W. Hunter, and K.S. Delaplane. 2010. Effects of varroa mites and bee diseases on pollination efficacy of honey bees. Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference, Orlando, Florida. American Bee Journal 150(5): 497
  56. Wilson, M.E., Skinner, J., Delaplane, K.S., and J. Pettis. 2010. Bee Health @ a web platform for the creation and dissemination of science-based recommendations. Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference, Orlando, Florida. American Bee Journal 150(5): 510
  57. Delaplane, K.S. and J.A. Berry. 2010. A test for sub-lethal effects of some commonly used hive chemicals, year two. Proceedings of American Bee Research Conference, Orlando, Florida. American Bee Journal 150(5): 498-499
  58. Delaplane, K.S., J.D. Ellis, and W.M. Hood. 2010. A test for interactions between Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) and Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in colonies of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America PDF file
  59. Williams, G.R., D.R. Tarpy, D. vanEngelsdorp, M.P. Chauzat, D.L. Cox-Foster, K.S. Delaplane, P. Neumann, J.S. Pettis, R.E.L. Rogers, D. Shutler. 2010. Colony Collapse Disorder in context. BioEssays doi: 10.1002/bies.201000075 PDF file
  60. Dietemann V., J. Pflugfelder, D. Anderson, J.D. Charrière, N. Chejanovski, J. De Miranda, K.S. Delaplane, F.X. Dillier, S. Fuchs, L. Gauthier, A. Imdorf, N. Koeniger, J. Kralj, W. Meikle, J. Pettis, P. Rosenkranz, D. Sammataro, D. Smith, and P. Neumann. 2012. Varroa destructor: research avenues towards sustainable control. Journal of Apicultural Research, 51(1): 125-132
  61. Aebi, A., B.E. Vaissière, D. vanEngelsdorp, K.S. Delaplane, D.W. Roubik, P. Neumann. 2012. Back to the future: Apis versus non-Apis pollination. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27(3): 142-143
  62. vanEngelsdorp, D., D.R. Tarpy, K. Baylis, M. Spivak, D.M. Caron, J. Connell, K.S. Delaplane, S. Donohue, W. Esaias, B. Gross, J. Hayes, Jr., E. Lengerich, J.S. Pettis, K. Rennich, R. Rose, J. Skinner, and J. Wilkes. 2012. The Bee Informed Partnership: Using beekeepers’ real-world experience to solve beekeepers’ real-world problems. American Entomologist Summer 2012: 116-118
  63. Berry, J.A., O. Afik, M.P. Nolan IV, and K.S. Delaplane. 2012. Revisiting powdered sugar for Varroa control on honey bees (Apis mellifera L). Journal of Apicultural Research 51(4): 367-368 DOI 10.3896/IBRA.
  64. Dietemann, V; Nazzi, F; Martin, S J; Anderson, D; Locke, B; Delaplane, K S; Wauquiez, Q; Tannahill, C; Ellis, J D. 2012. Standard methods for varroa research. In V Dietemann; J D Ellis; P Neumann (Eds) The COLOSS BEEBOOK, Volume II: standard methods for Apis mellifera pest and pathogen research. Journal of Apicultural Research 51(5):
  65. Delaplane, K S; van der Steen, J; Guzman, E. 2012. Standard methods for estimating strength parameters of Apis mellifera colonies. In V Dietemann; J D Ellis; P Neumann (Eds) The COLOSS BEEBOOK, Volume I: standard methods for Apis mellifera research. Journal of Apicultural Research 51(5):
  66. Mishra, A., O. Afik, M. Cabrera, K.S. Delaplane, and J. Mowrer. (2013) Nitrogen deposition by foraging honey bees could have adaptive benefits for the plants they visit. PLoS ONE 8(7): e70591. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070591 PDF file
  67. Berry, J.A., W.M. Hood, S. Pietravalle, and K.S. Delaplane (2013). Field-level sublethal effects of approved bee hive chemicals on honey bees (Apis mellifera L). PLoS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076536 PDF file
  68. Delaplane, K.S., A. Dag, R.G. Danka, B.M. Freitas, L.A. Garibaldi, R.M. Goodwin, and J.I. Hormaza. 2013. Standard methods for pollination research with Apis mellifera. 2013. In V Dietemann; J D Ellis; P Neumann (Eds) The COLOSS BEEBOOK, Volume II: standard methods for Apis mellifera research. Journal of Apicultural Research 51(5): DOI 10.3896/IBRA. 
  69. Lucy M. ANDERSON, Travis M. DYNES, Jennifer A. BERRY, Keith S. DELAPLANE, Lydia L. MCCORMICK, Berry J. BROSI. Distinguishing between feral and managed honey bees using stable carbon isotopes. Apidologie, 24-Feb-2014 PDF file
  70. Ohad Afik, Keith S. Delaplane, Sharoni Shafir, Humberto Moo-Valle, J. Javier G. Quezada-Euán. Nectar Minerals as Regulators of Flower Visitation in Stingless Bees and Nectar Hoarding Wasps. Journal of Chemical Ecology, May 2014, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 476-483. Abstract & PDF
  71. Chen, Yan Ping, Delaplane, Keith, et. al. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Implications for Honey Bee Health. PLoS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004261, 31-Jul-2014. PDF
  72. Barfeild, Bergstrom, Ferreira, Covich & Delaplane. An Economic Valuation of Biotic Pollination Services in Georgia. Journal of Economic Entomology Advance Access published January 25, 2015. PDF
  73. Lee, Steinhauer, Rennich, Wilson, Tarpy, Caron, Rose, Delaplane, et. al. A national survey of managed honey bee 2013–2014 annual colony losses in the USA. 2015, Apidologie. DOI: 10.1007/s13592-015-0356-z PDF
  74. G. E. Budge, D. Garthwaite, A. Crowe, N. D. Boatman, K. S. Delaplane, M. A. Brown, H. H. Thygesen & S. Pietravalle. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape, 2015, Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep12574 PDF
  75. Keith S. Delaplane, Stéphane Pietravalle, Mike A. Brown, Giles E. Budge. Honey Bee Colonies Headed by Hyperpolyandrous Queens Have Improved Brood Rearing Efficiency and Lower Infestation Rates of Parasitic Varroa Mites. 2015, PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142985 PDF
  76. Nolan, M.P. & Delaplane, K.S. Distance between honey bee Apis mellifera colonies regulates populations of Varroa destructor at a landscape scale. 2016, Apidologie. DOI:10.1007/s13592-016-0443-9 PDF
  77. Nicola Seitz, Kirsten S. Traynor, Nathalie Steinhauer, Karen Rennich, Michael E. Wilson, James D. Ellis, Robyn Rose, David R. Tarpy, Ramesh R. Sagili, Dewey M. Caron, Keith S. Delaplane, Juliana Rangel, Kathleen Lee, Kathy Baylis, James T. Wilkes, John A. Skinner, Jeffery S. Pettis & Dennis vanEngelsdorp (2016): A national survey of managed honey bee 2014–2015 annual colony losses in the USA, Journal of Apicultural Research, DOI: 10.1080/00218839.2016.1153294 PDF
  78. Travis L. Dynes, Jacobus C. De Roode, Justine I. Lyons, Jennifer A. Berry, Keith S. Delaplane, Berry J. Brosi. Fine scale population genetic structure of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). 2016, Apidologie. DOI: 10.1007/s13592-016-0453-7 PDF
  79. Brosi, B.J., K.S. Delaplane, M. Boots, J.C. de Roode. 2017. Ecological and evolutionary approaches to managing honey bee disease. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1 (9): 1250 DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0246-z
  80. Nolan, M.P. and K.S. Delaplane. 2017. Parasite dispersal risk tolerance is mediated by its reproductive value. Animal Behaviour 132: 247-252
  81. Hodges, C.R.L., K.S. Delaplane, and B.J. Brosi. 2018. Textured hive interiors increase honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) propolis hoarding behavior. Journal of Economic Entomology toy363,
  82. Goulson, D. et al. (KSD one of 232 signatories) 2018 Call to restrict neonicotinoids. Science 360(6392): 973
  83. Dynes, T.L., Berry, J.A., Delaplane, K.S., Brosi, B. and J.C. de Roode. 2019. Reduced density and visually complex apiaries reduce parasite load and promote honey production and overwintering survival in honey bees. PLOS ONE
  84. Bartlett, L.J., C. Rozins, B.J. Brosi, K.S. Delaplane, J.C. de Roode, A.R. White, L. Wilfert, M. Boots. 2019. Industrial bees: the impact of agricultural intensification on local disease prevalence. Journal of Applied Ecology in press 12 Jun 2019
  85. Dynes, T.L., Berry, J.A., Delaplane, K.S., Brosi, B. and J.C. de Roode. 2019. Assessing virulence of Varroa destructor mites from different honey bee management regimes. Apidologie doi:10.1007/s13592-019-00716-6
  86. Bartlett,, L.J., M. Boots, B.J. Brosi, J.C. de Roode, K.S. Delaplane, C.A Hernandez, L. Wilfert. 2021. Persistent effects of management history on honeybee colony virus abundances. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 179 (2021) 107520
  87. Bartlett, L.J., S. Bruckner, G.R. Williams, D.A. Delaney, K.S. Delaplane. 2021. A computational approach to tracking age-based task frequency distributions of honey bee worker cohorts. Journal of Apicultural Research DOI:10.1080/00218839.2021.1909313
  88. Delaplane, K.S., J.K. Given, Menz, J., and D.A. Delaney. 2021. Colony fitness increases in the honey bee at queen mating frequencies higher than genetic diversity asymptote. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 75(126).
  89. Bartlett, L.J., Martinez-Mejia, C., Delaplane, K.S. 2022. Honey bees (Apis mellifera Hymenoptera: Apidae) preferentially avoid sugar solutions supplemented with field-relevant concentrations of hydrogen peroxide despite high tolerance limits. J. Insect Sci.
  90. Berry, J., Bartlett, L.J., Bruckner, S., Baker, C., Braman, K., Delaplane, K.S., Williams W., 2022. Assessing repeated oxalic acid sublimation in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies for control of the ectoparasite Varroa destructor. J Insect Science
  91. Subasinghe Arachchige, E.C.W., Evans, L.J., Spicer Rice, E., Kendall, L.K., Samnegård, U., Rader, R. 2023. A global assessment of the species composition and effectiveness of watermelon pollinators. Basic and Applied Ecology 66: 50-62
  92. Delaplane, K., K. Hagan, K. Vogel, L. Bartlett. 2024. Mechanisms for polyandry evolution in a complex social bee. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 78:39

My Beekeeping Experience

My grandfather, W. Harvey Delaplane, was a beekeeper in Indiana during the early decades of the twentieth century, as were many folks in those times when it was normal for a rural family to have a cow, chickens, garden, and one or two bee hives. Our family beekeeping enterprise skipped a generation with my father, but Dad was resolved to get me involved so for my 13th birthday he bought me a beginner's beekeeping kit, complete with a hive, veil, gloves, and a certificate for a mail-order package of bees. I accepted the challenge with immediate, and perhaps excessive, enthusiasm.

Excessive, my father came to believe, because, from that point on, I was a lackluster helper around the farm. While Dad would be plowing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting, his teenage son would be busy in the bees, planning for the day when he would be operating a beekeeping empire. One hive grew to two, then to four, then to eight, and ultimately 51 which proved to be almost too much for a kid to handle. It would have been too much indeed were it not for the solid guidance I received from my mentor, Mr. Paul Champ.

Mr. Champ was a beekeeper in our neighborhood who operated about 300 hives. He patiently let me "help" him during my earliest years as a beekeeper. It was he who first showed me a queen bee, and it was he who introduced me to the peculiar pleasures of working sleepy bee yards tucked away in remote country places. It was my indomitable interest in beekeeping that led me to pursue graduate study in entomology.

I learned that bee science is only partly similar to bee keeping, but my path led me nevertheless to a post at the University of Georgia that melds duties in apicultural extension, research, and teaching. Now I find myself conveniently straddling the world of the academician and the world of the practicing beekeeper.