Learn more about the study of Animal Behavior at UCSD.
Public lecture: "Risky business: effects of predators and pesticide on bee foraging communication" (May 6, 2013) Nieh JC, Seminar. University of California Santa Barbara.
Public lecture: "Silent Spring + 50: Lessons from San Diego’s Bees and Bays": The Silent Spring Series: Exploring Ethics." The research featured in this lecture is the work of Daren Eiri, whose Master's thesis was based upon the effects of Imidacloprid and who subsequently tested the hypothesis that Nosema ceranae can infect honey bees.
Public lecture: "What’s up with those bees? Honey bee declines and disease” (Jan 17, 2013) for the San Diego Science Educators Association, San Diego. Please contact SDSEA for more information.
Public lecture on honey bee health and the fungal pathogen, Nosema. (Nov 15, 2012) California State Beekeepers Association Convention, Palm Springs, California.
Lecture on bee eavesdropping and espionage. (Sept 26, 2012) CSU Fullerton for the Southern California Ecosystems Research Project.
In the video below, you will see an example of the behavior of honey bee larvae recorded inside an incubator. If you look closely on the right side, you will see movements of the larvae, which have been sped up. We plan to use this setup to study the effects of Nosema ceranae infection on honey bee larval behavior and nurse bee behavior
Please note: The copyright of these articles (with the exception of Open Access articles) is with their respective publishers. By downloading an article, you agree to limit the use of the pdf file to printing of single copies for personal research and study. You may not modify the files in any way, or to use them for commercial purposes.
Lau, C. (2012) Ancient Chinese Apiculture. Bee World. December 2012.
Hagbery, J. and Nieh, J. C. (2012) Individual lifetime pollen and nectar foraging preferences in bumble bees. Naturwissenschaften. DOI 10.1007/s00114-012-0964-7. 99:821-832.
Goodale, E. and Nieh, J. C. (2012) Public use of olfactory information associated with predation in two species of social bees. Animal Behaviour. 84:919-924
Eckles, M. A., Roubik, D. W. and Nieh, J. C. (2012) A stingless bee can use visual odometry to estimate both height and distance. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215:3155-3160.
Nieh JC (2012) Animal Behavior: The orphan rebellion. Dispatch for Current Biology 22(8) R280-281
Wade Robinson J, Nieh JC, Goodale E (2012) Testing honey bee avoidance of predators: teaching the scientific process through an engaging field experiment. The American Biology Teacher. 74(7):452-457.
Contrera FAL, Couvillon MJ, Nieh JC (2012)Editorial: Hymenopteran collective foraging and information transfer about resources. Psyche, Article ID 273985, 2 pages, doi:10.1155/2012/273985
Eiri D, Nieh JC (2012) A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist affects honey bee sucrose responsiveness and decreases waggle dancing. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215:2022-2029.
Nguyen H, Nieh JC (2012) Colony and individual forager responses to food quality in the New World bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis. Journal of Insect Behavior. 25:60-69.
Wade Robinson J, Nieh JC, and Goodale E (2011) Pollinators in Peril: A High School Curriculum. Why are bee species disappearing? How can we save species and ourselves? How can we use science to better our world? In this 84 page document, the authors (a high school teacher at San Diego High Tech High, a UCSD faculty member, and a postdoctoral researcher) create a high school science curriculum that addresses three National Science Standards (Inquiry, Life Science, and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives). This single file contains the entire curriculum, including powerpoint presentations. The individual files are also available on Jesse Wade Robinson's website and on the Nieh lab's Teaching Bee website. This project was made possible by a Blasker Science and Technology grant from the San Diego Foundation and partially funded by the National Science Foundation.
Eben Goodale hosts High Tech High student honey bee presentations (November 2011) Together with High Tech High teacher Jesse Wade Robinson, Eben Goodale hosted a mini-conference where more than 40 high school students presented their research on honey bees. Please see the TeachingBee YouTube site. for detailed videos of the student presentations.
Meg Eckles receives a UCSD Excellence in Teaching Award (September 2011) Congratulations to PhD student, Meg Eckles, for receiving a TA Excellence in Teaching Award for her work as a teaching assistant in 2010-2011!
Welcome to visiting Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Guntima Suwannapong (September 2011) Thai professor, Dr. Suwannapong, received a prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award and is conducting research at the Nieh lab for six months on the function of honey bee mandibular gland secretions. This gland is thought to produce an alarm pheromone, but the effects of mandibular gland secretions remain unclear. Dr. Suwannapong has analyzed the chemical contents of honey bee mandibular glands and will be conducting a variety of experiments and bioassays to determine the function of this pheromone.
New research collaboration with Mexican scientists: Effects of the pesticide Spinosad on Mexican bees (August 2011) The title of the project is "Ecological risk assessment: exploring the compatability between the use of Spinosad in agriculture and social pollination by Mexican bees." The Nieh lab is pleased to collaborate with Dr. Daniel Sánchez, El Colegio de La Frontera Sur, Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico. This project will allow an undergraduate or Masters student to travel and take part in this pesticide research in Mexico.
New paper: Sanchez, Nieh, & Vandame (2011) Visual and chemical cues provide redundant information in the multimodal recruitment system of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona mexicana (Apidae, Meliponini). Insectes Sociaux: in press.
Joyce, E. (2011) "Another pesticide link to vanishing honeybees" KPBS radio broadcast. Listen to the audio recording.
Joyce, E. (2010) "The mystery of vanishing honey bees" KPBS television. Viewable video.
Home and Garden Television, Gardening by the Yard (Episode GBY-1712H) "The Life Cycle of Bees" Season 19. Episode description and photo, but no video link.
Scientific American Frontiers (Calls of the Wild: Bee Lines) "The Life Cycle of Bees" In this early episode, Alan Alda speaks to James Nieh and David Roubik about the recruitment communication of one species of stingless bee in Panama. To view the video, please click on the "Bee Lines" link, the fourth segment in the episode entitled "Calls of the Wild." Viewable video.
Scientific American Frontiers (Calls of the Wild: Bee Lines) "The Life Cycle of Bees" In this early episode, Alan Alda speaks to James Nieh and David Roubik about the recruitment communication of a stingless bee in Panama. This is the link to the show transcript.
University of California Television (first aired 23 February 2009) "Life and death among the flowers" Viewable video.
KPBS Public Radio (21 January 2009) Interview with Maureen Cavanaugh. Listen to the audio recording.
University of California Television (first aired 25 February 2002) "Symbolic communication in stingless bees: exploring the third dimension" Viewable video.
Here, we list events, news articles, and public lectures that have occurred and which are related to research conducted in the Nieh lab. We wish to note that the most accurate interpretations of our published research are obtained from the published papers themselves. Statements and claims made in these news articles have not been verified by the paper authors. Essential pollinators: learn about native bees and honey bees.” (June 23, 2012) Balboa Park, Casa Del Prado, San Diego, California for San Diego Pollinator Week. The great bee die-off: a crisis of colony health and contamination (April 12, 2012), Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club, Rancho Santa Fe, California. Welcome to the mysterious world of bees (February 27, 2012) International House at UCSD will be hosting a free event open to the public at which clips from the movie "Queen of the Sun" will be shown. James Nieh will be one of the speakers at this event, which will also include other speakers: a visiting Thai Fulbright Professor, Dr. Guntima Suwannapong, and the Vice President of the San Diego Beekeeping Society, Eric Robinson. There will also be a local honey tasting! This event is brought to you by IAG, Slow Food Urban San Diego, The San Diego Beekeeping Society, Slow Food UCSD, Garden of Eden Organics, and the SSC.
The following news articles have been published in the media based upon Eiri and Nieh (2012) and a UCSD press release issued for this paper. Statements and claims made in these news articles have not been verified by D. Eiri or J. Nieh.
Mongabay.com (2012) (pdf archive file) After damning research, France proposes banning pesticide linked to bee collapse.
NSF (2012) (pdf archive file) Crop pesticide's impact on honey bees (NSF news).
wired.com (2012) (pdf archive file) Pesticides make honeybees picky eaters and reluctant dancers (Wired UK).
MailOnline (2012) (pdf archive file) Pesticide kills bee colonies by turning insects into ‘picky eaters’ who crave sweeter nectar - and ignore nearby food.
redorbit.com (2012) (pdf archive file) Pesticide Turns Bees Into Picky Eaters - Science News.
sciencedaily.com (2012) (pdf archive file) Commonly used pesticide turns honey bees into ‘picky eaters'.
westernfarmpress.com (2012) (pdf archive file) Pesticide affects honey bee feeding habits.
beyondpesticides.org (2012) (pdf archive file) Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog » Blog Archive » Research Shows Imidacloprid Depresses Honey Bee Feeding and Communication.
enewspf.com (2012) (pdf archive file) Research Shows Imidacloprid Depresses Honey Bee Feeding and Communication.
esciencenews.com (2012) (pdf archive file) Commonly used pesticide turns honey bees into ‘picky eaters’.
phys.org (2012) (pdf archive file) Commonly used pesticide turns honey bees into ‘picky eaters’.
wildlifenews.co.uk (2012) (pdf archive file) Common pesticide gives bees a sweet-tooth.
scientias.nl (2012) (pdf archive file) Bestrijdingsmiddel maakt honingbij tot een kieskeurige eter.
tech.money.pl (2012) (pdf archive file) Pestycyd sprawia, że pszczoły stają się wybredne.
tw.news.yahoo.com (2012) (pdf archive file) Pesticides make bees 'picky eaters' (Chinese language publication).
Pat Ledden Memorial Luncheon Talk (December 1, 2011) "Perils of pollination: warning cries inside the hive", Upcoming lecture. Location: Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club, UCSD Campus, La Jolla, California, (time to be announced).
Idyllwild Garden Club Talk (October 22, 2011) "What's up with those bees?" Upcoming lecture. Location: Caine Learing Center, Idyllwild, California (9:00-10:00 am).
UCSD Emerti Association Talk (October 12, 2011) "Pollinators in peril: factors behind honey bee declines" Upcoming lecture. Location: Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club, UCSD Campus, La Jolla, California (3:30-5:00 pm).
San Diego Master Gardener's Association (24 May 2011) "Pollinators in peril" Upcoming lecture. This is largely similar in content to the lecture that I gave on the 19 April 2011 (see below). Location: Balboa Park, Casa Del Prado, Room 101, 9-10 am.
Perspectives on Science, Point Loma Nazarene University (3 May 2011) "The secret lives of bees" Upcoming lecture. This lecture will focus on the biology and communication of bees, particularly honey bees and stingless bees. At the end, there will be a brief discussion of bee declines that is similar to the information provided in previous presentations I have given this year.
Lecture Reprise (29 April 2011). In case you missed the lecture that I gave earlier this week on the "Decline and Fall of Bees: Pollinators in Peril" (see below), I will also be giving it to an undergraduate student class at UCSD in Solis Hall Room Room 107 on 4/29/11 from noon to 1 pm. This is the same lecture. If you are not a UCSD student but would like to attend, please email the instructor (email@example.com) for permission.
UCSD Biomedical Library Talk (19 April 2011) "Decline and fall of bees: pollinators in peril" Listen to the audio recording and view the slides. As a clarification, I would like to add that although it is possible to find individuals to remove swarms for free, removal of colonies inside buildings requires qualified individuals and, depending upon the difficulty of the removal, will cost varying amounts. A good resource for San Diegans is provided by the San Diego Beekeeping Society. Here is a list of people who can help you out.
Anonymous (2010) "Bees use a stop signal to warn nestmates of danger" BBC News Big Picture
Reilly, M. (2010) "Bees can say stop" Discovery News, Animal Planet
A. N. I. (2010) "Stop signal in honey bee communication discovered by biologist" Science News
Braun (2010) "Bees butt waggle dancers when danger lurks" National Geographic, NatGeo News Watch
LaFee (2010) "Hives stayin' alive: dancing bees' 'stop signal' warns of peril, UCSD researcher says" San Diego Union Tribune
Hadley, D. (2010) "Threatened honey bees tell others to 'Stop dancing!'" About.com: Insects
Soos, A. (2010) "The Language of Bees" Environmental News Network
Schoolcraft (2010) "Butting bees say 'stop'" Springfield Plateau
Anonymous (2009) "Warm Bee Food" The New York Times Science in Pictures
Anonymous (2009) "Hot for teacher" ScienceShots
Phillips K (2008) "Pollen makes bees hot" (with cartoon!) The Journal of Experimental Biology 2008: iii
Walsh P (2006-2007) "ORBS Receives Funding from NSF" BioSphere 2006-2007: 26
Walsh P (2005) "UCSD Biological Sciences: hooking kids (and grownups) on science" BioSphere Fall: 26
Rowe P (2005) "How do you get from point A to point Bee?" San Diego Union-Tribune 17 July: E2
Pearlman I (2004/05) "Beehive in Muir is stage for interpretive dance performance" BioSphere Winter: 10-11
Fusaro K (2004) Espionagem entra abelhas. In: Pesquisa FAPESP
Leite M (2004) Guerra de abelhas por néctar tem até espiões e linguagem em código. In: Folha de S. Paulo, São Paulo
Milius S (2004) Trail mix: espionage among the bees. Science News 166
Webb S (2004) Honeybees' espionage mission. In: Discover, vol 25, pp 17
Nieh JC (2003) Abelhinhas espertas. Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo
Ristine J (2002) "UCSD researcher learning the buzzword of beespeak". San Diego Union-Tribune 18 Feb.: B1
Thomson J (2000) Food vibrations. In: Nature science update
Milius S (1999) Look who's dancing. In: Science News, vol 155, pp 216-218