University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Honey Bee Cell Line 

Goblirsch MJ, Spivak MS, Kurtti TJ. 2013. A cell line resource derived from Honey bee(Apis mellifera) embryonic tissue. PLoS One 8(7) e69831.

Of interest to Beekeepers 

The Benefits of Propolis, Marla Spivak, PhD www,

Boots on the Ground, MEA McNeil

Getting Bees Back on their Own Six Feet, MEA McNeil 

Practical sampling plans for Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies and apiaries August 2010

The plight of bees August 2010

The future of the MN Hygienic stock of bees is in good hands! October 2009

Socialized Medicine: Individual and communal disease barriers in honey bees June 2009

New Direction for the Minnesota Hygienic Line of Bees Dec 2008

Conserving Pollinators: A Primer for Gardeners March 2009

Bee Health: Putting Control in Last Place. American Bee Journal November 2008

Why are honey bees collapsing? Mar 2007

A Sustainable Approach to Controlling Honey Bee Diseases and Varroa Mites

In the News: Popular Press

TED talk, Why Bees are disappearing, Marla Spivak PhD, 

Secrets of the Hive; Propolis might have life-saving properties, By Sara Specht, Solutions, Winter 2008

The Bee Queen, Minnesota Magazine, Nov 2005

The Life-giving Secret of Bees, The Rake, Sept 2005

Minnesota Bee Research and Extension (pdf), Bee Culture, Jan 2004

Studies on Propolis

Wilson MB, Spivak M, Hegeman AD, Rendahl A, Cohen JD. 2013. Metabolomics reveals the origins of antimicrobial resins collected by honey bees. PLoSOne 8(10): e77512. doi:10.1371 /journal.pone.0077512

Simone-Finstrom, MD, Spivak M.  2012. Increased resin collection after parasite challenge: A case of self-medication in honey bees?   PLoSOne 7(3):  e34601. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034601

Simone M, Gardner J, Spivak M. 2010. Tactile learning in resin foraging honeybees. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 64: 1609-1617

Simone M, Spivak M. 2010. Propolis and bee health: the natural history and significance of resin use by honey bees. Special Issue on Bee Health: Apidologie. 41: 295–311

Simone M, Evans J, Spivak M. 2009. Resin collection and social immunity. Evolution 63: 3016-30222

Gekker, G., Hu, S., Spivak, M., Lokensgard, J.R., Peterson, P.K. 2005. Anti-HIV-1 activity of propolis in CD4+ lymphocyte and microglial cell cultures. J. Ethnopharmacology 102: 158-163.

Bastos, EMA, Simone, M, Jorge, D , Soares, AEE, Spivak, M. 2007. In vitro study of the antimicrobial activity of Brazilian and Minnesota, USA propolis against Paenibacillus larvae. J. Invertebr. Pathol. online

Studies on Nosema

Gobrlirsch M, Huang Z, Spivak M. In Press 2013. Physiological and behavioral changes in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) induced by Nosema ceranae infectionPLoSOne

Hygienic Behavior as a Mechanism of Resistance to Diseases and Mites:

Swanson J, Torto B, Kells S, Mesce K, Tumlinson J, Spivak M. 2009. Volatile compounds from chalkbrood Ascosphaera apis infected larvae elict honey bee (Apis mellifera) hygienic behavior. J. Chem. Ecol. 35: 11088-1116

Wilson-Rich N, Spivak M, Fefferman NH, Starks, PT. 2009 Genetic, individual, and group facilitation of disease resistance in insect societies. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 54: 405-23.

Ibrahim, A., Reuter, GS, Spivak, M. 2007. Field trial of honey bee colonies bred for mechanisms of resistance against Varroa destructor. Apidologie 38: 67-76.

Ibrahim, A., Spivak, M. 2006. The relationship between hygienic behavior and suppression of mite reproduction as honey bee mechanisms of resistance to Varroa destructor. Apidologie. 37: 31-40.

Mondragon, L., Spivak, M., Vandame, R. 2005. A multifactorial study of the resistance of Africanized and hybrid honey bees Apis mellifera to the mite Varroa destructor over one year in Mexico. Apidologie. 36: 345-358.

Flores, JM, Spivak, M., Guiterrez, I. 2005. Spores of Ascosphaera apis contained in wax foundation can pass on chalkbrood in honey bees. Veterinary Microbiology. 108: 141-144.

Spivak, M., Reuter, G.S. 2005 A Sustainable Approach to Controlling Honey Bee Diseases and Varroa Mites. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Fact Sheet.

Spivak, M., Reuter, G.S. 2001 Resistance to American foulbrood disease by honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, bred for hygienic behavior. Apidologie 32: 555-565.

Spivak, M., Reuter, G. S. 2001. Varroa jacobsoni infestation in untreated honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies selected for hygienic behavior. J. Econ. Entomol 94(1): 326-331.

Spivak, M., Gilliam, M. 1998. Hygienic behaviour of honey bees and its application for control of brood diseases and varroa mites. Part I: Hygienic behaviour and resistance to American foulbrood. Bee World 79:124-134. Part II: Studies on hygienic behaviour since the Rothenbuhler era. Bee World 79: 165-182.

Spivak, M., Downey , D. 1998. Field assays for hygienic behavior in honey bees (Apidae: Hymenoptera). J. Econ. Entomol. 91(1): 64-70.

Spivak, M., Reuter, G.S. 1998. Performance of hygienic honey bee colonies in a commercial apiary. Apidologie. 29: 291-302.

Neuroethology of Honey Bee Hygienic Behavior

Wilson-Rich N, Spivak M, Fefferman NH, Starks, PT. 2009 Genetic, individual, and group facilitation of disease resistance in insect societies. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 54: 405-23.

Arathi, H.S., Ho, G., Spivak M. 2006. Inefficient task partitioning among nonhgienic honeybees, Apis mellifera l., and implications for disease transmission. Animal Behaviour 72: 431-438.

Goode, K, Huber, Z, Mesce, KA, Spivak, M. 2005. The relationships of honey bee (Apis mellifera) behaviors in the context of octopamine neuromodulation: hygienic behavior is independent of sucrose responsiveness and foraging ontogeny. Hormones and Behavior. 49: 391-397.

Gramacho, KP and Spivak M. 2003. Differences in olfactory sensitivity and behavioral responses among honey bees bred for hygienic behavior. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 54: 472-479.

Spivak, M., Masterman, R., Ross, R., Mesce, KA. 2003. Hygienic behavior in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) and the modulatory role of octopamine. J. Neurobiol. 55: 341-354.

Lapidge, K., Oldroyd, B., Spivak, M. 2002.Seven suggestive quantitative trait loci influence hygienic behavior of honey bees. Naturwissenschaften 89: 565-568.

Masterman, R. Ross, R., Mesce, K., Spivak, M. 2001. Olfactory and behavioral response thresholds to odors of diseased brood differ between hygienic and non-hygienic honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) J. Comp Physiol. A 187: 441-452.

Arathi, H.S., Spivak, M. 2001 Influence of colony genotypic composition on the performance of hygienic behavior in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L). Animal Behavior 62: 57-66.

Arathi, H.S., Burns, I. , Spivak, M. 2000. Ethology of hygienic behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae): Behavioural repertoire of hygienic bees. Ethology 106: 1-15.

Masterman, R., Smith, B. Spivak, M. 2000. M. Evaluation of brood odor discrimination abilities in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) using proboscis extension reflex conditioning. J. Insect Behav. 13(1): 87-101.

Boecking, O., Spivak, M. 1999. Behavioral defenses of honey bees against Varroa jacobsoni Oud. Apidologie 30: 141-158.

Spivak, M. 1996. Honey bee hygienic behavior and defense against Varroa jacobsoni. Apidologie 27: 245-260.

Spivak, M., Gilliam, M. 1993. Facultative expression of hygienic behaviour of honey bees in relation to disease resistance. J. of Apicultural Res. 32(3/4): 147-157.


Evans, E., Spivak, M. 2006. Effects of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and bumblebee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) presence on cranberry (Ericales: Ericaceae) pollination. J. Econ. Entomol. 99: 614-620.

Evans, E., I. Burns, and M. Spivak. 2007. Befriending Bumble Bees: a Practical Guide to Raising Local Bumble Bees. University of MN Extension, MN. available 

Mader, E., M. Spivak, and E. Evans. 2010. Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers and Conservationists. SARE Handbook 11. available

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