Bee Lab Graduate Students

Current Graduate Students

  • Avry Pribadi
  • Katherine Hagan

Graduate Program Alumni

Brett Nolan, Ph.D.

About Brett:
Brett Nolan was a PhD student in the Honey Bee Program of the Entomology Department of the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES).

Born and raised in Seneca, South Carolina, Brett’s colors are orange and purple - not red and black. He earned two science degrees from Clemson University: a Bachelor of Wildlife Biology and a Master of Entomology. While working at the Clemson bee lab during his undergraduate studies, he became interested in bees and served as an undergraduate research assistant in 2003 under Dr. Mike Hood - where he studied improved trapping methods for Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida) control.

While working on a joint UGA-Clemson research project, Brett was introduced to our UGA Honey Bee Program, and, upon finishing his master’s degree, moved the 60 short miles to Athens to continue his education in Bulldog country. His current research focuses on the host-parasite relationship between honey bees and varroa mites (Varroa destructor). In particular, he is looking at the transmission and virulence of varroa between honey bee colonies as related to colony distance and apiary density. In addition to his own studies and research, Brett regularly makes time to help with general fieldwork, lab work and brainstorming sessions at the Bee Lab, as well as serves as an instructor at the annual Young Harris - UGA Beekeeping Institute.

Brett is married to Emily Nolan, and they have three daughters: Lucy, June, and Camille. His hobbies and interests involve being outdoors: hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. In his younger years, Brett played soccer; today, he coaches his 5-year-old daughter’s soccer team. And, when he can get a break from the grind of graduate school and work, he enjoys quite a reputation for expert grilling/smoking skills on the barbie and deep-frying delicious, dry-rubbed turkeys.


  • B.S in Wildlife & Fisheries Biology, Clemson University, 1996.
  • M.S. in Entomology, Clemson University, 1998.


  • Berry, Jennifer A., Afik, Ohad., Nolan IV, Maxcy P., and Delaplane, Keith S., 2012. Revisiting Powdered Sugar for Varroa Control on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L). Journal of Apiculture Research 51, No. 4: p.367-368. PDF file
  • Nolan, IV M.P., and W.M. Hood., 2008. Comparison of Two Attractants to Small Hive Beetles, Aethina tumida, in Honey Bee Colonies. Journal Apicultural Research 47, No. 3: p.229-233.
  • Hood, W.M., and M. Nolan., A Comparison of Two Small Hive Beetle Attractants Inside Honey Bee Colonies. In the proceedings of American Bee Research Conference. Phoenix, Arizona. 8-13 January, 2007. Published in American Bee Journal 147, No. 5: p.440.
  • Nolan, IV M.P., and W.M. Hood., Mark Release and Recapture Techniques for the Small Hive Beetle, In the proceedings of American Bee Research Conference (ABRC), Annual Meeting of the American Association of Professional Apiculturists (AAPA) 9-11 January, 2008, Sacramento, California. Published in American Bee Journal 148, No. 6: p.558.
  • Nolan, IV M.P., and W.M. Hood., 2008. Trapping Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) In Honey Supers & Brood Chambers of Honey Bee Colonies. Manuscript to be submitted for publication, August 2008.
  • Nolan IV, M. (2008). Trapping small hive beetles, Aethina tumida Murray, inside honey bee colonies, CLEMSON UNIVERSITY


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Eleanor K. Spicer, M.S.

About Eleanor:
Graduated December 2007

Bachelor of Science in Zoology / Minor in Entomology, North Carolina State University, 2003 Cum Laude


My research was an attempt to quantify the pollination efficacy of the exotic honey bee (Apis mellifera) and native pollinators such as Halictidae, Bombus spp., Xylocopa spp., and Peponapis spp. under different levels of floral competition. This research also examined the effects of floral competition on pollinator diversity. Crimson sweet watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) served as the model plants for measuring pollinator efficacy and sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) as the model competitors.



Amanda M. Ellis, Ph.D.

About Amanda:

Graduated December 2007

  • April 2004 - Awarded Master of Science degree with distinction in Zoology from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. Also awarded the 2004 Southern Africa Association for the Advancement of Science Bronze Medal
  • May 2002 - Graduated Magna Cum Laude with Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Resources: The University of Georgia, Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, Major in Wildlife Biology.


  1. Ellis, Amanda M., Laura L. Patton, and Steven B. Castleberry. 2002. Bat foraging activity in upland and riparian habitats in the Georgia Piedmont. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 56: 210-218.
  2. Ellis, J. D. Jr., H. R. Hepburn, A. M. Ellis, and P. J. Elzen. 2002. Social encapsulation of small hive beetles (Aethina tumida Murray) by European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Insectes Sociaux 50: 286-291.
  3. Ellis, J. D. Jr., H. R. Hepburn, A. M. Ellis, and P. J. Elzen. 2002. Prison construction and guarding behavior by European honey bees is dependent on inmate beetle density. Naturwissenschaften 90: 382-384.
  4. Ellis, Amanda M. 2002. "Bee-ing" a Beekeeper's Significant Other. American Bee Journal 142(11): 820-821.
  5. 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.
  6. Ellis, A. & K.S. Delaplane. 2008. Effects of nest invaders on honey bee (Apis mellifer) pollination efficacy. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 127: 201-206 doi:10.1016/j.agee.2008.04.001, to request a PDF reprint, email
  7. 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.



Nabor Hector Mendizabal Chavez, M.S.

About Hector:

Graduated December 2004

  • Founder of the Beekeeping Project in the Farmer to Farmer Program, Partners of the Americas. 1999
  • Press Secretary for the ADAC (Cochabamba [Bolivia] Beekeepers Association). 2001


  • Mendizabal, N. 2000. Use of the smoke of selected plant species in the natural control of Varroa destructor in Cochabamba Valley. Undergraduate Thesis. Universidad Mayor de San Simon, Cochabamba, Bolivia
  • Mendizabal, N. 2004. Simultaneous selection for reduced varroa levels, hygienic behavior, brood viability, brood production, honey production and gentleness in European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) colonies using conventional queen propagation and mating methods. M.S. Thesis. University of Georgia, Athens.



Selim Dedej, Ph.D.

About Selim:

Graduated August 2004

Visiting Fulbright Scholar December 1999-June 2000; Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Government of Albania 1997-1999; Associate Professor, Agricultural University of Tirana


  1. 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
  2. Dedej, S., K.S. Delaplane, & E. Gocaj. 2000. A technical and economic evaluation of beekeeping in Albania. Bee World 81(2): 87-97
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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



Jennifer Berry, M.S.

About Jennifer:

Graduated May 2000.


  1. Berry, J.A. & K.S. Delaplane. 2000. Effects of top- versus bottom-supering on honey yield. American Bee Journal 140(5): 409-410
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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

Jen's current UGA role & publications since graduation.