Welcome to the University of Georgia Honey Bee Program!
The objectives of the honey bee program at the University of Georgia are to increase humanity's knowledge of bee biology, bee management, and crop pollination and to deliver that knowledge in the most effective manner to interested users. The program strives to develop research and extension initiatives that are locally responsive while globally relevant. An associated goal is the training of undergraduate and graduate students in practical beekeeping, bee biology, and the scientific methods of critical thinking and analysis. Prospective graduate students are encouraged to subscribe to these objectives.
Meet our staff
- Keith S. Delaplane, Professor, Walter B. Hill Fellow & Honey Bee Program Director
- Jennifer A. Berry, Research Professional IV & Lab Manager
- Jack Garrison, Research Professional I
- Post-doctoral scientists
- Honey Bee Lab technicians
- Current graduate students and alumni
The University of Georgia Bee Laboratory is located at the University Horticulture Farm, 1221 Hog Mountain Road, Watkinsville. All honey bee-related research programs are coordinated from the offices onsite. The bee lab also hosts the annual meetings of the GBA Junior Beekeepers Program, the monthly meetings of the Eastern Piedmont Beekeepers Association, as well as occasional extension programs for beekeepers and the public.
The main building ("New Lab") is fully furnished with restroom facilities, kitchenette, a general laboratory, and the new molecular laboratory suite featuring multiple PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines, environmental controls, a fume hood, and an ultra-low freezer. There are also the standard tools for conducting general research and teaching, including digital scales, microscopes, dissecting scopes & equipment, a centrifuge, refractometers, queen bee artificial insemination (AI) equipment, three environmental chambers, a freezer & refrigerator, and an insect specimen repository.
The auxiliary building ("Old Lab") has indoor and outdoor accommodations for the equipment and tools needed to house, handle and feed honey bees: woodworking power equipment & supplies, painting equipment, cane sugar, medicines, miticides, bee hive components & materials, veils, bee suits, gloves, smokers & fuel, hive tools, bottles, buckets & brushes, and various bee hive accessories such as pollen traps, pest control apparatuses, weighing cages, and queen rearing equipment. There are two additional storage buildings used for bulk research containers and specialized devices, as well as five farm vehicles, permanently assigned to the program.
The surrounding apiary (UGA Horticulture Farm) hosts about 50 bee colonies and numerous nucleus colonies. The program utilizes between 10 and 20 outlying apiary locations at any given time, based on the current research program parameters, access to which is voluntarily donated to the University by local land owners.
Directions to the Bee Lab
From the Athens perimeter highway (GA 10): Proceed to the south side of the Athens perimeter and take Exit 4, for US Highways 129 & 441 south. Go to the fourth red light (Hog Mountain Road) and turn right (See a RaceTrac gas station on the corner). In about ¼-mile, you will see the sign for the UGA Horticulture Farm on the left. Turn in that driveway and follow the gravel road past the house, through the gate, past the barns & greenhouses, all the way to a set of three white buildings next to a lake. You will see beehives in front of, and behind, the buildings.
From the south: Proceed north on Highway 441. Continue past the exit for state road 53 at Watkinsville and turn left at the second red light (Hog Mountain Road). In about ¼-mile you will come to the University Horticulture Farm on the left. Follow the lane back to the white building with blue windows.
Watkinsville, GA 30677