IPM4Bees Midwest Working Group

With funding from the North Central IPM Center, the IPM4Bees Midwest Working Group is meeting for the first time, bringing together bee researchers, extension agents, graduate students, and other stakeholders to discuss IPM challenges faced across the region. The primary goal of the working group is to foster communication and collaboration in the Midwest over both agricultural and apicultural IPM strategies that impact honey bee and native bee health. As a result, best management practices for bee IPM in the region will be identified and participating institutions will be equipped with standardized best practice recommendations to offer farmers and beekeepers in the Midwest. 

North Central IPM Center States Include: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The IPM4Bees Midwest Working Group is coordinated by:

  • Randall Paul Cass, Extension Entomologist, Iowa State University
  • Dr. Judy Wu-Smart, Extension and Research Entomologist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Dr. Matt O'Neal, Associate Professor, Iowa State University


On July 25-26, 2019 the working group will host the IPM4Bees Workshop at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. Gathering together the relevant bee research and extension stakeholders in the Midwest, the two-day workshop will serve as a platform for facilitating discussion, sharing research, and developing extension tools to promote IPM practices that improve the health of bees.

The event is taking place at Reiman Gardens in Ames and is free to attend. 

Travel grants and student fellowship are available to cover participant costs (See Below).

Download the Workshop Agenda

The first day will focus on research updates from participating states, presentations from special guest speakers on tools for promoting pollinator-friendly practices, and discussion about varroa control that will lead to the development of a regional guide for varroa mite IPM. The second day will consist of visits to field sites relevant to bee IPM: mite control demonstration at the Iowa State apiary, a visit to Prairie STRIPS site to demonstrate new ecosystem management tools that are beneficial to pollinators, and more. 

Invited Expert Speakers

Paul Ovrom has been invited to discuss the challenges and success of the Driftwatch/Beecheck program. He is the State Horticulturist for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  He has worked for the Department for eleven years now and in his current position for the last four.  Paul manages the Iowa Sensitive Crops Registry, is lead for the Department’s FSMA Produce Safety Rule Grant Program, and is the administrator for the Iowa Farmers Market Nutrition Program.  He co-manages the Capitol Complex Farmers Market.  Paul is a past president of the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs and serves on several horticulture-related state, regional, and national boards.  Paul has two undergraduate degrees in botany and horticulture and a Masters in forestry, all from Iowa State University.

Arián Avalos will present on the current "breeding for varroa resistance" research being conducted at the USDA ARS Bee Research Lab in Baton Rouge, where he is a research geneticist. Dr. Avalos has worked with honey bees since starting his PhD at the University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras, where he studied the effect of social cues on a variety of individual honey bee behaviors. Following his PhD, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation to examine the genetic underpinnings of reduced aggression in the Africanized honey bee population of Puerto Rico. As an USDA Research Geneticist  he combines genomic analyses and computational biology with measures of honey bee behavior and physiology toward improving honey bee diversity, health, and sustainability as the premier managed pollinator.


Travel Grants and Graduate Student Fellowships

Travel Grants are available for interested researchers, extension agents, and relevant stakeholders. The travel grant offers recipient participants up to $500 in reimbursements to cover expenses related to transportation and lodging. 20 Travel Grants will be available. Click the link at the bottom of the page to download the Grant Application form. 

Graduate Student Fellowships will be granted to 5 graduate students. The IPM4Bees graduate student fellowship (up to $1,000 total) will cover transportation and lodging expenses for current Masters and PhD students in programs at universities within the NCIPMC region. In addition to attending the workshop, fellowship recipients are required to use a portion of the funds to design and implement their own project related to bees and IPM. Students may apply for the fellowship through an application that includes a budget of how fellowship funds will be used to cover costs to attend the workshop and a brief proposal of an IPM4Bees project they plan to implement in their home state. Graduate Student Fellowship projects may include activities such as IPM demonstrations with local beekeeping groups, purchasing materials for bee IPM research, or creating extension materials. The goal of these projects is for graduate students to share the information learned at the workshop and amplify the impact of the working group. Click the link at the bottom of the page to download the Grant Application form. 

DEADLINE EXTENDED: All grant applications must be submitted to ipm4bees@iastate.edu before June 14th, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

For any additional questions, email ipm4bees@iastate.edu