Kristen Healy on PolliNation with Andony Melathopoulos

Kristen Healy is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at Louisiana State University. She obtained her B.S. in Zoology and M.S. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Rhode Island, her Ph.D. in Entomology from Rutgers University, and a MPH in Environmental Health from UMDNJ. A key focus of her research at LSU has been collaborating with the USDA Honey Bee lab in Baton Rouge to evaluate how different stressors impact honey bee health. This has included evaluating the effects of mosquito control adulticides on honey bees. Most of her findings suggests that when done correctly and according to label instructions, there should be minimal impact to honey bees. Dr. Healy is now working with the USDA bee lab to evaluate the impact of other stressors, including mites and deformed wing virus, on honey bee health.

On this episode of PolliNation, Kristen and I will be talking about mosquito abatement techniques, their effect on pollinator health, and the research Kristen’s team has done to keep them safe.

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“They really wanted to know if what they were doing with mosquito control was killing bees, so they asked if we could help address that topic.” – Kristen Healy

Show Notes:

  • What is the importance of insecticides on mosquitoes
  • What methods are used in mosquito abatement
  • How mosquito abatement programs can mitigate damaging pollinators
  • The two main factors in an adulticide’s potential risk to pollinators
  • Why mosquito control is often performed at night
  • The team that Kristen and LSU assembled to study adulticides on the bee population
  • How Kristen was able to balance her team’s research with stakeholders
  • What results came from Kristen’s team’s study
  • How honeybees can be bred to better withstand pesticides
  • What Kristen sees in the future of mosquito abatement and pollinator health

“I think that the key thing [for the future of mosquito abatement and pollinator health] is both communication and education.” – Kristen Healy

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