Katie Lee - Ph.D. Student



Marla Spivak


St. Paul, MN

Research Topic

First goal is to quantify success of the selection progress in hygienic behavior by commercial honey bee breeders. Second goal is to develop treatment thresholds for the honey bee parasitic mite, Varroa destuctor, specifically for migratory beekeepers in the Upper Midwest that transport colonies for honey production and pollination services.

Previous Education

B.S., Univ. of MN, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
M.S., Univ. of MN, Dept. of Entomology

Why Insects?

Biology was always a love of mine. I was that kid crawling in the grass looking for ants or grasshoppers. I never really thought about a career in insects until I took a social insect course in 2005 with Dr. Spivak.

Why University of Minnesota?

I received my MS from the Univ. of MN Department of Entomology in 2009, and it just kept calling me back. The Dept. is fantastic and I absolutely love the Bee Lab.


To forever be involved in the bee world.

Favorite Insect

Honey bees. I am studying this insect because I can’t really see myself studying anything else. Honey bees are endlessly fascinating and I love the human cultural element as well. The most captivating aspect of honey bees (and all social insects) is the ‘Hive Mind,’ or how the bees function together to keep a living, thriving hive without any central authority.

Other interests/hobbies

Gardening, cooking, and keeping bees. 

Coffee or tea?

Tea in the morning, coffee about 2pm.