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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » Honey Bee Research » People » Vincent A. Ricigliano

Vincent A Ricigliano

Research Entomologist




Vincent A Ricigliano
Research Molecular Biologist

Honey Bee Research
Phone: (520) 670-6481

TUCSON , AZ 85719



I am applying a systems approach towards understanding and improving honey bee health at multiple levels of organizational complexity. Honey bee colonies are adaptively organized entities that acquire and assimilate nutrition on a landscape scale. Agriculturally and economically, the colony is the most important unit of honey bee organization. I am using molecular genetic techniques to measure colony-level effects of nutrition and landscape dynamics in a commercial beekeeping operation involved in almond pollination.

A single colony is comprised of thousands of individual bees, therefore I also study physiology at the individual level. I am interested in how diet influences digestive processes, metabolism, and gut microbiome signaling.

The digestive tract of an individual bee is populated by a core microbial community comprising ~10^9 bacterial cells. These bacteria can be considered a physiological extension of the host, or an understudied organ which contributes to host digestive processes and nutrition. I am characterizing metabolic functions of gut bacteria and their contribution to bee nutrition and health.

I am also working on a biological control strategy against the Varroa mite, a devastating honey bee parasite.