Juliana Rangel Receives Award for Outstanding Research, Outreach in Beekeeping Industry

Juliana Rangel, left, with John Talbot, center, and Ashley Ralph. Photo by Rob Williams.

Juliana Rangel (left) with John Talbot (center), and Ashley Ralph, Texas Beekeepers Association president (right). Photo by Rob Williams.

The Department of Entomology at Texas A&M congratulates Dr. Juliana Rangel as she received the Dr. John G. Thomas Meritorious Service Award from the Texas Beekeepers Association during a special visit on Tuesday, November 3.

Rangel received the award for her outstanding research and her dedication to the beekeeping industry. Her research involves investigating various aspects of the reproductive biology of honey bee queens and drones, honey bee nutritional biology, and the behavioral ecology and genetics of managed and wild honey bees.

The award is given to a non-commercial beekeeper, researcher, regulator, industry or individual who has had a major impact on the Texas beekeeping industry.

Since joining the Department in 2013, Rangel has acquired over $1 million in extramural support and funding for her research program, focusing on providing solutions to improve colony health, such as a study on the effects of agricultural pesticides on honey bee fertility, a grant to identify floral sources foraged by honey bees in four locations in the U.S., and a grant to create and lead the Texas A&M University’s Tech Transfer Team.

In collaboration with the Texas Beekeeepers Association, Rangel also wrote a successful grant to raise awareness of the benefits of “Real Texas Honey.” Along with the above major grants, she has forged several significant collaborations with faculty and scientists at the national and international levels to research honey bee reproduction, ecological genetics of feral Africanized honey bees, and integrated pest management techniques for control of Varroa destructor mites in Texas apiaries.

Rangel appreciated the association and the Department for supporting her research programs.

“I am so grateful to the Texas Beekeeper Association and to the Department of Entomology for taking the time to do this and for allowing me to travel to other cities to talk about our research program,” Rangel said. “It is truly an honor and I am humbled and grateful for them to give me this award.”

TBA president Ashley Ralph said that Rangel’s research has provided a positive impact on the beekeeping industry and Texas agriculture as a whole.

“We are so proud to award Juliana the John G. Thomas Meritorious Service Award for her continued work in research and education,” Ralph said. “Through her research and the research of the graduate students she leads in the Honey Bee Research Program, we are given a better understanding of what we consider to be the most fascinating insect on the planet. Honey bees are the backbone of our diverse Texas agriculture and this research allows us all to be better stewards for bees.”

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