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Riley Reed

Agricultural Biotechnology

Starting Young

The Ignite program has helped me pursue my life long dreams by allowing me to make connections with researchers in my intended field and gain hands on experience. I have wanted to study entomology since I was 5 years old and the Ignite program has made that a reality. I always thought bees were pretty interesting. I was introduced to the idea of studying entomology when a WSU entomology professor came to my local library to talk about insects. I hadn’t realized that entomology could be a career, but I am now able to follow my passions and dive into a subject that I genuinely find interesting.

Learning by Doing

Riley Reed with Dr Hopkins in the beekeeping field, some bees flying around
“Dr. Hopkins taught me how to work with honey bees for research, such as for my project…We tested the potential of cold storage for varroa mite control and swarm prevention in honey bees.”

One of those connections was with my mentor, Dr. Hopkins. Dr. Hopkins taught me how to work with honey bees for research, such as for my project. I was taking a class from Dr. Hopkins at the time and was pleased to have been paired with him. We tested the potential of cold storage for varroa mite control and swarm prevention in honey bees. One of the most interesting parts of my research was getting to work with the bees and seeing how transferring them to cold storage affected their behavior. The bees thought they were in a dark room, simulating night time, but in reality the room was lit with red lights.

Moving Forward

I am going to continue working on my project over the summer and fall. My favorite part of my project was being able to help find a solution to a huge problem facing beekeepers. I plan to continue working in the bee keeping industry. For my master’s, I plan to continue my research in honeybees and varroa mites as it is a global issue that I can contribute to finding a solution. The Ignite program gave me the opportunity to truly experience research. Prior to starting my project, I only had preconceived ideas about what it would look like. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in Ignite and will always look back on my experience as one of the integral parts of the foundation of my future career.