|Video of the Researcher|
Patricia Wolf Veiga
Testing and diagnosing bee samples sent from beekeepers and researchers, including the health of imported queen bees and pathogens in colonies
|Type of researcher|
|Introduce yourself, your experience and your credentials||
Patricia Wolf Veiga is the Diagnostic Technician at NBDC-TAC since June 2012. Patricia grew up in Brazil in a farm environment where she acquired beekeeping experience working with Africanized Honey Bees in her family’s farm. She completed her bachelor degree in Biology at the Federal University of Parana in 2006. She moved to Victoria, British Columbia in 2007 where she worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Forest Biology at the University of Victoria. A few years later she engaged in the graduate program at the Biology department at UVic and she recently earned her Master’s degree in soil microbiology. Patricia has extensive experience on microbiology and molecular biology techniques and she is applying these techniques to detect the most common pathogens that affect honey bees.
|Describe your research||
We are specifically a diagnostic lab. So we do provide diagnostic services for beekeepers, but as well as for research projects. Sometimes it’s not our own research projects but we provide our service to researchers, so universities or other agencies. If they are testing bees for example for specific traits. So bees that are hygienic, that produce a lot of honey, or they have a gentle behavior, and how they will correlate with the susceptibility of the bee for diseases.
Other examples of research that also we do is if a beekeeper or a scientist in another province is working with bumble bees, for example, and wants to look at the spillover of honey bee pathogens in bumblebees or any other type of bees we also provide diagnostics for that type of research as well.
We have dependent and collaborative projects. They involve different partners, so it would be the federal government provincial government and bee keeping associations. They all have, especially beekeepers, a lot of input in what kind of research we do here in our center.
So if they have been raising some issues say regarding to the queen quality, we’ll start looking into that. We assess the queens and see how well mated they are. The sperm and the pathogens they may carry. We test local and imported queens.
A lot of the queens that comes to Canada are there from other countries, so we import a lot of the queens that we need. We test and assess the Queen quality for some of those stocks.
The National Survey started in 2014 and actually ended last year in 2017 where we look for several pathogens pests and parasites that affect the honeybees and we collected samples across Canada. We are looking for the distribution and the baseline for some of those pathogens where we didn’t have a good understanding in Canada.
|Explain its significance||
All the issues that have been raised about bee health and other pollinators as well. With all those issues, we are here to provide diagnostics and the understanding of the bee health in Canada as well as honeybees and including other bees as well. But also be a place where beekeepers have resources so they can send samples.
They have a place where they can get some of the information so we can do diagnostics for them. They can also access our expertise and technology through our diagnostics but as well as the wide research that we provide. Lastly, we provide training here.
Also, we are open to receive students: local students, national students, international students, we have visiting scholars that come to our labs. We provide the research experience to them, as well as places where our faculty from the GPRC they can engage in research. So we provide this environment for them and they have access to our technology.
Grande Prairie Regional College
|Type of institution|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting|