Purdue University
Entomology Department
Search the Department of Entomology

Entomology faculty member, Greg Hunt, receives 2007 J. I. Hambleton Award

Eastern Apicultural Society
June 4, 2007

The James I. Hambleton memorial award was established by the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America to recognize research excellence in apiculture. The EAS Student Apiculture award was established to recognize students studying apiculture at the undergraduate or graduate level in a recognized college or university in the United States or Canada. The Roger A. Morse Outstanding Teaching/Extension Service/Regulatory Award is given annually to recognize an individual in teaching/extension and/or regulatory activity in the field of apiculture. Nominations for this award are solicited annually and must include supporting evidence. A Committee approved by the EAS Chairman of the Board makes decisions in mid-spring. The EAS Foundation for Honey Bee Research Grant is a competitive grant program developed from donations received from beekeepers and others interested in funding research on topical problems in honey bees. Proposals for support are annually solicited. The Divelbiss Award is presented at the closing Awards Banquet to the person or team that has reached beyond the beekeeping community to educate the non-beekeeping public about the values and virtues of honey bees.

Greg Hunt

The 2007 J.I. Hambleton Award
The winner of the J.I. Hambleton 2007 Award is Greg Hunt. Greg received a B.S. in biology from John Carroll University in 1979 and an M.S. in Plant Pathology in 1984. While working in a research position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he began keeping bees and became interested in studying their behavior and particularly their genetics. This interest lead him to pursue a PhD program at UC-Davis under Dr Rob Page, the 1988 Hambleton Award winner. While in California he constructed the first genetic map of the honey bee genome and mapped genes that influence behavior.

In 1995 he took a position in apicultural research with extension responsibilities in the Department of Entomology at Purdue University. At the start of 2002 his position was converted to a faculty position at Purdue. In Indiana he has been involved in many beekeeping education programs and he teaches a class in beekeeping each year. Along with Tom Webster of Kentucky State University he helped to establish the Heartland Apicultural society (HAS), with financial backing of EAS.

Greg maintains close to 100 bee hives for breeding for resistance to Varroa mites and for behavioral genetic studies. He is best known for his behavioral genetic research. He has collaborated with Dr Ernesto Guzman-Novoa for the past 15 years and together they have mapped and confirmed the presence of genes that influence guarding and hygienic behaviors. The genetic research of Dr Hunt helped to lay the foundation for the Honey Bee Genome Project that now has resulted in successfully mapping of the entire bee genome.

Greg was recognized by one fellow faculty member for pioneering work on the honey bee genome saying “the honey bee was sold as a genome model for behavior based on Greg’s research.” Another said of Greg “clearly [he] has a world-wide reputation as a leading authority in honey bee genetics” and acknowledged Greg’s “outstanding contributions to training students in the art and science of conducting scientific research.” It is our pleasure to recognize Greg Hunt as the 32nd J.I.Hambleton winner. He will be present at our meeting this summer to once again grace our EAS program.