Zachary Huang

Associate Professor

Zachary Huang

PhD - University of Guelph (1988)
BS - Hunan Agricultural University (1982)

Giltner Hall
293 Farm Lane Room 288
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: 517-353-8136

MSU Apiculture Lab

Click here to see a list of Zachary Huang's publications on Google Scholar.


Previous studies on varroa mites led to a patent on a new device for mite control and this device was refined and went to the market March 2011. More recent research results provided critical information for varroa mite reproductive biology and how Nosema ceranae affecting honey bees. A NIFA-CAP grant ($4.2 million total, with $186,000 to my lab) resulted 5 research publications related to Nosema ceranae.

Current assignment: Teaching 20% | Research 60% | Extension 20%

Program Description


I taught guess lectures in “Insect Physiology” and “Apiculture and Pollination”, both of these courses were taught by me alone prior to 2007. Dr. Walt Pett has since taken over these two courses due to his need for teaching assignments. I also gave guest lectures to “Insect Molecular Biology” routinely. In Spring of 2004, I taught a new course, “Insect Macrophotography” as a graduate seminar.


During the last five years my research program has focused on reproductive biology of Varroa destructor (varroa mites) and a fungal pathogen of honey bees (Nosema ceranae). We gained much understanding of whether and why varroa mites prefer younger workers (nurses) in more realistic colony conditions. Prior studies on host preference by this parasite has only used Petri-dishes and cages and not in colony settings. With Nosema ceranae, we have found that infection methods can cause a difference in worker mortality in cage studies, and mixed infection of two species of Nosema (N. ceranae and N. apis) are more deadly to caged honey bees, and these effects are also seen in colony settings.


My extension program is aimed to provide the newest research update on how stresses affect honey bees. These include research conducted in my lab: varroa biology, nosema effect on honey bees, how transportation affect honey bees, whether transgenic pollen affect honey bee health; as well as research conducted by other scientists (how nutrition affect honey bee stress resistance, varroa mite reproductive biology, etc). I also coordinate with Michigan Department of Agriculture to obtain section 18 for new chemicals for treating varroa mites.

Professional Experience

  • 2004-Present - Associate Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1998-2004 - Assistant Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1993-1998 - Senior Research Scientist, Dept. of Entomology, UIUC
  • 1990-1993 - Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Entomology, UIUC
  • 1988-1990 - Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Entomology, University of Missouri-Columbia

Selected Publications

  • Wang, Y.,Y. Li, Z.Y. Huang, X. Chen, J. Romeis, P. Dai, Y. Peng. 2015. Toxicological, biochemical, and histopathological analyses demonstrate that Cry1C and Cry2A are not toxic to larvae of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 06/2015; DOI:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b01662 IF=2.912
  • Le Conte$, Y., Z.Y. Huang$*, M. Roux, Z.J. Zeng, J.-P. Christidès, A.G. Bgnères. 2015. . Varroa destructor changes its cuticular hydrocarbons to mimic new hosts. Biol. Lett. 11: 20150233. ($co-first authors) [Featured by MSU news,] IF=3.348
  • Wei-Fone Huang, W.-F., L. Solter*, K.I. Aronstein, Z.Y. Huang. 2015. Infectivity and virulence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in commercially available North American honey bees. J. Invertebrate Pathology, 124: 107-113. IF=2.601
  • Ihle, K.E., O, Rueppell., Z.Y. Huang, Y. Wang, M.K. Fondrk., R.E. Jr. Page., G.V. Amdam*. 2014. Genetic architecture of a hormonal response to gene knockdown in honey bees. Journal of Heredity, doi: 10.1093/jhered/esu086. IF=1.969
  • Milbrath, M.O, T. V. Tran, W.-F. Huang, L.F. Solter, D.R. Tarpy, F. K. Lawrence, Z.Y. Huang*. 2014. Comparative virulence and competition between Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae in honey bees (Apis mellifera). J. Invertebrate Pathology, doi:10.1016/j.jip.2014.12.006. IF=2.601
  • Shi, Y.Y., Z.Y. Huang, X.B. Wu, Z.L. Wang, W.Y. Yan, Z.J. Zeng*. 2014. Changes in alternative splicing in Apis mellifera bees fed Apis cerana royal jelly. J. Apic. Science 58: 25-31. IF=0.688
  • Shpigler, H., E. Amsalem, Z.Y. Huang, M. Cohen, A.J. Siegel et al. 2014. Gonadotropic and physiological functions of juvenile hormone in bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) Workers. PLoS ONE 9(6): e100650. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100650 IF=3.534
  • Zhu, X., S. Zhou, Z.Y. Huang*. 2014. Transportation and pollination service increase abundance and prevalence of Nosema ceranae in honey bees (Apis mellifera). Journal of Apicultural Research 53: 469-471. DOI 10.3896/IBRA. IF=1.363
  • Medveda, V., Z.Y. Huang, A. Popadić*. 2014. Ubx promotes corbicular development in Apis mellifera. Biol. Lett. 10: 20131021. [Featured by MSU news,] IF=3.348
  • Abramson, C.I.*, T. Giray, Z.Y. Huang, X. Xie. 2013. Opportunities for collaborative research with honey bees in Turkey and China. Bulletin of Insectology 66: 315-318
  • Yang, W., H. Kuang, J. Wang, S. Wang, Z. Wu, X. Miao*, Z.Y. Huang*. 2013. Comparative sucrose sensitivity in Apis mellifera and A. cerana foragers. PLoS ONE 8(10): e79026. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079026
  • Shi, Y.Y., L.X. Sun, Z.Y. Huang; X.B. Wu, Y.Q. Zhu, H.J. Zheng; Z.J. Zeng*. 2013. A SNP based high-density linkage map of Apis cerana reveals a high recombination rate similar to Apis mellifera. PLoS ONE 8(10): e76459. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0076459

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