About Us

Honey Bee Extension and Research Program

Founded in 2012, the honey bee program is operated by Extension Professor Dr. Jeff Harris and his Research Associate, Audrey Sheridan.  The main lab and offices are located in the Clay Lyle Entomology Building, just west of Sorority Row.

The program was developed through MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology in response to the needs and requests of in-state beekeepers.  Our mission is to produce high-quality and relevant honey bee research and to disseminate the most accurate information on bee management to beekeepers throughout the state of Mississippi.  For more information about the research focus and extension services provided by our lab, click here.

Clay Lyle Map



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Meet Dr. Jeff Harris.

I am the Extension/Research Apiculturist here at Mississippi State University.  I moved to Mississippi after working for 15 years as a bee breeder with the USDA, ARS Honey Bee Breeding Lab in Baton Rouge, LA.  I am best known for my involvement with other scientists in developing lines of honey bees that express high levels of Varroa Sensitive Hygienic (VSH) behavior.  Prior to working with the government, I received my doctoral degree in insect physiology (Department of Zoology & Physiology) and my Master’s degree in entomology (Department of Entomology) from Louisiana State University.


Meet Audrey Sheridan.

I have worked in honey bee research for nearly 13 years, beginning at Oklahoma State University with a Master’s in Entomology and continuing to Mississippi State, where I am a full-time Research and Extension Associate.  My particular interest is in Small Hive Beetle behavior and control, but I am excited to dive into honey bee breeding with Dr. Harris! Educating the public about bees and beekeeping is one of my favorite aspects of the job, and interacting with the beekeeping community provides excellent ideas and direction for new research as well.