Honey Bee Health/Education

Inside The Hive.TV


This happened to me. Once in my life, a very important person suddenly started to teach me things for no reason. He was so knowledgeable and could do things that I never thought could be done; he amazed me every day.  Through our interactions, it quickly became obvious to me the importance of knowledge. I grew up, as the majority of people on Earth, without many resources. However, I was lucky enough to have someone show me that with the knowledge you can go anywhere, fearlessly. Without this person educating me, I'm sure I would be in a bad situation today.

Unfortunately, this person, who was so very influential in my life, passed away last year (2016) and this made me wonder what could I do to honor his legacy. Today I can see the impact he made on so many peoples lives, including mine, people he quietly helped,  asking nothing in return. A true hero.

"Inside the Hive.TV" is a place where I will attempt to continue the work this phenomenal person once started, sharing my knowledge as a scientist in a very relaxed and entertaining (hopefully) way. I hope that by using the power of the internet, I will be able to multiply his influence in huge proportions, reaching people all over the world. Here we will discuss topics about bees, educating bee enthusiasts, beekeepers (commercial or not) and everybody else interested in this magnificent insect.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy it.


What to expect

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Professional experience

Honey Bee Husbandry Researcher at the University of Florida. 

Research on honey bee health focused on commercial beekeepers needs. (2018- present)

Research Scientist at the University of Maryland College Park (UMD). Entomology department. Dennis vanEngesdorp Lab

Research on honey bee health focused on the pathogenesis of virus infection, host-pathogen interactions and identification of new pathogens. (2015- 2017)

Chief Technology Officer (CTO), USA site lead and senior scientist at Forrest Innovations.

Technology development of products using RNAi technology against citrus greening and mosquitoes. Israeli start-up company with 3 subsidiaries (Israel, USA, and Brazil). www.Forrestinnovations.com

NRC, National Research Council, Fellow (National Academy of Sciences) Chemical and Biological Defense Laboratory - ARO-US Army Research Office

Research on honey bee health, focusing on honeybee pathogens.


Adjunct Research Associate at UNCG, North Carolina. Dr. Olav Ruppell's lab.

Research on honey bee health, focusing on the pathogenesis of virus infection in honey bees and immunity.

Research Associate at United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.

Research focusing on identification of new honey bee viruses and identification of factor associated with Colony Collapse Disorder, CCD (2008-2011)

Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) since 2014


Selected publications

Book Chapters, peer reviewed scientific articles

Book Chapter:

1. Boncristiani, H.F.; Criado, M.F. & Arruda, E. “Respiratory viruses” In: Lederberg J (Ed).

Encyclopedia of Microbiology. Academic Press, New York. 2009.

Peer reviewed scientific Articles:

Boncristiani HF, Evans JD, Chen Y, Pettis J, Murphy C, Lopez DL, Simone-Finstrom M, Strand M, Tarpy DR, Rueppell O. In vitro infection of pupae with Israeli acute paralysis virus suggests disturbance of transcriptional homeostasis in honey bees (Apis mellifera). PLoS One. 2013 Sep 5;8(9):e73429. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073429. eCollection 2013.

Boncristiani, H, Robyn Underwood, Ryan Schwarz, Jay Evans, Jeffery Pettis, Dennis vanEngelsdorp. Direct effect of acaricides on pathogen loads and gene expression levels of honey bee Apis mellifera. Journal of Insect Physiology. (2011) 58(5):613

Boncristiani HF, Di Prisco G., Pettis J., Hamilton M., Chen Y. Molecular approaches to the analysis of deformed wing virus replication and pathogenesis in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Virol J (2009) vol. 6 pp. 221.

Boncristiani, H., Li, J., Evans, J. D., Pettis, J., & Chen, Y. (2011). Scientific note on PCR inhibitors in the compound eyes of honey bees, Apis mellifera. Apidologie, 42(4), 457–460. doi:10.1007/s13592-011-0009-

Di Prisco, G., Pennacchio, F., Caprio, E., Boncristiani, H. F., Evans, J. D., & Chen, Y. (2011). Varroa destructor is an effective vector of Israeli acute paralysis virus in the honeybee, Apis mellifera, Journal of General Virology, 92(Pt 1), 151–155. doi:10.1099/vir.0.023853-0. Altimetric top 10 in 2016. http://www.microbiologyresearch.org/content/2016_Altmetrics

Kuster RD, Boncristiani HF, Rueppell O. Immunogene and viral transcript dynamics during parasitic Varroa destructor mite infection of developing honey bee (Apis mellifera) pupae. J Exp Biol. 2014 May 15;217(Pt 10):1710-8. doi: 10.1242/jeb.

Wagoner KM, Boncristiani HF, Rueppell O. Multifaceted responses to two major parasites in the honey bee (Apis mellifera). BMC Ecol. 2013 Jul 17;13:26. doi: 10.1186/1472-6785-13-

Sarah Michaud, Humberto F. Boncristiani Jr., Joost W. Gouw, Micheline K. Strand, Jeffrey Pettis, Olav Rueppell, Leonard J. Foster. Response of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) proteome to Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) infection. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 10.1139/cjz-2014-0181.

Chen YP, Pettis JS, Corona M, Chen WP, Li CJ, Spivak M, Visscher PK, DeGrandi-Hoffman G, Boncristiani H, Zhao Y, vanEngelsdorp D, Delaplane K, Solter L, Drummond F, Kramer M, Lipkin WI, Palacios G, Hamilton MC, Smith B, Huang SK, Zheng HQ, Li JL, Zhang X, Zhou AF, Wu LY, Zhou JZ, Lee ML, Teixeira EW, Li ZG, Evans JD. Israeli acute paralysis virus: epidemiology, pathogenesis and implications for honey bee health. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Jul 31;10(7):e1004261. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004261. eCollection 2014 Jul.

Li JL, Cornman RS, Evans JD, Pettis JS, Zhao Y, Murphy C, Peng WJ, Wu J, Hamilton M, Boncristiani HF Jr, Zhou L, Hammond J, Chen YP. Reply to "conclusive evidence of replication of a plant virus in honeybees is lacking". MBio. 2014 May 27;5(3):e01250-14. doi:10.1128/mBio.01250-14.

Li JL, Cornman RS, Evans JD, Pettis JS, Zhao Y, Murphy C, Peng WJ, Wu J, Hamilton M, Boncristiani HF Jr, Zhou L, Hammond J, Chen YP. Systemic spread and propagation of a plant-pathogenic virus in European honeybees, Apis mellifera. MBio. 2014 Jan 21;5(1):e00898-13. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00898-

Cornman RS, Boncristiani H, Dainat B, Chen Y, vanEngelsdorp D, Weaver D, Evans JD. Population-genomic variation within RNA viruses of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, inferred from deep sequencing. BMC Genomics. 2013 Mar 7;14:154. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-14-154.

Teixeira, E.W.1, Chen, Y.2, Message, D.3, Boncristiani, H.F.4, Pettis, J. 2, Evans, J.D. Israeli acute paralysis virus in Africanized honey bees in southeastern Brazilian Apiaries”. Journal of Economic Entomology (2012),51(3) 282–284. doi:10.3896/IBRA.1.51.3.

Peng, W., Li, J., Boncristiani, H., Strange, J. P., Hamilton, M., & Chen, Y. (2011). Host range expansion of honey bee Black Queen Cell Virus in the bumble bee, Bombus huntii. Apidologie42(5), 650–658. doi:10.1007/s13592-011-0061-5.

Li, J., Peng, W., Wu, J., Strange, J. P., Boncristiani, H., & Chen, Y. (2011). Cross-Species Infection of Deformed Wing Virus Poses a New Threat to Pollinator Conservation. Journal of Economic Entomology, 104(3), 732–739. doi:10.1603/EC

Yanping Chen, Jay D Evans, Liang Zhou, Humberto Boncristiani, Kiyoshi Kimura, Tieguang Xiao, A M Litkowski, Jeffery S Pettis. Asymmetrical coexistence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in honey bees. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 2009 vol. 101 (3) pp. 204-9.