Dr. Stephen F. Pernal

Image Stephen Pernal
Research Scientist

National Lead, Apiculture Research Program

Officer-in-Charge, Beaverlodge Research Farm

Current research and/or projects

  • BeeCSI: ‘Omic Tools for Assessing Bee Health (Genome Canada LSARP)
  • American Foulbrood Disease Surveillance and Management
  • IPM of Varroa Mites Using Novel Compounds
  • Emerging Threats to Pollinators
  • Honey Bee Health and Blueberry Pollination
  • Plant Virus Surveillance Using Honey Bees
  • NGS of Bees and Pollen for Biosurveillance of Agricultural Pathogens and Invasive Species

Research and/or project statements

My lab’s current research addresses the following:

  •  Developing a real-time diagnostic tool for evaluating bee health.
  •  Improving the detection and management of American Foulbrood Disease to prevent outbreaks.
  •  Evaluating new compounds for the control of Varroa mites.
  •  Evaluating the impact of novel trypanosome parasites on honey bees.
  •  Examining the health of honey bees in pollination systems.
  •  Using honey bees as a surveillance tool for invasive plant and bee pathogens.

Professional activities / interests

  • Canadian Member of the Network for the Investigation and Prevention of Colony Losses (COLOSS)
  • National Honey Bee Health Round Table – Steering Committee Member
  • Alberta Beekeepers Technical Transfer Program - Steering Committee Member          
  • National Bee Diagnostic Centre - Advisory Board Member
  • Graduate Supervisor at University of Alberta and University of Manitoba

Education and awards

Education:

  • B.Sc. (Spec.) Zoology, Brandon University (1989)
  • M.Sc. Entomology, University of Manitoba (1992)
  • Ph.D. Apiculture, University of Manitoba (2001)

Awards:

  • James I. Hambleton Award for Outstanding Apicultural Research - Eastern Apicultural Society of North America (2022)
  • Achievement Award, Alberta Beekeepers’ Commission (2019)
  • North American Pollinator Protection Campaign – Honorary Host Committee (2019, 2018)
  • AAFC Gold Harvest Award - for Innovation, Collaboration and Service Excellence (2017)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal - for Excellence in Public and Community Service (2013)

International experience and/or work

  • Scientific Program Chair of the 46th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress and Canadian Representative to the International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations
  • USDA-AAFC Joint Priority Areas of Research Collaborations - Canadian National Lead on Pollinator Health

Key publications

  1. Pernal SF, Plettner E (2024) Field trials of a new acaricidal compound against Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies. (Interim Project Update - Year 3) Hivelights 37(1): 17-18.

    2024 - View publication details

  2. Claing G, Ellsworth S, Ferland J, Janser M, Kempers M, Kozak P, Maund C, Menzies C, Micholson D, Morfin N, Muirhead S, Nasr M, Pernal S, Sproule J, van Westendorp P, Wilson G (2023) CAPA statement on honey bee wintering losses in Canada (2023). Claing G, Ellsworth S, Ferland J, Janser M, Kempers M, Kozak P, Maund C, Menzies C, Micholson D, Morfin N, Muirhead S, Nasr M, Pernal S, Sproule J, van Westendorp P, Wilson G (2023) CAPA statement on honey bee wintering losses in Canada (2023). https://capabees.com/shared/CAPA-Statement-on-Colony-Losses-2022-2023_final.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  3. Claing G, Ferland, J, Kempers M, Kozak P, Micholson D, Maund C, Menzies C, Mesher C, Morfin N,
    Muirhead S, Nasr M, Pernal S, Sproule J, van Westendorp P, Wilson G (2023) CAPA preliminary report on honey bee wintering losses in Canada (2023). Hivelights 36(3): 15-16. https://capabees.com/shared/CAPA-preliminary-report-on-winter-losses-2023.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  4. Cunningham MM, Deckers T, Ho J, Wizenberg SB, Lansing L, Tran L, Zorz J, Pepinelli M, French S, Conflitti IM, Ortega Polo R, Hoover S, Currie R, Pernal SF, Giovenazzo P, Zayed A, Foster LJ, Jabbari H, Guarna MM (2023) Sub-lethal pesticide exposure in field trials may alter microbial composition of the honey bee gut microbiome. 48th International Apimondia Congress, p. 222, 4-8 Sep 2024, Santiago, Chile. (Poster) https://apimondia2023.com/docs/abstract-book.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  5. Guarna MM, Cunningham MM, Tran L, Ortega Polo R, Pernal SF, Griffiths JS, Murcia-Morales M, Fernández-Alba AR, Bilodeau GJ, Rott ME (2023) Bee-mediated monitoring of pesticides, pathogens, and emerging threats. 48th International Apimondia Congress, p. 49, 4-8 Sep 2024, Santiago, Chile.
    https://apimondia2023.com/docs/abstract-book.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  6. Pernal SF, Colwell MJ, Currie RW (2023) Intra-colony transmission of waxborne honey bee viruses following irradiation and storage. 48th International Apimondia Congress, p. 234, 4-8 Sep 2024, Santiago, Chile. https://apimondia2023.com/docs/abstract-book.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  7. Thygesen R, Foster L, Moravcova R, Pernal SF, Guarna MM, Hoover S, Currie R, Zayed A, Giovenazzo P, Pepinelli M, Conflitti IM (2023) The blueberries and the bees: assessing honey bee health stressors using proteomics. 48th International Apimondia Congress, p. 41, 4-8 Sep 2024, Santiago, Chile.
    https://apimondia2023.com/docs/abstract-book.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  8. Moravcova R, Moon K-M, Stacey GR, Rogalski JC, Yuan X, Pernal SF, Guarna MM, Hoover S, Conflitti IM, Zayed A, Currie R, Giovenazzo P, Pepinelli M, Foster LJ (2023) Proteomics screening for honey bee health. 48th International Apimondia Congress, p. 51, 4-8 Sep 2024, Santiago, Chile.
    https://apimondia2023.com/docs/abstract-book.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  9. Plettner E, Dawdani S, O’Neill M, Macias Sámano J, Feng X, Castillo C, Higo H, Ibrahim A, Pernal SF (2023) Discovery and field testing of a new acaricide against the mite Varroa destructor, an invasive parasite of honey bees. American Chemical Society Fall 2023, 13-17 August, San Francisco, CA. https://scimeetings.acs.org/exhibit/Discovery-field-testing-new-acaricide/3918658

    2023 - View publication details

  10. MacInnis CI, Luong LT, Pernal, SF (2023) Does Vairimorpha (Nosema) ceranae like it cold, or with Lotmaria passim? Society for Invertebrate Pathology 2023, International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control & 55th Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, pp. 39-40, 30 July – 3 Aug, 2023, College Park, MD. https://app.certain.com/accounts/register123/umd/events/sip-23/SIP2023-Full%20Program%20with%20Abstracts%20v4.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  11. Pernal SF, Plettner E (2023) Field trials of a new acaricidal compound against Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies. Year 2 Report. Hivelights 36(3): 9-17.

    2023 - View publication details

  12. Griffiths JS, Guarna MM, Pernal SF, Rott ME (2023) Metagenomics monitoring of plant viruses in Canadian agricultural fruit production systems through honey bee pollination. Tri-Society meeting of the Canadian Phytopathological Society, the Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA) and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, p. 52, 17 – 21 June 2023, Ottawa, ON. https://phytopath.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Tri-Society-Conference-program-book.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  13. Hewapathirana CM, Bilodeau GJ, Rott ME, Guarna MM, Pernal SF, Griffiths JS (2023) High throughput sequencing (HTS) of bees and pollen for bio-surveillance of agricultural and pathogens. Tri-Society meeting of the Canadian Phytopathological Society, the Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA) and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, p. 42, 17 – 21 June 2023, Ottawa, ON. https://phytopath.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Tri-Society-Conference-program-book.pdf

    2023 - View publication details

  14. Moravcova R, Moon K-M, Stacey GR, Rogalski JC, Yuan X, Pernal SF, Guarna MM, Hoover S, Conflitti IM, Zayed A, Currie R, Giovenazzo P, Pepinelli M, Foster LJ (2023) Proteomics and honey bee health. 71st ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, 4-8 June, 2023, Houston, TX. (Poster)

    2023 - View publication details

  15. Pernal SF, Plettner E (2023) Field trials of a new acaricidal compound against Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies. (Interim Project Update - Year 2) Hivelights 36(2): 27.

    2023 - View publication details

  16. Pernal SF, Plettner E (2023) Research Report. Field Trials of a New Acaricidal Compound Against Varroa destructor in Honey Bee Colonies. Proceedings of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, pp. 130-121, 19-20 Jan 2023, Halifax, NS. (Abstract)

    2023 - View publication details

  17. Pernal SF, Guarna MM (2023) Research Report. Emerging threats to pollinators. Proceedings of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, p. 126, 19-20 Jan 2023, Halifax, NS. (Abstract)

    2023 - View publication details

  18. MacInnis CI, Luong L, Pernal SF (2022) Two's a party, is three a crowd?: How honey bees respond to infection with Nosema ceranae and Lotmaria passim. 2022 Entomological Society of America, Entomological Society of Canada and Entomological Society of British Columbia Joint Annual Meeting, 13-16 Nov 2022, Vancouver, BC.

    2022 - View publication details

  19. Smith T, Hoover SE, Labuschagne R, Pernal SF, Rueppell O (2022) Beyond body size: Using honey bee queen behaviour to predict queen quality and colony success. 2022 Entomological Society of America, Entomological Society of Canada and Entomological Society of British Columbia Joint Annual Meeting, 13-16 Nov 2022, Vancouver, BC.

    2022 - View publication details

  20. Pernal SF, Lu R, Ibrahim A, Macias-Samano J, Plettner E Field trials of a new compound to control Varroa destructor, an ectoparasite of honey bees (Apis mellifera). 2022 Entomological Society of America, Entomological Society of Canada and Entomological Society of British Columbia Joint Annual Meeting, 13-16 Nov 2022, Vancouver, BC.

    2022 - View publication details

Research facility

6000 C and E Trail
Lacombe, AB T4L 1W1
Canada

Expertise

Affiliations

  • Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists - Member and Former President
  • Entomological Society of Canada
  • Entomological Society of America
  • American Association of Professional Apiculturists
  • Alberta Beekeepers Commission / Canadian Honey Council / Alberta Honey Producers Cooperative – Registered Member

Language

English