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Barbara Locke Grandér

Barbara Locke Grandér
My research focuses on understanding host-parasite adaptations and interactions between honey bees, Varroa mites and the lethal bee viruses vectored by the mite. I further examine anthropogenic effects (including the use of insecticides to mitigate mite damage as well as common apicultural practices) on species interactions and disease transmission within this system including impacts at both the individual and colony level. Currently my main working interest is in understanding naturally adapted mite resistance in honey bee populations from an evolutionary, ecological and applied perspective.


Bees, Apiculture and Pollination (7.5 ECTS)

Undergraduate course

This course examines the taxonomy, biology and ecological role of the most important insect pollinators; bumble bees, solitary bees and honey bees. Practical work and excursions focus on understanding the variations in biology and life strategies of different bee species and how human activities may improve or impair survival of pollinating insects. Emphasis is put on the domesticated honey bee because of their importance both as honey producers and as pollinators of cultivated crops. Beekeeping is described in some detail with practical demonstrations of management, queen rearing and honey extraction.

Find out more about the course and how to apply here

Wild bees: pollination ecology, biology and identification (5 ECTS)

PhD level course

This course examines the evolution, biology and ecology of wild bees, as well as their importance as pollinators for both wild plants and economically important crops. The course also has a strong focus on field collection and species determination.


Doctoral supervision

Main supervisor for Xinyan Ruan 2023 - present. Social and molecular immunity in honeybees. 

Main supervisor for Nicholas Scaramella 2021 - present. Phenotypic and genetic factors of the honeybee host influencing the reproductive success of the parasitic Varroa destructor mite.

Co-supervisor for Srinivas Thaduri, 2014 - 2019. Thesis title: Microbial factors in the survival of a Swedish Varroa-resistant honeybee population.

Post-doctoral supervision

Dr. Naomi Keehnen, 2021 - present. Population genomics of mite-resistant honeybees.

Dr. Melissa Oddie, 2018 - 2020. Recapping behaviour in naturally adapted mite-resistant honeybee colonies.

Selected publications

Scientific publications

31. Hasegawa N., Techer M.A., Adjlane N., al-Hissnawi M.S., Antúnez K., Beaurepaire A., Christmon K., Delatte K., Dukku U.H., Eliash N., El-Niweiri M.A.A., Esnault O., Evans J.D., Haddad N.J., Locke B., Muñoz I., Noël G., Panziera D., Roberts J.M.K., De la Rúa P.,  Shebl M.A., Stanimirovic Z., Rasmussen D.A., Mikheyev A.S. (2023) Evolutionarily diverse origins of deformed wing viruses in western honey bees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120 (26): e2301258120

30. Scaramella N., Burke A., Oddie M., Dahle B., de Miranda J., Mondet F., Rosenkranz P., Neumann P., Locke B. (2023) Host brood traits, independent of adult behaviours, reduce Varroa destructormite reproduction in resistant honeybee populations. International Journal for Parasitology 53 (10), 565-571

29. Svobodová K., Maitre A., Obregón D., Wu-Chuang A., Thaduri S., Locke B., et al. (2023) Gut microbiota assembly of Gotland varroa-surviving honey bees excludes major viral pathogens. Microbiological Research 274, 127418 

28. Bouuaert D.C., De Smet L., Brunain M., Dahle B., Blacquire T., Dalmon A., Dexmirean D., Elen D., Filipi J., Giurgiu A., Gregorc A., Kefuss J., Locke B., et al. (2022) Virus prevalence in egg samples collected from naturally selected and traditionally managed honey bee colonies across Europe. Viruses 14, 2442. 

27. Thaduri S., Marupakula S., Terenius O., Onorati P., Tellgren-Roth C., Locke B. & de Miranda J.R. (2021) Global similarity, and some key differences, in the metagenomes of Swedish varroa-surviving and varroa-susceptible honeybees. Scientific Reports 11: 23214

26. Locke B., Thaduri S., Stephan J., Low M., Blacquière T., Dahle B., Le Conte Y., Neumann P. & de Miranda J.R. (2021) Adapted tolerance to virus infections in four geographically distinct Varroa destructor-resistant honeybee populations. Scientific Reports 11: 12359

25. Moro A., Beaurepaire A., Dall'Olio R., Rogenstein S., Blacquière T., Dahle B., de Miranda J.R., Dietemann V., Locke B., Licon Luna R.M., Le Conte Y. & Neumann P. (2021) Using Citizen Science to Scout Honey Bee Colonies That Naturally Survive Varroa destructor Infestations. Insects 12(6): 536

24. Oddie M.A.Y., Burke A, Dahle B., Le Conte Y., Mondet F., Locke B. (2021) Reproductive success of the parasitic mite (Varroa destructor) is lower in honeybee colonies that target infested cells with recapping. Scientific Reports 11:9133

23. Moro A., Blacquière T., Dahle B., Dietemann V., Le Conte Y., Locke B., Neumann P., Beaurepaire A. (2020) Adaptive population structure shifts in invasive parasitic mites, Varroa destructor. Ecology and Evolution 2021; 00:1-13

22. Mondet F., Beaurepaire A., McAfee A., Locke B., Alaux C., Blanchard S., Danka B., Le Conte Y. (2020) Honey bee survival mechanisms against the parasite Varroa destructor: a systematic review of phenotypic and genomic research efforts. International Journal for Parasitology 50: 433-447

21. Beaurepaire A.L., Moro A., Mondet F., Le Conte Y., Neumann P., Locke B. (2019) Population genetics of ectoparasitic mites suggest arms race with honeybee hosts. Scientific Reports 9: 11355

20. Thaduri S., Stephan J.G., de Miranda J.R., Locke B. (2019) Disentangling host-parasite-pathogen interactions in a varroa-resistant honeybee population reveals virus tolerance as an independent, naturally adapted survival mechanism. Scientific Reports 9: 6221

19. Locke B., Low M., Forsgren E. (2019) An integrated management strategy to prevent outbreaks and eliminate infection pressure of American foulbrood disease in a commercial beekeeping operation. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 16: 48-52

18. Osteman J., Wintermantel D., Locke B., Jonsson O., Semberg E., Onorati P., Forsgren E., Rosenkranz P., Rahbek-Pedersen T., Bommarco R., Smith H.G., Rundlöf M., de Miranda J.R. (2019) Clothianidin seed-treatment has no detectable negative impact on honeybee colonies and their pathogens. Nature Communications 10: 692

17. Wintermantel D., Locke B., Andersson G.K.S., Semberg E., Forsgren E., Osterman J., Rahbek-Pedersen T., Bommarco R., Smith H.G., Rundlöf M., de Miranda J.R. (2018) Field-level clothianidin exposure affects bumblebees but generally not their pathogens. Nature Communications 9: 5446

16. Thaduri S., Locke B., Granberg F., de Mirnada J.R. (2018) Temporal changes in the viromes of Swedish Varroa-resistant and Varroa-susceptible honeybee populations. PLoS One 13 (12): e0206938

15. Oddie M., Büchler R., Dahle B., Kovacic M., Le Conte Y., Locke B., de Miranda J.R., Mondet F., Neumann P. (2018) Rapid parallel evolution overcomes global honey bee parasite. Scientific Reports 8: 7704

14. Conlon B., Frey E., Rosenkranz P., Locke B., Moritz R.F.A., Routtu J. (2018) The role of epistatic interactions underpinning resistance to parasitic Varroa mites in haploid honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 31(6): 801-809

13. Forsgren E., Locke B., Sircoulomb F., Schäfer M.O. (2018) Bacterial diseases in Honeybees. Current Clinical Microbiology Reports  5(1): 18-25

12. Locke B., Semberg E., Forsgren E., de Miranda JR. (2017) Persistence of subclinical deformed wing virus infections in honeybees following Varroa mite removal and a bee population turnover. PLoS One 12(7): e0180910

11. Forsgren E., Locke B., Semberg E., Laugen A.T., de Miranda J.R. (2017) Sample preservation, transport and processing strategies for honeybee RNA extraction: Influence on RNA yield, quality, target quantification and data normalization. Journal of Virological Methods 246: 81-89

10. Locke B. (2016) Natural Varroa mite-surviving Apis mellifera honeybee populations. Apidologie 47(3): 467-482

9. Locke B. (2016) Inheritance of reduced Varroa mite reproductive success in reciprocal crosses of mite-resistant and mite-susceptible honey bees (Apis mellifera). Apidologie 47(4): 583-588

8. Locke B., Forsgren E., de Miranda J.R. (2014) Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possilbe factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera). PLoS One 9(6). e99998

7. Dietemann V., Nazzi F., Martin S.J., Anderson D.L., Locke B., Delaplane K.S., Wauquiez Q., Tannahill C., Frey E., Ziegelmann B., Rosenkranz P., Ellis J.D. (2013) Standard methods for Varroa research. Journal of Apicultural Research 52(1): 1-54

6. Locke B., Le Conte Y., Crauser D., Fries I. (2012) Host adaptations reduce Varroa destructor reproductive success in two distinct honey bee populations in Europe. Ecology and Evolution 2(6): 1144-1150

5. Locke B., Forsgren E., Fries I., de Miranda J.R. (2012) Acaricide treatment affects viral dynamics in Varroa destructor-infested honey bee colonies via both host physiology and mite control. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78(1): 227-235

4. Behrens D., Huang Q., Gebner C., Rosenkranz P., Frey E., Locke B., Moritz R.F.A., Kraus F.B. (2011) Three QTL in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. supress reproduction of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. Ecology and Evolution 1(4): 451-458

3. Locke B., Fries I. (2011) Characteristics of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera) in Sweden surviving Varroa destructor mite infestation. Apidologie 42(4): 533 542

2. de Miranda J.R., Dainat B., Locke B., Cordoni G., Berthoud H., Gauthier L., Neumann P., Budge G., Ball B.V., Stolz D.B. (2010) Genetic characterization of slow bee paralysis virus of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). Journal of General Virology 91, 2524-2530

1. Otis, G.W., Locke B., Mckenzie N.G., Cheung D., Macleod E., Careless P., Kwoon A. (2006) Local enhancement in mud-puddling swallowtail butterflies (Battus philenor and Papilio glaucus). Journal of Insect Behavior 19(6): 685-698

Book chapter

Dietemann V., Nazzi F., Martin S.J., Anderson D.L., Locke B., Delaplane K.S., Wauquiez Q., Tannahill C., Frey E., Ziegelmann B., Rosenkranz P., Ellis J.D. (2013) Standard methods for Varroa research in The COLOSS BEEBOOK Volume II: Standart methods for Apis mellifera pest and pathogen research (eds. Dietemann V., Ellis J.D. & Neumann P.), International Bee Research Association; Cardiff, UK. 356 pp ISBN 978-0-86098-275-3

Popular science publications

13. Dall’Olio R., Mondet F., Beaurepaire A., Gabel M., Locke B., Moro A., Panziera D., Neumann P. (2022) COLOSS survivors task force: Global efforts to improve honey bee colony survival. Bee world 99 (1): 17-19.

12. Locke B., Kristiansen P., Forsgren E. (2018) Hur försvarar sig bin mot angrepp av varroakvalster? Gadden 1 (jan): 20-23.

11. Locke B., Kristiansen P., Forsgren E. Dahle B. (2017) Hvordan forsvarer biene seg mot Varroamidd? Birøkteren 12 (dec): 348-351. 

10. Locke B., Kristiansen P., Forsgren E. (2017) Hur försvarar sig bin mot angrepp av varroakvalster? Bitidningen (oct): 18-21.

9. Locke B. (2017) Europeiskt forskningsprojekt för varroakvalsterresistenta honungsbin. Bitidningen 5 (mars): 10.

8. Locke B., de Miranda J., Kristiansen P., Forsgren E. (2016) Effekter på virusnivåer efter varroabekämping; en sammanställning av tre studier med stöd från nationella honungsprogrammet. Bitidningen 115 (mars): 20-23.

7. Forsgren E., Fries I., deMiranda J., Locke B., Semberg E. (2016) SLU’s verksamhet med bin. Bitidningen (1): 11-15.

6. Fries I., Forsgren E., de Miranda J.R., Locke B. (2014) Verksamhet med bin vid SLU 2013. Bitidningen 113 (juli/aug): 16-19.

5. Locke B., Fries I. (2013) Bondprojektet, Bitidningen 111 (mars): 8-11.

4. Locke B., Forsgren E., Fries I., de Miranda J.R. (2012) Direkta och indirekta effecter av behandling med Apistan - konskvenserna av kvalsterbehandling, Bitidningen 110 (mars): 14-15.

3. Fries I., Forsgren E., de Miranda J.R., Locke B. (2012) Verksamhet med bin vid SLU 2011, Bitidningen 111 (sept):12-16.

2. Fries I., Forsgren E., de Miranda J.R., Locke B. (2011) Verksamhet med bin 2010 vid SLU, Bitidningen 109 (sept): 10-14.

1. de Miranda J.R., Forsgren E., Fries I., Locke B. (2011) Kommentar angående CCD, Bitidningen 109 (mars): 28.



Researcher at the Department of Ecology; NJ, Agricultural Entomology Unit
Telephone: +4618672564
Postal address:
Inst för Ekologi, Box 7044
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Ulls väg 16, Uppsala