Washington State Magazine

Fall 2007


Fall 2007

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In This Issue...

Features

It Happened at the World's Fair :: Shortly after Jay Rockey '50 arrived in Seattle to handle the public relations for the 1962 World's Fair, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an editorial claiming it could not see how the fair could possibly make it. &"Do you really know what you're doing?" Rockey's wife asked him. Turns out he did. by Tim Steury
{ WEB EXCLUSIVEGallery: Impressions - A gallery of souvenir lithographs commemorating the United States Science Exhibit at the Seattle World's Fair, 1962.}
{ WEB EXCLUSIVEStory: Van Allen belts and other impressions - A meditation on the convergence of science and art, written in 1962 by United States Commissioner Athelstan Spilhaus, for the Seattle World's Fair. }

The Rockey Style :: In spite of nearly universal name recognition and a client list that runs through the Pacific Northwest alphabet, Rockey himself rarely shows up in the press. In this age of Google, it's unnerving to go looking for someone who you know permeates a civic and business culture, and he just isn't there. by Tim Steury

Contagion! Emerging diseases: Unraveling the mystery :: What makes some strains of pathogenic microbes nastier than others? Why do they emerge when and where they do? Are we more susceptible now than in the past, and if so, why? At least partial answers to these troubling questions may lie with snails and salamanders. by Cherie Winner

Food fights :: Four children died in the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. Attorney Bill Marler's client survived, but only after spending six months in the hospital. Marler sued and won a $15.6 million settlement for Brianne Kiner. Even more significant, the work he produced for the case made him an expert not only on E. coli, but on the whole food production system. by Hannelore Sudermann. Photography by Bruce Andre and Robert Hubner

Panoramas

{ WEB EXCLUSIVEVideo: A buzz about bees - In a set of video clips produced exclusively for Washington State Magazine Online, WSU's Steve Sheppard talks about the breeding of honey bees and his work on finding out why honey bee colonies across the country have been disappearing. }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVEStory: Frontline: Pullman - For senior communication major Kate Yeager, playing host to Frontline executive producer David Fanning was the high point of her student career. by Annette Ticknor '07 }

Tracking the Cougars

{ WEB EXCLUSIVEStory: Washington State Magazine wins top honors: Five stories, four issues, and a gold medal from CASE. }

COVER: Jay Rockey '50 poses in front of his Seattle World's Fair press book. Photoillustration by Bruce Andre and John Paxson.

Fall 2007
Web Exclusives

Video: A Buzz about Bees

by Cherie Winner | © Washington State University

Walter (Steve) Sheppard is one busy man, flying his own plane around the Pacific Northwest to meet with beekeepers and deliver queen-breeding stock produced in his honey bee breeding program to beekeeper collaborators. He also travels to countries such as Kazakhstan to study populations of honey bees from wild apple forests that have the potential to be added to Washington State University breeding stock. Over the years, he and his students have bred bees to resist parasites and diseases, produce more honey, and survive harsh winters better than their ancestors. He's even bred friendlier bees that are easier for beekeepers to work with.

Among the problems Sheppard is working on now is colony collapse disorder, in which honey bees leave their hives and simply don't return. There are reports that the disorder has devastated commercial bee operations in many parts of the country, although it is still a rare occurrence in the Pacific Northwest.

Honey bee health is crucial to the nation's farmers and fruit growers, who rely on bees to pollinate crops such as apples, cranberries, and watermelons. Together, honey-bee-pollinated crops are worth more than $9 billion a year to the American economy.

Earlier this year we caught up with Prof. Sheppard while he and his crew were bringing honey bees out of their winter hives and distributing them into small mating hives where the new queens will be produced over the summer. Sheppard talked with us about honey bee health, his breeding program, and the research he's doing to try to pinpoint the cause of colony collapse disorder.

Sheppard directs the Apis Molecular Systematics Laboratory at WSU. He was a member of the Honey Bee Genome Project, an international consortium of scientists that earlier this year published the complete DNA sequence of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

In this video produced by Adam Ratliff and Cherie Winner for Washington State Magazine Online, Steve Sheppard talks about honey bee health and colony collapse disorder.

Categories: Biological sciences, Entomology | Tags: Video, Bees, Colony collapse disorder