My academic path to graduate school was not as straight forward as most of my peers. In fact, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for some key people that believed in my potential and invested in my career. I was born in Northeast Brazil and lived in my hometown until I graduated from college. During my final year of undergrad, I applied for an agriculture internship in Minnesota, U.S.A, where I met my PhD advisor. Dr. Marla Spivak was the first person to believe in me as a honey bee scientist.
As a graduate student in the Spivak lab, I was always encouraged, and mentored, to seek for additional funding to support my research. This was meant to be a learning opportunity for us, as students, to build our grant proposal writing skills and, in my opinion, a very important skill to have.
My first proposal submitted to Project Apis m. was in 2013, after meeting Christi Heintz at the California Beekeepers Association meeting. I remember having a conversation with Christi, during which, I learned about all the amazing projects Project Apis m. supported. Listening to her talk about all the different projects was inspiring, as it was clear how proud she was of the hard work done by this foundation. When I received the official letter that my project was approved for funding, I was thrilled. The funding received from Project Apis m. was going to allow us to investigate viral load differences between colonies with and without a propolis envelope.
My relationship with Project Apis m. didn’t stop there. Every time I saw Christi at a beekeeping meeting, we talked about how Project Apis m. could support my research. I then realized that this foundation was fundamentally different than all others – they really cared about your research and understood the value of it. Project Apis m. stood out to me as a foundation that believed in my research, recognized its importance, and decided that it was worth their investment.
I moved to Canada in 2016, and a couple years later I learned that Project Apis m. was going to extend their funding opportunities to Canadian researchers and graduate students. In 2019 I reconnected with Project Apis m. at Apimondia in Montreal, where I had the opportunity to talk with Danielle Downey about my current position in Canada and learned how Project Apis m. could support my plans for promoting honey bee health in Alberta. In early 2021 I applied for funding to support the position of a permanent technician in the Alberta Tech Transfer Program, which would allow us to expand our main service to beekeepers, the colony health monitoring program, our teaching programs and to conduct applied research. The financial support we receive from Project Apis m. has been crucial to the growth and success of the Tech Transfer Program!
Project Apis m. is a foundation that works closely with beekeepers and researchers on the current issues of the beekeeping industry. Their financial contribution makes several honey bee research opportunities possible, and supports a new generation of honey bee research scientists. I am proud to have been part of the PAm family for several years and hopefully many more!