Elina L. Niño

Elina L. Niño

Position Title
Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist

Entomology and Nematology


Niño, an assistant Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, specializes in apiculture. Niño completed her Ph.D. in entomology at The Pennsylvania State University before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2014.

Research interests:

Honey bee biology, health, and reproduction, pollination biology, insect ecology, evolution, genomics, chemical ecology and reproductive physiology.

Brief overview:

Honey bees are an important pollinator for many agricultural crops. For example, more than 1.5 million honey bee colonies are required to pollinate more than 850,000 acres of California almonds. However, honey bees (and other pollinators) are facing a global decline. In the United States alone, approximately 30 percent of the colonies are lost each winter due to the combined effect of various pests, pathogens, environmental toxins, and poor nutrition.

My research and extension goals are to provide stakeholders with practical tools that better equip them to confront these challenges. My primary research focus is to characterize biological factors that regulate honey bee queen reproduction. By better understanding these factors, we can improve the honey bee breeding protocols necessary for creating and maintaining resilient honey bee stock. 

Current projects:

  • Characterization of factors regulating honey bee queen post-mating changes
  • Molecular evolution of honey bee seminal proteins
  • Analysis of socioeconomic challenges of local bee breeding programs
  • Collaborative projects: genomics of honey bee–pathogen interactions