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Beekeeper continues tradition of donations

Eric Olson has been donating bees and resources to WSU’s honey bee research program since 1996. He continued that tradition this weekend at halftime of WSU’s game against the University of Arizona, when he presented CAHNRS Dean André-Denis Wright a check to help support the bee program.

Wright shakes hands with Olson in a room with a TV and WSU flag in the background.
Dean Wright shakes hands with retired beekeeper Eric Olson.

Joining Wright in accepting the check were Provost Dan Bernardo, entomology department chair Laura Lavine, and WSU Foundation CEO Lisa Calvert.

Olson’s support for the bee program started with a donation of 100 beehives upon the arrival of Dr. Steve Sheppard, who leads the program.

“I wanted to entice Steve to get into applied research,” Olson said in this story from 2015. “We needed help right away, so I thought I would do everything I could.”

Through the generous support of donors like Olson, Sheppard and his team continue to conduct groundbreaking research in the fight to save bees. Their research includes fighting colony collapse disorder in honey bees, and a breeding program to help bees fight off disease.