Staff Spotlight – Wissarut Sukhaket

Wissarut Sukhaket, our newest PhD candidate at the HBRC, has been working hard all summer to learn more about honey bee diets and health.  

Wissarut has held a lifelong fascination with animals and the interactions between pollinators and plants. After completing his undergraduate degree in entomolgy at Kasetsart University in 2007, he began researching the Day Flying Moth in Northern Thailand. He went on to pursue a master’s degree at Kasetsart. With project funding from the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Wissarut was able to study the interactions between the Brown Planthopper and the Rice plant.  

How did you get involved in the HBRC/what interested you in doing a PhD at the HBRC? 

I had a project about stingless bees in Thailand, but I couldn’t further my research project without deepening my knowledge of wild pollinators. I chose to study in Canada because I am a pro photographer and I enjoy taking photos of nature, so the environment in Canada was a dream location for me. When I researched honeybees in Canada online, the first paper that showed up was from the HBRC. This led me to the HBRC website, and I was very interested in all that goes on and knew that this was my place.  

What’s your favourite memory of working at the HBRC? 

My favourite memory was one of my first here at the HBRC was with Colleen (one of our staff members from 2021). She knew I was very nervous to work with the bees because I always wore gloves. She pushed me to take my gloves off, and I remember her saying very seriously, “Come on Aon, take it off!” and she really meant it. She was very convincing, so I did take them off and I got stung but I got over my fear.  

Another favourite memory is riding the boat to Thorah Island, where we keep our Buckfast breed of honeybees, and then cutting grass and poison ivy on the island.  

What are your future plans, do you want to continue working in apiculture research or branch out to another field? 

I definitely want to continue my research with bees. Once I am done with my PhD, I will go back to Thailand and apply what I have learned to my research with stingless bees and honeybees.  

Thank you Wissarut for all the work that you do here at the HBRC!!