Fulbright scholar joins K-State Olathe campus to study honey, hosts upcoming lecture

Friday, Oct. 13, 2023 | Written by Beth Jones


Laura Stan, Ph.D.


OLATHE — Honey expert Laura Stan, Ph.D., is an associate professor in sensory analysis of foods from the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and is a visiting Fulbright scholar conducting research on honey at Kansas State University Olathe until the end of November 2023.

Whether you’re an experienced honey enthusiast or would simply like to learn more about what makes honey so unique, be sure to join us at K-State Olathe on Nov. 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a special lecture with Stan. Registration is required, and the lecture will be both streamed and open for in-person attendance.

Stan launched her journey in the world of bees by studying propolis, which is a resin-like material created by bees. Propolis is known for being extremely useful and versatile. In fact, it boasts many healing properties.

“You can use propolis tincture on a wound to speed the healing process,” Stan explained. “It’s also a very good anti-repellent. If you would like to go on a picnic, for example, and you don’t want to attract ants or mosquitoes, propolis is a great choice.”

Propolis also has another important use. If you are ever enjoying a warm summer day and experience a bee sting, applying propolis tincture should be one of your first steps.

“The propolis tincture has antivenom effect and helps reduce the pain from the venom,” Stan said. “It also keeps the other bees from coming and stinging you in the same place.”

Bees are hard workers, which means that propolis is not the only thing they are busy working on. Stan has now shifted her focus to studying a bee product you have in your kitchen cupboards: honey.

As a honey scholar, Stan conducts experiments on diverse types of honey and studies the honey-buying habits of consumers.

Stan, who was looking for an “infusion of inspiration,” chose the Olathe campus to conduct research because she wanted to work at a place where sensory research, students and corporate partnerships all intersected. K-State Olathe integrates these three elements to provide a place where opportunities for learning and collaboration are everywhere, according to Stan.

One of Stan’s biggest surprises has been just how many different varieties and flavors of honey there are available, and she has an important goal with her research. “I would really love to see more interest in honey,” she explained, “especially from consumers.” In the United States, the average consumer eats about 0.6 pounds of honey each year according to data published by Statistica.

To learn more about honey and bees, register to attend Stan’s Nov. 6 lunchtime lecture, which is hosted by K-State Olathe. The presentation is titled “From Bees to Bliss: Navigating Sensory Analysis in Consumer Honey.” Attendees may join virtually or in-person at the Olathe Campus. The event includes a 40-minute presentation on honey followed by a 20-minute Q and A. In-person attendees will receive lunch and the opportunity to participate in a honey tasting.

The event is free to attend, but registrations are required by Nov. 1.