Back to the beginnings

My personal beginnings of honey bee research were devoted to understanding the transitioning of honey bee workers from in-hive tasks to outside foraging. With our collaborators from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, we have just published another analysis of this phenomenon at the proteome level. Using a novel antibody array as a proteomic tool that should be useful more generally, we report that Major Royal Jelly Proteins are involved, adding to the complex regulation of this life history transition and adding to the complex pleiotropy of MRJPs.

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The many benefits of hygienic selection

Our new collaborative work with the group of Victoria Soroker of the Agricultural Research Organization in Israel is showing that selection for hygienic behavior in honey bees has multiple benefits. Not only is social immunity enhanced, but this also translates into lower Varroa mite loads and better individual immunity.

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In my first large in-person conference since the COVID pandemic, our lab was well represented, co-organizing a symposium, and contributing 3 talks and 1 poster presentation! Lots of social insect discussion and fun in San Diego as well…

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New publication

I am happy to report that our analysis of the microbiome of high royal jelly bees in collaboration with the Raymann lab at UNCG and guest researcher Han Bin from the Institute of Apicultural Research of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences has been published with graduate student Megan Damico as lead author:

High royal jelly production does not impact the gut microbiome of honey bees

Interestingly, the environment (urban vs. rural) did have an effect on the gut microbiome!

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