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.
The variation in maternal provisioning in honey bees continues to amaze me and in our newest eLife publication, we report on some of the causation of this reproductive plasticity.
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.
On behalf of our undergraduate students Dawit and Tianna, we would like to express our great appreciation of the support by the Alberta Beekeepers Commission. Both, Dawit and Tianna, received ABC bursaries to further their studies of honey bees!
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…
Congratulations to Prashant for graduating with his PhD! We all wish him the best for a bright path into the future!
Kaira termed this the UBO (Unhealthy Brood Odor) assay and it performs quite well in predicting the Varroa mite levels, hygienic removal of mites from brood cells under field conditions, and colony winter survival. Take a look at the paper in the Journal of Insect Science.
Congratulations to Prashant for publishing the first chapter of his PhD thesis in BMC Genomics, demonstrating that stingless bees also have a high genomic recombination rate. A significant knowledge gap has been filled:
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:
Interestingly, the environment (urban vs. rural) did have an effect on the gut microbiome!
Congratulations to Tianna for finishing her research internship with an excellent presentation at the closing symposium today! I am looking forward to her continued contributions to our group as more exciting research is ahead of us.