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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Happy ending of a long-term project

A very long-term project comes finally to a happy ending in the form of a publication. It started with a trip to Borneo with Niko Koeniger, sparking my interest in the Asian honey bees. The genomes of Apis dorsata and Apis florea followed, and now we have them finally analyzed for signatures of selection that might give us some hypotheses about the evolutionary differentiation among the three principal honey bee clades and adaptations that might have occurred during the common evolution of honey bees. I am so glad and want to thank everyone who was involved, including Robert Page who introduced me to Niko!

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Congratulations to Anissa and Jake!

I am very happy that the study of former MSc student Anissa and current PhD student Jake has appeared in the Phil Trans R. Soc. special issue on Aging in Social Insects: Even though the title doesnt indicate it clearly, the study has some great results with repercussions for understanding the longevity of reproductives in social insects: Reproductive activation in honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers protects against abiotic and biotic stress

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Varroa Citizen Science Initiative – COLOSS initiative to globally compare Varroa impact

The Varroa task-force of the COLOSS network has launched the second phase of the Varroa Citizen Science Initiative to globally monitor for Varroa and compare its impact across the globe. I will act as the country coordinator for Canada and am looking for volunteers to represent Canada from March 2021-March 2023. Please find more information in this document: VarroaCSI_COLOSS. If you are interested and eligible, please email me directly for registration!

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Published: American Honey Bees Vary in Susceptibility to Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus

With funding of the Healthy Hives 2020 initiative, we set out to characterize variation in virus susceptibility, as a basis for selective breeding. And we found there is potential within and among breeding operations! We also found a surprisingly heavy viral load in queens, which should caution all of us that queens might not get sick but can be an efficient long-range transmission pathway for viruses. Congratulations Shilpi and all co-authors!

 

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