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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVE NUTRITION FOR HONEY BEE COLONIES TO STIMULATE POPULATION GROWTH, INCREASE QUEEN QUALITY, AND REDUCE THE IMPACT OF VARROA MITES Title: The Importance of Microbes in Nutrition and Health of Honey Bee Colonies Part-3: Where Do We Go From Here?

Authors
item Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria
item Vreeland, Russell -
item Sammataro, Diana
item Alarcon Jr, Ruben

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2009
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
Citation: Hoffman, G.D., Vreeland, R., Sammataro, D., Alarcon Jr, R.N. 2009. The Importance of Microbes in Nutrition and Health of Honey Bee Colonies Part-3: Where Do We Go From Here?. American Bee Journal 149:755-757.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript is the third part of a three part series on the importance of microbes in nutrition and health of honey bee colonies. In the first two parts of the series, we discussed the role of microbes in honey bee colony food processing and digestion and their possible contribution in the reduction of pathogens. There also was a discussion of factors such as antibiotics and pesticides that could compromise the growth and diversity of a colony's microbial community and possibly impact the colony's health. There is little known abut the beneficial microbes in honey bees and bee bread, and what is known is largely from studies conducted several decades ago. In the third part of this series, we present descriptions of studies that are needed such as metagenomic and functional metagenomic analyses of bee bread to expand our understanding of the contributions of microbes to food processing and utilization in honey bee colonies.

Technical Abstract: Microbial communities in honey bee colonies are essential for food processing and digestion. Symbiotic microbes also might contribute to the reduction of pathogens in the hive by synthesizing antimicrobial compounds. Environmental contaminants such as pesticides, fungicides and antibiotics could compromise the growth and diversity of a colony's microbial community and possibly impact the colony's health. There is little known about the beneficial microbes in honey bees and bee bread, and what is known is largely from studies conducted several decades ago. In the third part of this series, we present descriptions of studies that are needed such as metagenomic and functional metagenomic analyses of bee bread to expand our understanding of the contributions of microbes to food processing and utilization in honey bee colonies.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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