The plight of the honeybee is real. The statistics are grim. Dr. Jamie Ellis takes a deeper look at what’s killing bees and what we can do about it.
At Apimondia this year, 40% of honey entries for the honey competition were disqualified for adulteration and contamination. What does this say about the health of the world’s managed pollinators? What does this mean for the future of honey? Is “clean” honey possible anymore?
“Bees are actually omnivores, and their meat is microbes. This finding may open a new window on why bees are in trouble: Anything that disrupts the microbial community in a bee’s food, whether it is high heat linked to climate change, fungicides or another stressor, could be causing developing bees to starve.”
Dr Murali Nayudu is an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Faculty of Science & Technology at the University of Canberra in Australia. He has spent more than a decade investigating the microbiome of honey bees. Since October 2018, Dr Nayudu has collected monthly gut bacteria samples from honey bee colonies in order to understand what the normal diversity and concentration of gut bacteria should be. He plans on using this information to help identify and treat diseased hives.