Living With Gut Microbes

Worker Honey Bee

Worker Honey Bee

All animals have microbes in the gut. Some animals have dozens of different bacteria, but others have only a few. The typical honey bee adult worker has in its gut about 1 billion bacteria but only 8 types. These bacteria are mostly unique to bees and not found in other animals. The largest numbers are in the hindgut. Few are found in the midgut and crop.

What function do they have? In most animals they can provide metabolic supplements and protection against pathogens. Bacteria can secrete substances with antimicrobial properties that exclude other potentially pathogenic bacteria. Many possible functions have not yet been elucidate for bees.

Nancy A Moran. Genomics of the honey bee microbiome. Current Opinion in Insect Science
Volume 10, August 2015, Pages 22–28.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cois.2015.04.003

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With Gut Microbes

  1. Pingback: Living With Gut Microbes – Entomo Planet

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