A Comprehensive, Applied Genomics Approach to Understand Honeybee Ecology
After a decline in population caused by the Colony Collapse Disorder from 2006-2011, the number of honeybees has stabilized thanks to better beekeeping practices and the use of less toxic pesticides. Despite its economic and environmental importance, the biology and ecology of the honeybee have been elusive for many years. The publication of its genome in 2007 by a dedicated international consortium has opened a new era in honeybee biology studies.
Comprehensive applied genomics efforts to understand all aspects of honeybee ecology, including the identification and characterization of bee parasites and microbial communities, are currently underway to prevent and treat future threats to what is the only widely domesticated insect.
Bees play a vital role as key pollinators in our ecosystem. From pollinating trees, flowers, and a variety of other plants, bees essentially create the food and shelter that living organisms of all sizes need. The contributions to the diverse, intertwined ecosystems allow for variety of species to live harmoniously.
Pollination & Agriculture
As it pertains to human agriculture, bees pollinate millions of crops that we consume. 33% of every bite of food we take was pollinated by bees. Without bees our agricultural endeavors would perish.
In 1999, Thomas Hales, mathematically proved that hexagons held more honey than other shapes. He writes, “The honeycomb conjecture states that a regular hexagonal grid or honeycomb is the best way to divide a surface into regions of equal area with the least total perimeter.” The hexagon has inspired the imagination of humans and the uses can be seen from buildings and transportation, to chemical engineering and biomedicine.
Simplifying the identification and characterization of microbial communities
PerkinElmer’s NEXTFLEX® 16S Amplicon-Seq kits simplify the identification and characterization of microbial communities on the Illumina® MiSeq® sequencing platform, enabling analysis of the entire microbial community within a sample. With the ability to multiplex hundreds of samples in a sequencing run, the NEXTFLEX® 16S Amplicon-Seq kits offer sensitive and cost-effective NGS sequencing to identify bacterial populations and are automated on the Sciclone® G3 NGS workstation.