Supervisor: Greg Hurst
I work with Greg Hurst looking at a symbiotic bacteria, known as Arsenophonus, and its potential role in honey bee health. The genus Arsenophonus is known to be associated with a wide variety of insect hosts and symbioses, with the majority of work previously concentrated on the model wasp species Nasonia vitripennis. However bees have a very different lifestyle, with a complex colony structure and ‘superorganism’ status, consequently little can be inferred from these previous studies. We hope to characterise the relationship between Arsenophonus spp. and honey bees, and elucidate the role of Arsenophonus spp. in honey bee health
This work is in partnership with the National Bee Unit at FERA, and we hope to use the research to devise a plan for improved bee husbandry, and explore if the Arsenophonus status of a colony can constitute a soft marker for colony health predictions.
Budge, G.E., Adams, I., Thwaites, R., Pietravalle, S., Drew, G.C., Hurst, G.D.D., Tomkies, V., Boonham, N., Brown, M., 2016. Identifying bacterial predictors of honey bee health. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 141, 41–44. doi:10.1016/j.jip.2016.11.003