Contact: Sofiya Cabalquinto
Caption: Led by honey bee ecologist Dr. Heather Mattila, a new Wellesley College study sheds light on the link between genetic diversity and healthier bee colonies -- by revealing the makeup of microscopic life inside the beesí guts, food, and on their bodies. For the first time, scientists discovered that genetically diverse worker bee populations, which result from the promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from more diverse symbiotic microbial communities, reduced bacteria loads from pathogenic groups, and more bacteria related to helpful probiotic species.
Credit: Richard Howard
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Related news release: Why do promiscuous queens produce healthier honey bee colonies? Study reveals surprising clues