The Microbial Genomics and Symbiosis Lab research group of Intituto Gulbenkian de Ciência is using social bees as a model system to study the ecology, evolution and function of microorganisms. Social bees, including honey and bumble bees, possess a unique gut microbiota that is still poorly understood. The aim of the current research is to understand the function and natural history of these microbes. Understanding their relationship with their symbiotic gut microbes will help uncover ways to improve the health and aid conservation of these important insects.
It is a joy to see the use of our environmental chambers in the research for better understanding of these insects. As prolific pollinators, bees are critical for sustaining natural ecosystems and human agriculture.
We are looking forward to sharing news about this research soon!