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Bees from the inside out

bumblebee colony in a nest

Members of a Bombus impatiens (bumblebee) colony within the nest. These insects share specialized gut bacteria, which are transmitted among colony members.

Credit: Kim Hammond, University of Texas at Austin


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Waldan Kwong (doctoral student) and Amanda Mancenido (undergraduate student)

Waldan Kwong (doctoral student) and Amanda Mancenido (undergraduate student) are working on the genomics and diversity of bacteria living in guts of honeybees and bumblebees.

Credit: Kim Hammond, University of Texas at Austin


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team of researchers with bee boxes on roof of texas building

The team investigating the bee microbiome at University of Texas (UT) at Austin. From left to right: Waldan Kwong, Eli Powell, Hauke Koch, Amanda Mancenido, Kim Hammond, Nancy Moran and Daren Eiri. The location is the rooftop of the Patterson Laboratories Building where bee colonies are kept, with the UT Tower in the background.

Credit: Margaret Steele, University of Texas at Austin


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pupae of honey bee

Pupae of Apis mellifera (honey bee) removed from a colony frame. These pupae will soon emerge as adult workers and will initially be free of gut microbiota. In the hive, they would be colonized by specialized bacteria within their first few days of adult life, and in the lab they can be colonized by selected strains of these bacteria.

Credit: Kim Hammond, University of Texas at Austin


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