Seeing bees? High-rise campus hives could shed light on colony collapse

If you spot a honeybee in the Allen Centennial Gardens and are wondering where it came from, look up. There’s a good chance it lives on the top floor of the Microbial Sciences Building. Six floors up in bacteriologist Cameron Currie’s lab, doctoral student Kirk Grubbs maintains a hive right next to his lab bench. Bees come and go through a tube that passes through the building’s brick wall. Grubbs’s research focuses on understanding the microbial communities associated with honeybee hives. He thinks that changes in these communities could serve as indicators of stress in the hive. It’s also possible that the microbes could generate antibiotics that could help cure sick hives. To learn more about Grubbs’s research, see this article and this video by CALS writer Nicole Miller.