This chapter covers the detection and identification of honeybee gut microbes. These microbes work together to facilitate the digestion of pollen and nectar. It is important to follow the detection and relative concentration of these microbes as a measure to honeybee health. So far 35 strains have been detected and their unique peptide averages determined. The major groups by genus include Bartonella apis, Bifidobacterium, Frischella, Gilliamella, Lactobacillus, Serratia and Snodgrassella.
Microbes were detected and identified using mass spectrometry proteomics and the ABOid software which utilize unique peptides and associated genetic sequences to determine identification. Results include the determination of a national average and averages for five regions.
The national average for bee gut microbes illustrates three things: first, the average of unique peptides range between 10 and 20 for most microbes; second, Serratia marcescens ranges between 20 and 40; and third, Lactobacillus johnsonii is very low.
Five regional averages were determined and show that Florida and California track below the national average, Idaho is about the same as the national average and Iowa and Montana are above the national average for unique peptides.