Honey bees have an amazing symbiosis with flowering plants; providing essential pollination services in exchange for nutrition in the form of pollen and nectar. As bees also make use of plant-derived compounds to defend themselves against microbial pathogens, our lab is exploring whether pollen can provide antimicrobial benefits to honey bees in addition to nutritional ones. This talk will explore the immune mechanisms of the honey bee and their complex relationship to the plants they pollinate. New images of pollen collected by bees in the NYC area suggest a fascinating story.
Dr. Jonathan Snow, Assistant Professor of Biology at Barnard College, has been working on the cellular and molecular causes of organismal disease since 1998. His graduate and postgraduate work focused on signal transduction, regulation of gene expression, and organismal stress responses in blood development of mammals. He subsequently became fascinated with the honey bee and changed his research focus to the study of these same biological processes in this key pollinator. He continues his avocation as a bee-keeper while teaching and maintaining an active research laboratory.