Honeybees are crucial part of ecosystem and their role is vital economically as well as ecologically. They have a huge contribution towards pollination in many crops and wild plants1,2. Honey is the main vital product processed and produced by honeybees through collection of nectars and pollens; which combine with particular substances in their gut to transform into ripe honey3. During searching for food and water, honey bees come in contact with human fecal materials. Moreover, contamination of pollens and nectars is done due to air borne microbes and fecal matters. These affected pollens are collected by honeybees during their foraging and are ultimate sources of contamination of honey. Accordingly; bacteria distributed in the air, soil, water are interlinked with honeybees’ food and external integument2,4.
Gram-positive bacteria as well as gram-negative or gram variable bacteria; isolated from the gut of honeybees influence the growth, pathogenesis, development, and environmental adaptation of their hosts5,6. This particular microbial flora influence the quality of honey and health of the honeybees and honey consumers. Hence, there is need to investigate the microbiota associated with honey bees. An experiment was designed to evaluate the impacts of geographical locations on the incidence and diversity of microbiota on the external integument and the digestive gut of adult worker honeybees, Apis mellifera adansonii within South West, Nigeria.The honeybee samples were collected and subjected to microbiological analyses using standard techniques by following two-ways ANOVA.
Results exhibited the existence of gram-positive bacteria including Corynebacterium kutscheri, Corynebacterium xerosis, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus fermentum, Micrococcus luteus, Micrococcus varians and Staphylococcus aureus. Moreover; gram-negative bacteria; Aeromonas veronii, Citrobacter diversus, Citrobacter freundii, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were also observed in samples. On the other hand, samples also consisted of fungal species e.g. Aspergillus parasiticus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger and Rhizopus stolonifer. The number of identified species of microbiota either in the digestive guts or on the external integument of worker honeybees from selected ecozones varies from one ecozone to another.
Conclusively, geographical zones indicated the abundance, occurrence and diversity of microbial communities and their interaction with honeybees. This research will pave a way towards more defined knowledge for future genomic research to understand the diversity of microbiota as well as their role in health, economics and as bio control agents in the field of agriculture.
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23 August, 2019