First posted in: American Bee Journal, December 2015
Identification Of Microbes Involved (via DNA Sequencing)
Hypotheses to try: if pollen should indeed be inoculated because of the bees with core gut bacteria to ferment it into beebread, then the microbial types structure in beebread would shift towards core germs during fermentation procedure.
Anderson unearthed that: “The microbial communities present hive-stored pollen failed to change from those of newly collected pollen, but both sample kinds varied dramatically by season.” He discovered that only a small percentage regarding the micro-organisms found in freshly-gathered pollen loads were main hind-gut germs (oftentimes as little as 3/10ths of a percent). More telling was that fermented beebread contained an even lower percentage of core gut bacteria than did newly-collected pollen.
Rather, the most frequent micro-organisms found in beebread had been strains of Lactobacillus kunkeei. This floral/fruit bacterium flourishes in fructose-rich aerobic environments, making lactic acid as a metabolic byproduct, with the benefit of making its environment inhospitable to contending yeasts and germs. Bees develop a perfect environment for L. kunkeei by enriching pollen with fructose-rich nectar–thus its quick preservation of beebread by the procedure for acidic “pickling.” L. kunkeei is among the couple of micro-organisms that can endure (maybe in a dormant condition) in honey and beebread, probably rapidly rejuvenating whenever confronted with diluted nectar or honey in crop.