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“Nutrition in Honeybees and Humans” – a talk by Prof. Robert Pickard
20th September 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm BST
Honeybees share 60% of their genes with humans and, therefore, have many similarities in their nutritional requirements. Both populations need oxygen, water, sugars, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. They have to gather about forty different atomic elements from the environment that they both share. The ancestors of both groups were carnivores, so it is not surprising that neither have the intrinsic chemistry to degrade cellulose, the principal component of plant cell walls. Nevertheless, honeybees have become herbivores and humans have become omnivores. If sterilised pollen is fed to bees, many larvae either die or have their growth stunted. They need fungi to assist with the chemical breakdown of the pollen grains, which are really small cellulose boxes. More than four hundred species of microorganisms can be found in the human gut. They play an important role in health and wellbeing. Both queen honeybees and women inoculate their eggs with symbiotic bacteria: mitochondria. Without these, the offspring would not survive. They carry bacterial DNA and reproduce to occupy almost every cell in the body. The whole story illustrates the interdependence of all living things as they recycle nutrients for one another.
CABK members and Non-members are welcome to attend. There is no fee for this event which also will be live-streamed to the CABK YouTube Channel – watch live or later, on demand.