Although we try not to think about it, our cities are teeming with trillions upon trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Knowing which ones are afoot can tell researchers a lot about the health of the plants, animals, and humans in the area, but collecting microorganisms on a city-wide scale is quite difficult and expensive.
Now, scientists have found a way to sample entire cities using honeybees. In a new study published March 30 in the journal Environmental Microbiome, scientists demonstrated how sampling the debris at the bottom of honeybee hives can provide scientists with a snapshot of the microbial landscape of urban environments.
In the paper, scientists analyzed DNA in debris from rooftop and backyard honeybee hives in New York