The bees could provide information about the microbial landscape of the cities in which they forage, and thus information about both the health of the hives and the human healthaccording to research published in the journal “Environmental Microbiome.”

Investigators, led by Elizabeth Henoff from New York University, studied the potential of bees to help collect samples of microorganisms in cities as they forage daily in the urban environments around their hives.

They studied three hives in New York and found a variety of genetic information, including environmental bacteria and pathogens.

Later samples of hive remains at Sydney, Melbourne, Venice and Tokyo suggested that each location has a unique genetic signature. Also, the findings demonstrated that the analysis of cell fragments can provide information to assess their health.

Investigators however, they note that the findings are currently too preliminary to suggest that this is an effective method of monitoring human disease.

See the scientific publication here