Carl Hayden Bee Research Center. My primary focus is on nutritional ecology and physiology, since nutrition is a critical arbiter of health and stress responses in honey bees. Our understanding of how these honey bee social systems work includes consideration of the residential microbial communities associated with the colony. Beneficial microbes are intimately involved in nutritional processing and digestion, as well as the preservation of food stores and hive materials against other microbes. Given that honey bee colonies represent one of the most dense and microbially-vulnerable aggregations of animals on earth, inclusion of the beneficial microbial community in honey bee stress ecology is paramount.