Cardiff scientists brew killer bee beer for bee research

Microbiologists from Cardiff University have brewed a new craft beer using brewer’s yeast sourced from killer honeybees in Namibia. The project began during a visit to the University of Namibia for a sustainable environmental development initiative, where the team became intrigued by the Africanised honey bee, commonly known as the killer bee.

Prof Les Baillie from Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences explained that the yeast was extracted from naturally deceased killer bees. Upon returning to Cardiff, the team used this yeast, along with yeast from Welsh honey bees, to create several batches of beer.

This venture is part of the broader Pharmabees project, which involves placing hives around Cardiff University to study the pollination of plants and its potential for developing drugs to combat superbugs and antibiotic resistance. The Killer Bee Beer project showcases a unique combination of scientific expertise and brewing.

The scientists are now seeking a brewer to partner with in bringing the Killer Bee Beer to market, with proceeds supporting bee research in Wales. Prof Baillie described the beer as a fun yet educational extension of their Pharmabees studies, enhancing the understanding of bees on a microbiological level.

Photo credit: Wikipedia