31 participants recently tackled a problem-based learning situation at NSTA Houston. A local beekeeper wants help understanding why he is dealing with colony collapse. What is causing these losses? Presenters Educationprojects.org lead educator Jane Hunt and GrowNextGen industry leader Zack Bateson led the group through the discovery process.

This activity comes from Discovering and Diagnosing Honeybee Killers, a lesson on our website. First steps are to view, trim, and combine raw sequencing files to create DNA sequences for further analysis. Then participants analyzed these genetic sequences to identify the virus associated with colony loss using BLAST, a basic bioinformatics tool, to search DNA databases.

Check out the Discovering and Diagnosing Honeybee Killers lesson and our other bioinformatics offering, What is Bioinformatics? It’s a BLAST.