Photo of the Week: Honey Bee Heart

honey bee heart

Dr Paul Hartley, Senior Lecturer in Functional Genetics, Faculty of Science & Technology

Honey Bee Heart

The first instalment of the returning ‘Photo of the Week’ series features Dr Paul Hartley’s image of a Honey Bee Heart. The series is a weekly instalment, which features an image taken by our fantastic BU staff and students. The photos give a glimpse into some of the fascinating work our researchers have been doing across BU and the wider community.

In this image we can see the pericardial muscles and oenocytes of a honey bee heart- these are stained red and green.  The oenocytes act as toxin-treatment and excretion plants, to help maintain clean blood – much as our livers and kidneys do. The pericardial muscles hold the heart in place so that it can contract properly. Research has shown that human and insect cardiovascular systems share similar genetics. Dr Hartley’s research is based on a simple premise- if something causes disease in one organism, it probably causes disease and can be studied in the other. Dr Hartley took this picture using a Leica SP8 confocal microscope.

If you’d like to find out more about the research or the photo itself then please contact Dr Hartley.

This photo was orginially an entry to the 2017 Research Photography Competition. If you have any other questions about the Photo of the Week series or the competition please email