4.14. Capping

In order to investigate parameters of adult honey bees, capping of the rearing plates with perforated bees wax and turning the plates to a vertical position on day eleven has been proven as a useful add-on (Riessberger-Gallé et al., 2008; Brodschneider et al., 2009). A wax layer big enough to cover one 48 well rearing plate is obtained by squeezing about 20cm2 of soft (warm) but not liquid comb foundation between two sheets of paper. The bees are able to bite through the thin, almost transparent, wax layer, which allows for the use of the eclosion rate as an additional parameter of survival. Rotating the rearing plates not only reduces malformations due to the unnatural vertical position of larvae in horizontal rearing plates, but capping may also improve microclimate (humidity) in cells and act as an additional barrier against fungi.