2.4. Harnessing individual bees

For a number of behavioural assays, honey bees need to be harnessed individually. Metal or plastic holders (Fig. 2A) have proved very useful for mounting bees, and they can be produced easily. Bees are placed in a holder while being narcotized. A strip of textile tape between head and thorax fixes the bee. A second strip of tape fixed over the abdomen prevents the experimenter from getting stung. If bees are supposed to walk freely after their confinement to the holder, a plaster should be used instead of textile tape to save the wings and legs from sticking to the tape. For more details on immobilizing bees, refer to the section ‘Standard methods for immobilising, killing and storing adult Apis mellifera in the laboratory’ in the BEEBOOK paper on miscellaneous methods (Human et al., 2013).