2.2. Collection and analyses of honey bee volatiles

In situ volatile collection and analytical methods can be conceptually divided into four basic sections: headspace environment, volatile collection, volatile separation, and volatile detection and analysis (see Table 1). The reader should be aware that no one method provides all the information required to identify or characterize volatiles. Different methods are better suited for elucidation of compound identity, mass, quantification and sensitivity to trace volatiles (D’Alessandro and Turlings, 2006). In the following sections, the advantages and disadvantages of methods commonly used at each step of volatile collection and analysis are briefly discussed.

Table 1.  Headspace environments and methods commonly used for the collection and analysis of volatiles.  Several of these methods have been well developed in other systems (e.g. plant-insect, microbial) but not applied to honey bee volatiles yet.  Not all headspace environments and methods can be used interchangeably. 


2.2.4. Detection and analysis of volatiles