4.1.2. Subspecies of adult workers used for laboratory experiments

Honey bees subspecies can exhibit great morphological, behavioural, physiological, and genetic variation (Ruttner, 1987), with subsequent differences in productive traits and in disease susceptibility (Evans and Spivak, 2010; DeGrandi-Hoffman et al., 2012). The same subspecies of honey bees should be used for an experiment.

If one wants to further limit influence of genetics on experimental results, individuals from a single colony or multiple colonies that are headed by sister queens can be collected. This will, however, limit the ability of experimental findings to be more broadly generalized across the study population compared to studies that obtained experimental individuals from multiple, genetically diverse colonies of the same subspecies. Refer to section 2 on experimental design in this paper, as well as BEEBOOK papers by Meixner et al. (2013) for characterizing honey bee subspecies and Delaplane et al. (2013) for discussions on preparing colonies for experiments.