4.3.3. Collecting flying adult workers of an undefined age for laboratory experiments
Workers performing tasks outside of the hive are generally older than individuals working within (Winston, 1987), but as discussed in section 4.3.1., collecting workers of a particular age, or even performing a specific task, may not be straightforward. Returning pollen foragers can easily be observed by presence of corbicular pollen on their hind legs (Fig. 3).
It may be helpful to reduce the size of the hive entrance when performing certain collection methods to limit the area individuals may pass in or out of the colony. Completely sealing the hive for short periods (<30 minutes) can also be used to collect returning flying individuals as they accumulate on the landing board.
Time required to collect an appropriate number of flying workers can be estimated by observing the hive entrance for 2-3 minutes. Most foragers perform approximately 10-15 trips per day (Winston, 1987); however, length of collection time will be influenced by time of day and weather (as discussed in sections 4.1.9 and 4.1.10), as well as size of colony.