Collecting flying adult workers of an undefined age for laboratory experiments using a container

Workers leaving the hive can also be collected using a clear, wide-mouthed, well ventilated transparent container (with associated lid) as they depart the hive entrance (Fig. 4). Ventilation can be provided by perforating the container with numerous 2 mm-sized holes or by replacing a large portion of the base of the container with a mesh screen. Efficiency of this method depends on flying patterns of the colony, the ease of attaching the lid to the container, and the reflexes of the collector. Alternatively, a UV light-permeable plexiglass pyramid (height = 30 cm, apex 3,5 x 3, 5 cm, base 18 x 18 cm) that is closable at the apex and the base can be placed tightly around the hive entrance to prevent exiting foragers from escaping (e.g. Felsenberg, 2011; Matsumoto et al., 2012).

  1. Stand beside the colony and hold a wide-mouthed clear container immediately against the front of the colony so that exiting individuals will fly or walk into the container. It may be helpful to reduce the size of the hive entrance to funnel greater numbers of exiting workers directly into the container and to use a container with a rectangular shaped opening that fits better to the flight board and hive entrance.
  2. Seal the container when an appropriate quantity of workers is collected.
  3. Shake the collected individuals gently into a ventilated hoarding cage containing food (described in sections 5 and 7).
  4. Transfer the hoarding cage to a laboratory incubator maintained at conditions discussed in section 6.


Fig. 4. Collecting exiting worker honey bees using a clear container with mesh bottom from a colony with a reduced entrance size.

 Figure 4