5.3.3. Examples of isolation cages in which to maintain adult workers in the laboratory

For isolation cages, modified straws with pins placed at either end, 1.5-ml microcentrifuge tubes with breathing holes drilled through the tip (Fig. 17), or 0.8-cm wide plastic Eppendorf tubes cut in half longitudinally with sticky tape restraining harnesses (Fig. 18), can be used. To our knowledge, researchers do not maintain individuals in these types of cages for more than one week. Future studies should investigate effects of isolation cages on survival and health of caged honey bees, as well as work to develop an appropriate method for maintaining individuals in isolation cages for an extended period of time. This could potentially greatly increase experiment sample size compared to hoarding cages that must include cages, rather than individuals, as number of replicates.

Fig. 17. Isolation cages created by drilling 2-3 mm ventilation holed in the tip of 1.5-ml microcentrifuge tubes. Cages and storing device courtesy of Ulrike Hartmann, Swiss Bee Research Centre.

Figure 17

Fig. 18. Isolation cage constructed using a plastic Eppendorf tube cut in half longitudinally and sticky tape harnesses. Tube height, and outer and inner diameters = 3, 1, and 0.8 cm, respectively. Cages courtesy of CWW Pirk. Photo courtesy of V. Dietemann.

Figure 18