Providing sucrose solution to caged adult workers in the laboratory

Sucrose solutions can sustain workers for long periods of time in the laboratory (Barker and Lehner, 1978), and they are frequently used (e.g. Malone and Stefanovic, 1999; Paxton et al., 2007; Forsgren and Fries, 2010). Solutions can be made simply by dissolving sucrose sugar in water. The sucrose should be white refined table sugar intended for human consumption that can be purchased in a supermarket.

         To make a 100 ml volume 50% (weight/volume) solution, for example:

  1. Add 50 g table sugar (sucrose) to a 200 ml glass beaker.
  2. Add tap water until total volume reaches 100 ml.
  3. Stir until all sugar is dissolved (i.e. <5 mins.). If needed, water can be briefly warmed to <50 °C to help dissolve the sugar, but it should be cooled to room temperature before it is provided to caged workers.
  4. Provide immediately to caged workers.
  5. Store surplus solution for no more than 2-3 days at 4°C. Prior to feeding, remove solution from fridge a few hours before providing it to caged workers in order to prevent feeder leakage caused by the solution warming.