7.3.1.2. Providing corbicular pollen to caged adult workers in the laboratory

Corbicular pollen pellets are units of worker-collected pollen that can be harvested before they are stored in a colony. They provide a common and simple way to provide workers with proteins, and can be collected by outfitting colonies with pollen traps, such as those attached to the hive entrance or those placed under the brood box but above the original colony entrance, as described by Human et al. (2013) in the BEEBOOK paper on miscellaneous methods. Similar to honey and bee bread, however, corbicular pollen can contain chemical residues and pathogens (e.g. Higes et al. 2008; Mullin et al. 2010), and typically provides relatively fewer proteins than bee bread, possibly because of its reduced digestibility or degradation during storage (e.g. Hagedorn and Moeller, 1968; Herbert and Shimanuki, 1978; Dietz and Stevenson, 1980; Cremonez et al., 1998).

To make a 100 g paste containing 90% (weight/weight) fresh corbicular pollen with water (Alaux et al. 2010), for example:

  1. Add 90 g fresh corbicular pollen to suitable sized glass beaker.
  2. Add 10 g tap water to the beaker.
  3. Knead using gloved fingers or a spatula until a thick paste is created. Consistency should be similar to soft dough, and it should not ooze.
  4. Feed to caged workers, or wrap it in aluminum foil within an air-tight container and store for a few days at -20°C until it is needed.

To make a 100 g paste containing 50% (weight/weight) fresh corbicular pollen with 95% (weight/weight) sucrose candy, for example:

  1. Create 50 g of 95% (weight/weight) sucrose candy as described in section 7.2.1.3. in a suitably sized glass beaker.
  2. Add 50 g fresh corbicular pollen to the beaker.
  3. Knead using gloved fingers or a spatula until a thick paste is created. Consistency should be similar to soft dough, and it should not ooze.
  4. Feed to caged workers, or wrap it in aluminum foil and store for a few days at -20 °C until it is needed.

 

7.3.1.2.1. Collecting and storing corbicular pollen to feed to caged adult workers in the laboratory

 

The BEEBOOK