7.3.2. Feeding devices for providing proteins to caged adult workers in the laboratory

Similar to sugar solution feeding devices, multiple methods exist for providing protein to workers, and the minimum criteria for protein feeding devices are similar to those required for carbohydrate feeding devices. Disposable plastic trays provide the easiest route for providing protein, and can be created by cutting plastic tubes in half to resemble a trough used for feeding livestock that can simply be inserted into cages from the exterior (Fig. 21). Alternatively, a feeder can be created by removing the lower 8 mm tip of a 1.5 ml microcentrifuge tube to reveal a 6-7 mm diameter hole (Fig. 22). This allows workers to enter the feeder and eat the protein upwards. Care must be taken that the protein paste does not leak out the bottom when exposed to incubator conditions (section 6).

Fig. 21. Protein paste provided to honey bees in 10-ml plastic test tubes cut in half longitudinally. The dark orange-brown areas were moistened by workers during 24 hours in a hoarding cage.

Figure 21

Fig. 22. Protein paste provided in a 1.5 ml micro-centrifuge tube with its base removed to reveal a 6-7 mm diameter hole that allows workers to enter the feeder to consume protein.

Figure 22