Physical immobilisation

Fine tip forceps can be used to gently grasp wings and legs; however, butterfly or featherweight forceps are more forgiving and can be used to grasp the thorax, in addition to appendages. The most effective, and sensitive, method for immobilising honey bees is to pinch the wings together gently above their base to ensure that the individual is securely held and cannot sting (Fig. 1). 

Fig. 1. A worker honey bee held by gently squeezing its wings between the index finger and thumb. Note that the distal part of the abdomen is pointed in such a way that the honey bee cannot sting the handler. Photo: G R Williams.