2.3.2. Microinjection using a Hamilton syringe

In multiple studies, honey bees have been injected using a Hamilton syringe (Kucharski and Maleszka, 2003; Barron et al., 2007; Schlüns and Crozier, 2007; Wright et al., 2010; Köhler et al., 2012). The following method is suggested:

  1. Select workers to be injected
    When using newly emerged workers, no anaesthesia is required as they do not sting or fly. Older workers need to be anaesthetised (see section 2.1 standard methods for immobilising, killing and storing adult Apis mellifera in the laboratory).
  2. Hold the honey bee gently on the side of the thorax between thumb and index finger of one hand.
  3. Inject bee with the other hand.
    The most common place of injection is between tergites (the needle can easily be inserted specifically between the 3rd and 4th tergite) at the side of the abdomen. The needle should be inserted parallel to the tergite to avoid puncturing of the gut. Handling time must be kept to a minimum (few seconds per bee) to prevent unnecessary stress. Saline or insect ringer are typically injected as carrier and control (Lozano et al., 2001; Barron et al., 2007; Schlüns and Crozier, 2007; Wright et al., 2010).