4.4.1 Aim of using dead bee traps

The assessment of intra hive mortality through dead bee traps is useful for acquiring data on honey bee survival when exposed to pesticides, environmental pollution, or honey bee diseases (Gary, 1960; Atkins et al., 1970; Perez et al., 2001; Porrini et al., 2003).

For determination of bee mortality the removal of dead and sick honey bees (undertaking behaviour) needs to be considered (Gary, 1960; Perez et al., 2001). Heavier objects e.g. bee bodies are usually dropped below the hive opening by bees and dragged away (several metres), while lighter objects are carried by the bees and disposed of at a good distance (several hundred metres) away from the hive (Gary, 1960; Porrini et al., 2002a). Dead bee traps provide an obstacle to this behaviour and allows for the collection and counting of the majority of the discarded bodies at hive entrance.