4.4.2. Limitations of using dead bee traps

The use of dead bee traps unfortunately does not account for the bees that have died in the field or on their way home (Porrini et al., 2002a). Originally dead bee traps, e.g. the Gary trap, was intended to be used for short periods of time, but ever since bees have become biological indicators, traps are now being used throughout the year (Accorti et al., 1991). These traps can become a problem when bees begin to treat them as an integral part of the hive that also needs to undergo the same cleaning processes as the rest of the hive (Accorti et al., 1991). We therefore recommend, first to clean the trap on a regular basis and second to ensure that the trap is not continuously attached to the colony.

In general, studies tend to report the efficiency of traps, but not the effect on the colonies (Stoner et al., 1979). In their study Stoner et al. (1979) reported the negative effect of a modified Todd trap on colonies showing less adult bees were present in colonies with dead bee traps. One should keep in mind when designing experiment using dead honey bee traps that the efficiency and suitability of a trap is not only depending on its design, but also on other factors like season, colony strength and environmental conditions (Porrini et al., 2002a).

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