The management of the bees after exposure

1) In the contamination trials (be it in free flight or in mobile cages as reported below), the bees should be placed singly in small cages with a cubic steel skeleton of 5 cm and all the six sides enclosed entirely in tulle (with mesh of 1.1 mm) (Fig. 2).

2) The bees should be fed with small drops of honey during the period of observation. The honey can be placed on the top of the cage.

3) Additionally, so as to avoid honey dissolving, soiling and to prevent rapid ingestion, parallelepipeds of sponge can be placed on each cage. These can be 2 x 2 x 1 cm and made of normal, non-soluble domestic sponge soaked in 0.5 ml of honey.

4) The cages are ideal for observation when placed in a transparent container (for example, a polystyrene box 24 x 35 x 10 cm) sufficient to contain 12 small cages with a sheet of absorbent paper underneath (Fig. 3). The cages should be kept raised above the base of the cages by means of a net of folded metal. This device was used to prevent accumulations of honey on the base of the cages and to prevent the cage from contacting other liquids.

Fig. 2. Cages employed to expose bees to seed drill emissions and to evaluate survival after exposure.

1298JDE revised Fig2

Fig. 3.
Transparent polystyrene container with 12 small cages. Feeders placed on the cages are shown.

1298JDE revised Fig3