Behavioural observations

The aim of the present protocol is not to evaluate effects on specific behaviours (e.g. homing flight, thermoregulation, etc.), but to observe any alterations on the general behaviour of the colony during the test and after the test. For this reason, any qualitative modification as trembling, aggressiveness, disorientation, apathy, etc. observed at the flight board, outside or within the hive during the test should be noted. Additionally, during a longer period (until next season), abnormalities in the reproduction cycle of the colony should be noted (e.g. supersedure of the queen, problems on egg-laying capacity, etc.). Finally, observations of the flight activity and the foraging behaviour around the hive should be done and alterations should be noted.

There is a wide room for improvement of the behavioural observations that could be done in field test. Namely, specific behavioural traits would increase the accuracy of the observations. The present protocol should be modified in the future as soon as there are advances in methodologies.