5.3.2. Adults

  1. Mix purified virus with 60% sucrose to the desired concentration for infecting bees individually or in bulk.
  2. Feed the virus-sucrose solution individually to newly emerged adult bees in 5-10 µl volumes, using a Pasteur or micro-pipette.
  3. Immobilize the bees by either holding their wings or in a suitable restrainer, such as head-first in a 1.5 ml microcentrifuge tube with the bottom cut off (see the section 'standard methods for immobilising, terminating, and storing adult Apis mellifera' in the BEEBOOK paper on miscellaneous methods (Human et al., 2013).
  4. Bulk-feeding of the virus-sucrose solution to adult bees is done either in hoarding cages, using disposable 15 ml plastic feeding tubes (see the BEEBOOK paper on maintaining adult Apis mellifera workers in cages;  Williams et al., 2013) or in whole colonies using internal or top feeders. In both cases it is important to calculate the amount of purified virus needed to ensure that each bee gets the minimum infectious dose (Table 3).
  5. Include a series of control inoculations, using sucrose solution without virus.