Best practices for instrumenting honey bees.
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Koenig, Phoebe A.; Petersen, Kirstin H.
Honey bees are vital pollinators and can be used to monitor the landscape. Consequently, interest in mounting technologies onto bees to track foraging behaviors is increasing. The barrier to entry is steep, in part because the methodology for fastening tags to bees, and the success rates, are often missing from publications. We tested six factors suspected to influence the presence and tag retention rates of nurse honey bees after their introduction to hives, and followed bees until foraging age. We also compared reintroducing foragers to their maternal colony using the best method for nurse bees to releasing them in front of their maternal hive and allow them to fly back unaided. Nurses were most likely to be present in the hive with their tag still attached if sprayed with sucrose syrup and introduced using an introduction cage at night. Glue type was important, but may further be influenced by tag material. Foragers were most likely to be present with a tag attached if released in front of their colony. Preparation and introduction techniques influence the likelihood of tagged honey bee survival and of the tags remaining attached, which should be considered when executing honey bee tagging and tracking experiments.
Please cite as: Phoebe A. Koenig, and Kirstin H. Petersen. (2022) Best practices for instrumenting honey bees. [dataset] Cornell University eCommons Repository. https://doi.org/10.7298/2by5-4g96
This research was supported by NSF grant #1739671 awarded to Kirstin Petersen, and a Packard Fellowship Award received by Kirstin Petersen.
honey bees; sensors; insect behavior; digital agriculture
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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