Hygienic behaviour in honey bees in the UK: a preliminary study
RUTHWAITE,MICHAEL BROWN AND HELEN THOMPSON
This article reports a study of the presence of hygienic behaviour in honey bee colonies in England and Wales. A freeze-killed brood assay was used, and both sealed and unsealed brood were investigated. Thirty-seven colonies across England and Wales were assessed for hygienic behaviour expression in 2000, and 41 in 2001. Eight colonies (10%) were found to show hygienic behaviour, with some other colonies having a high level of removal of sealed dead larvae and pupae. In most colonies, all of the freeze-killed unsealed brood was removed. With a wider study it may be possible to correlate the presence of hygienic behaviour with disease occurrence.