Easy ways to determine honey bee mortality using dead-bee traps
Jose Luis Pérez; Mariano Higes; Miguel Suárez ; Jesús Llorente ; Aránzazu Meana
Two different hive entrance dead-bee traps designed using standard beekeeping materials were compared to assess their usefulness in determining honey bee (Apis mellifera) mortality. Two trials were carried out on 10 modified Langstroth hives in February and April, 1998, with two simple traps distributed randomly among colonies. In trial 1, five hives were tested with a modified pollen collector trap and the other five with an 'underbasket' trap. In trial 2, the same hives were used but with different traps. The strength of each colony was measured by counting the spaces between frames occupied by bees. On day 0, 100 dead marked bees were introduced into each hive and trapped bees were counted periodically. More than 91%of the dead bees were collected in both traps with similar results. No relationship was established between efficacy and the strength of the colony, but there was a relationship between efficacy and collection time. There was a direct relationship between the number of spaces between frames full of bees and the time of recovering dead bees. Both traps tested seem to provide an economical and simple way to assess bee mortality in a short term test.