A successful method of mass marking honey bees, Apis mellifera, at the hive entrance for field experiments
D Howpage; R N Spooner-Hart; J Sheehy
A successful technique for mass marking honey bees, Apis mellifera for field research was developed, using fluorescent powder to mark the thoraces of foragers at the hive entrance. More than 99% of foragers were marked by a specially designed wooden-framed marking block as they were leaving the modified hive entrance. The marking technique did not cause increased mortality of foraging bees. Also there was no increase in larval bee mortality due to marking with fluorescent powder dye. Although 21% of foraging bees and 32% of nurse bees had their gut contents contaminated with the fluorescent powder, this method was shown to be safe for use in a range of field experiments that need mass marking of honey bees.