DETECTION OF STARVATION AS THE CAUSE OF DEATH IN HONEYBEES, FROM THORACIC GLUCOSE LEVELS
A. R. GREENWAY, LESLEY E. SMART, J. SIMPSON, M. C. SMITH AND J. H. STEVENSON
Thin-layer chromatography of sugars in thoraces of honeybees (Apis mellifera) showed that well-fed bees from laboratory colonies contained twice as much glucose as those poisoned by insecticides, while starved bees had much smaller amounts of glucose than either of the above. This method has been used to analyse allegedly poisoned bees received from beekeepers and where no evidence of poisoning could be detected by standard tests. Some of these bees contained very low levels of thoracic glucose and this, together with other circumstantial evidence, indicated starvation as the cause of death.