Standard methods for chemical ecology research in Apis mellifera
Baldwyn Torto, Mark J Carroll, Adrian Duehl, Ayuka T Fombong, Tamar Katzav Gozansky, Francesco Nazzi, Victoria Soroker and Peter E A Teal
This paper describes basic methods essential in elucidating chemically-mediated behavioural interactions among honey bees, and between honey bees and other arthropods. These range from bioassay methods used to demonstrate the role of specific behaviours, techniques and equipment used to collect and analyse semiochemicals (both volatiles and non-volatiles e.g. cuticular hydrocarbons) from individual honey bees, groups of bees or an entire colony in its native environments. This paper covers: collection and analysis of honey bee volatiles in the natural environment, collection and analysis of bee volatiles out of their natural environment and their antennal detection, collection and analysis of non-volatile cuticular hydrocarbons, bioassays with queen pheromone and finally a section focusing on in vitro bioassays as a tool for elucidation of mechanisms regulating pheromone gland activity.