Standard methods for pollination research with Apis mellifera
Keith S Delaplane, Arnon Dag, Robert G Danka, Breno M Freitas, Lucas A Garibaldi, R Mark Goodwin and Jose I Hormaza
In this chapter we present a synthesis of recommendations for conducting field experiments with honey bees in the context of agricultural pollination. We begin with an overview of methods for determining the mating system requirements of plants and the efficacy of specific pollinators. We describe methods for evaluating the pollen-vectoring capacity of bees at the level of individuals or colonies and follow with methods for determining optimum colony field stocking densities. We include sections for determining post-harvest effects of pollination, the effects of colony management (including glasshouse enclosure) on bee pollination performance, and a brief section on considerations about pesticides and their impact on pollinator performance. A final section gives guidance on determining the economic valuation of honey bee colony inputs at the scale of the farm or region.