2.2. Collection and analyses of honey bee volatiles
In situ volatile
collection and analytical methods can be conceptually divided into four basic
sections: headspace environment, volatile collection, volatile separation, and
volatile detection and analysis (see Table 1). The reader should be aware that
no one method provides all the information required to identify or characterize
volatiles. Different methods are better suited for elucidation of compound
identity, mass, quantification and sensitivity to trace volatiles (D’Alessandro
and Turlings, 2006). In the following sections, the advantages and
disadvantages of methods commonly used at each step of volatile collection and
analysis are briefly discussed.
Table 1. Headspace environments and methods commonly used for the collection and analysis of volatiles. Several of these methods have been well developed in other systems (e.g. plant-insect, microbial) but not applied to honey bee volatiles yet. Not all headspace environments and methods can be used interchangeably.