4.1.5. Strength of source colonies used to obtain adult workers for laboratory experiments
Source colonies for experimental honey bees should contain appropriate adult brood food (i.e. honey and bee bread) ratios to ensure that workers are properly nourished, as well as adult and developing individuals of all ages, and food stores from poly-floral sources. Colonies should also be of approximately equal strength because size can influence colony defensive behaviour which can subsequently effect honey bee collection (Winston, 1987). Refer to the BEEBOOK papers by Delaplane et al. (2013) for how to estimate colony strength, Human et al. (2013) for estimating age of developing honey bees, and Delaplane et al. (2013) for estimating floral sources, as well as section 4 in this paper for obtaining workers from colonies for experiments.