18.104.22.168.1. Collecting and storing corbicular pollen to feed to caged adult workers in the laboratory
Based on storage methods described by Pernal and Currie (2000) that successfully maintained honey bee-collected pollen pellets for up to one year without decreasing its nutritional value, the following procedure allows for proper collection and storage of fresh pollen for at least a single field season.
- Identify a suitable colony to collect pollen from. Refer to section 4.1 for a brief discussion on choosing source colonies for worker collection because pollen should also be collected from healthy colonies.
- Install a thoroughly cleaned trap (see section 5.2.1. for cleaning equipment using acetone) to collect pollen from incoming foragers sporadically over the course of a few weeks, rather than continuously for more than two days at a time, to ensure colony pollen supplies remains sufficient (see the BEEBOOK paper on miscellaneous methods by Human et al. (2013)).
- Carefully separate pollen from other trap debris (i.e. plant material, honey bee body parts) using a sterile forceps or small fine-tipped paint brushes.
- Separate a subsample of each pollen species based on colour (e.g. Moore and Webb, 1983), and store at –18°C or colder to allow for possible future identification of plant species if needed (see the BEEBOOK paper on pollination methods by Delaplane et al. (2013)).
- Homogenise collected pollen to ensure uniform distribution of colony-specific pollen, and store it fresh in air-tight containers at –18 °C or colder. Minimize or evacuate air in storage containers.
- Remove from cold storage only when needed and prepare
for feeding as discussed in section 22.214.171.124.