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Title: Best practices for instrumenting honey bees
Abstract

Honey bees are vital pollinators and can be used to monitor the landscape. Consequently, interest in mounting technologies onto bees to track foraging behaviors is increasing. The barrier to entry is steep, in part because the methodology for fastening tags to bees, and the success rates, are often missing from publications. We tested six factors suspected to influence the presence and tag retention rates of nurse honey bees after their introduction to hives, and followed bees until foraging age. We also compared reintroducing foragers to their maternal colony using the best method for nurse bees to releasing them in front of their maternal hive and allowing them to fly back unaided. Nurses were most likely to be present in the hive with their tag still attached when introduced using an introduction cage at night. Glue type was important, but may further be influenced by tag material. Foragers were most likely to be present with a tag attached if released in front of their colony. Preparation and introduction techniques influence the likelihood of tagged honey bee survival and of the tags remaining attached, which should be considered when executing honey bee tagging and tracking experiments.

 
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Award ID(s):
2042411
NSF-PAR ID:
10381793
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Volume:
12
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2045-2322
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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