A method to quantify and analyze the foraging activity of honey bees : Relevance to the sublethal effects induced by systemic insecticides
The assessment of agrophannaceuticals’ side effects requires more realistic simulations of field conditions than those deduced from the dose-lethality relation obtained under laboratory conditions. Because the presence of sublethal doses or concentrations may also alter the behavior of foraging insects, we attempted to devise a quantifiable and accurate protocol for evidencing various alterations in free-flying bees. Such a protocol was illustrated by testing new classes of systemic insecticides. The protocol focused on video recording to quantify the foraging activity of small colonies of honey bees confined in insect-proof tunnels. The basis of the protocol was not the colony itself but the change in each colony on a specific day and between days.