Practical protocol for honey bee immobilization and oral administration of drugs and pathogens COMMENT

Arslan O. C. , SEVİN S., ERDEM B.

JOURNAL OF APICULTURAL RESEARCH, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Editorial Material
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00218839.2021.2014645
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Honey bee, immobilization, oral administration, harnessing, proboscis extension reflex, MEMORY


Some fields in honey bee research require oral administration of substances to bees individually. This paper describes a relatively easy, practical, and reversible method for harnessing and oral feeding of honey bees. Individual bees are immobilized on a piece of balsa wood stick with two pins crossed on the junction between thorax and abdomen. Restrained bees can then easily be fed with a specific amount of chemical or pathogen in sucrose solution by inducing proboscis extension reflex. Important aspects and possible drawbacks of the method are also discussed.