Med. Weter. 68 (10), 615-617, 2012

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Olszewski K., Borsuk G., Paleolog J., Strachecka A., Kasperek K.
Influence of carbon dioxide anaesthesia on the length of worker life and food foraging in cage tests
The aim of the study was the effect of CO2 anaesthesia on the longevity and volume of the food foraged by honeybee workers in a laboratory test. The experiment was performed twice. Bees aged approximately two days were settled in 30 cages in each repetition of the experiment. The bees in the experimental group were anaesthetised two-minutes with CO2, directly after cages settling. Two days after first anaesthesia the bees were re-anaesthetised. The control bees were not treated with carbon dioxide. The cages containing the bees were kept in an air-conditioned chamber at 27?C. Every other day, dead bees were removed from the cages and counted. The volume of the foraged food was recorded. CO2 anaesthesia shortened the life-span of the bees. Mortality among them did not rise directly after the treatment, its results being phased over time. In comparison with the control group, CO2 anaesthesia caused a decrease in food foraging. The volume of the foraged food decreased along with the age of the insects both in the control and in the experimental group. If possible, it is necessary to avoid subjecting the same bees to multiple anaesthesia. The duration of single exposures to CO2 should be limited to the minimum.
Key words: honey bee, anaesthesia, carbon dioxide, life span, food foraging, laboratory conditions