Med. Weter. 69 (12), 760-762, 2013

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Madras-Majewska B., Kamiński Z., Balcerak M., Ochnio L.
Effect of different oxygen and nitrogen ratios in bees awakened from carbon dioxide anesthesia on their behavior and survival after this exertion
Carbon dioxide is commonly used to anesthetize the bee queen during instrumental insemination. It can be used both during the insemination procedure, and also to speed up the start of oviposition of instrumentally inseminated queen bees. Anesthesia is not indifferent to the bees’ condition and is unable to reduce the queen latency period to a similar duration as in naturally mated queens. Aside from experiments on bee queens research on worker bees is also conducted because of costs reduction as well as the fact that adverse effects of anesthesia are more pronounced in worker bees than in queens. Therefore the aim of this study carried out on worker bees is to determine the influence of different atmospheric compositions during their awakening from anesthesia. The study was conducted in 2008 in the apiary of the Apiculture Division of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW. 3960 Carniolan bees at the age of 2 weeks were studied. All of the 10 bees placed in plastic mail cages were anaesthetized with carbon dioxide for 3 minutes and then awakened in a chamber with a controlled composition of the atmosphere. 33 repetitions were conducted, each of them included 6 groups of the following atmospheric compositions: 1. oxygen 100%; 2. nitrogen 100%; 3. oxygen/nitrogen 30% / 70%; 4. oxygen / nitrogen 50% / 50%; 5. oxygen/nitrogen 70%/30%; 6. control group, natural composition of atmospheric air. Awakening time was determined by first breathing movements observed and then upon their fully awakening. The awakening of bees after carbon dioxide anesthesia follows a different course in relation to the atmospheric composition during recovery. Awakening in a pure oxygen and pure nitrogen atmosphere significantly prolongs the time to the appearance of the first respiratory movements and the total time to full awakening of bees (in comparison to the control group). Awakening in an atmosphere composed of 70% of oxygen and 30% of nitrogen significantly reduces the time to the appearance of the first respiratory movements and the time of the full awakening of bees. The highest survival rate 14 days after awaking was found in group 5 (70% of oxygen and 30% of nitrogen). The shortest survival rate, (22 days), had bees that awakened in a pure nitrogen atmosphere. .
Key words: anesthesia, bees, awakening, oxygen, nitrogen.