Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Environ Exp Biol (2020) 18: 15–19
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Environmental and

Environ Exp Biol (2020) 18: 15–19

Brief Communications

Body position of dead honey bee workers could indicate the cause of death

Hossam F. Abou-Shaara*
Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Damanhour University, Damanhour, 22516, Egypt
* Corresponding author, E-mail: hossam.farag@agr.dmu.edu.eg


The death of honey bees can happen due to various reasons. It is important to specify the cause of death, in order to recommend the correct treatment option. Dead bees have specific body positions (e.g. extended proboscis, separated wings, extended stingers), which can be described to help in the identification of the death cause. There are no previous evidence on links between body positions of dead bees and death cause. In this study, honey bee workers were exposed to various lethal conditions (low temperature, high temperature, starvation, suffocation, pesticide exposure, and food contamination). Then, the body positions of dead bees exposed to each lethal condition were described in detail. Differences in positions of antenna, proboscis, wings, legs, abdomens, and stingers were detected between dead bees exposed to the tested lethal conditions. These differences are discussed and further studies were then recommended. This study presents the potential use of baseline observations on relationships between the body position of dead bees to stress factors as a mean to predict the cause of death of honey bee workers.

Key words: Apis mellifera, mortality analysis, stress.

Environ Exp Biol (2020) 18: 15–19
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb.18.03

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
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