Behaviour 2019
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A Comparison of Vapor and Feeding Ethanol Exposure in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)
KiriLi N. Stauch1, Timothy E. Black1, Gabriel LeBlanc2, Harrington Wells 2, Charles I. Abramson1. 1Oklahoma State University , Stillwater, OK, United States; 2University of Tusa, Tulsa, OK, United States

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) and humans exhibit similar physiological and behavioral effects after alcohol consumption, making bees an ideal organism for alcohol research. Primarily a feeding method of alcohol delivery is used with bees; however, another method of exposure is using vapor inhalation. This experiment is the first to provide baseline data, which was used to create a dose-response curve for the vapor ethanol delivery method. A total of 591 bees from Oklahoma [2019 n= 316, 2020 n= 275) were used in an experiment comparing the feeding and vapor ethanol exposure methods. Bee hemolymph samples were collected and analyzed using gas chromatography (GC) and a dose-response curve was created. This provides researchers with information on the amount of ethanol metabolized due to vapor exposure. Overall, bees exposed through vapor inhalation had significantly higher ethanol hemolymph levels compared to bees that were fed ethanol. This indicates that the vapor bees metabolized more ethanol than the feeding bees. The results from these samples provide evidence that the vapor exposure method has promise for use in future experiments once specific dosage information is determined.