I wanted to catch, photograph, and release bees, wasps and other insects for identification, after net capture in the field. I had help from a colleague in creating a plexiglass container with a slide top and a foam plunger. What we created is similar to the queen marking cage & plunger used by some in honey bee keeping practices, except our has a square shape and a glass top for ease in quality photography without distortion. We made an optional screen slide for the top to for collecting pollen with toothpicks.
I am finding this small hand held device useful for identifying some Hymenoptera in a nearby field. Attached here is a collage of some recent photos of the device in use. I encourage 'bee monitors' to consider developing their own prototypes or useful "bee holders".
As more local/regional bee field guides (physical and online) are created, tools like this may aid novice 'bee watchers', much like field guides and binoculars aided the popularity of birding. Capture and release tools like this may provide all the level of taxonomic clarity novice bee watchers desire, as well as aid non-destructive citizen science projects.
Thanks for reading
Brian J. Dykstra