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828collecting pollen from bees

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  • Diane L Larson
    Nov 10, 2009

      Hi all,

      Sam Droege and I will be starting a pollination network study at Badlands National Park next summer.  As part of this study, we want to collect pollen carried by individual bees as an indication of which flowers they have been visiting prior to collection (see Bosch et al. 2009 Ecol. Letters 12: 409-418).  We have two questions.  First, is there an alternative to individual kill vials, given that we want insect-specific pollen information?  Working in the backcountry, it will be difficult to handle the number of vials we'll likely need.  Second, in removing pollen from the insects' bodies, is the method described in Kearns and Inouye 1993, i.e., rubbing a small cube of fuchsine stained gelatin over the insect's body, still the best method?  If so, how soon must this be done after capture?

      If anyone has experience with mutualist networks in general, I'd love to talk with you.

      Thanks for any advice!

      Diane L. Larson
      Research Biologist
      USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
      1561 Lindig St.
      St. Paul, MN  55108

      Voice 651-649-5041
      FAX 651-649-5040
      Email: dlarson@...

      “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” the Queen remarked.
      - Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass
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