food dehydrator for drying bees
Several weeks ago I wrote to the list asking about removing mold from dry bee specimens. Thanks to all who replied. One person recommended a dessicator to avoid the problem and I have been using one this year, but the lab director recommended that I try their food dehydrator.
Has anyone tried this? The Excalibur company that makes it claims it can be used for craft projects (no temp. recommended) & herbs (they recommend 95 degrees, compared to the higher temps for wetter foods). The only potential problem is the lab's model doesn't have a fan that turns off. That worries me, and I don't have a recommended drying time. I welcome any experiences or suggestions regarding using this apparatus for this purpose.
Also, regarding removing mold: I am trying painting/bathing my dry, pinned bees in absolute alcohol using a camel's hair brush. Remarkably, I am losing very few appendages. Depending on how moldy specimens are, they come out looking better to much better...I will let the list know whether they get moldy again.
Barbara J Abraham, PhD
SEEDS Chapter Advisor
Department of Biological Sciences
Hampton, Va 23668
757-727-5283From: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com] on behalf of david almquist [daidunno@...]
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 12:33 AM
Subject: [beemonitoring] modified Dirt Devil Detailer bee vac for collecting directly from flowers
Cheryl Fimbel was nice enough to give me more information about the DDD that I'd read about in the Handy Bee manual that was apparently Priya Shihani's idea originally. I tinkered with it a bit and have gotten it, as least in limited beta testing, so that I can suck up a bee from a flower and have the specimen go right up into a vial with minimal effort. This link will take you to pictures of my prototype. I would appreciate any feedback about this, especially if anyone tries this, as while I consider myself a relatively seasoned insect, and especially beetle, collector, I have much less experience with bees. Thanks
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