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Bee Tips

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  • Droege, Sam
    All: It is spring and serious bee research is beginning. Many of you have discovered small secrets that help make your work flow smoother. But what good are
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 11, 2013

      It is spring and serious bee research is beginning.  Many of you have discovered small secrets that help make your work flow smoother.  But what good are they if you don't share them?

      Below are some of my off-the top of my head tips that help out our lab. 

      What are some of yours?  

      Thanks for sharing.

      Remember if you want to send your notes back to the list you have to send it to:  beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com



      Bee Tips 

      • The best looking bees are those that are washed and dried within 24 hours of capture.
      • Size of Bowl is not associated with the number of bees captured
      • Citrus based dish-washing soaps DECREASE YOUR CATCH
      • Placing bowls next to each other decreases the average bowl catch
      • Placing bowls greater than 5m apart does not increase the per bowl catch
      • Elevating bowls above the height of the vegetation almost always greatly decreases catch
      • Propylene glycol is safe for animals and people (and can be made food grade) ETHYLENE glycol (the common component in car antifreeze) is toxic to animals
      • Propylene glycol has one of the lowest evaporation rates of any liquid
      • The Handy Bee Manual has a glossary of bee technical terms
      • The Handy Bee Manual tells you where to purchase bee paint and already painted bowls
      • Bowl captures drop off to nearly zero if a bowl trapped is placed in even moderate shade
      • Never use styrofoam bowls or cups to catch bees it decrease capture rates about 5X
      • When using Discoverlife Keys use the "Simplify" button to recreate the key once you finish the first page or when you get down to about 5 species
      • Donations of bee specimens to a museum are worth $3.00 each in terms of calculating taxes (U.S.) as long as the total is less than $5000
      • A list of all the known Alien bee species found in North America can be found in the Handy Bee Manual and http://www.youtube.com/user/swdroege
      • An explanation of how to best use the Discoverlife Keys is available in the Handy bee Manual
      • Disposable paint strainers make great bee collection devices
      • Reverse tweezers clamped on bee wings are great for holding unpinned dried bee specimens under a microscope
      • Glue barely sticks to parchment paper
      • Glue gel dries clear and has a long work time for gluing bees
      • Good microscope lights can be made from high quality LED flashlights and 150w florescent twist bulbs
      • Centrifuge tubes make great collection containers 
      • Collecting directly into soapy water or alcohol allows you to collect numerous bees in nets and quickly remove them 
      • 12" pizza boxes with ethafoam glued to the bottom make great work boxes for batches of pinned specimens
      • Hold bee specimens in your hands while looking under the microscope and fix your microscope focus to one height
      • Petticoat wedding material has holes that are big enough to let dirt and micro insects out but keep most bees 
      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705

      Nothing is so beautiful as Spring--
      When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and
        lovely and lush;
      Thrush's eggs look like little low heavens, and
      Through the echoing timber does so rinse and
      The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him
      The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they
      The descending blue; that blue is all in a
      With richness; the racing lambs too have fair
        their fling. 
             - Garard Manley Hopkins, 1877--called "Spring."

      Bees are Not Optional
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