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Re: [beemonitoring] pin sizes for bees?

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  • Doug Yanega
    I m not sure there is a melittological standard , but as an insect collection manager, I ve come to detest pins of any size below #1 - because they simply do
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 15, 2013
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      I'm not sure there is a "melittological standard", but as an insect collection manager, I've come to detest pins of any size below #1 - because they simply do not hold up over time. Anything from size 0 and down bends too easily for long-term curatorial use - "use" meaning "gets routinely handled, moved among unit trays, and mailed around the world in shipping boxes" (the latter being especially significant, as many mailing boxes have much harder pinning bottoms than the typical foam unit tray). In a personal collection, maybe one can get by with a 00 pin, but personal collections rarely see the level of use OR the diversity of users that an institutional collection gets, and it makes a difference! Back when I first started collecting, I had 000s, 00s and 0s in my kit, but it wasn't long before their drawbacks became clear, so I stopped using them long ago. Since becoming a collection manager, I've also seen how bad minutens can be in the long-term (especially if used horizontally, as some bee collectors are fond of), so I don't use them myself.

      One other thing: this assumes you're pinning freshly-killed specimens. If you're working with specimens that have been critically-dried, then they are often too brittle to be pinned, and even large species may need to be point-mounted to prevent breakage.

      Peace,
      -- 
      Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
      Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
      phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                   http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
        "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
              is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
    • Peter Bernhardt
      If you are not supposed to use 0, 00 or 000 why do they make them? Gordon, your email was the first I ve heard banning anything less than 3. I was taught by
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 15, 2013
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        If you are not supposed to use 0, 00 or 000 why do they make them?  Gordon, your email was the first I've heard banning anything less than 3.  I was taught by Michener to never to use anything less than a 1 (point anything too small for a 1) and I followed his instructions for years. Remember, I'm only a botanist and most of the flowers I study are pollinated by bees less than 8-9 mm in length.  .  When I used #1 on some Lasioglossum spp. and small halictids the people identifying my bees complained I was ruining the specimens they wanted to deposit as museum vouchers.  I asked them if I should point them?  Both entomologists said, "Don't you have 0 or 00?  Yes, let's stick with the program but what IS the program?

        Peter  


        On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM, <Gordon.Hutchings@...> wrote:
         


        Hello,

        As it is often been stated, there are no dumb questions but I've been
        hesitating to deal with this one so here goes.

        Recently, when I was discussing pinning bees to a contact, he stated to
        make sure I continue to pin all my specimens with a #3 pin or pointing
        my smaller bees. Now, maybe I'm just living in the past but I was taught
        decades ago to pin insects with the appropriate size pin, leaving
        pointing, or minutens, to the very small group of insects. I use #000 to
        #5 for all my insect specimens but this much younger chap stated
        something to me that maybe I should check in with the current protocol
        on pinning. Personally, I still do the old fashioned way and continue to
        pin say a small Hylaeus with a #0 or #1, and a good size Megachile with
        say a #3. It works for me but if one is going to send specimens off, I'd
        like to know where the melittological community stands.

        I guess I have to "get with the program" if it has indeed changed,
        progressed or whatever but for the most part, my specimens are for my
        own purposes until I share or donate to the appropriate institution.

        Thanks,

        Gord

        Gord Hutchings
        Shop 162C U/W Weapons
        FMF CFB Esquimalt
        (250) 363-2200

        https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement


      • <Gordon.Hutchings@...>
        Peter, You see, this fellow said that I would be ...ruining the specimens if I used anything other than a #3 , whatever that means. If I put a #3 through a
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 15, 2013
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          Peter,
           
          You see, this fellow said that I would be "...ruining the specimens if I used anything other than a #3", whatever that means. If I put a #3 through a small Halictus, in my opinion I'd ruin it, that's why I'm asking the question.
           
          Gord


          From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Peter Bernhardt
          Sent: Monday, 15, April, 2013 14:52 PM
          To: Hutchings GE@FMF@Esquimalt
          Cc: Bee United
          Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] pin sizes for bees?

           

          If you are not supposed to use 0, 00 or 000 why do they make them?  Gordon, your email was the first I've heard banning anything less than 3.  I was taught by Michener to never to use anything less than a 1 (point anything too small for a 1) and I followed his instructions for years. Remember, I'm only a botanist and most of the flowers I study are pollinated by bees less than 8-9 mm in length.  .  When I used #1 on some Lasioglossum spp. and small halictids the people identifying my bees complained I was ruining the specimens they wanted to deposit as museum vouchers.  I asked them if I should point them?  Both entomologists said, "Don't you have 0 or 00?  Yes, let's stick with the program but what IS the program?

          Peter  


          On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM, <Gordon.Hutchings@...> wrote:
           


          Hello,

          As it is often been stated, there are no dumb questions but I've been
          hesitating to deal with this one so here goes.

          Recently, when I was discussing pinning bees to a contact, he stated to
          make sure I continue to pin all my specimens with a #3 pin or pointing
          my smaller bees. Now, maybe I'm just living in the past but I was taught
          decades ago to pin insects with the appropriate size pin, leaving
          pointing, or minutens, to the very small group of insects. I use #000 to
          #5 for all my insect specimens but this much younger chap stated
          something to me that maybe I should check in with the current protocol
          on pinning. Personally, I still do the old fashioned way and continue to
          pin say a small Hylaeus with a #0 or #1, and a good size Megachile with
          say a #3. It works for me but if one is going to send specimens off, I'd
          like to know where the melittological community stands.

          I guess I have to "get with the program" if it has indeed changed,
          progressed or whatever but for the most part, my specimens are for my
          own purposes until I share or donate to the appropriate institution.

          Thanks,

          Gord

          Gord Hutchings
          Shop 162C U/W Weapons
          FMF CFB Esquimalt
          (250) 363-2200

          https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement


        • Cane, Jim
          Peter, Gordon and others- I use 1s, 2s and 3s matched for bee size (don t want to obliterate thoracic dorsum if a key then asks for its punctuation, as you
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 15, 2013
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            Peter, Gordon and others- I use 1s, 2s and 3s matched for bee size (don’t want to obliterate thoracic dorsum if a key then asks for its punctuation, as you note, Gordon).  Like you, Peter, I point the tinier stuff, or more commonly, I use Mich’s method of gluing them directly to the left side of the pin.  If I know that ID for the genus will be tricky for a wee one, I’ll also double mount a few of a series on minutens stuck into tiny corks pinned through a #2 or #3 pin.  If it is a megachilid, I spread at least one mandible 12-24 hrs after killing, and try to unfold at least one set of legs so that spurs and such can be seen.

             

            Yours,

            Jim

             

            ===============================

            James H. Cane

            USDA-ARS Pollinating Insect Research Unit

            Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA

            tel: 435-797-3879   FAX: 435-797-0461

            email: Jim.Cane@... 

            web page: www.ars.usda.gov/npa/beelab

            publications: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/piru/

            Gardening for Bees: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/plants-pollinators09.pdf

             





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          • Peter Bernhardt
            Dear Gordon: It sounds to me like we need some sort of guidance in the form of a publication in a reviewed journal. it should have a title like, Pinning bees
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 16, 2013
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              Dear Gordon:

              It sounds to me like we need some sort of guidance in the form of a publication in a reviewed journal.  it should have a title like, "Pinning bees must not obliterate critical dorsum characters.

              Frankly, I don't like to point and I'm not a fan of using the Michener method of adding a dab of glue to the pin shaft and letting it adhere to the bee's side.  I find that pointed specimens tend to fall off the point after a few years.  Perhaps I'm not using the preferred flue and would appreciate some advice regarding the choice of brands.  Perhaps we need another publication on the comparative uses of industrial mucilages written in the style of a "Consumer Reports" article.

              Peter 


              On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM, <Gordon.Hutchings@...> wrote:
              Peter,
               
              You see, this fellow said that I would be "...ruining the specimens if I used anything other than a #3", whatever that means. If I put a #3 through a small Halictus, in my opinion I'd ruin it, that's why I'm asking the question.
               
              Gord


              From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Peter Bernhardt
              Sent: Monday, 15, April, 2013 14:52 PM
              To: Hutchings GE@FMF@Esquimalt
              Cc: Bee United
              Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] pin sizes for bees?

               

              If you are not supposed to use 0, 00 or 000 why do they make them?  Gordon, your email was the first I've heard banning anything less than 3.  I was taught by Michener to never to use anything less than a 1 (point anything too small for a 1) and I followed his instructions for years. Remember, I'm only a botanist and most of the flowers I study are pollinated by bees less than 8-9 mm in length.  .  When I used #1 on some Lasioglossum spp. and small halictids the people identifying my bees complained I was ruining the specimens they wanted to deposit as museum vouchers.  I asked them if I should point them?  Both entomologists said, "Don't you have 0 or 00?  Yes, let's stick with the program but what IS the program?

              Peter  


              On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM, <Gordon.Hutchings@...> wrote:
               


              Hello,

              As it is often been stated, there are no dumb questions but I've been
              hesitating to deal with this one so here goes.

              Recently, when I was discussing pinning bees to a contact, he stated to
              make sure I continue to pin all my specimens with a #3 pin or pointing
              my smaller bees. Now, maybe I'm just living in the past but I was taught
              decades ago to pin insects with the appropriate size pin, leaving
              pointing, or minutens, to the very small group of insects. I use #000 to
              #5 for all my insect specimens but this much younger chap stated
              something to me that maybe I should check in with the current protocol
              on pinning. Personally, I still do the old fashioned way and continue to
              pin say a small Hylaeus with a #0 or #1, and a good size Megachile with
              say a #3. It works for me but if one is going to send specimens off, I'd
              like to know where the melittological community stands.

              I guess I have to "get with the program" if it has indeed changed,
              progressed or whatever but for the most part, my specimens are for my
              own purposes until I share or donate to the appropriate institution.

              Thanks,

              Gord

              Gord Hutchings
              Shop 162C U/W Weapons
              FMF CFB Esquimalt
              (250) 363-2200

              https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement



            • Jason Gibbs
              If anyone wants a paper to cite on this subject see the attached one [in German]. Ebmer uses smaller pins than most would recommend (00). These do bend easily
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 16, 2013
              If anyone wants a paper to cite on this subject see the attached one [in German]. Ebmer uses smaller pins than most would recommend (00). These do bend easily so I recommend thicker pins. A well placed 0 or 1 is unlikely to obliterate scutal characters even for many small bees.

              Jason

              --
              Jason Gibbs, PhD
              Research Associate
              Department of Entomology
              Michigan State University
              202 Center for Integrated Plant Systems
              East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA
            • <Gordon.Hutchings@...>
              When I first started out, the glue we used was a paste made from resin and EtOH. I don t know if this is still around or used but I ve sinced used white glue
              Message 7 of 9 , Apr 16, 2013
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                When I first started out, the glue we used was a paste made from resin and EtOH. I don't know if this is still around or used but I've sinced used white glue but like I said, as far as putting on the side of a pin, I keep this limited to diptera. I point everything else but I do prefer to use pins only. However, back then, we also used potassium cyanide and I've since used ethyl acetate or freezer. In a pinch, I was also taught to use a local species of milipede for cyanide to kill insects separated within a killing jar even! Surely we know at what point an improper pin size will obliterate certain characteristics on the thorax?
                 
                Cheers,
                 
                Gord


                From: Peter Bernhardt [mailto:bernhap2@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, 16, April, 2013 06:09 AM
                To: Hutchings GE@FMF@Esquimalt
                Cc: Bee United
                Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] pin sizes for bees?

                Dear Gordon:

                It sounds to me like we need some sort of guidance in the form of a publication in a reviewed journal. it should have a title like, "Pinning bees must not obliterate critical dorsum characters.

                Frankly, I don't like to point and I'm not a fan of using the Michener method of adding a dab of glue to the pin shaft and letting it adhere to the bee's side. I find that pointed specimens tend to fall off the point after a few years. Perhaps I'm not using the preferred flue and would appreciate some advice regarding the choice of brands. Perhaps we need another publication on the comparative uses of industrial mucilages written in the style of a "Consumer Reports" article.

                Peter


                On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM, <Gordon.Hutchings@...> wrote:
                Peter,
                You see, this fellow said that I would be "...ruining the specimens if I used anything other than a #3", whatever that means. If I put a #3 through a small Halictus, in my opinion I'd ruin it, that's why I'm asking the question.
                Gord


                From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Peter Bernhardt
                Sent: Monday, 15, April, 2013 14:52 PM
                To: Hutchings GE@FMF@Esquimalt
                Cc: Bee United
                Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] pin sizes for bees?

                If you are not supposed to use 0, 00 or 000 why do they make them? Gordon, your email was the first I've heard banning anything less than 3. I was taught by Michener to never to use anything less than a 1 (point anything too small for a 1) and I followed his instructions for years. Remember, I'm only a botanist and most of the flowers I study are pollinated by bees less than 8-9 mm in length. . When I used #1 on some Lasioglossum spp. and small halictids the people identifying my bees complained I was ruining the specimens they wanted to deposit as museum vouchers. I asked them if I should point them? Both entomologists said, "Don't you have 0 or 00? Yes, let's stick with the program but what IS the program?

                Peter


                On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM, <Gordon.Hutchings@...> wrote:


                Hello,

                As it is often been stated, there are no dumb questions but I've been
                hesitating to deal with this one so here goes.

                Recently, when I was discussing pinning bees to a contact, he stated to
                make sure I continue to pin all my specimens with a #3 pin or pointing
                my smaller bees. Now, maybe I'm just living in the past but I was taught
                decades ago to pin insects with the appropriate size pin, leaving
                pointing, or minutens, to the very small group of insects. I use #000 to
                #5 for all my insect specimens but this much younger chap stated
                something to me that maybe I should check in with the current protocol
                on pinning. Personally, I still do the old fashioned way and continue to
                pin say a small Hylaeus with a #0 or #1, and a good size Megachile with
                say a #3. It works for me but if one is going to send specimens off, I'd
                like to know where the melittological community stands.

                I guess I have to "get with the program" if it has indeed changed,
                progressed or whatever but for the most part, my specimens are for my
                own purposes until I share or donate to the appropriate institution.

                Thanks,

                Gord

                Gord Hutchings
                Shop 162C U/W Weapons
                FMF CFB Esquimalt
                (250) 363-2200

                *https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement



              • H
                Gordon- Looks like you have had lot of good comments. I tend to agree more with the folks using 1, 2, and 3 s. Here are some of the trade off s and thoughts: -
                Message 8 of 9 , Apr 16, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  Gordon- Looks like you have had lot of good comments. I tend to agree more with the folks using 1, 2, and 3's. Here are some of the trade off's and thoughts:
                  • #1-3's tend to decrease the handling time over the curatorial life of the insect. This not only includes the initial processing but also sorting, identification, curation, and potential loans.
                  • #00-1's may decrease initial processing time versus using points, direct-glue and/or minutens.
                  • Proportionality and Art of using the right size pin- "In the eye of the Bee Holder"
                  • On very limited budgets I advise buying #2's for the bulk of bee processing. [pure opinion] Most bee specimens can be pinned using #2's and the reminder can be mounted with points/or the direct-glue-method.
                  • Thinner pins are more susceptible to corrosion over time - normally bending right at the insect or just below it. 
                  • The correct pin size for pinning a bee would be one in which the pin inserts just inside of the right parapsidal line and doesn't make a hole large enough to reach the midline of the scutum. Causing a split in the scutum tends to indicate a pin that is too large even if it causes a relatively small hole between the midline and the tegula. 
                  • Direct-glue, point, or minuten should always be used instead of compromising the scutum. Caution should be taken not to drive the minuten through the right and left plural areas when double mounting very small bees. The Direct-glue method seems faster than the other two method and works well in the field. Using too much glue will obstruct taxonomically important areas on the left side of the bee. Use just enough glue to attach the right plural area to the pin.
                  • Some will find that using direct-glue with a larger pin is easier than using #0-00's in the field.
                  • In general, the largest pin that preserves the integrity of the exoskeleton should be used.  [pure opinion]
                  Finally, Contact the institution that you would like to donate the specimens. If there are specific standards that should be meet, they are the ones to ask. 

                  Best,
                  H

                  Harold W Ikerd
                  Hikerd@...
                  435-227-5711 (Google Voice)
                  435-797-2526(work)
                  http://biocol.org/urn:lsid:biocol.org:col:33039



                  On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 1:43 PM, <Gordon.Hutchings@...> wrote:
                   


                  Hello,

                  As it is often been stated, there are no dumb questions but I've been
                  hesitating to deal with this one so here goes.

                  Recently, when I was discussing pinning bees to a contact, he stated to
                  make sure I continue to pin all my specimens with a #3 pin or pointing
                  my smaller bees. Now, maybe I'm just living in the past but I was taught
                  decades ago to pin insects with the appropriate size pin, leaving
                  pointing, or minutens, to the very small group of insects. I use #000 to
                  #5 for all my insect specimens but this much younger chap stated
                  something to me that maybe I should check in with the current protocol
                  on pinning. Personally, I still do the old fashioned way and continue to
                  pin say a small Hylaeus with a #0 or #1, and a good size Megachile with
                  say a #3. It works for me but if one is going to send specimens off, I'd
                  like to know where the melittological community stands.

                  I guess I have to "get with the program" if it has indeed changed,
                  progressed or whatever but for the most part, my specimens are for my
                  own purposes until I share or donate to the appropriate institution.

                  Thanks,

                  Gord

                  Gord Hutchings
                  Shop 162C U/W Weapons
                  FMF CFB Esquimalt
                  (250) 363-2200

                  https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement


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