I’m a student working on urban bees, I dont have the experience of many of you in the discussion but I spent three years working haft time mounting insects for an insect seller, and I had to pin every kind of insects using several methods. Now, I’m into bees.
I think that we can choose a pin size specifically to the species we are pinning. I agree that 000 should not be used, but I think that 00 and 0 can be used depending on the genus you are pinning. You are all knowledgeable of bees taxonomy, you can tell a Dialictus from a Halictus, a Hylaeus from a tiny Chelostoma just by looking at it. I think that every Hylaeus and Dialictus (for example) should be pinned with double mounting with a minuten. With that kind of genus, we need puncture pattern or size of pits and if its ruined by a big pin you might misidentify it or make the taxonomist angry. Pin and minuten have their pros and cons. Making double mounting for Dialictus requires time and pinning them with 00 (not the tiny one like imitatum) is much easier to do and faster.
Now, every boxe have a plastazoate at the bottom, nothing like that the hard cardboard they used before. If you bent a lot of 00 it might happened while putting the label. You cannot act fastly with slender pins. On the other hand, if you need to pin fastly because you have a lot of bees you might choose a #0 but you might hide caracters (row of pits for example like for Ceratina).
I double mount every bees that is less than 7mm, and when you have a good method its doesn’t take too long to do (I have hundreds of Dialictus and around eight thousand bees for last season).
So my main idea : why not pinning a Halictus ligatus with a #3 if you want, species like that dont require to look at the pits but you should use tiny pins with species that require it with the time you have.
Thanks for reading2013/4/15 Jack Neff <jlnatctmi@...>I use stainless #2s for everything and glue the small stuff directly to the pin. Points are OK but have no obvious advantages over direct glueing as far as I can see and take up more space. Minutens are just a fancy way to make spinners.bestJackJohn L. Neff
Central Texas Melittological Institute
7307 Running Rope
Austin,TX 78731 USA
From: "Gordon.Hutchings@..." <Gordon.Hutchings@...>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 5:11 PM
Wow! What a range of answers from all so far but the concensus is to use
0-3 pins only and if smaller, to glue on the side of a #3 pin. This sure
is different from what I was taught 30 years ago as we were told to only
glue insects to pins if they were in the Diptera order.
For those that said small pins less than #0 were too hard to spin or
bend too easily, yes, I'm aware of those hideous cork board boxes
especially utilised in the shipping world but even then, I've always
used one of those pinning pliers with the cross-hatched faces. All my
shmitt boxes and the ones I have access to at the Royal BC Museum all
have nice ethafoam for ease of pin placement.
This reminds me of a story when I was sent in the field for a 14 day
solo trip in northern Saskatchewan (Athabasca Sand Dunes), and I had run
out of shmitt boxes so I made some out of cardboard. Anyways, I caught
way, way more insects in my traps than I had anticipated and seeing that
I didn't have enough alcohol vials, I pinned everything but couldn't put
the smaller pins into corrugated cardboard very well. I had also forgot
to bring my pinning pliers so I ended up using my Swiss Army knife
pliers for thousands of specimens into my cardboard boxes. Luckily the
sky never went completely dark and I did have a large enough tent to
hunker down in at "night" and during times of foul weather to perform
all this work. One had to have this to keep the mosquitoes away as they
were wicked at that time of the year.
I think I'll continue with using the appropriate size pins for the
specimens being pinned and deal with the consequences should I ever get
to loan out my specimens further afield other than here in B.C.
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