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The Soap Collecting Jar

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  • Sam Droege
    All: This past week I went on a collecting trip and realized that my cyanide jar was near to expiring. Since I usually dump specimens into alcohol or wash all
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 4, 2008
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      All:

      This past week I went on a collecting trip and realized that my cyanide jar was near to expiring.  Since I usually dump specimens into alcohol or wash all bees caught while net collecting I thought I would just collect them out of the net directly using a small jar of soapy water (in this case something that was similar to a large film canister).  I thought it worked well enough that I would pass my observation on to this group, so you can try it too.  

      What I noticed was that if I filled the jar about half full or a little less with soapy water (using dish washing detergent) that it would form a constant head of suds while riding around in my pants pocket.  When I used it in the net it had the great advantage of immediately trapping any insect in the suds and thus I could clean out the net of as many specimens as I wished.  With a normal killing jar I could accumulate 2-4 specimens but at some point more would be leaving than going in.  This was particularly nice when dealing with large nasty specimens.

      I also found that while I had to be a bit more aware of how I carried the jar (water seeking its own level and all that) I can easily lug the jar around and use the jar to directly collect off of flowers without a net.  

      Like specimens caught in bowl traps, specimens can be readily left in the soapy water for 24-hours and, while a bit soggy, will last for 48 without too much degradation.

      So the advantages appear to me to be:

      Don't have to lug toxic chemicals around
      Soap and water are readily available
      Restrains specimens immediately
      Can collect all specimens in a net at one time
      Inconspicuous to the general public
      Pollen and gunk are washed off while in the vial
      Cheap

      Disadvantages:

      No pollen analysis
      Specimens are wet
      Jar needs to be held a bit more upright when open than a normal killing jar
      If cap not on correctly the water can leak
      Specimens have to be dried prior to pinning

      sam

                                                     
      Sam Droege  Sam_Droege@...                      
      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
      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov
                                                   
      Yes, the young sparrows
      If you treat them tenderly
      Thank you with droppings.
          - Issa




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    • frozenbeedoc@cs.com
      Hey Sam, I figured that out last summer (soap in collecting jars). Forgot to tell you. Worked well for me. I used a small jelly canning jar. Easy to carry
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 4, 2008
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        Hey Sam,

        I figured that out last summer (soap in collecting jars).  Forgot to tell you.  Worked well for me.  I used a small jelly canning jar.  Easy to carry and use.

        Anita
      • Jack Neff
        Sam: I understand the utility of pan traps and the like for certain types of surveys, but I regret the generation of so many specimens with no biological
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 4, 2008
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          Sam: I understand the utility of pan traps and the
          like for certain types of surveys, but I regret the
          generation of so many specimens with no biological
          information beyond it was there then. For bee
          biology, this is a step backwards. Hand collecting
          directly into soapy water, or alcohol or whatever, is
          a useful emergency technique but I would hope it would
          would not become a primary collecting method. The
          pollen that bees collect is valuable data and removing
          it as a matter of course, either as a byproduct of the
          collecting technique, or intentionally, as a matter
          of aesthetics or ease of identification, is something
          that should be discouraged. A rigorous analysis of
          diet breadth in bees requires pollen analysis and this
          is impossible for specimens that have been through the
          washer.

          best

          Jack
          --- frozenbeedoc@... wrote:

          > Hey Sam,
          >
          > I figured that out last summer (soap in collecting
          > jars). Forgot to tell
          > you. Worked well for me. I used a small jelly
          > canning jar. Easy to carry and
          > use.
          >
          > Anita
          >


          John L. Neff
          Central Texas Melittological Institute
          7307 Running Rope
          Austin,TX 78731 USA
          512-345-7219
        • Liz Day
          ... I would have to agree with this, only from the point of view of identifying bumblebees. Of course, they can be washed, and apparently can sometimes be
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 4, 2008
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            >Hand collecting directly into soapy water, or alcohol or whatever, is a useful emergency technique but I would hope it would would not become a primary collecting method.

            I would have to agree with this, only from the point of view of identifying bumblebees.
            Of course, they can be washed, and apparently can sometimes be restored to their original appearance, but from what I've seen, many are not completely restored, and remain a bit wet-looking.
            Because the color and texture of the coat of hair are important characters for ID, a poorly-restored bee can turn a 10-second determination into a two-minute one. If the bee wasn't cleaned up, a 10-second determination becomes a half hour one, or possibly none at all. It's much easier with specimens whose hair never got wet.
            I don't know if this outweighs the other benefits or not.

            Cheers,
            Liz


            ---------------------------
            Liz Day
            Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
            lizday44@...
            ---------------------------
          • Sam Droege
            Jack: I agree, in general...the soapy water collection does destroy all pollen and that has been a valuable contribution to bee natural history and thus
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 4, 2008
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              Jack:

              I agree, in general...the soapy water collection does destroy all pollen and that has been a valuable contribution to bee natural history and thus collecting fresh specimens and placing them in the museum are always to be encouraged.  However, much of what we are doing are general surveys of relatively common species (though with surprises) and our limiting factor is usually time, so we are attracted to some of the bowl techniques.  In reality I almost always use both.  I put out bowls in the early A.M. and net collect through the day.  Each collection technique emphasizes a different fraction of the bee community.  The advantage of bowls for general surveys is that they are more replicable than following the ramblings, skill, and proclivities of a person with a net.  

              In the end it depends on what your project and goals as to what combination you use.  In many circumstances a nice array of Malaise traps is really the ticket...but then these have a separate set of issues.

              sam

              Sam Droege  Sam_Droege@...                      
              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
              Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov


              "...and though the holes were rather small, they had to count them all..."

              A day in the life.
              Sargent Peppers
              Beatles



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              Jack Neff <jlnatctmi@...>
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              06/04/2008 02:30 PM

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              Re: [beemonitoring] The Soap Collecting Jar





              Sam: I understand the utility of pan traps and the
              like for certain types of surveys, but I regret the
              generation of so many specimens with no biological
              information beyond it was there then. For bee
              biology, this is a step backwards. Hand collecting
              directly into soapy water, or alcohol or whatever, is
              a useful emergency technique but I would hope it would
              would not become a primary collecting method. The
              pollen that bees collect is valuable data and removing
              it as a matter of course, either as a byproduct of the
              collecting technique, or intentionally, as a matter
              of aesthetics or ease of identification, is something
              that should be discouraged. A rigorous analysis of
              diet breadth in bees requires pollen analysis and this
              is impossible for specimens that have been through the
              washer.

              best

              Jack
              ---
              frozenbeedoc@... wrote:

              > Hey Sam,
              >
              > I figured that out last summer (soap in collecting
              > jars). Forgot to tell
              > you. Worked well for me. I used a small jelly
              > canning jar. Easy to carry and
              > use.
              >
              > Anita
              >

              John L. Neff
              Central Texas Melittological Institute
              7307 Running Rope
              Austin,TX 78731 USA
              512-345-7219


            • T'ai Roulston
              ... Sam: A lot of people are repeating statements similar to this, casually and in submitted manuscripts. Certainly, any standardized collecting is more
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 4, 2008
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                 The advantage of bowls for general surveys is that they are more replicable than following the ramblings, skill, and proclivities of a person with a net.   


                Sam:

                A lot of people are repeating statements similar to this, casually and in submitted manuscripts.  Certainly, any standardized collecting is more repeatable than non-standardized collecting (the rambling, skill, and proclivity part). Is pan-trapping more repeatable than standardized intensive netting? It probably is, but I haven't seen the data yet. There can certainly be big differences among collectors in catching small or speedy insects, but the variability of pan trap catch with placement can be extraordinary as well.  Repeatability is likely to be strongly related to sampling effort (number of collectors/collecting time or number of pan traps) plus variation related to biases in method. None of these factors are well documented or, to my knowledge, easily generalized at this point.

                T'ai

                T'ai Roulston
                Associate Director Blandy Experimental Farm
                Research Assoc. Prof. Environmental Sciences
                University of Virginia
                400 Blandy Farm Lane
                Boyce, VA 22620
                540 837-1758 ext 276

              • Sam Droege
                T ai: True, I am generalizing based on experience rather than on data. Other than some rather small references in papers to differences in observers in
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 5, 2008
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                  T'ai:

                  True, I am generalizing based on experience rather than on data.  Other than some rather small references in papers to differences in observers in netting capture rates I can't think of anything published that looks at comparisons in variability in any set of different techniques.   Maybe some design like this:

                  Perhaps use 6 collectors (3 experienced, 3 neophyte) and 18 Study Sites (Vernal bottomlands, transmission lines, or fields, 1 Hectare but perhaps larger so their is a larger collection of bees to sample from)


                  Day 1.  Observers are assigned to the 18 sites (3 each) in which they set out bowls in the early a.m. and then net for 1 hour during the middle of the day.
                  Day 2. Observers do an additional 3 sites allocated in such as way that all pairs of observers have been matched.  (note that there would be 3 extra sites on day 2)

                  It would be nice to repeat this at another 18 sites so that the number of bees wouldn't be exhausted at a site.,.... or perhaps better... simply wait several weeks and do it again on the same sites

                  That's my initial idea.  I have a feeling there is a more parsimonious design out there somewhere but can't think of it at this point.   I am also concerned that because we are dealing with day, site, observer, and technique factors here that our degrees of freedom might be eaten up.  This would be a grand summer student project. .... How about doing it at Blandy this summer?  I would be glad to come down to participate.

                  sam

                                                                 
                  Sam Droege  Sam_Droege@...                      
                  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
                  Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov


                  Albert Einstein
                  “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”


                  P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed.


                  T'ai Roulston <thr8z@...>
                  Sent by: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com

                  06/04/2008 09:35 PM

                  Please respond to
                  beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com

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                  Re: [beemonitoring] The Soap Collecting Jar






                   The advantage of bowls for general surveys is that they are more replicable than following the ramblings, skill, and proclivities of a person with a net.   



                  Sam:

                  A lot of people are repeating statements similar to this, casually and in submitted manuscripts.  Certainly, any standardized collecting is more repeatable than non-standardized collecting (the rambling, skill, and proclivity part). Is pan-trapping more repeatable than standardized intensive netting? It probably is, but I haven't seen the data yet. There can certainly be big differences among collectors in catching small or speedy insects, but the variability of pan trap catch with placement can be extraordinary as well.  Repeatability is likely to be strongly related to sampling effort (number of collectors/collecting time or number of pan traps) plus variation related to biases in method. None of these factors are well documented or, to my knowledge, easily generalized at this point.

                  T'ai

                  T'ai Roulston
                  Associate Director Blandy Experimental Farm
                  Research Assoc. Prof. Environmental Sciences
                  University of Virginia
                  400 Blandy Farm Lane
                  Boyce, VA 22620
                  540 837-1758 ext 276
                  thr8z@...


                • T'ai Roulston
                  Sam: Your basic design is reasonable and it would be great to have someone do something similar sometime. An hour of netting is definitely not sufficient and
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jun 5, 2008
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                    Sam:

                    Your basic design is reasonable and it would be great to have someone do something similar sometime. An hour of netting is definitely not sufficient and there is no doubt that bowls would win hands-down for repeatability in most circumstances with such limited net collecting. The hour that people use to accompany bowls now is not for a real faunal survey but rather to get some things that bowls miss. In my current community surveys with nets, I use something on the order of 10 collecting hours per day per site (with a substantial crew, total duration depending on the number of plant species of interest). Obviously, only people with substantial resources (human and otherwise) and a need for data of faunal associations can deploy that kind of effort. What is really needed is a comparison of sampling efforts (how many bowls are necessary --data you probably have in spades-- for species accumulation curves or other metrics to flatten) and how many net hours of sampling by single collectors are required for the same saturation estimates. When that is established, the variability of collectors can be thrown in to understand the relationship between sampling effort and method bias.  I train novel net collectors every year for intensive field work. I don't have systematic data for comparisons of individual collectors (I make sure that everyone collects on all plants to avoid systematic person x plant collection biases), but I am impressed with how quickly people get good at collecting. I think that most but not all biases from individual collectors can be controlled by sampling protocols. Selection of method should always depend on the ultimate goal for the data and which types of biases and limitations are most tolerable.

                    T'ai

                    On Jun 5, 2008, at 8:26 AM, Sam Droege wrote:


                    T'ai: 

                    True, I am generalizing based on experience rather than on data.  Other than some rather small references in papers to differences in observers in netting capture rates I can't think of anything published that looks at comparisons in variability in any set of different techniques.   Maybe some design like this: 

                    Perhaps use 6 collectors (3 experienced, 3 neophyte) and 18 Study Sites (Vernal bottomlands, transmission lines, or fields, 1 Hectare but perhaps larger so their is a larger collection of bees to sample from) 


                    Day 1.  Observers are assigned to the 18 sites (3 each) in which they set out bowls in the early a.m. and then net for 1 hour during the middle of the day. 
                    Day 2. Observers do an additional 3 sites allocated in such as way that all pairs of observers have been matched.  (note that there would be 3 extra sites on day 2) 

                    It would be nice to repeat this at another 18 sites so that the number of bees wouldn't be exhausted at a site.,.... or perhaps better... simply wait several weeks and do it again on the same sites 

                    That's my initial idea.  I have a feeling there is a more parsimonious design out there somewhere but can't think of it at this point.   I am also concerned that because we are dealing with day, site, observer, and technique factors here that our degrees of freedom might be eaten up.  This would be a grand summer student project. .... How about doing it at Blandy this summer?  I would be glad to come down to participate. 

                    sam 

                                                                   
                    Sam Droege  Sam_Droege@USGS. GOV                      
                    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
                    Http://www.pwrc. usgs.gov



                    Albert Einstein
                    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
                     

                    P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed. 


                    T'ai Roulston <thr8z@virginia. edu> 
                    Sent by: beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com

                    06/04/2008 09:35 PM

                    Please respond to
                    beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com

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                    Re: [beemonitoring] The Soap Collecting Jar






                     The advantage of bowls for general surveys is that they are more replicable than following the ramblings, skill, and proclivities of a person with a net.   



                    Sam: 

                    A lot of people are repeating statements similar to this, casually and in submitted manuscripts.  Certainly, any standardized collecting is more repeatable than non-standardized collecting (the rambling, skill, and proclivity part). Is pan-trapping more repeatable than standardized intensive netting? It probably is, but I haven't seen the data yet. There can certainly be big differences among collectors in catching small or speedy insects, but the variability of pan trap catch with placement can be extraordinary as well.  Repeatability is likely to be strongly related to sampling effort (number of collectors/collecti ng time or number of pan traps) plus variation related to biases in method. None of these factors are well documented or, to my knowledge, easily generalized at this point. 

                    T'ai 

                    T'ai Roulston 
                    Associate Director Blandy Experimental Farm 
                    Research Assoc. Prof. Environmental Sciences 
                    University of Virginia 
                    400 Blandy Farm Lane 
                    Boyce, VA 22620 
                    540 837-1758 ext 276 
                    thr8z@virginia. edu 




                    T'ai Roulston
                    Associate Director, Blandy Experimental Farm
                    Research Assoc. Professor, Dept Envi Sci. University of Virginia
                    400 Blandy Farm Lane
                    Boyce, VA 22620

                  • Jerry_Freilich@nps.gov
                    I ve been following this thread with some interest. I ve always felt sympathy for E.O Wilson who turned to ants because of a vision problem resulting from an
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jun 5, 2008
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                      I've been following this thread with some interest. I've always felt
                      sympathy for E.O Wilson who turned to ants because of a vision problem
                      resulting from an accident. I have no excuse as good as Uncle Ed's, but
                      I've always felt that I don't have very good hand/eye coordination in
                      netting small, fast-moving bees. When I'm with other bee folks, I always
                      miss the things they catch. I've tended to use pan collectors and other
                      bulk traps simply because I'm not good at the other stuff despite having
                      had excellent teachers. I've always assumed that the pan collecting may be
                      more repeatable but that perhaps I'm missing the "good stuff" I'd only be
                      able to get by being an expert, and by being fast.

                      T'ai's comments on teaching novices and inter-observer differences rang a
                      bell. I worked on a similar problem years ago when screening people to
                      search for desert tortoises. In a controlled experiment on replicated
                      plots, I found that certain people were markedly better than others at
                      finding tortoises, but that previous experience at doing this work was NOT
                      a predictor of that ability. In other words, there were pronounced
                      differences among people in developing a search image, staying focused, or
                      discerning patterns, but that previous experience did not necessarily help
                      with this. These results suggested that spending some time to find those
                      talented searchers would be worthwhile. I also tried using a page from
                      "Where's Waldo?" as a quick surrogate to see if it was any predictor. I.e.,
                      to see if people with better Waldo finding skills would be better tortoise
                      finders. That didn't work out, but I still think that people vary widely in
                      their ability to pick up on things and that that talent should be sought
                      out and rewarded. The skill sets used with bees and tortoises may be very
                      different but I bet that the underlying principles are likely the same.
                      While researching the paper I found that there were relatively few studies
                      on inter-observer bias. (Freilich, J.E. and E.L. LaRue. 1998. Importance of
                      observer experience in finding desert tortoises. Journal of Wildlife
                      Management 62 (2): 590-596.)

                      Jerry
                      __________________________
                      Jerry Freilich, Ph.D.
                      Research Coordinator, Olympic National Park
                      Coordinator, North Coast & Cascades Research Learning Network
                      Olympic National Park
                      600 E. Park Ave.
                      Port Angeles, WA 98362

                      Phone: 360-565-3082
                      Fax: 360-565-3070
                      Cell: 360-477-3338
                      Jerry_Freilich@...

                      "This is the most beautiful place on earth,
                      there are many such places..."
                      Edward Abbey
                      ___________________________



                      T'ai Roulston
                      <thr8z@virginia.e
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                      06/05/2008 09:01 Collecting Jar
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                      Sam:



                      Your basic design is reasonable and it would be great to have someone do something
                      similar sometime. An hour of netting is definitely not sufficient and there is no
                      doubt that bowls would win hands-down for repeatability in most circumstances with
                      such limited net collecting. The hour that people use to accompany bowls now is
                      not for a real faunal survey but rather to get some things that bowls miss. In my
                      current community surveys with nets, I use something on the order of 10 collecting
                      hours per day per site (with a substantial crew, total duration depending on the
                      number of plant species of interest). Obviously, only people with substantial
                      resources (human and otherwise) and a need for data of faunal associations can
                      deploy that kind of effort. What is really needed is a comparison of sampling
                      efforts (how many bowls are necessary --data you probably have in spades-- for
                      species accumulation curves or other metrics to flatten) and how many net hours of
                      sampling by single collectors are required for the same saturation estimates. When
                      that is established, the variability of collectors can be thrown in to understand
                      the relationship between sampling effort and method bias. I train novel net
                      collectors every year for intensive field work. I don't have systematic data for
                      comparisons of individual collectors (I make sure that everyone collects on all
                      plants to avoid systematic person x plant collection biases), but I am impressed
                      with how quickly people get good at collecting. I think that most but not all
                      biases from individual collectors can be controlled by sampling protocols.
                      Selection of method should always depend on the ultimate goal for the data and
                      which types of biases and limitations are most tolerable.

                      T'ai

                      On Jun 5, 2008, at 8:26 AM, Sam Droege wrote:




                      T'ai:

                      True, I am generalizing based on experience rather than on data. Other than
                      some rather small references in papers to differences in observers in
                      netting capture rates I can't think of anything published that looks at
                      comparisons in variability in any set of different techniques. Maybe some
                      design like this:

                      Perhaps use 6 collectors (3 experienced, 3 neophyte) and 18 Study Sites
                      (Vernal bottomlands, transmission lines, or fields, 1 Hectare but perhaps
                      larger so their is a larger collection of bees to sample from)


                      Day 1. Observers are assigned to the 18 sites (3 each) in which they set
                      out bowls in the early a.m. and then net for 1 hour during the middle of the
                      day.
                      Day 2. Observers do an additional 3 sites allocated in such as way that all
                      pairs of observers have been matched. (note that there would be 3 extra
                      sites on day 2)

                      It would be nice to repeat this at another 18 sites so that the number of
                      bees wouldn't be exhausted at a site.,.... or perhaps better... simply wait
                      several weeks and do it again on the same sites

                      That's my initial idea. I have a feeling there is a more parsimonious
                      design out there somewhere but can't think of it at this point. I am also
                      concerned that because we are dealing with day, site, observer, and
                      technique factors here that our degrees of freedom might be eaten up. This
                      would be a grand summer student project. .... How about doing it at Blandy
                      this summer? I would be glad to come down to participate.

                      sam


                      Sam Droege Sam_Droege@...
                      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
                      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov




                      Albert Einstein
                      “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts
                      can be counted.”

                      P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed.




                      T'ai Roulston <thr8z@...>
                      Sent by: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com


                      06/04/2008 09:35 PM





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                      Collecting Jar










                      The advantage of bowls for general surveys is that they are more replicable
                      than following the ramblings, skill, and proclivities of a person with a
                      net.




                      Sam:

                      A lot of people are repeating statements similar to this, casually and in
                      submitted manuscripts. Certainly, any standardized collecting is more
                      repeatable than non-standardized collecting (the rambling, skill, and
                      proclivity part). Is pan-trapping more repeatable than standardized
                      intensive netting? It probably is, but I haven't seen the data yet. There
                      can certainly be big differences among collectors in catching small or
                      speedy insects, but the variability of pan trap catch with placement can be
                      extraordinary as well. Repeatability is likely to be strongly related to
                      sampling effort (number of collectors/collecting time or number of pan
                      traps) plus variation related to biases in method. None of these factors are
                      well documented or, to my knowledge, easily generalized at this point.

                      T'ai

                      T'ai Roulston
                      Associate Director Blandy Experimental Farm
                      Research Assoc. Prof. Environmental Sciences
                      University of Virginia
                      400 Blandy Farm Lane
                      Boyce, VA 22620
                      540 837-1758 ext 276
                      thr8z@...







                      T'ai Roulston
                      Associate Director, Blandy Experimental Farm
                      Research Assoc. Professor, Dept Envi Sci. University of Virginia
                      400 Blandy Farm Lane
                      Boyce, VA 22620
                    • Sam Droege
                      Jerry: Very interesting comparison. There is quite a large literature on inter-observer differences now in bird counts, particularly the common point count
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jun 5, 2008
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                        Jerry:

                        Very interesting comparison.  There is quite a large literature on inter-observer differences now in bird counts, particularly the common point count system.  The results demonstrate that, no surprise, there are quite large differences in abilities to detect birds among observers.  Due to all of that we almost always model in an observer co-variable when looking at trend data.  A similar thing is generally to be expected in any skill-based system of counting or catching wildlife as your turtle work clearly shows (very interesting there wasn't a clear association with training!).  I think the main feature in the case of bowls is the more interesting notion of whether people somehow affect capture rates due to a way they may be laying out the bowls and also whether bowl captures are more variable due to differential capture rates under different conditions.

                        In the later regard we have 2 projects this summer that hopefully will bear on the topic of variability of captures due to extrinsic factors.

                        1.  Patty String will be working in Northern Virginia on stormwater ponds.  These ubiquitous ponds are mown once a year through a county contract and she has been collecting permissions from the various landowners to do a before/after/control/treatment experiment.  The general idea is to see if capture rates change (generally thought to increase) after mowing due to a loss of nectar resources and perhaps an increased visibility.

                        2.  Leo Shapiro will be working with Region 5 (Virginia to New England) National Wildlife Refuges to look at variability of bowl captures across and among refuges on a set of fields on a fixed day and in some cases across several days.  This will give us some idea about how bowl captures of bees vary from field to field which will give us some sense of sample size allocation, biodiversity estimation, uniformity (or lack there of) of regional populations of bees, etc.  Leo emailed today and we will be talking tomorrow about the possibility of adding a separate net component, but since we only got one third of what we requested, we likely won't be able to do that much.

                        sam


                        Sam Droege  Sam_Droege@...                      
                        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
                        Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov


                        Excuse my wandering.
                        How can one be orderly with this?
                        It's like counting leaves in a garden,
                        along with the sound notes of partridges,
                        and crows.
                        Sometimes organization
                        and computation become absurd.
                                           Rumi
                        P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed.


                        Jerry_Freilich@...
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                        06/05/2008 11:43 AM

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                        Re: [beemonitoring] The Soap Collecting Jar





                        I've been following this thread with some interest. I've always felt
                        sympathy for E.O Wilson who turned to ants because of a vision problem
                        resulting from an accident. I have no excuse as good as Uncle Ed's, but
                        I've always felt that I don't have very good hand/eye coordination in
                        netting small, fast-moving bees. When I'm with other bee folks, I always
                        miss the things they catch. I've tended to use pan collectors and other
                        bulk traps simply because I'm not good at the other stuff despite having
                        had excellent teachers. I've always assumed that the pan collecting may be
                        more repeatable but that perhaps I'm missing the "good stuff" I'd only be
                        able to get by being an expert, and by being fast.

                        T'ai's comments on teaching novices and inter-observer differences rang a
                        bell. I worked on a similar problem years ago when screening people to
                        search for desert tortoises. In a controlled experiment on replicated
                        plots, I found that certain people were markedly better than others at
                        finding tortoises, but that previous experience at doing this work was NOT
                        a predictor of that ability. In other words, there were pronounced
                        differences among people in developing a search image, staying focused, or
                        discerning patterns, but that previous experience did not necessarily help
                        with this. These results suggested that spending some time to find those
                        talented searchers would be worthwhile. I also tried using a page from
                        "Where's Waldo?" as a quick surrogate to see if it was any predictor. I.e.,
                        to see if people with better Waldo finding skills would be better tortoise
                        finders. That didn't work out, but I still think that people vary widely in
                        their ability to pick up on things and that that talent should be sought
                        out and rewarded. The skill sets used with bees and tortoises may be very
                        different but I bet that the underlying principles are likely the same.
                        While researching the paper I found that there were relatively few studies
                        on inter-observer bias. (Freilich, J.E. and E.L. LaRue. 1998. Importance of
                        observer experience in finding desert tortoises. Journal of Wildlife
                        Management 62 (2): 590-596.)

                        Jerry
                        __________________________
                        Jerry Freilich, Ph.D.
                        Research Coordinator, Olympic National Park
                        Coordinator, North Coast & Cascades Research Learning Network
                        Olympic National Park
                        600 E. Park Ave.
                        Port Angeles, WA 98362

                        Phone: 360-565-3082
                        Fax: 360-565-3070
                        Cell: 360-477-3338

                        Jerry_Freilich@...

                        "This is the most beautiful place on earth,
                        there are many such places..."
                        Edward Abbey
                        ___________________________



                        T'ai Roulston
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                        Sam:



                        Your basic design is reasonable and it would be great to have someone do something
                        similar sometime. An hour of netting is definitely not sufficient and there is no
                        doubt that bowls would win hands-down for repeatability in most circumstances with
                        such limited net collecting. The hour that people use to accompany bowls now is
                        not for a real faunal survey but rather to get some things that bowls miss. In my
                        current community surveys with nets, I use something on the order of 10 collecting
                        hours per day per site (with a substantial crew, total duration depending on the
                        number of plant species of interest). Obviously, only people with substantial
                        resources (human and otherwise) and a need for data of faunal associations can
                        deploy that kind of effort. What is really needed is a comparison of sampling
                        efforts (how many bowls are necessary --data you probably have in spades-- for
                        species accumulation curves or other metrics to flatten) and how many net hours of
                        sampling by single collectors are required for the same saturation estimates. When
                        that is established, the variability of collectors can be thrown in to understand
                        the relationship between sampling effort and method bias. I train novel net
                        collectors every year for intensive field work. I don't have systematic data for
                        comparisons of individual collectors (I make sure that everyone collects on all
                        plants to avoid systematic person x plant collection biases), but I am impressed
                        with how quickly people get good at collecting. I think that most but not all
                        biases from individual collectors can be controlled by sampling protocols.
                        Selection of method should always depend on the ultimate goal for the data and
                        which types of biases and limitations are most tolerable.

                        T'ai

                        On Jun 5, 2008, at 8:26 AM, Sam Droege wrote:




                        T'ai:

                        True, I am generalizing based on experience rather than on data. Other than
                        some rather small references in papers to differences in observers in
                        netting capture rates I can't think of anything published that looks at
                        comparisons in variability in any set of different techniques. Maybe some
                        design like this:

                        Perhaps use 6 collectors (3 experienced, 3 neophyte) and 18 Study Sites
                        (Vernal bottomlands, transmission lines, or fields, 1 Hectare but perhaps
                        larger so their is a larger collection of bees to sample from)


                        Day 1. Observers are assigned to the 18 sites (3 each) in which they set
                        out bowls in the early a.m. and then net for 1 hour during the middle of the
                        day.
                        Day 2. Observers do an additional 3 sites allocated in such as way that all
                        pairs of observers have been matched. (note that there would be 3 extra
                        sites on day 2)

                        It would be nice to repeat this at another 18 sites so that the number of
                        bees wouldn't be exhausted at a site.,.... or perhaps better... simply wait
                        several weeks and do it again on the same sites

                        That's my initial idea. I have a feeling there is a more parsimonious
                        design out there somewhere but can't think of it at this point. I am also
                        concerned that because we are dealing with day, site, observer, and
                        technique factors here that our degrees of freedom might be eaten up. This
                        would be a grand summer student project. .... How about doing it at Blandy
                        this summer? I would be glad to come down to participate.

                        sam


                        Sam Droege
                        Sam_Droege@...
                        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

                        Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov




                        Albert Einstein
                        “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts
                        can be counted.”

                        P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed.




                        T'ai Roulston <
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                        The advantage of bowls for general surveys is that they are more replicable
                        than following the ramblings, skill, and proclivities of a person with a
                        net.




                        Sam:

                        A lot of people are repeating statements similar to this, casually and in
                        submitted manuscripts. Certainly, any standardized collecting is more
                        repeatable than non-standardized collecting (the rambling, skill, and
                        proclivity part). Is pan-trapping more repeatable than standardized
                        intensive netting? It probably is, but I haven't seen the data yet. There
                        can certainly be big differences among collectors in catching small or
                        speedy insects, but the variability of pan trap catch with placement can be
                        extraordinary as well. Repeatability is likely to be strongly related to
                        sampling effort (number of collectors/collecting time or number of pan
                        traps) plus variation related to biases in method. None of these factors are
                        well documented or, to my knowledge, easily generalized at this point.

                        T'ai

                        T'ai Roulston
                        Associate Director Blandy Experimental Farm
                        Research Assoc. Prof. Environmental Sciences
                        University of Virginia
                        400 Blandy Farm Lane
                        Boyce, VA 22620
                        540 837-1758 ext 276

                        thr8z@...







                        T'ai Roulston
                        Associate Director, Blandy Experimental Farm
                        Research Assoc. Professor, Dept Envi Sci. University of Virginia
                        400 Blandy Farm Lane
                        Boyce, VA 22620



                      • frozenbeedoc@cs.com
                        Sam et al. RE washing pollen off of soapy water collected bees. It takes some concerted efforts to shake up these bees in soapy water for washing off the
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jun 5, 2008
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                          Sam et al.

                          RE washing pollen off of soapy water collected bees.  It takes some concerted efforts to shake up these bees in soapy water for washing off the pollen.   Vigorous shaking for at least one minute, and that doesn't always do it.  If one is just netting a bee and dropping it into soapy water for killing, I doubt you would lose all of the pollen.  Maybe a pellet, yes, but not whats in the hairs.

                          Anita  Collins
                          USDA, ARS retired
                        • OOWONBS@Netscape.net
                          Anita, Is this valid for bees that have been in soapy water all day, bounced around in a shirt pocket, or just those... under an hour? Also, if my
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jun 6, 2008
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                            Anita,
                            Is this valid for bees that have been in soapy water "all day,"
                            bounced around in a shirt pocket, or just those... "under an hour?"

                            Also, if my observation is correct, congrats on the best
                            self-contained post, not requiring a Reply-To tag-a-log, much less,
                            multiples tag-a-longs, as observed, (and as noted by YahOops
                            auto-count of 11 messages in this Digest, below noted,)
                            though the Digest enumerated just 5. (I think they missed
                            some that were stuck together, LOL! )

                            Your post was the most eeasily, observed...! ;>)))
                            BillSF9c

                            >Sam et al.

                            >RE washing pollen off of soapy water collected bees. It takes some
                            concerted
                            efforts to shake up these bees in soapy water for washing off the
                            pollen.
                            Vigorous shaking for at least one minute, and that doesn't always do
                            it. If
                            one is just netting a bee and dropping it into soapy water for killing,
                            I doubt
                            you would lose all of the pollen. Maybe a pellet, yes, but not whats
                            in the
                            hairs.

                            >Anita Collins
                            >USDA, ARS retired

                            Messages in this topic (11)
                          • frozenbeedoc@cs.com
                            BillSF9c et al., Your question: Is this valid for bees that have been in soapy water all day, bounced around in a shirt pocket, or just those... under an
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jun 6, 2008
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                              BillSF9c et al.,

                              Your question:
                              Is this valid for bees that have been in soapy water "all day,"
                              bounced around in a shirt pocket, or just those... "under an hour?"

                              I think it's true even for those bounced around in a shirt pocket.  Unless of course you're doing some major jumping jacks.  I collect what's in the bowls (in soapy water 24-28 hrs), carry it around in netting for half hour or so, until I get back to the "lab in the car" and then put them in alcohol, whirl-paked.  More bouncing around in alcohol.  And you still have to vigorously shake for at least 60 secs in a small fruit jar in soapy water again.  Plus a number of rinses.  Even then, I still have some pollen in some corners, expecially the most hairy items. 

                              Enough to id the pollen?  I'd think so. 

                              Best,
                              Anita

                              Your post was the most eeasily, observed...! ;>)))
                              BillSF9c

                              >Sam et al.

                              >RE washing pollen off of soapy water collected bees. It takes some
                              concerted
                              efforts to shake up these bees in soapy water for washing off the
                              pollen.
                              Vigorous shaking for at least one minute, and that doesn't always do
                              it. If
                              one is just netting a bee and dropping it into soapy water for killing,
                              I doubt
                              you would lose all of the pollen. Maybe a pellet, yes, but not whats
                              in the
                              hairs.

                              >Anita Collins
                              >USDA, ARS retired


                            • David_r_smith@fws.gov
                              After reading about the concern regarding pollen loss when bees are collected and transported, I have to ask; Are ther standardized methods for collecting
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jun 9, 2008
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                                After reading about the concern regarding pollen loss when bees are collected and transported, I have to ask; Are ther standardized methods for collecting pollen fron collected bees and what references are out there to identify pollen (especially from the western United States).
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