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Nectar Sampling Options

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  • dtpavlik
    Hello everyone, I m a first-year graduate student at the University of Minnesota. I m not working with bees, but will be doing nectar sampling and butterfly
    Message 1 of 3 , May 12, 2014
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      Hello everyone,

      I'm a first-year graduate student at the University of Minnesota. I'm not working with bees, but will be doing nectar sampling and butterfly research in California this summer.

      I've read about the various techniques for extracting nectar (cap tubes, washing, rinsing, filter paper) but am wondering what the best method for doing field research would be.

      Has anyone used the filter paper method for sampling nectar? Most of the flowers I will be sampling nectar from will be very small, with small amounts of nectar leading me to believe cap tubes may not be the best method.

      Thanks for any advice,
      Dave


    • Jack Neff
      Dave:  If you have access to a liquid chromatography system, the filter paper method can be very effective for quantifying sugar amounts and composition for
      Message 2 of 3 , May 12, 2014
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        Dave:  If you have access to a liquid chromatography system, the filter paper method can be very effective for quantifying sugar amounts and composition for very small amounts of nectar.  The weak part is estimating volume which you need for calculating concentration.  One possibility is collecting nectar with 1 microl microcaps to quantify volume and then, if your are dealing with very small quantities, spotting it on filter paper for later analysis.  One can collect nectar directly with filter paper wicks but then you won't know volume. 
        Good luck with your project.

        best

        Jack

         
        John L. Neff
        Central Texas Melittological Institute
        7307 Running Rope
        Austin,TX 78731 USA
        512-345-7219
        On Monday, May 12, 2014 11:27 AM, "dtpavlik@... [beemonitoring]" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
         
        Hello everyone,

        I'm a first-year graduate student at the University of Minnesota. I'm not working with bees, but will be doing nectar sampling and butterfly research in California this summer.

        I've read about the various techniques for extracting nectar (cap tubes, washing, rinsing, filter paper) but am wondering what the best method for doing field research would be.

        Has anyone used the filter paper method for sampling nectar? Most of the flowers I will be sampling nectar from will be very small, with small amounts of nectar leading me to believe cap tubes may not be the best method.

        Thanks for any advice,
        Dave



      • David Inouye
        I had a student from Argentina working with me a few years ago who used a point punch on Whatman #1 filter paper, weighed the triangles before and after
        Message 3 of 3 , May 12, 2014
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          I had a student from Argentina working with me a few years ago who used a point punch on Whatman #1 filter paper, weighed the triangles before and after inserting into florets of two different species of Asteraceae (after the absorbed nectar had dried), and thus quantified the sugar available in the nectar, but not the concentration/volume.  He's working on a manuscript from that project. 

          David Inouye

          At 12:27 PM 5/12/2014, dtpavlik@... [beemonitoring] wrote:
           

          Hello everyone,

          I'm a first-year graduate student at the University of Minnesota. I'm not working with bees, but will be doing nectar sampling and butterfly research in California this summer.

          I've read about the various techniques for extracting nectar (cap tubes, washing, rinsing, filter paper) but am wondering what the best method for doing field research would be.

          Has anyone used the filter paper method for sampling nectar? Most of the flowers I will be sampling nectar from will be very small, with small amounts of nectar leading me to believe cap tubes may not be the best method.

          Thanks for any advice,
          Dave


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