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  • Kuehn Faith (DDA)
    Perhaps someone can help with information or contacts for the following questions: 1. Are you aware of anyone conducting use vs. availability analysis
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 29, 2008
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      Perhaps someone can help with information or contacts for the following questions:

       

      1.       Are you aware of anyone conducting “use vs. availability analysis” with bees?
      2.       Can you direct me to a protocol for removing pollen from bee bodies for SEM study?
      3.       Are you aware of anyone conducting SEM or otherwise studies of bee hair?

       

      Thanks and Happy New Year,

      Faith Kuehn

       

      Faith B. Kuehn, Ph.D.
      Plant Industries Administrator
      Delaware Department of Agriculture
      2320 S. Dupont Highway
      Dover, DE   19901
      302-698-4587

    • Peter Bernhardt
      Dear Faith: There are several books available that discuss protocols for the study of pollination. Amots Dafni and Peter Kevan edited one version and there is
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 29, 2008
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        Dear Faith:

        There are several books available that discuss protocols for the study of pollination.  Amots Dafni and Peter Kevan edited one version and there is an older book by David Inouye.  Please go to Amazon.com, put the names into a Search Engine and have a look at what is offered.  In fact, I wrote a chapter on the analysis of pollen carried by pollinators for the Dafni/Kevan book. I am not writing this to scold or humiliate anyone but these shared messages often request information on techniques and protocols that have been in book form for years.

        As for examining pollen carried by bees under SEM, you have several choices.  The question is do you want the grains to retain the original pollenkitt (sticky lipid glue) or do you want them clean of lipid droplets?  If you want them clean then you must wash the grains off the insect using 95% ethanol or ethyl acetate.  Place the bee on a slide and "bathe it" in a few droplets of the solvent while scraping corbiculae or scope with a probe or dissecting pin.  

        If you don't care about the pollenkitt just remove pollen grains (and some bee hairs) with a piece of double-edged sticky tape.  The pollen residue on the tape is attached to a stub and spatter-coated with gold before it goes into the SEM.  The technique I used on pollen grains in bird feathers is described in Bernhardt & Calder (1981; Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club; 108: pp. 213-230). 

        Examining bee hairs under SEm is a common procedure these days as it's part of the taxonomic process for interpreting a lineage.  I'll bet that Dr. Mike Arduser <Michael.Arduser@...> or Peter Kevan can give you some contacts,  

        Peter Bernhardt

        On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 10:19 AM, Kuehn Faith (DDA) <Faith.Kuehn@...> wrote:

        Perhaps someone can help with information or contacts for the following questions:

         

        1.       Are you aware of anyone conducting "use vs. availability analysis" with bees?
        2.       Can you direct me to a protocol for removing pollen from bee bodies for SEM study?
        3.       Are you aware of anyone conducting SEM or otherwise studies of bee hair?

         

        Thanks and Happy New Year,

        Faith Kuehn

         

        Faith B. Kuehn, Ph.D.
        Plant Industries Administrator
        Delaware Department of Agriculture
        2320 S. Dupont Highway
        Dover, DE   19901
        302-698-4587


      • Cane, Jim
        Faith- to start with the easiest first, I would first try leaving the pollen intact on well-dried bee specimens and sputtercoat the bee with its pollen load
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 29, 2008
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          Faith- to start with the easiest first, I would first try leaving the pollen intact on well-dried bee specimens and sputtercoat the bee with its pollen load (or a leg).  The grains are then remarkably clean (unlike any simple extraction) and unexpanded (minimizing artifacts), and since raised off the stub, backgrounds can be much more appealing.  Charging is slow under these circumstances, giving you time to capture images.  Give it a try first to see if it serves your purposes, using some museum specimens.

           

          No one lightly undertakes use vs. availability studies with bees because it is daunting…it takes a practiced palynologist to ID many of the pollen species on bees to even genus, and quantifying pollen production per hectare per plant species (or indeed, just plants per hectare for forbs, or flowers per plant for anything, but esp. trees) are huge undertakings, rarely known (and then quite variable) even for plant monocultures.  Plus you need to sample a lot of bees to account for individual constancy, or better, extract from well-mixed larval nest provisions.  Justin Schmidt and Steve Buchmann and collaborators have some excellent studies, done with honey bees.  You might also look at some of the comparative Osmia nest provisioning studies by Rich Rust and students that undertook this with some success.

           

          There are a number of beautiful studies surveying bee hair morphologies…ones by Roberts, Thorp and Pasteels come to mind, plus there are others that are more taxonmically focused.

           

          Yours,

           

          jim

           

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

          James H. Cane

          USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab

          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

           

          "Seek simplicity but distrust it."
          Alfred North Whitehead

           

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