All: I am not sure why we didn t think of this sooner, but we didn t. We now use a magnetic stir plate to wash our bees. For those of you (like me) who didn t
Message 1 of 1
, Jun 3, 2009
I am not sure why we didn't think of
this sooner, but we didn't. We now use a magnetic stir plate to wash
For those of you (like me) who didn't
have these in college chem lab.... this is a device where a small metal
box creates magnetic fields that causes a a magnet which you have placed
in a flask, beaker, or, in my case, a coffee mug (it cleans the tea and
coffee stains as you wash your bees) to spin. You can change the
speed of the spin by turning a dial and you can use a variety of different
magnet types as stirrers. We use an X-shaped one and I am not sure
that the type would make a significant difference.
Note that things like canning jars that
have convex bottoms with embossed writing on them don't work well as the
magnet bounces around on the irregular surface. The autobeewasher
advantages are that you can simply dump in your bees, add warm water
and soap, set things spinning and then go off and do other things. It
does a wonderful complete job of both removing pollen and, more importantly,
getting rid of the nectar and other sludge that ends up causing the hairs
to stick together. Additionally, since you are doing other things
you can leave them in there for quite a while and won't be tempted to short
cut the process to save time.
You can pick these things up new for
about $100.00 and much less on Ebay and such places.
So below is our current procedure
1. Dump specimens from bag or
vial into a tea strainer
2. Rinse with tap water
3. Dump into coffee mug
4. Add magnetic stirrer, warm
water, and soap (laundry detergent works great)
5. Leave spinning at moderate
speed for about 3-5 minutes
6. Dump back into strainer
7. Rinse bees and coffee mug
8. Dump bees back into coffee
9. Add warm water (or alcohol
if you want to speed things up)
10. Dump into autobeedryer
11. Shake out loose water
12. Turn on autobeedryer
13. Leave on for about 5-10 minutes
14. Dump into unit tray
15. Let specimens dry for a couple
16. Either archive in specimens
in petri dishes for later or process specimens directly...pinning only
those that are special or difficult to ID
When you are dealing with many specimens,
this is a great time saver.
Now if we can can just develop an autobeeidentifier.....
Your Public Servant,
Sam Droege sdroege@...
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
2 is not equal to 3 -- not even for
large values of 2
Bees are not optional.
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