Drying Wet Bees
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Drying Wet Bees

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This slide show demonstrates how to dry bee and other insect specimens that have been stored in alcohol or other liquids with the goal of them having good looking hair.

This slide show demonstrates how to dry bee and other insect specimens that have been stored in alcohol or other liquids with the goal of them having good looking hair.

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Drying Wet Bees Drying Wet Bees Presentation Transcript

  • Drying Wet Bees You WILL be Judged By How Your Bees Look Sam Droege Mark Inda
  • Before you Dry You Must Wash
    • Bee Washing is Covered in a Separate Slide/Power Point Presentation
    • WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?: Bees are covered in Pollen, Nectar, and Sludge if you don’t wash all that off before you dry them then their hair can remain matted no matter how much you dry them
    • Whose fault is that then?
  • There are Three Main Approaches
    • Paper Toweling
    • Blow Drying
    • The Bee Autodryer
  • The Paper Towel Slow, but can be done anywhere
    • First we must honor Frank Parker for developing the art of not only catching bees in bowl traps but developing ways to wash and dry them
    • Frank developed the paper towel technique
  • The Paper Towel What kind to use?
    • Highly absorbent paper towels are better
    • But any will do in a pinch
  • Getting Wet Bees Onto the Towel
    • Drain and snap as much water out of your bee washer as possible (see associated slide show about making a bee washer)
    • Or drain the bees through a tea strainer
    • Removing wet bees from a tea strainer is easier and faster than removing them from a wet jar
    • Hint: Use alcohol as your last rinse in the bee washer to speed the drying process
  • Bee Snapping
    • Snap the tea strainer onto the paper towel
    • Move the bees around on the towel to absorb water
  • Bee Maneuvers
    • Move the bees to a dry paper towel
    • Fold the towel over and rub the towel over the bees
    • Bees are tough so its OK to be vigorous
  • Padding
    • Its best to use several layers of paper towels. In that way the bees are cushioned as you dry them
  • And Move Them All About
    • Rub and move the bees around until there are no more wet spots on the towel
    • NOTE: These paper towels can be used over and over again
  • Shake Until Dry
    • Now, pull the 4 corners of towel together and then the corners of those corners (this keeps the bees from flying out of the towel) and hold them together with your fingers
    • Shake them around for about 1 – several minutes until their wings are popped out and their body hairs are dry and fluffy
    • Yes, it’s quite OK that they are bouncing around, that’s what you want
  • Hints
    • If you have to process 1 million SMALL batches of bees, then you can short cut the process and save yourself a lot of time by dropping them directly onto the towels from the alcohol they were stored in and then doing a quick rub down. They won’t look quite as good but it can save a huge amount of your time.
  • Blow Drying Your Bees
    • After washing bees in a bee washer (see previous slide show) its an easy matter to dry them in their jar with a blow dryer
  • Get rid of as much Water as you can Beforehand
    • The more water you remove now the faster the bees will dry
    • Take your bee washer with the bees in it and snap as much water out as you can
    • By snapping we mean holding the jar firmly and bringing it down sharply to expel the water
    • We do this in the hall, holding the washer above our heads and then arcing it down between our legs (this also amuses our colleagues)
    • Obviously having a good grip and not being near other objects is important here
  • What is the best Hair Dryer?
    • The more air it can push out the better
    • Heat is not as important
    • Size isn’t as correlated with the amount of air as one would imagine
    • Ionizers are a joke (we know we tested them)
  • Blow Drying
    • We usually put a towel down on the table first
    • Rest the jar on the towel
    • Hold the blow dryer close to the jar (about 1cm or so away)
    • Too close and you will overheat the hair dryer
    • If the hair dryer overheats it will shut itself off, at that point just put the whole thing in the freezer and it will recover quickly
  • Action Shot
  • The Technique
    • Hot air speeds things up, but isn’t necessary
    • Blow into the bee washer and rotate the jar
    • We usually bounce the jar around a bit to dislodge the bees from the sides
    • At some point the free water is gone from the jar and the bees will start swirling around
    • Don’t worry they can handle that without a problem
  • How Long?
    • Small, lightly haired bees will dry in about 1 – 1.5 minutes
    • Bumblebees can take about 5 minutes due to their long hair
    • The more bees you have in the jar the longer it will take
    • People tend to get bored and take the bees out a bit too early (this is why we now use autobeedryers)
  • Tips
    • The smaller the jar the faster the drying
    • You can use compressed air instead of a hair dryer, BUT, if you put in too much compressed air it will blow them to smithereens (been there)
  • The Autobeedryer
    • The ultimate bee dryer
    • Allows you to wash your bees and then put them directly into the Autobeedryer and walk away and do other things (like pinning the last batch of bees) while your bees are drying
    • Building and running an Autobeedryer is covered in a separate slide show/ppt presentation (to come soon)
  • 2 Versions of the Autobeedryer
  • Contact
    • Sam Droege ( [email_address] )