How To Wash Bees


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This slide show documents how to wash bees that have been collected in water or preserved in alcohol.

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How To Wash Bees

  1. 1. Setting up Your Own Bee uty Salon Sam Droege Mark Inda
  2. 2. The Problem <ul><li>While it is very handy to capture and store bees in water, alcohol, glycol, or formalin </li></ul><ul><li>Bees pinned straight out of those liquids look atrocious </li></ul><ul><li>Hair heavily matted, wings glued to one another, and identifying the specimen is difficult </li></ul><ul><li>And they just look bad and who wants to look at bad looking bees? </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Solution <ul><li>Getting a good looking specimen is a 2 step process </li></ul><ul><li>1. Good Washing </li></ul><ul><li>2. Good Drying </li></ul>
  4. 4. Both Step are Necessary <ul><li>Don’t delude yourself that your specimens are any different </li></ul>
  5. 6. The Bee Washer <ul><li>Creating a bee washer is so easy there is no reason not too </li></ul><ul><li>Get a pint or quart canning jar (buy a jar with preserves of jam in it from the farmer’s market) </li></ul>
  6. 7. The Bee Washer <ul><li>Remove the central metal disk </li></ul><ul><li>Replace that disk with a piece of plastic window screen </li></ul><ul><li>Plastic window screen is cheap and sold in any hardware store. </li></ul><ul><li>Plastic window screen is preferable to metal screens as metal screens often unravel </li></ul>
  7. 9. Bee Washing <ul><li>To wash bees dump your specimens into the bee washer with whatever liquid they are stored in </li></ul><ul><li>If they are reluctant to leave that container, just add more water to flush them out </li></ul><ul><li>Replace the lid with the screen in place </li></ul><ul><li>Dump the liquid out through the screen </li></ul><ul><li>Add some water and rinse the specimens once to get that gookiest sludge out </li></ul>
  8. 10. Wet Insects are Tough <ul><li>We have never seen any damage to insects during the washing phase </li></ul><ul><li>You can shake and swirl them to your heart’s content </li></ul>
  9. 11. Warm Water – NOT Cold Water <ul><li>Add enough warm water to amply cover the specimen, but don’t fill the jar to the top. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually this means about 1/3 to 1/4 full </li></ul><ul><li>Like washing your clothes, warm water not cold water gets the pollen, dirt, and especially the regurgitated nectar (the worst)out </li></ul>
  10. 12. Detergentize <ul><li>Add a big squirt of dish washing detergent </li></ul><ul><li>Other cleaning fluids will work fine too, such as ammonia, degreaser, 409, laundry detergent, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Dish washing detergent keeps your hands nice and soft though </li></ul>
  11. 13. Swirl Vigorously for One Minute and Not Less <ul><li>People tend to shortcut this phase and then wonder why their specimens look all goopy </li></ul><ul><li>Duh. When you wash your clothes you don’t just dip them in water…or do you? </li></ul><ul><li>Bees look bad usually because you didn’t wash them long enough to get rid of the nectar in their hair </li></ul><ul><li>Hint: While swirling for one minute read email from your Supervisor </li></ul>
  12. 14. Rinse Until Clear <ul><li>Now simply dump out the water in the jar (through the screen obviously) </li></ul><ul><li>And add and dump water until the water is clear </li></ul>
  13. 15. Next: Drying Your Clean Bees <ul><li>See the associated slide shows or Power Points on Bee drying (soon to come) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paper Towel Technique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blow Dryer Technique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatic Dryer </li></ul></ul>