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How To Wash  Bees
 

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.

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 How To Wash Bees Presentation Transcript

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