“Ouch, I lost count how many times I poked myself with these pins.” Pinning insects can be delicate work and requires a steady hand and a gentle touch. After weeks of collecting across different sites at the park, the collection for this year’s project is coming together. If you are wondering how insects are preserved, it requires little labor compare to other animals. For my project, bee specimens that were collected have to be washed first. Wait a second, washing bees! Yes, bees require “washing” to get rid of pollen and to overall clean specimens. All that is needed to do this is a sealed container filled with soapy water. Bee specimens are placed in the container and the container is shaken up for 10 mins. After they are washed, then they are gently patted dry with a paper towel. Dried specimens are then ready to be pinned. Pins are placed through each specimen on its right thorax (near wing joint). Pinning on the right side of the thorax is the standard for pinning insects. Pinned specimens are put in a display case to store for future research. Often, specimens that have been stored for decades are still used today by researchers doing studies on the species. Many insect species may look similar, but small characteristics identifies the differences between them.

Collection of Bees

Written by Jacob Villalpando
I am currently working towards finding my undergraduate degree. My hobbies include hiking, wildlife monitoring, video games, and spending time with friends any family.