We did it! We finally sorted all the kits that we had turned in so far! There are still a few unaccounted for kits that I know exist, but we have successfully sorted the kits we do have, sorting the kits by S. Upperman (Wayne) and P. Dutton (Holmes) last week. We still need to wash and pin a few bees, but our current number of bees pinned and databased is close to 52,000.
Since we finished the sorting, I have started training our student assistants on identifying select groups of bees. So far, they have started pulling out the male Calliopsis andreniformis, m + f Melissodes bimaculatus, and the bright green bees. I have been identifying specimens as well, so we are now to almost 6k specimens to at least genus and almost 4k specimens identified to species. Several of these were identified back in February, so we really only added 500 species level IDs this week.
The other update this week is that we got a demonstration of a Hirox 3D microscope.
In a matter of seconds, the representative had several high quality, high magnification stacked images of one of our Lasioglossum specimens. For those of you who have struggled to identify and see Lasioglossum, you know how hard this is.
There have been bee ID courses offered by Sam Droege and Clare Maffei. They have all the videos posted here: http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beemovies/index.html
I plan to have several of our students watch these videos as they go in depth for the different groups. They are also creating nice ID resources, which can be found here: http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/handybeemanual.html
All for now,