How To Create An Autobeedryer

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Post on 18-Dec-2014




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Describes how to make 2 forms of automatic bee dryers for use with insect specimens


  • 1. How to Create an Autobeedryer And save yourself buckets of time


  • "They've got this steamroller going, and they won't stop until there's nobody fishing. What are they going to do then, save some bees?"
  • - Mike Russo
  • (Massachusetts fisherman who has fished cod for 18 years, on environmentalist)

3. What is an Autobeedryer?

  • - A device which dries wet bees while you do other things.

4. Autobeedryer Theory

  • A constant and relatively strong air flow over clean but wet bees will result in specimens with upright, separated, and correctly colored hair and wings.
  • Obversely, without drying bees well bees hair will be matted and their wings stuck together or stuck to the abdomen making identification difficult.

5. We have made 2 types of Autobeedryers

  • One made from a squirrel cage fan (like those found in window mounted air conditioners)
  • One made from a small axial fan (i.e., a larger version of a computer fan)
  • We think that you can come up with additional designs

6. Squirrel Cage 7. Axial 8. Constructing a Squirrel Cage Autobeedryer

  • Find a squirrel cage fan(also known as an air conditioner blower)
    • You can buy them online
    • You can take apart an old window air conditioner

9. Our Fan

  • There are many ways to do this
  • The one below is the unit we had in our storeroom, scavenged from an old air filtration system

10. We built a wooden box that would fit the opening 11. Then we created a container for wet bees that would fit into the wooden box 12. Here is what you need 13. Materials List - You can easily find these in the hardware store or lying around

  • 20 cm or so of PVC pipe that will fit snuggly into your autobeedryer box
  • A PVC coupling for that size pipe
  • Coarse sand paper
  • Saw
  • PVC solvent and PVC cleaner
  • Plastic window screen

14. Sand 1 end of the pipe and 1 end of the coupling smooth 15. Add cleaner to those ends 16. Add solvent to the cleaned ends (one at a time as the solvent dries quickly) 17. Add a piece of window screen to the end with the solvent and run your fingers around and around the rim to make sure the screen welds to the pipe 18. Trim the ends of the pipe with a knife.You can also drill a hole in the top and attach a string so its easy to pull the pipe out of the box 19. How to Use

  • Wash bees (see associated slide show on washing bees)
  • Rinse them well and dump them into the bottom pipe. Since the pipe has a screen on the bottom you can simply dump the bees and your last rinse water into the pipe and the water will drain out

20. Snap out the Excess Water

  • Put the cap you made out of the coupling onto the pipe.
  • Since any water in the pipe has to come out, its easier now to snap the water out of the pipe using centrifugal force. So do that.
  • Drop the pipe into the box and turn on the blower.
  • Come back in 10-15 minutes . or when they appear to be done.

21. Hints

  • Check under the microscope the first few times you dry your bees to see if your bees are really completely dry.The last place to dry on a bee is the side of the thorax under the wings.
  • If you have a big batch of bees drying in your tube you may want to take the tube out periodically and move the bees around.You can also put it back in upside down.

22. Axial Fan Autobeedryer

  • Axial fans are everywhere. So, often you can scavenge one off some old machine, the dump, or from a parts store.
  • They are also very available on the internet.

23. Size

  • In the axial fan autobeedryer we constructed, we used an approximately 20cm square fan that we pulled from an exhaust fan of a composting toilet (thats another good story).
  • We couldnt find the specs for the fan in terms of cubic feet per minute, but the fan you use should produce a healthy air flow.
  • We had to rewire ours a bit as it didnt come with an electrical cord.

24. The fanand, yes, we attached the ground wire to the body of the fan later(by the way, old power chords from computers work great for things with low electrical loads) 25. The Bee Container

  • We found a plastic food container in the kitchen in which my mother had sent some yummy bean soup (thanks Mom).Upside down it fit nicely over the fan.

26. Next step, cut out the center of the bottom and the lid 27. Glue on Some Screen

  • Initially we tried a good wood glue
  • But it wasnt waterproof enough and came off after getting wet

28. An aside:Dont do this

  • Never heat up cold glue in the oven after cooking a pizza

29. What did Work

  • Construction adhesive(you can buy a small tube at the hardware store)
  • Picture taken from DIY Trade Web Site

30. Add the adhesive to the rim, add the screen, press the screen down using wax paper (if you use your fingers alone you will be sorry) 31. Finished productNote that the upper screen is actually NOT glued to the lid, it will be held in place by a rubber band 32. Using

  • After washing, dump all the bees and water from the bee washer into the container.
  • Put the screen on top, put the lid on top of that (Dont forget to cut out the center of the lid for good airflow), and put a rubber band around everything.
  • Turn the whole thing over so the lid is on the bottom (this fits our fan shape better than the actual bottom of the container).
  • Rap against the counter to expel excess water (bees are tough, dont worry about them).
  • Place on top of fan and turn on and go do something else for awhile.

33. Action Shot 34. Modify This!!!

  • These are suggestions, you are a clever and empowered person and will come up withnew and better ways of making a beeautodryer.So go and do it.
  • Once you have done so please send us a picture and any additional instructions and we will add those to this presentation and you will have made a contribution.
  • Thanks

35. Sam Droege

  • [email_address]
  • Woe!
  • It is true, our tribe is similar to the bees,
  • It gathers honey of wisdom, carries it, stores it in honeycombs.
  • I am able to roam for hours
  • Through the labyrinth of the main library, floor to floor.
  • But yesterday, looking for the words of masters and prophets,
  • I wandered into high regions
  • That are visited by practically no one.
  • I would open a book and could decipher nothing.
  • For letters faded and disappeared from the pages.
  • Woe! I exclaimed-so it comes to this?
  • Where are you, venerable ones, with your beards and wigs,
  • Your nights spent by a candle, griefs of your wives?
  • So a message saving the world is silenced forever?
  • At your home it was the day of making preserves.
  • And your dog, sleeping by the fire, would wake up,
  • Yawn, and look at you, as if knowing.
  • --Czeslaw Milosz