Miscellaneous aids to help aculeate workers

Listed below are various resources to help aculeate workers.

Identifying difficult groups

Hedychridium (Chrysididae) Sculpture

Photographs of sculpture on the thorax of the four British species as described in the RES key to Cuckoo Wasps - Chrysididae by Morgan.

Chrysis ignita group - aids to identification

Several species of  Chrysidid wasps in the Chrysis ignita group are very similar in appearance. They can be fiendishly difficult to identify. BWARS president Michael Archer has produced three articles which describe the critical features to look for when trying to determine Chrysis species.

The Chrysis ignita group considered in a British context

The Chrysis ignita group considered in a British context. Part 2

Second report into the Chrysis ignita group – a provisional approach to gain confidence in identifying the specimens


The patterns of punctures, striation and ribbing are important features for identifying many aculeates. Robin Williams' glossary illustrates and explains many of these features. There is also an extremely useful, photographic guide at A Glossary of Ant Surface Sculpturing by Rick Harris.

Equipment Suppliers

Watkins & Doncaster   Web site.    Suppliers of most entomological equipment including entomological pins, store boxes, chemicals, nets, specimen tubes, dissecting tools and much more.

Ento Sphinx (formerly Nova Stranka). Czech entomological supplier with good value range of products. Nets, store boxes, malaise traps etc. Ships to anywhere in the EU.

D & D Henshaw contact via email at djhagro[at]aol.com Catalogue available.  34 Rounton Rd., Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 3AR. Tel. 01992 717663    Entomological pins, chemicals, specimen tubes, reagents etc.

B&S Entomological Services  Web site.   Malaise traps, hand nets, sweep nets and a variety of specialist traps

Bioform Web site   German suppliers, who will ship to the UK. You will need to navigate through a largely German language, but well illustrated website. Delivery and ordering details are in English.     Wide selection of entomological equipment.

Anglian   Web site.  Field and study equipment, microscopes etc.

Worldwide Butterflies   Web site.  Entomological pins, store boxes, nets etc.

The Box Office.  Rigid white cardboard storage and postal boxes.

Thames Valley Supplies  Web site.  Suppliers of Plastozote. The best for entomological use is white, medium density foam 12mm thick. Comes with adhesive backing if required


Brunel Microscopes  Web site.  Manufacture their own instruments and act as agents for others. Sensible prices and good choice

GT Vision  Web site.   In addition to their own range of instruments, GT stock a large range of stereo microscopes from Leica, Olympus, Meiji and Motic

Leica UK  Web site.  A superb selection of top-of-the-range instruments

Meiji Techno UK  Web site.   An excellent range of quality instruments at reasonable prices

Microtec Microscopes  Web site. For economical stereo and high power microscopes

Motic Microscopes  Web site.  A superb range of industry-standard stereo microscopes

Optical Vision Ltd (Zenith)  Web site.  A good range of microscopes to suit all pockets

Olympus UK  Web site.  High quality, flexible stereo microscope systems to suit all users

One Stop Nature Shop Web site.   A useful range of microscopes at the cheaper end of the market


Pemberley Books  Web site.   Comprehensive catalogue of new and used entomological books.

Ocelli Books   Web site.  Publishers of Field Guide to Bumblebees

Natural History Book Service  Web site.   Comprehensive natural history books supplier

Field Protocols

Hand Net sampling. How to do it by Sam Droege (Corresponding member in the US) Video

Sampling protocols for bees from Terry Griswold's lab  - USDA Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory in Logan, Utah: Bee bowl monitoring techniques

Surveying bees with bowl traps - 2 videos by BWARS Corresponding member Sam Droege demonstrating how to carry out efficient bowl trapping surveys

UV reflective spray paint - UVGear's webpage (as used by UK-based pan-trappers)

Beer trapping social wasps. Download BWARS Corresponding member Libor Dvořák's paper complete with trapping protocol: Social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) trapped with beer in European forest ecosystems



Reference Collections

The links below are to museums with good reference collections of aculeates. These are also museums where entomologists are welcome to use the collections and can often find assistance from enthusiastic staff or volunteers. Always contact the museum to make an appointment before visiting.


Surface sculpturing of the thorax of Hedychridium cupreum

Photo: Villu Soon

Lab. Protocols

Washing material caught in water or alcohol. Sam Droege demonstrates good practice in preparing specimens: Video

Drying specimens. A critical task: Video

Pinning specimens. Video

Speed Labelling made simple. Video


Pollen Analysis

Analysis of pollen from wild bees. Guidance for the preparation and analysis of pollen collected from bees. Paul Westrich's paper from the BWARS newsletter here

Label templates for aculeate specimens

All retained aculeate specimens should be adequately labelled with location, date, collector, habitat and other details. A standard format determination label is also essential. A template containing examples of suitable labels can be downloaded here