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
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.
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
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
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
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
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