I have a 60x to 100x microscope and have tried examining bees for
tracheal mites. After removing the thorax shell, I have a difficult time
identifying the trachea. Everything looks the same.
Do the bees need to soak in alcohol first? Any info or tips on disection for T mite
examination would be appreciated. Thanks.
You need to bleach the thorax in a strong solution of potassium or sodium hydroxide (lye) for a day or so. Alcohol won't bleach it.
You only need about 25x to see the mites and the mite scars. The higher power may make it more difficult to identify; I don't know.
Thank you. I appreciate the info and I'll give it a try.
Have you made progress in the examination for tracheal mites. I would like to now what you have found.
I soaked the bees in lye for about a day. This did help. Removing the thorax "shell" was easier after soaking and it was easier to see different parts of the bee's insides after soaking. With out soaking, everything seems to look the same. Unfortunately, I was unable to positively identify the trachea. I have a 10x lens and a 60-100x lens but as Pollinator said, 25x might be best. I need a break from it right now but I'll try again.