I've seen the posts about using a cheap child's scope to look for signs of nosema, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me; Is there a single scope that can do it all? Bee guts (nosema), spores(nosema), TMs, and artificial insemination? What are the magnification requirements for each?
Artificial insemination is the task that most often prompts the use
of a "stereo dissection" scope, low power, but binocular.
These are not at all cheap, unless you get lucky at a college
"yard sale" of retired equipment. This is the LAST scope I
would buy, as it has little value for anything else except
For tracheal mites, one could also use the stereo scope, at about 60x,
but one could also use any single objective microscope at 50x, 60x,
For Nosema, anything from 400x to 1000x works well, but the trick
here is to pick a magnification and stick with it so that your
relative rating of "more serious" or "less serious" infestations can
be "calibrated" to a lab's results in terms of total number of spores.
DIY nosema testing is inherently a sloppy comparison process,
and without a hemocytometer, one has an estimate, nothing
more. No matter, I've walked by hemocytometers in surplus
stores without a second glance, as I'm not buying a tool I
don't really need, even if it is affordable.
What I would buy for someone who had difficultly with binoculars,
telescopes, and microscopes, (in my experience, people who wear
glasses, older folks, and a good percentage of females with
otherwise normal vision) is this waaaay kewl toy:
Go ahead, call me a hardcore nerdcore - I don't care.
It is just sooo nice to not have to peer into an eyepiece for
the length of time required to even check 10 bees from
10 hives representing 10 yards for tracheal mites.
Plugs straight into your computer.
Makes a great Christmas gift (hint, hint!)
Would the QX5 be useful for insemination?
Only if your gear was perfectly aligned up front, as it is
Thanks Jim. Talk about one stop shopping, everything I ever needed to know about bees & microscopes in one easy lesson. I think I'll go for the 3 objective "student" scope now & spring for the stereo scope with the proceeds of my world class queen mother production operation (in about 20 years when I figure out what I'm doing).
BTW, add my thanks to the others for sharing (& interpreting) the latest journal articles. Your posts are always appreciated.
I bought one of the digital blue QX5 plug in microscopes a few months ago just to look for t-mite levels,and I have tried everything and cannot get it to work.My USB ports work fine for everything else.But this thing is driving me nuts.
Might you have a USB 2.0 device, and USB 1.0 hardware and/or
This was a while ago (for me) but I ran into this, and ended
up having to buy a new USB card to make the device work.
Lacking that, I'm pretty sure that they have tech support
of some sort for the device, don't they?
Jim,Its a 1 year old computer that says USB 2.0 on the plug ins.I tried all the tech problem faqs they put out with no luck. ,So you are right I better call tech support to make sure its not just defective.The software loads ok, but the on/off light flickers and the microscope light doesn't come on.Then I get error messages saying its not connected.Thanks for replying.I will post here if I find the problem in case anyone else runs into it.
I too am looking at a microscope. I saw hundreds on Ebay. There are lots of red microscopes on there listed starting at .99 I wonder if these would be good enough. I think I remember at the bee convention this year that the state lab guy suggested something with at least 400x. We were looking at AFB spores in the class. My question is, are these cheap children's microscope kits good enough?