We are looking to get a microscope. Does anyone have any pointers on what would be a good scope for beeks? Any scopes we should stay away from? The info we've gleaned so far is pointing towards Olympus...?
I can't give you any really useful information myself though I worked with microscopes extensively years ago.
Do you get the American Bee Journal? Randy Oliver, www.scientificbeekeeping.com wrote a 3 part article about Nosema. He wrote extensively about microscopes [ABJ - January,08] but said this: "it is just about impossible for a non-microscopist to make sense of all the options!" He went on to to say he was impressed with the,... "Omano" series from www.microscopestore.com $200-500. It will take some "research" to find the right one for the price. Yes, Olympus is good.
First, beekeepers can and should consider two types of microscopes generally: dissecting (lower power, larger field of view, relies on light reflecting off the subject, good for seeing things like external features of honey bees and features of Varroa mites and counting hairs on the heads of bees, etc.) and compound (higher power magnification, smaller field of view, relies on light transmitted through the subject, good for seeing things like pollen and bacteria and details of tracheal mites and such).
For most bee-related work, a dissecting microscope will do just fine. For more specific work (such as looking at the bacteria that cause foulbrood), a compound 'scope will be necessary.
Swift makes one that's supposed to fill the roles of both microscopes:
I haven't had a chance to try one of these specifically, but I've liked the other Swift microscopes I've used.
(For what it's worth, 400X will not be enough to get a good view of bacteria.)
Thanks for the info!
Do a search......... someone a month or two ago got a dandy off ebay and that seller has bunches.
>Does anyone have any pointers on what would be a good scope for beeks?<
Depends on how much you want to spend. A good scope will cost you 300 - 1000, new. There are used scopes on the market. Google microscopes used.
I just bought my first scope. It's an American Optical...probably 25 years old. Was used in a hospital for viewing cancer cells. Very clear and bright. AO scopes were among the tops for quality...and American made. I could have paid less, even for a new scope, but didn't want to buy anything else from China.
Most of the microscope dealers sell used scopes. They take them in trade, when selling new scopes to their clients. Also, most have 1 or 2 year warranties. I paid 600 for mine. Arrived with damage from shipping. Seller sent me another...even upgraded mine to a better model in the same AO 10 series.
My AO is a binocular scope, and has a 10x wide field eyepiece, and 4 objective lenses...4x, 10x, 40x, and 100 oil emersion. Originally, I thought I might need 2 scopes. One for Nosema spores (400x) and a stereo scope for Tracheal mites (40-60x). The scope I bought has 40x and 400x, so I think it will be ok for both uses.