3.2.1. The general dissection

Plates 8 to 10 illustrate the dissection of the whole body, from the dorsal aspect, in three stages. In practice it will be found convenient to begin with the abdomen, and to complete its examination before starting on the thorax and head, and the directions which follow are arranged in that order.

For the study of the alimentary canal, the heart, the tracheal sacs, and the ovaries in both normal and laying workers, bees should be dissected immediately after killing. These organs become brittle in preserved specimens. For all other purposes, preserved bees are much more satisfactory. Bees with fully distended abdomina will show the heart and nervous system to the best advantage. The specimen is prepared, fixed in the dissecting dish, back uppermost, and covered with dissecting fluid, as described in Section 3.1. and illustrated in Plate 1.