Rapid removal of alimentary canal and associated glands in the abdomen

There may be occasions when rapid removal of abdominal organs (alimentary canal, and sting glands) is needed. For instance, one may want to quantify the percentage of bees exhibiting a certain pathology such as scaring of the pyloric valve (Bailey, 1981).  In these cases it may be more economical and efficient to expose the abdominal organs without mounting the bee in wax. Instead, after blotting individual bees on a paper towel, the intact bee can be held by the thorax, ventral side uppermost. Using scissors, two shallow incisions are made along the lateral sides of the sclerites (Fig. 42). The incisions should start at the posterior end of the abdomen (between tergite and sternite A6, Plate 4) and end near the petiole. It is helpful to lay the scissors flat against the sclerites while cutting between the tergites and sternites. When the incisions are complete, remove the abdomen from the thorax, and placing the abdomen in a petri dish containing the appropriate preservation solution to submerge the abdomen. With the aid of a compound microscope, remove the sclerites by grabbing the edge of the most anterior sternite (A2 st, Plate 4) with forceps and peel the sternites (st A2 - A6, Plate 4) back, exposing the gastro-intestinal tract and other abdominal organs (Fig. 43).  The digestive tract and sting gland organs can be removed from the tergites by gently teasing them away from the integument beginning at the anterior end and working back toward the sting gland (Fig. 44). Examination of the desired organs can then commence.