2.2.3. Paint shaker

A paint shaker (e.g. Automix shaker; Merris Engineering ltd) is a surprisingly efficient method of grinding bulk samples which has been used for various matrices including soil , grains, rice, wheat, honey, and bees (Woodhall et al., 2012; Budge, unpublished data). The method is completely scalable ranging using polypropylene wide-mouth environmental bottles (Nalgene) ranging in size from 60 ml to 2000 ml.

  • Pros: Large volume; easy; cheap; no cross-contamination; high throughput.
  • Cons: Large piece of equipment required.

  1. Place 30-1000 frozen bees in an appropriately sized bottle (Nalgene) containing 5 x 25.4 mm stainless steel ball bearings.
  2. Dry grind on the paint shaker for 8 minutes until the sample is sufficiently disrupted.
  3. Add the required volume of extraction buffer depending on the protocol.
  4. The addition of 1% Antifoam B (Sigma) to GITC, GHCl or CTAB extraction buffers can aide buffer recovery and reduce cross contamination (Jay this is good stuff for lots of different methods).
  5. Wet grind for a further 4 minutes.
  6. Spin at 6000 g for 5 mins.
  7. Recover supernatant.