BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • The BBKA microscopy certificate

  • This discussion forum covers pollen, honeybee anatomy & biology.
This discussion forum covers pollen, honeybee anatomy & biology.
 #581  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:52
Microscopy Certificate
This assessment provides a qualification and measure of achievement for those beekeepers with an interest in pollen, anatomy, and disease relevant to the honey bee. Knowledge and skills are tested through a number of practical tasks and oral questioning. The candidate will need to prepare 6 pollen slides and 3 anatomy slides during the year prior to the assessment. For the assessment, which lasts between 2 and 2 ½ hours, the candidate will need to provide 2 suitable microscopes and equipment necessary to carry out dissections and make slides. Full details are in the syllabus.

Prospective candidates should have passed the Basic Certificate

The Assessment.
(a) Assessors approved by the Board shall conduct the Assessment. The Board may wish a trainee Assessor or a member of the Board to be present as an observer, but prior approval of the Candidate must be obtained.
(b) The candidate shall provide:
 Two suitable microscopes, one for dissection and one for the examination of microscope slides (a compound microscope with x400 magnification) including an eyepiece fitted with a graticule)
 the equipment needed to calibrate an eyepiece graticule (e.g stage micrometer or a slide of Hazel pollen)
 Dissecting tools and instruments
 Spare slides and cover slips
 6 pollen slides and 4 anatomy slides made by the candidate from the lists provided in the syllabus
 Approximately 40 freshly killed worker bees.
 The equipment required to embed one or more bees in wax for dissection purposes
 Any other equipment the candidate may require.
(c) A requirement of the Assessment is the examination of the material prepared by the Candidate.
(d) The Assessment shall be conducted by two Assessors at a venue and time determined by the Board and shall be of an oral and practical nature.
(e) The Assessment may be expected to be completed within 2½ to 3 hours.
 #582  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:52

The Candidate shall discuss with the Assessor:
1.1 The essential differences between microscopes used for dissection and those used for examining the detail on smears and specimens down to about 0.25μm in size
1.2 The difference between reflected light and transmitted light for illuminating the object and how these are achieved in the construction of a microscope
1.3 The concept of lens magnification for both a single lens and a compound system of lenses in simple terms only
1.4 The purpose of the principal parts of the dissecting microscope
1.5 The purpose of the principal parts of the high power microscope.
 #583  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:53
The Candidate shall discuss with the Assessor:
2.1 The range of magnification required for a dissecting microscope suitable for dissecting a honeybee and how this range is achieved
2.2 The range of magnification of a compound microscope suitable for examining specimens for the detection of honeybee diseases except those caused by viruses
2.3 The minimum sized object that can be seen using a light microscope and an elementary understanding of the dependence of this on the wavelength of light and the numerical aperture of the objective
2.4 The functions of the stage, condenser/mirror, diaphragm, eyepiece, objective lenses, coarse and fine focus, in the high power microscope
2.5 The optical features to be taken into consideration in the choice of a microscope. For example, good resolution, minimal distortion of image, a flat optical field, par focal and spring-loaded objectives
2.6 What is meant by the term 'depth of field' and its importance
2.7 The use of oil immersion for higher magnifications and the significance of the refractive index of the oil
2.8 The advantages of using filters of different colours
2.9 The use of an eyepiece graticule and its calibration.
 #584  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:53
The Candidate shall demonstrate to the Assessor:
3.1 The setting up of a dissecting microscope for the identification of Acarine
3.2 The setting up of a high power microscope for the identification of Nosema and Amoeba
3.3 The setting up of a high power microscope and calibration of an eyepiece graticule to measure the diameter of pollen
The Candidate shall discuss with the Assessor:
3.4 The magnification required for the identification of Acarine, Nosema, Amoeba, AFB and EFB giving the approximate size of the pathogens
3.5 The magnification required for the identification of pollen giving the approximate range of sizes of pollen grains commonly collected by the honeybee in the UK.
 #585  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:53
The Candidate shall demonstrate to the Assessor:
4.1 The dissection and examination of a worker bee for the presence of Acarine
4.2 The preparation and examination of a sample of bees for Nosema and Amoeba
The Candidate shall discuss with the Assessor:
4.3 The identification of worker bees with signs of Deformed wing virus or Chronic paralysis virus from specimens or images provided by the assessor
4.4 The identification of two pests from specimens, slides or images provided by the Assessor and discuss the anatomical features that enabled this identification. These pests will be selected by the assessor from the following list:
Varroa destructor, Tropilaelaps sp, Braula coeca and the larval, pupal and adult stages of small hive beetle, greater and lesser wax moths
4.5 The size of the sample required for the examination of adult bee diseases and its statistical significance
4.6 How and where the adult bee sample should be taken from the hive and the reasons involved
4.7 The assessment of the level of infection or infestation and likely outcomes if treatment is withheld.
4.8 What advice should be given to beekeepers on the actions to be taken and sources of information in the event of an adult bee disease or colony infestation being identified.
 #586  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:54
The Candidate shall discuss with the Assessor:
5.1 The key features of American and European Foul brood including the difference between healthy and diseased larvae.
5.2 What advice should be given to beekeepers on actions to be taken/ sources of information in the event of AFB /EFB being identified.
5.3 The identification of chalk brood from specimens or images provided by the assessor.
 #587  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:54
The Candidate shall discuss with the Assessor:
6.1 The general construction of a pollen grain
6.2 The collection and preparation of pollen from (a) flowers, (b) pollen loads from the honeybee, (c) honey
6.3 Six slides, made by the candidate, labelled with the date the slide was made, the scientific name and the approximate size, selected from the following list of pollen grains:
forget-me-not, dandelion, rape, lime, sycamore, poached egg plant, crocus, willow, heather, hogweed, rosemary, hawthorn, hazel
6.4 How the slides were made and how they should be stored for long term use
6.5 How the size of the pollen on the slides was determined
6.6 Three pollen slides provided by the assessor.
6.7 An outline of how microscopic analysis can be used to determine the floral sources and geographic origin of honey samples including the need to take into account the over and under representation of pollen in a multifloral honey.
6.8 How the presence of honeydew in a honey sample can be detected by microscopic examination
 #588  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:56
7.1 The Candidate shall provide freshly killed workers, demonstrate ability to embed them in wax during the Assessment and be able to perform and discuss the abdominal dissection as requested by the Assessor.
7.2 The Candidate shall make and provide for discussion four labelled anatomical slides with one slide made from each of the following four lists. At least three of these slides should be prepared as permanent hard mounts.

Imageslidestomake by Diane drinkwater, on Flickr
 #589  by DianeBees
 12 Sep 2018, 11:56
The Candidate shall discuss with the Assessor
8.1 The potential hazards of working with chemicals, naked flames, microscopes, electrical devices & dissecting instruments
8.2 The need to undertake a risk assessment before commencing any activity of a practical nature
8.3 The need to wear protective clothing, chemical resistant gloves and goggles when handling hazardous chemicals and to always work safely with respect to themselves and others.
8.4 The safe disposal of hazardous waste e.g. chemicals, broken glass slides, scalpel blades and remains of bees.