Fascinating images showing the power of the electron microscope at Harper Adams – and the skill of the technicians who operate it – have been produced after a session at the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) Spring Convention.
Thomas said: “During the BBKA spring conference I led one of the three Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) demonstrations for the delegates.
“The session involved instruction in preparing samples of pollen, a demonstration of using the gold ‘sputter coater’ to make samples electrically conductive, and then a guided demonstration of the SEM in the Princess Margaret labs where delegates operated the SEM to produce images of the samples they had prepared.
“The delegates were very enthusiastic to use these pieces of advanced lab equipment, which they otherwise would not have a chance to use - and were excited to generate some useful digital images.”
Richard, who captured these images on our scanning electron microscope, added: “Attendees always bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to these sessions. While they may already be familiar with general light microscopy, these sessions provide a unique, hands-on opportunity for them that not everyone has access to. They are always fascinated - and often surprised - to see what bees and pollen look like under the electron microscope.
“We are fortunate to have such a facility here at Harper; it’s always a pleasure running these sessions and attendees always leave very enthused and appreciative.”
Dr Victoria Talbot, Laboratory Manager at Harper Adams said: “Both of our technicians received great feedback and I’m proud of my team, as two members of the Harper Adams technical community, for their outstanding, expert session.”
“Our placement student, Louie Millar also set out lab classes for the BBKA’s lab-based sessions and provided technical back-up throughout the day on Friday to the BBKA tutors.”