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Updated: 04/07/2017 08:30:01AM

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A drawer with hundreds of specimens of metallic green bees, a red dot on a specimen indicates it has been digitized.


Agapostemon splendens: a metallic green bee with pollen on its legs from oak catkins.

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The sun shines brightly, the wind carries the songs of the birds and the buzzing of the bees. Walking the trails at Archbold Biological Station and observing the beauty of the Florida scrub, one’s senses can be easily stimulated. But can the same beauty and nature be seen indoors in a research laboratory?

In Archbold’s bug lab, 19 7-foot-tall, hunter-green cabinets tower above scientists and students. Inside each of these cabinets, 25 basswood, glass-top drawers protect hundreds of thousands of pinned insect specimens, most of which have been collected over the decades at Archbold Biological Station. Each insect specimen is stored in its correct drawer, like a giant filing system, so that any trained biologist can quickly navigate to the right specimen.

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