There are a number of different applications related to beekeeping that require microscopes. Different types of microscopes are suited to different applications. Below is a guide to which microscopes are best for each type fo application.
High Power Microscopes For Pollen, Disease And Parasite Identification:
For these applications, high magnification microscopes are required. These are known as compound microscopes and typically range from 40x - 1000x magnification, with some less expensive options reaching 400x magnification. To view samples on a compound microscope, the sample is prepared on a glass slide and sandwiched between the slide and a glass coverslip. The sample must lie completely flat.
Here some options of compound microscopes for varying budgets:
Less than £250 (including VAT):
The GX Microscopes ultraBIO-1 compound biological microscope is the perfect entry-level compound microscope. It features a high build quality, comparable to those worth £1000+ in our range, but with simplified features. It's magnification range is 40x-400x and it features an LED light which is a cold light so it doesn't produce any heat that heats the sample (unlike other halogen illuminated microscopes on the market). It has a monocular head, meaning it has one eyepiece for viewing. An eyepiece camera can be fitted, should you wish to snap any photographs of your samples.
£251 - £350 including VAT:
If you would like to reach 1000x magnification then the GX Microscopes ultraBIO-2 offers the sme specification and features as the ultraBIO-1, but with an extended magnification range of 40x - 1000x magnification.
Prefer to have two eyepieces for more comfortable viewing? The GX Microscopes ultraBIO-3 is our most popular compound microscope. Featuring the full magnification range (40x - 1000x) with LED illumination and a bincoular head (as opposed to monocular), this is (in my opinion) the best value binocular compound microscope on the market. Widely used at veterinary practices and colleges across the country, this is by far our best selling microscope of all time.
The ultraBIO-3 also has a rechargeable version, making this a handy portable option. If you're taking it out to meets or in the field, we recommend purchasing a carry case to protect the microscope whilst in transportation.
If you're looking for something with the wow factor, I'd like to introduce you to the ultraBIO-5 trinocular compound biological microscope. Trinocular meaning that it features two eyepieces, plus a third port for attaching a camera (without having to remove any of the eyepieces). You will need a camera adapter for attaching a camera, which is something that we can also help with. It also features 40x - 1000x magnification with high quality Plan Achromat objective lenses that provide a sharp, clear image across the full field of view (the cheaper models lose a little of the image clarity around the edges of the field of view), widefield eyepieces offering a wide field of view, plus LED illumination. This is the perfect microscope for those looking for something impressive.
Stereo/Dissecting Microscopes For Dissection, Artificial Insemination & Preliminary Pollen Preparation:
Less than £250 including VAT:
The GX Microscopes XTX-1C Single Magnification Stereo Microscope Complete Kit is perfect as a starter kit, providing from 20x - 120x magnification with a range of accessories (all included). It has built-in halogen illumination from above and below, making this a very versatile microscope kit, with two eyepieces providing 3D stereovision. Please note that the halogen lighting does get warm and causes some heating of the sample. If you're viewing anything senstivie to heat, we therefore recommend an LED illuminated microscope.
The uHandy Duet Smartphone Portable Microscope is an amazing but powerful portable microscope that works by attaching to your smartphone or tablet. Supplied with two lenses, it features both 60x magnification as well as 400x.
£251 - £500:
If you're looking for a traditional microscope (not digital) for viewing objects at low magnification and you do not require a portable solution, then the ultraZOOM-1 Stereo Zoom Microscope is hands-down my favourite in this price range. The optical quality of this microscope is excellent compared with other microscopes of similar prices. It features a magnification range of 7x - 45x (or 3.5x - 225x with optional accessories) and a trinocular head ready to take a camera (this would require a camera adapter) and a bench-top stand with built-in LED illumination. This is a mains-powered microscope. It's only limitation is it's working distance, which at 100mm is not bad, the next couple of models up (the ultraZOOM-2 and ultraZOOM-3) have a longer working distance which makes it a little more comfortable if using tools under the microscope.
The ultraZOOM-1 microscope mentioned above also has an option for a stand with built-in gooseneck lights, which enable you to angle the light to reach those harder-to-reach regions. This stand is a little more expensive, hence it brings this version of the ultraZOOM-1 Microscope into the £501+ category. It is again however, a little limited with it's working distance.
The ultraZOOM-2 Stereo Zoom Microscope features 8x-50x magnification and a good working distance of 110mm, making this microscope our best-selling stereo microscope to university laboratories. The long working distance is handy for using tools under the microscope for dissections or for manipulating the sample. The wide magnification range (which is extendable from 4x - 300x with optional accessories), plus the large selection of different stands available for this model makes this a highly versatile system that is suitable for a number of different uses - perfect for both students and professsionals.
For the best image quality in a stereo microscope, I recommend the ultraZOOM-3 Stereo Zoom Microscope. The images from this microsocpe are simply stunning, and almost everyone that sees this microscope buys it on the spot! It has a larger-than-average magnification range of 7x - 63x as standard (3.5x - 351x with optional accessories) and a good working distance. This microscope is ridiculously good value for money and in my opinion, simply the best option on the market for a microscope of this price.
And there you have it - a microscope for every beekeeping application and budget!
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