PRESERVATION OF HONEY BEE GERMPLASM
Project Number: 1275-21220-212-00
Start Date: Sep 10, 2003
End Date: Sep 09, 2008
Improve our ability to maintain specific genetic types of honey bees by developing methods for the in vitro preservation of honey bee semen. Determine the biochemical and physiological environment that enables honey bee sperm to remain viable in queen spermathecae. Develop methods for the in vitro preservation of honey bee embryos. Design and implement a germplasm collection protocol.
The focus of this project is to develop practical methods of germplasm preservation for the honey bee, using cryopreservation and non-frozen systems. This technology is needed to preserve the genetic diversity of this species in the United States, especially because of severe colony losses to parasitic mites and diseases, and to assist in the selection of superior stocks of bees. Once preservation methodology is available, a collection scheme to maximize diversity in preserved germplasm will be needed.