Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #363900

Research Project: Cryopreservation of Bee Germplasm Research

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Title: Improved spring low-temperature storage of Megachile rotundata

item Yocum, George
item Rajamohan, Arun
item BOWSHER, JULIA - North Dakota State University
item GREENLEE, KENDRA - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2019
Publication Date: 7/18/2019
Citation: Yocum, G.D., Rajamohan, A., Bowsher, J.H., Greenlee, K.J. 2019. Improved spring low-temperature storage of Megachile rotundata [abstract]. 2019 International Pollinator Conference, July 17-20, 2019, Davis, CA. p. 42.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Managed solitary bee species used in pollination services can be subjected to low-temperature storage multiple times throughout their life cycle. The primary period of storage will be for overwintering which may last for 8 to 9 months. In the spring, to synchronize the developing bees emergence with the crop bloom the bees may need to be placed into the second period of storage to slow their development. This spring storage is problematic because the bees are developing and therefore, likely maladaptive to survive suboptimal temperature exposure. Survival of the spring stored Megachile rotundata pupae can be significantly increased by interrupting the exposure to constant 6°C by a daily one hour pulse to 20°C (Fluctuating Thermal Regime, FTR). Under commercial conditions an FTR storage protocol would be impractical due to stress placed on the refrigeration compressors. Therefore, we investigated storage protocols designed to decrease the stress on the compressors. Two new temperature profiles were designed. In the first the temperature changed slowly over time forming wave form thermoprofiles. The second thermoprofile was square in shape with the pulse duration increased from 1 to 6 or 12 hours at 12 or 18°C. The wave forms and 12°C square thermoprofiles had similar or lower survival rate as compared to the FTR controls. Both of the 18°C square thermoprofiles (6 and 12 hours) more than doubled the survival rate over that seen in the FTR controls. These results demonstrate that more compressor friendly spring storage protocols are actually beneficial to the bees.