For years, entomologist Brandon Hopkins has argued for the establishment of a germplasm repository for cryopreservation of honey bee semen. Unfortunately, bee semen us very hard to collect and even harder to preserve, but Hopkins found better ways to extract and store their genetic material.
Taryn Phaneuf of Civil Eats describes the process:
Hopkins squeezed one drone at a time, contracting the male’s abdominal muscles to mimic a natural mating event. As the pressure exposed the drone’s penis and a speck of semen, Hopkins vacuumed it off carefully. “You do that hundreds and hundreds of times as quickly as possible,” he said. The process is much more technical than the actual reproductive rituals of bees (which usually happen in mid-air), but the outcome is the same: The drone gives his life, and the species lives on. Rather than immediately contributing to the growth of the colony, however, this bee’s semen will be stored in liquid nitrogen and shipped to another state.
• A New Sperm Bank for Honeybees Could Save Agriculture (Civil Eats)
Image: Donnie Nunley
Twenty-five experts have issued a warning about the potentially cataclysmic consequences of the rapidly shrinking insect population, reports The Guardian. In a two-part article for Biological Conservation, the scientists wrote: “The current [insect] extinction crisis is deeply worrisome. Yet, what we know is only the tip of the iceberg.We know enough to act immediately. Solutions […]
Scientists say 20.75º C logged at Seymour Island is ‘incredible and abnormal’
Snowfall in Baghdad, for the second time in a decade. What a strange sight.
At this point, it’s every single person’s responsibility to reduce their own carbon footprint and transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. But if you consider the grim fact that the biggest culprit of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the U.S. is burning fossil fuels for electricity, things, like pivoting to metal straws and […]
Companies that don’t have their own in-house design teams (which means 99 percent of all companies these days) face lots of serious questions. Among those questions is how you keep up with all the design requirements of a 21st-century company without the personnel. It isn’t just a website or an annual product catalog anymore. It’s […]
In case you’re one of those computer shoppers who instinctively turns up their nose at the very mention of the word refurbished, here are a couple myths worth dispelling. Refurbished equals junk somebody didn’t want. While desktops, laptops, notebooks, Chromebooks and tablets marked as refurbished may have been unboxed at some point, meaning they can […]