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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Scientists To Create Bee Sperm Bank To Preserve Species

Insect embryos are preserved in cold storage by researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service lab in Fargo. (Dan Gunderson/MPR News)

Insect embryos are preserved in cold storage by researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service lab in Fargo, North Dakota. (Dan Gunderson/MPR News)

Honeybees are under stress from pests, disease and pesticides. As a result, large numbers die each year.

To preserve bee genetics for future generations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is creating a bee gene bank to store bee sperm and embryos. It’s something commonly done for humans and most domesticated animals, but it’s more challenging to freeze insect embryos and bring them back to life.

As Dan Gunderson from Minnesota Public Radio reports, the best scientists in the world at insect cryopreservation are in Fargo, North Dakota.

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