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23 May 2017 Preservation of Domesticated Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Drone Semen
M. Paillard, A. Rousseau, P. Giovenazzo, J. L. Bailey
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Preservation of honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae) sperm, coupled with instrumental insemination, is an effective strategy to protect the species and their genetic diversity. Our overall objective is to develop a method of drone semen preservation; therefore, two experiments were conducted. Hypothesis 1 was that cryopreservation (–196 °C) of drone semen is more effective for long-term storage than at 16 °C. Our results show that after 1 yr of storage, frozen sperm viability was higher than at 16 °C, showing that cryopreservation is necessary to conserve semen. However, the cryoprotectant used for drone sperm freezing, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), can harm the queen and reduce fertility after instrumental insemination. Hypothesis 2 was that centrifugation of cryopreserved semen to reduce DMSO prior to insemination optimize sperm quality. Our results indicate that centrifuging cryopreserved sperm to remove cryoprotectant does not affect queen survival, spermathecal sperm count, or sperm viability. Although these data do not indicate that centrifugation of frozen-thawed sperm improves queen health and fertility after instrumental insemination, we demonstrate that cryopreservation is achievable, and it is better for long-term sperm storage than above-freezing temperatures for duration of close to a year.

© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
M. Paillard, A. Rousseau, P. Giovenazzo, and J. L. Bailey "Preservation of Domesticated Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Drone Semen," Journal of Economic Entomology 110(4), 1412-1418, (23 May 2017).
Received: 10 February 2017; Accepted: 8 May 2017; Published: 23 May 2017

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