Sperm bank to the rescue.In 2008, the USDA gave Washington State University a permit to import honey bee semen for breeding purposes, subject to strict virus checks. According to WSU research associate Susan Colby, the semen is easy pretty to collect, it comes out when a drone is pushed on its tummy. It's collected with a syringe and can be frozen or used immediately to artificially inseminate a queen. Currently, WSU is using semen from the eastern section of the Alps, and from Georgia, a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. It is also looking to diversify the gene pool. It seems like a lot of work for an animal (insect) that isn't even native to the United States, but we have grown dependent on the little critters so it's a case of needs must. How the drones feel about this change to their sex lives isn't known. For them it's the ultimate sacrifice--they die.
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