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Researchers Propose Solution to Disappearing Bees

Colony Collapse Disorder has led to depleted bee populations, but researchers believe a bee sperm bank could be the answer.

Washington State University researchers have proposed a solution to Colony Collapse Disorder: using liquid nitrogen to preserve bee semen in a genome repository, reports The Atlantic. Colony Collapse Disorder––in which worker bees suddenly abandon the hive, leaving the colony doomed––is a major threat to the US bee population. Caused by a number of factors such as pesticides and parasitic mites, it has led to the loss of 10 million beehives in the last seven years. US honey bees are genetically removed from those found in other countries due to a 1922 US statute banning the import of live honey bees; the repository would allow crossbreeding, which scientists hope will produce a more genetically diverse and resilient bee.

 

Photo via The Atlantic

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