To prepare honey bee (Apis mellifera) eggs for cryopreservation, it is necessary to remove them from the comb in which they were laid. Several tools were evaluated for this task, but a dental hook and a modified forceps designed by Taber were most effective. A reduced rate of hatching was seen in transferred eggs compared with those left in the comb to hatch. Increasing developmental age correlated with increasing tolerance to handling. Evidence of physical damage was seen using low temperature scanning electron microscopy. Sufficient numbers of eggs of an appropriate age (48 h) could be collected using the Taber forceps to justify using this method for cryopreservation technology development.
Apis mellifera, germplasm preservation, Taber forceps, embryos, hatching, egg, SEM, oviposition, humidity, age