Development of cryogenic technologies for the breeding of honey bees

Funding code:   511-06.01-28-1-35.004-08
Acronym:   LABIS
Involved employees:   Dr. J. Wegener, A. Rogge, R. Henneke,  Prof. Dr. K. Bienefeld
Co-operation partners   AMP Lab Mainz
Duration:   2009 - 2013
Financing:   German Federal Ministry for Consumer Protection, Nutrition and Agriculture (BMELV)

Although cryopreservation of livestock semen has been in use since the fifties of the last century, there are no economic protocols for some of the most important species (pigs, some poultry species) and scientific progress in this area has slowed down considerably. In the proposed project, therefore, two partially and entirely new approaches are being pursued in addition to tried and tested cryoprotectant-free vitrification and reversible dehydration. Reversible dehydration exploits the natural mechanisms of anhydrobiosis. Anhydrobiosis is the ability of organisms to survive phases of near full dehydration and then to resume vital functions again after being re-supplied with water. Beyond a specific application to the honey bee, this could lead to entirely new possibilities for the storage of gametes of other livestock or humans


  • Wegener, J., Bienefeld, K. (2011) Toxicity of cryoprotectants used for the preservation of drone  semen. Apidologie 42 (6) 782.
  • Wegener, J.; Bienefeld, K. (2012) Toxicity of cryoprotectants to honeybee semen and queens Theriogenology 77, 600-607
  • Wegener, J.; May, T.; Knollmann, U.; Kamp, G.; Müller, K. Bienefeld, K. (2012) In vivo validation of in vitro quality tests for cryopreserved honey bee semen Cryobiology 65(2), 126-131
  • Wegener, J; Brresler, K.; Teuber, K.; Fuchs, B.; Schiller, J.; Müller, K.  (2013) Conservation of honey bee (Apis mellifera) sperm phospholipids during storage in the bee queen - a     TLC/MALDI-TOF MS study.  Experimental Gerontology 48: 2013-222.
  • Wegener, J.,, Schröder, M.; Bienefeld, K. (2013) Besamung von Königinnen Deutsches Bienen Journal 21(7), 28-29