October 2021 Meeting

Join us October 14th at 7:00pm either at the Orange County Cooperative Extension office on Highway 70 across from the DMV or on Zoom and hear about queen reproductive health from Allison McAfee. Most of you have seen her monthly American Bee Journal Science Insider articles. Her talk Thursday will focus on the April 2021 ABJ article on pages 437-440.

Alison studies honey bee reproductive health, focusing on factors affecting sperm viability. Honey bee queens mate several times early in life, then maintain the sperm for years in a specialized storage organ until they die. Colony health directly depends on the queen’s ability to keep these sperm alive so that she can lay an abundance of fertilized eggs and keep the colony strong. However, environmental factors like heat-shock, cold-shock, and pesticide exposure can dramatically reduce sperm viability. With extreme weather patterns on the rise and persistent pesticide residues in the environment, these are major threats to honey bee colony health. Alison’s research will help us better understand the biological process underlying sperm viability and contribute to best-practice recommendations to limit adverse exposure of the queens.

LOCATION October 14th, 7:00PM, OC Cooperative Extension Office, 1020 US 70, Hillsborough, NC