Saline Recipe for Queen Insemination


Instrumental Insemination of Honey Bee Queens


Diagram of honey bee queen insemination from Sue Cobey’s fact sheet, “Insemination of the Queen”


Insemination Techniques

  1. Eversion of the Honey Bee Drone Endophallus for Insemination
  2. Semen Collection for Artificial Insemination in Honey Bees

    1. Saline Recipe
  3. Insemination of the Honey Bee Queen
  4. Field Dissection of the Honey Bee Queen Spermatheca


UC Davis bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey with a frame of banked queens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey, UC Davis Department of Entomology)


These pages are brought to you by Susan Cobey at

For classes in instrumental insemination by Susan Cobey, see: The UC Davis entomology website


A saline solution is used in the process of collecting and inseminating honey bee semen. The following recipe is recommended by Susan Cobey for the protection and short term storage of honey bee semen. Semen can be held at room temperature and maintain good viability for several weeks.


Component mmol g/L g/100ml
NaCl (59.40) 185.00 11.00 1.10
Glucose 27.00 1.00 0.10
Lysine-L   0.10 0.01
Arginine-L   0.10 0.01
Trizma Sigma 7-9 133.70 3.29 0.329
Trizma HCL   3.29 0.329
Gentamicin   .25 0.02
pH = 8.6  

Printer friendly .pdf: Instrumental insemination saline recipe