A close up of a bee on a sunflower

Breeding better bees

Honeybees, especially crucial for their pollination services, are vital to agriculture and the environment, but bee breeding was largely a matter of chance until Professor Harry H. Laidlaw Jr., (1907-2003) the father of honeybee genetics, developed artificial insemination technology. His work enabled selective breeding of honeybees and the fundamental study of insect genetics. In 2001, the UC Davis Bee Biology Laboratory was named the “Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility” in his honor.

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