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They say that there is seldom anything new in the world of beekeeping.

From the ABJ, 1861 :
EFFECTS OF COLD ON SPERMATOZOA.
Dzierzon and Berlepsch have remarked that a queen bee exposed for some time to a temperature below the freezing point, becomes incompetent to lay worker-eggs. Berlepsch attributes the result to the freezing of the spermatozoa.
Last Winter, I exposed a normally fertile queen to a degree of cold ranging from 25° to 80° Fahr.; and then returned her to her hive, after she had revived, she laid no worker-eggs subsequently. Three weeks later, I killed and dissected her. Under a microscope of 400 lincar magnifying power, the contents of the spermatheca presented the appearance of a homogenous fluid, totally devoid of spermatozoa. It seems, hence, that the spermatozoa not only lose the power of motion, but are really decomposed by the action or effects of frost.
Donhoff.
So it would appear that spermatozoa are indeed temperature-sensitive - something to be aware of with early shipments when the Queen may encounter one or more chilly nights during transit.
LJ
 
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