Seeds on Ice: Svalgard Global Seed Vault and Saving Honeybees


| 8/15/2017 10:11:00 AM


Tags: honeybees, beekeeping, agriculture, seed saving, Melanie M Kirby,

RB0460-seed-on-ice

A few weeks ago I heard a wonderful interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross of National Public Radio. She interviewed Dr. Cary Fowler, who is known as the "father" of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. His vision to create a repository of seeds such that they could be preserved and routinely released and propagated to keep biodiversity alive, is legendary.

Interestingly, he mentioned that sometimes he receives hate mail and has had his life threatened as some folks think he might be trying to hoard the seeds. But he reiterates time and again, that the purpose of the seed vault is to preserve them and share them for now and future generations.

He also mentioned that he had received a snarky remark as it relates to pollinators. The person who contacted him said something along the lines, "why save the seeds without saving the pollinators first."

And Dr. Fowles responded by saying, "Well, I thought I would save that for you to do." And he is so right! Not any single individual can save the whole world. But individual peoples, can work together to create and save great things.

What I found even more interesting is that Dr. Fowles mentioned the bee genetic repository that is in the works by Dr. Steve Sheppard and Dr. Brandon Hopkins at Washington State University. Dr. Hopkins is the leading expert on cryopreservation of honey bee drone semen and his efforts will live beyond his own lifetime.

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8/16/2017 3:56:48 AM

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