The UK Museum of Natural History stores pollinators in -80 degrees
Between 2010 and 2015, The UK Insect Pollinators Initiative (IPI) provided funding for a joint initiative to study a wide variety of UK pollinators and their habitats. For nine separate projects around 50.000 pollinators (like bees, butterflies, hoverflies and moths) were collected.
When the initiative finished in 2015, this wealth of material, still holding important information yet to be discovered, needed a permanent home. Additional funding was made available by the IPI to accession the specimens into the nation's collections at the UK Museum of Natural History, in the 'UK IPI Archive'.
At the University of Edinburgh, a workflow was developed to sort, process, label and scan barcodes for the specimens. Insects in their tubes were then boxed up and shipped to the UK Museum of Natural History for archiving. The Museum holds and preserves all the specimens collected throughout the projects in ultra-cold storage at minus 80 degrees Celsius on a long term basis. The Natural History Museum uses Micronic 4.00ml tubes
to safeguard the integrity of the valuable pollinator samples for future research.
Read more about this workflow here.