February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

First bee vaccine ready for use

The world’s first “bee vaccine” has been approved for use by the US government, raising hope for a new “weapon” against diseases that often wipe out bee colonies.

The US Department of Agriculture has received a conditional license for a vaccine from US biotech company Dalan Animal Health to protect bees against American Foulbrood (an infectious disease that affects bees).

“Our vaccine is a revolution in bee protection,” said Annette Klaser, CEO of Dalan Animal Health. “We are ready to change the way we care for insects that affect food production on a global scale.”

The vaccine, which will initially be available to commercial beekeepers, aims to contain AFB, a serious disease caused by larvae of Paenibacillus bacteria that weaken and kill bees. To date there is no cure for a disease that, at least in the United States, affects a quarter of beeswhich forces beekeepers to burn the affected colonies, disinfect the hives and apply antibiotics to prevent the spread of misfortune.

The vaccine works by incorporating bacteria into the royal jelly that the worker bees feed to the queen. In this way, bee larvae develop immunity to the disease as they hatch, and studies by the manufacturer show that this significantly reduces mortality.

American Foulbrood originated in the United States but has since spread around the world. This truly revolutionary discovery could also be used to develop vaccines against other bee diseases, such as the European version of American foulbrood, Dalan announced.

Recall that bees, like other insects, are susceptible to various diseases. In addition to the negative impact of the external environment, cold, high humidity and other factors, there are dangerous diseases of bees of an infectious nature. These include:

  • Varroatosis.
  • Nosema.
  • Acarapidosis.
  • Ascospherosis.
  • Foulbrood and other infectious diseases of bees.

It is clear that the bees are “fought” with such fury. After all, there is varieties of honey – at the price of a car!

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