A vaccine for honeybees has been approved by the US government in hopes to help sick honeybee colonies and to begin medicating bees.
This new vaccine, engineered to prevent fatalities from American foulbrood disease, a bacterial condition known to weaken colonies by attacking bee larvae, is the first of its kind.
The US Department of Agriculture has granted a conditional license for a vaccine created by Dalan Animal Health, a US biotech company, to help protect honeybees from American foulbrood disease. “Our vaccine is a breakthrough in protecting honeybees,” said Annette Kleiser, Dalan’s chief executive. “We are ready to change how we care for insects, impacting food production on a global scale.”
The vaccine, which contains a dead cell of the bacteria Paenibacillus larvae, is administered to the bees through the queen feed that worker bees consume. The worker bees then transfer the vaccine into the royal jelly and feed it to the queen. As a result, the vaccine gets deposited into her ovaries, giving larvae immunity when they hatch.
The drug is non-GMO, Dalan Animal Health said, and can be utilized in organic farming.
“There are millions of beehives all over the world, and they don’t have a good health care system compared to other animals,” says Dalail Freitak, associate professor at Karl-Franzens University in Graz, Austria and chief science officer for Dalan. “Now we have the tools to improve their resistance against diseases.”
According to the company, this first vaccine could act as a model for many others. Bill Gates, the voice behind COVID-19 vaccines, would like to continue developing animal vaccines.
“The Gates Foundation is partnered with DFID on a great number of things, and among those are work we do together on livestock,” Bill Gates stated, referring to the United Kingdom-based Department for International Development.
“Helping animals survive, either by having vaccines or better genetics, helping them be more productive – it’s making a big difference.”
The Western scientific community turned to vaccines as a “cure” for a viral infection. Natural health experts say that by ignoring the root cause of the infection and focusing on the virus itself, western medicine leaders can promote a vaccine as the solution.
According to Dalan Animal Health’s website, the company has other vaccines and treatments already in the pipeline, including a vaccine for European Foulbrood.
Among the thousands of species of bees in the world, only 1 is used to produce food for humans. Honey bees are appreciated for the sweet honey that bees produce from plant nectar. Also, bees collect pollen and add billions of dollars to modern agriculture efforts.
The Queen honey Bee is the most important member of the colony but she does not work alone. Beekeepers who understand the dynamics of the hive are more likely to be successful.