The United States Department of Agriculture has approved a vaccine for honeybees to prevent American foulbrood disease, which is a bacterial disease that can destroy kill off entire honeybee colonies.
According to CNN, the USDA issued a conditional vaccine license to Diamond Animal Health on Dec. 29, 2022. The vaccine is said to be the “first licensure of a honeybee product.”
The USDA expressed hope that the vaccine will “aid in the prevention and/or treatment of the disease American Foulbrood in honeybees given their central role in American agriculture.”
Trevor Tauzer, owner of Tauzer Apiaries and a board member of the California State Beekeepers Association, said in a statement: “This is an exciting step forward for beekeepers, as we rely on antibiotic treatment that has limited effectiveness and requires lots of time and energy to apply to our hives.”
He added, “If we can prevent an infection in our hives, we can avoid costly treatments and focus our energy on other important elements of keeping our bees healthy.”
The vaccine will reportedly be mixed into bee’s “queen feed,” which the worker bees consume. The worker bees will then incorporate the vaccine into royal jelly, which is fed to the queen bee. When the queen bee consumes the vaccine, trace amounts of the vaccine will be deposited in her ovaries. When the queen’s larvae are born, they will immune to the American foulbrood disease.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SPOKESMAN.COM
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