US Government Approves World’s First Vaccine for Honeybees

The US Department of Agriculture has approved the first honeybee vaccine in the world. The vaccine, according to the scientists, will provide protection against a disease that may wipe out colonies in as little as three weeks.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Georgia-based biotech company Dalan Animal Health developed a prophylactic vaccine to protect honeybees from American foulbrood, an infectious and highly contagious disease caused by a gram-positive spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae.

Traditional remedies involved either destroying diseased colonies and their supporting infrastructure by fire or treating the problem with antibiotics.

“There are millions of beehives all over the world, and they don’t have a good health care system compared to other animals,” she said. “Now we have the tools to improve their resistance against diseases,” said Dalail Freitak, chief science officer for Dalan Animal Health.

“Our vaccine is a breakthrough in protecting honeybees,” said Annette Kleiser, chief executive of Dalan. “We are ready to change how we care for insects, impacting food production on a global scale.”

The Guardian reported:

The vaccine, which will initially be available to commercial beekeepers, aims to curb foulbrood, a serious disease caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae that can weaken and kill hives. There is currently no cure for the disease, which in parts of the US has been found in a quarter of hives, requiring beekeepers to destroy and burn any infected colonies and administer antibiotics to prevent further spread.

“It’s something that beekeepers can easily recognize because it reduces the larvae to this brown goo that has a rancid stink to it,” said Keith Delaplane, an entomologist at the University of Georgia, which has partnered with Dalan for the vaccine’s development.

The vaccine works by incorporating some of the bacteria into the royal jelly fed by worker bees to the queen, which then ingests it and gains some of the vaccine in the ovaries. The developing bee larvae then have immunity to foulbrood as they hatch, with studies by Dalan suggesting this will reduce death rates from the disease.

“In a perfect scenario, the queens could be fed a cocktail within a queen candy – the soft, pasty sugar that queen bees eat while in transit,” Delaplane said. “Queen breeders could advertise ‘fully vaccinated queens.’”

American foulbrood originated in the US, and has since spread around the world. Dalan said the breakthrough could be used to find vaccines for other bee-related diseases, such as the European version of foulbrood.

Social media users were skeptical of the government’s decision to conditionally approve the first honeybee vaccine.

One user wrote, “They’ve approved a vaccine for bees? Tell us again how depopulation ISN’T the agenda? 1/3rd of our food supply relies on bees. 1/2 of the fibers, oils and other raw materials require bees. Pesticides are one-factor causing bee decline. No, get a vaccine.”

“This will not end well. If the honey bees disappear, we’re finished. Maybe that’s the point I suppose,” another user said.

Bees play an integral part in the biodiversity on which humans and animals all depend for our survival.

Bees play a crucial role in the food production chain, since they are responsible for pollinating 70 out of the approximate 100 crop species that provide food for 90% of the world’s population.

Without bees, there would be a significant reduction in the availability and diversity of fresh produce, which would certainly result in detrimental effects on human nutrition.

Photo of author
Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

You can email Jim Hoft here, and read more of Jim Hoft's articles here.


Thanks for sharing!