United States Department of Agriculture has approved the first ever vaccine for Honeybees. The vaccine developed is the first for any insect in USA.
American foulbrood disease is a fatal bacterial disease that spread quickly from hive to hive and can destroy honeybee colonies. Previous solution for this disease was to burn down the entire infected colony and the associated equipment. This vaccine is going to be a great relief for the American beekeepers.
Dalan Animal Health is a Athens, Georgia, USA based company that had developed a prophylactic vaccine aims to protects honeybees from American foulbrood. Diamond Animal Health is a manufacturer that is collaborating with Dalan Animal Health, has been awarded the license for the production of vaccine from USDA.
The development of a vaccine comes at a crucial time for honeybees, which are essential to the world's food supply but are also in danger of extinction globally due to disease, habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change.
The honeybee vaccination is not provided via syringe injection like other vaccines. In fact, the vaccine is incorporated into royal jelly which is a sugar based food given to queen bees. In a hive, only queen bee produces the eggs. Once they ingest it, the vaccine gets deposited in their ovaries, providing immunity to developing larvae as they hatch.
This is a significant improvement for beekeepers, who till now use to treat hives with antibiotics, which have a limited efficacy and take a lot of time and effort to apply.
Annette Kleiser, the chief executive of Dalan, said that the organization is aware about the market needs and the new technologies to support changing practices. The U.S.D.A. has advised the company to adopt a conditional path in order to market this product as soon as possible.
Dalan in a statement said that the vaccine will be available for purchase in the United States in 2023