San Francisco: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the first vaccine for honeybees, which will prevent American foulbrood disease, a fatal bacterial disease that destroys honeybee colonies.
According to CNN, USDA issued a conditional vaccine license to the US-based Diamond Animal Health company, the collaborating manufacturer for Dalan Animal Health, on December 29.
“We hope the availability of this product will aid in the prevention and/or treatment of the disease American Foulbrood in honeybees given their central role in American agriculture (eg — pollination),” USDA was quoted as saying.
The agency said that it was its “first licensure of a honeybee product”, according to the report.
On its website, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service describes American foulbrood disease as “one of the most widespread and destructive of the honeybee brood disease”.
Moreover, Dalan’s CEO, Annette Kleiser, called the vaccine “a breakthrough in protecting honeybees”, said the report.
“Global population growth and changing climates will increase the importance of honeybee pollination to secure our food supply,” Kleiser was quoted as saying.
“We are ready to change how we care for insects, impacting food production on a global scale,” he added.
Furthermore, unlike traditional vaccines, the honeybee vaccine is not administered via a syringe.
According to Dalan, it is mixed into “queen feed”, which the worker bees consume.
Dalan further mentioned that the vaccine will be available for purchase in the US in 2023, the report added.