Protecting Pollinators: Researchers develop first-ever vaccine for honey bees

Scientists have created the first-ever vaccine for honey bees, which was developed to protect the health and safety of pollinators that are vital to U.S. agriculture.

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) says pollinators — like bees, butterflies and moths — have direct impacts on American agriculture, food security and the nation’s overall economy. That is why Dalan Animal Health created a vaccine to help bees build immunity for American Foulbrood.

Recognizing the buzz around this new bee vaccine, TIME Magazine even named it one of the best inventions of 2023!

Dalan’s CEO and Founder Annette Kleiser shared more about the fatal bacterial disease affecting the U.S. pollinator population:

“The disease-forming bacteria are believed to be in about 45- to 50% of all hives out there, and for whatever reason, nobody understands,” Kleiser explained. “All of a sudden these bacteria can turn virulent and start infecting larvae and start spreading in the colony. And then, carried by the worker bees from one colony to the forages to another colony, or left on the flowers where another bee from another colony can pick them up and bring them home. And so they spread really, really quickly once you have an outbreak.”

Kleiser says, rest assured — no crazy scientists are chasing honeybees down and sticking them with needles. This is an oral vaccine and it is mixed in with the sugar paste the bees can pick up naturally.

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