We may finally be ready to save the bees.
Scientists in Finland say they have developed an edible vaccine for the prominent and deadly bacterial disease American foulbrood, which spreads rapidly in honeybee populations, NPR reports.
The Finnish researchers are calling the vaccine “PrimeBEE” and say it can be given to the queen bee via a sugar patty.
President of the D.C. Beekeepers Alliance Toni Burnham told NPR that the disease is a “death sentence” for a hive, and particularly concerning given the world’s declining bee populations.
“If a colony is diagnosed with AFB — regardless of the level of the infestation — it burns,” Burnham told NPR. “Every bit of it burns; the bees are killed and the woodenware burns, and it’s gone.”
The vaccine is still undergoing safety tests, and developers are working on launching a business for the product, according to a press release. But scientist Dalial Freitak, who worked on the vaccine, says the medication could be a breakthrough. “We need to help honeybees, absolutely,” Freitak said. “Even improving their life a little would have a big effect on the global scale.”
Source : theweek