January 4, 2023, was a momentous day for many people fascinated by Anthophila more commonly known as bees by the general population. Wednesday, January 4 saw a moment in history that many did not expect to ever come to fruition, the accomplishments made could bring global impacts.
The USDA on Wednesday of last week approved the first-ever vaccine for Bees. The Vaccine recently approved by the USDA is designed to combat a very deadly and erosive Bacterial known as American foulbrood disease, which is decimating the global bee population. American foulbrood disease has presented a challenge for beekeepers as it has no cure and is highly contagious. American Foulbrood disease is also known as AFB and is a spore-forming bacterial Paenibacillus larva that infects bee larvae (baby bees). AFB infects and attacks bee larvae which ultimately causes the larva to die; with the death of the bee larva the colony starts to die as the bee colony can no longer produce young bees to run and feed the colony. Bee colonies that are identified to have AFB have to be isolated from interaction with other bees in the hope of preventing the transmission of AFB spores however it can be extremely difficult to contain an outbreak of AFB.
For decades there has been no way to protect bee colonies from AFB other than isolating infected colonies and protecting healthy colonies as best as possible which can take a large amount of energy and resources for beekeepers, however, as of Wednesday of last week the new USDA approved vaccine for American Foulbrood Disease presents a new weapon in the battle to save the decimated American bee population. The AFB vaccine would prevent colonies from being infected and help spread immunity. Bee colonies would become immune to AFB when the vaccine is administered to the Queen bee, the immunity would then be spread throughout the royal jelly that is produced by the queen and then consumed by the worker bees. The immunity is passed from the queen bee to the worker bees of the colony and then ultimately to the bee larva that is fed by the worker bees.
Senior editor with the Poudre Press,
Head Writer for OCR
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Halpert, Madeline. 2023. “US approves world's first vaccine for declining honey bees.” BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64180181.
Scott, Sarah B. n.d. “Diagnosing and Treating American Foulbrood in Honey Bee Colonies.” Michigan Pollinator Initiative. Accessed January 17, 2023. https://pollinators.msu.edu/resources/beekeepers/diagnosing-and-treating-american-foulbrood-in-honey-bee-colonies/.