Cool Science: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted a conditional license to a US biotech company (Dalan Animal Health) to sell a novel vaccine to protect honeybees from American foulbrood disease. This vaccine is not injected into the tiny bees, but rather is mixed into a hive product called royal jelly, which is then feed to the queen bee. Subsequent generations of baby bees will be born with immunity to the devastating disease.
Dalan’s CEO, Annette Kleiser, called the vaccine “a breakthrough in protecting honeybees” in the statement. “Global population growth and changing climates will increase the importance of honeybee pollination to secure our food supply,” said Kleiser in the statement. “We are ready to change how we care for insects, impacting food production on a global scale.”