Keith Delaplane, a professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, was quoted in The New York Times about a possible vaccination for honeybees.
The vaccine is designed to protect honeybees from microbial diseases that can decimate bee populations. Bees pollinate about one-third of food in the U.S. and are estimated to produce about $15 billion worth of crops in the U.S. each year. The bee crisis is caused by parasites, poor nutrition, pathogens and pesticides. Still in the developmental stage, the vaccine might be able to protect honeybees from the viruses associated with mites, including deformed-wing virus.
“If an oral vaccine for deformed-wing could be combined with effective mite controls, that would be, in my opinion, a huge leap forward for honeybee health,” said Delaplane, who is the director of the Honey Bee Program.