A queen bee's cage is covered with nurse bees during the production of honey in Pasadena, Calif, on May 31, 2023.
Frederic J. Brown—AFP/Getty Images
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American foulbrood disease can reduce thousands of buzzing bees to a rancid brown goo within weeks. The disease has no cure, and in some areas, it can infect one in four hives, threatening the work of America’s managed beehives, which are responsible for pollinating nearly a third of fruits and vegetables. Hope is on the horizon. On Jan. 4, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted a conditional license for Dalan Animal Health’s new honey bee foulbrood vaccine, in the first immunization for insect-kind. The vaccine is ingested by the queen bee and goes straight to her ovaries. When she lays her eggs, each one is primed to mount an immune response, no needle pricks required.

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