Saving the bees from disease

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

bee swarm
A swarm of bees gathers around a tree.

Bee populations have been dying off for some time now, and scientists are rather confused as to why. Fewer of the buzzing bugs means less flowers getting pollinated, which leads to lower flower populations. After all, the delicate petal-sprouting beauties can’t spread their seeds without their black-and-yellow buddies!

There is hope, however, and some very interesting inventions have already begun coming out of the scientific community. While the RoboBee robot bees will spread metallic versions of the insects into the wild, the latest development is a medicine for the poor dying critters.

Researchers in Sweden have created a new treatment known as SymBeeotic – formed from the acid bacteria found in the stomachs of healthy bees – that boosts their immune systems.

Dr. Alejandra Vasquez helped develop the product to fight foulbrood – a fatal bacteria illness that hurts the bees. She says, “The bacteria in this product is active against both American and European foulbrood disease. We hope that beekeepers will see this as a good preventative medicine so that they can avoid using antibiotics.”

Images courtesy of Fir0002 on Wikipedia.