Swedish team hope to create buzz in fight against bee deaths

A bumblebee flies next to a sunflower on September 4, 2013, in Godewaersvelde, northern France
A bumblebee flies next to a sunflower on September 4, 2013, in Godewaersvelde, northern France.

Researchers in Sweden said Friday they had developed a new medicine to protect bees from diseases that kill entire populations of the insect in the US and Europe.

A team of at Lund University have patented the treatment, known as SymBeeotic—made from from the stomachs of healthy bees—which they described as a major "boost" to bees' immune system and are hopeful that it could slow down the rate at which bees are dying.

"The bacteria in this product is active against both American and European foulbrood disease," Dr Alejandra Vasquez, who co-developed the product, told AFP. Foulbrood is the fatal bacterial disease which threatens bees.

"We hope that beekeepers will see this as a good so that they can avoid using antibiotics."

The researchers, who worked on the medicine for nearly ten years, planned to launch it at an annual conference of beekeepers in Russia on Saturday.

In a statement from the university, co-researcher Dr Tobias Olofsson said it was "the only existing product that boosts bees' natural immune system", as resistance to antibiotics grows.

Pesticides, parasites, stress and are believed to be some of the factors causing a deterioration of the immune systems of bees around the world, making them more susceptible to disease.


Explore further

Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one

© 2013 AFP

Citation: Swedish team hope to create buzz in fight against bee deaths (2013, September 27) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-09-swedish-team-bee-deaths.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more