Saturday , February 4 2023

They developed a "vaccine" that will protect bees and allow them to continue with their lives – ElSol.com.ar – Diario de Mendoza, Argentina



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According to UN data, more than 40% of invertebrates, especially bees and butterflies, are endangering extinction. Scientists in Finland could help fight this situation through the first vaccine in the world to protect bees and prevent the collapse of the population of these insects, which could cause a global food crisis.

Bees contribute to the dredging of 90% of the world's main crops. But in recent years these precious insects have been abolished by colony colony syndrome, a mysterious evil. He is accused of causing it with ham, pesticides, viruses or mushrooms, and even a mixture of several of these factors.

According to him, his vertical fall could generate an increase in food prices and a risk of difficulty.

Medical progress

The vaccine, a product team from the University of Helsinki, provides bees with the necessary resistance to fighting serious microbial diseases, which are potentially lethal to pollinators.

"If we can preserve even a small part of the bees with this invention, I think we will do our good work, a little saving the world" said Dalial Freitak, the project manager.

"It would even be a huge increase in 2 to 3% of the bee population" affirms AFP.

Earlier it was believed that it was impossible to vaccinate insects, as they did not have antibodies, one of the main mechanisms used by humans and other animals to fight the disease.

However, in 2014 Freitak, a specialist insect and immunologist, realized that butterflies fed to certain bacteria convey immunity to their offspring.

Freitak and Heli Salmel, who worked on bees and proteins, created a vaccine against the American pile, the most widespread and destructive of bacterial diseases of bees.

How do you "vaccinate" bees?

The treatment is given to the Queen of bees using sugar, in the same way that children receive a polio vaccine.

The queen then transmits immunity to her offspring.

The team is trying to make the vaccine available on the market, but "there are a number of regulatory barriers," so we expect "four to five years to reach the market an optimistic assessment," says Freitak

Various causes

Scientists believe that the disease is just one of the many causes of pollinator loss. There is also intensive agriculture, which reduces the diversity of food for insects and pesticides.

But the Freitak team believes that the protection of the population of bees from the disease will make them stronger, and therefore better equipped to withstand other threats.

The European Union and Canada have voted to ban neonikotinoids, they are considered to be very harmful to reproduction of bees.

According to the United Nations study published in 2016, the equivalent of 507 million euros of foods that are being fed each year depends directly on the pollinators. The amount of food produced which depends on pollinators has increased by 300% in the last 50 years.

With the depletion of pollinators, some farmers have turned to employment or manual pollination, as is the case with fruit in some regions of China.

In Helsinki, the project is supported by external funding, but the team intends to continue research at the University of Graz, Austria, from the famous zoologist Charles von Frisch. His discovery of bee dance as a way of communication and its application to human language was given to him by the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1973.

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