Bees in Peril

Diseases that devastate

Honeybees are stressed by a variety of influences, from loss of food due to fires and drought to predators such as hornets and bears, parasites including mites, poisoning from pesticides and insecticides to bacteria, viruses and other pathogens — with unsustainable losses routinely exceeding 40% or more.

And among the last category is one of the most devastating bee diseases of all, the bacterial infection called American Foulbrood (AFB).
Dead bee on its back
Illustration showing the ropiness of American Foulbrood
On American Foulbrood Disease

“Any of the common bee diseases may limit production. The worst of them, AFB, can be cripplingly expensive to control. The loss of hives destroyed because of AFB is a minor cost compared to the cost of the additional effort required to minimize the risk of AFB spreading within the apiaries.”

— Australian Government, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
Beekeeper holding tray

American Foulbrood Disease

American Foulbrood is highly contagious and devastating disease that destroys the developing bee larvae. The disease-causing bacteria is present in 50% of commercial hives worldwide and disease can erupt at any time.  

Once a hive shows clinical symptoms of AFB, the hive, colony, and all related equipment must be destroyed by burning and burying deep in the ground. In addition, hives that were in proximity must be quarantined for multiple weeks. The economic impact to the beekeeper is significant.

According to estimates in the U.S. alone, lost annual revenue due to AFB and other diseases is estimated at $400 million and growing.

No safe prophylactic intervention until now

In the U.S. AFB outbreaks had been controlled with the routine use of antibiotics. But in 2017 the FDA eliminated the prophylactic use of antibiotics, leaving the industry without a single effective solution.

Currently the only way of containing the disease is ​to burn the infected hive, all associated equipment and burry everything deep under the ground. In additional all hives, and a multi-mile radius are quarantined and put under surveillance for several weeks — all costly, labor intensive, time consuming and cumbersome. Dalan's prophylactic and sustainable approach decreases the risk of infections saving not only hives but protecting from revenue loss and access costs.