Success: Honeybees Protected From Deadly Disease

Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of USDA

Goal: Support approval of vaccine for disease fatal to honeybee colonies.

Honeybees are vital to maintaining ecosystems due to their pollinator status. Yet their numbers have drastically dropped because of predators, habitat loss, human actions, and disease. This ForceChange petition brought attention to the plight of bees and called for their protection. Scientists have now developed an important tool against one particularly impactful threat, and it now has government backing.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the planet’s first vaccine for bees, or for any insect. The vaccine targets bacteria responsible for foulbrood disease, which is capable of decimating entire colonies. The disease is so harmful and so contagious that when beekeepers detect its presence, they will burn hives in order to prevent the spread.

This treatment will work through injection of the vaccine into the royal jelly that queen bees ingest. Once the queens gain immunity from the vaccine, they can then pass it along to future bees. It’s even theorized that worker bees already within the colony may benefit from immunity as well.

Sign the petition below to applaud this milestone development for nature’s pollinators.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

As the head of agriculture in America, you more than anyone are aware of the incredible importance of honeybees. These small creatures are almost single-handedly responsible for a third of Earth’s crop production. If the planet was to lose them, it would face undeniably hard times ahead. The recently approved honeybee vaccine will help the world prevent this dark possibility.

Thank you for recognizing that insects are more than just pests to be killed. They can be and are life-sustaining forces.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: PJ

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