The vaccine was approved by the Department of Agriculture in order to protect honeybees from a disease that can affect the bees.

AYESHA RASCOE is the host.

The vaccine won't be for humans. The first vaccine for honeybees was approved last week. American foulbrood is a bacterium.

The hive is going to be killed by it. You will have a snotty, disgusting larva come out from the brood. New bees will not be hatched.

Chris Hiatt is the president of the American honey producers association. Hiatt and his brothers run a lot of bees. Almond farms are pollinated by bees. The Dalan Animal Health company ran the vaccine trials.

I think I had 800 colonies. So far, it's been great. Yes, it's early, early stages.

So I am aware of you. How do you get rid of bees? Is it possible that you have small needles? It is not possible to say yes. The vaccine is eaten by the queen bee. If you know that, the immunity is passed on to her children. The vaccine isn't altered. There is a small amount of the dead bacterium.

It's a better way to control the foulbrood. Antibiotics can be hard on the bees, so we can have a healthier hive.

The bees are critical. Plants grown for spices and medicine are also pollinated by them. Climate change has been a factor in the decline of their numbers. He was excited about the new vaccine and what it would mean for bees.

It's possible that we get in the varroa mite or other diseases, and that's what I'm thinking. 40% of the bees in the United States die in the winter. Hopefully this will keep us going.

Chris Hiatt was the president of the American honey producers association.

All rights reserved All rights belong to the person. You can find the terms of use and permission pages on our website.

An NPR contractor creates NPR transcripts quickly. The text may be changed in the future. Availability and accuracy can be different. NPR has an audio record.