Sunday, July 19, 2009

Remedy For Colony Collapse Disorder

An Israeli company, Beeologics, has developed a vaccine against Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Colony Collapse Disorder is a syndrome that has been wiping out bee communities and threatening agricultural production all over the world. No one knows what causes it.

Their new drug, Remembee has completed successful clinical trials on millions of bees in North America. It has proved to be effective in maintaining bee health; increasing the longevity of bees; and, increasing honey production. Based on Nobel prize-winning RNAi technology, an interference technology, Remembee helps the bees overcome IAPV (Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus).

Nitzan Paldi, Chief Technology Officer of Beelogics, explains to ISRAEL21c,
“The technology is based on naturally occurring biological agents. Conceptually, we’re introducing the factor that prompts the silencing response,” says Paldi. “We didn’t invent gene silencing, it’s been around for eons, and discovering its broad applicability earned Andrew Fire and Craig C. Mello the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2006. However, as far as we know we are the first to use it commercially on non-humans.”

"It's really a tug of war between the virus and the host. We are helping the bee tug the rope more strongly and beat the virus. We take advantage of an immune system that the bees elicit for viral disease. But we are really using naturally occurring phenomenon. It's not a pesticide and it's not toxic."

This animated video shows how RNAi works:

1 comment:

kathi said...

Good news! I was watching bees on a citrus tree (inside during winter) yesterday that is in full bloom (smells wonderful). Amazing how grateful I felt to see bees.