Honeybees help to pollinate about one-third of the world’s food crops, but their populations have been in steep decline for decades.

Science is now stepping in to offer these bees a fighting chance.

Earlier this year, the United States Department of Agriculture gave conditional approval for the world’s first vaccine for honeybees, which will boost their immunity against a disease that routinely ravages colonies.

Developed by biotech firm Dalan Animal Health, the vaccine protects against American foulbrood – an aggressive, fast-spreading bacteria that targets honeybee larvae and can wipe out an entire colony in just three weeks.