Bee Health

ApiSaveTM is a Canadian solution for a global bee health challenge.  

ApiSave™ is a natural extract that can protect bees from Varroa destructor, Melissococcus plutonius (European foulbrood or EFB) , and Paenibacillus larvae (American foulbrood or AFB).

Bee health products market size

Total Addressable Market

101.6M colonies

US and Canada
Serviceable Available Market (SAM)

3.46M colonies

Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM)

762K colonies

Apisave has proven effective against AFB and EFB

In recent tests, our extract has shown very promising efficacy killing American foulbrood and European foulbrood bacteria by contact. Rigorous tests were done to show our extract has the ability to penetrate multiple layers of protection (i.e. biofilm) to kill these bacterial pathogens and their mutants at over 99.9% efficacy.
The graph below presents findings from a collaborative study between the National Bee Diagnostic Centre (NBDC) and Nature Recombined Sciences, evaluating the protective effects of our proprietary extract on bee larvae against Melissococcus plutonius, the causative pathogen of European foulbrood (EFB).
The purpose of this study was to assess the potential of our extract to enhance the immune response in bee larvae and its effectiveness in mitigating pathogen-induced mortality.

Infected bee larvae were partitioned into two groups following the introduction of Melissococcus plutonius to their diet: a control arm and an experimental arm. The control group underwent an infection protocol where the pathogen was fed to the larva and then were left alone. The experimental group received daily feedings of our extract together with the pathogen in the diet. The study tracked the progression of larval health for 6 days and recorded relative survival rates.

Control Group Survival:
Initial infection survival in control group: 4% survived.

Experimental Group with Extract:
Infection survival rate: 75% - 80% survived.
These results demonstrate a significant reduction in pathogen-induced mortality among larvae receiving our extract compared to the control.

What are the current challenges?

Colony collapse has been a major challenge. The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists' Statement on Honey Bee Wintering Losses in Canada (2021-2022) reported that hive losses were 45.5% of hives operated in 2021, based on the survey responses received (46.6% of beekeepers contacted). Antibiotic resistance against the foulbrood pathogens and the Varroa mites is emerging, presenting another major challenge to bee health.
Other major challenges to bee health are outlined as follows:

1.  Paenibacillus larvae (American Foulbrood)

American foulbrood (AFB) is the name given to a disease that results in the decimation of the honey bee larvae and the eventual collapse of the colony. The condition is caused by a pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae, a gram-positive bacterium. Only honey bee larvae are affected by this pathogen.
The bacterium has several defense mechanisms that shield it from the normal control agents, such as the medically important antibiotics like oxytetracycline, lincomycin and tylosin.
These mechanisms include its ability to form biofilm and endospores. Biofilm, in simple terms, is a thin, slimy film of bacteria and bacterial secretions that physically attaches itself to surfaces and is difficult to completely eliminate. The biofilm provides protection to the bacteria that live within it and make it difficult for control agents to penetrate and eradicate the bacteria.
It also protects the bacteria from harsh environmental conditions. This bacterium also has the ability to form endospores. To quote from the Symbiosis website: (
Biofilm is a layer of bacteria that can adhere to any surface.  A typical example is the bacteria that gets left behind after non-thorough cleaning and creates its own protective layer. This protective layer is made up of complex extracellular polymeric substances, a matrix which is generally composed of eDNA, proteins, and polysaccharides, and shows high resistance to antibiotics. Biofilm is one of the major causes of infection persistence.

2.  Melissococcus plutonius (European FoulBrood)

European foulbrood (EFB) is the name of a disease caused by the gram-positive bacterium, Melissococcus plutonius, that results in an effect similar to that seen from American foulbrood on the larvae of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Like Paenibacillus larvae, Melissococcus plutonius does not harm adult honey bees but only infects the larvae. It is also known to infect the Asian honey bee (Apis cerana).
Contamination of the hive will occur through routes similar to that of Paenibacillus larvae infection, entering uncapped brood chambers. But unlike Paenibacillus larvae, Melissococcus plutonius does not produce endospores, nor is it known to produce a biofilm. Control methods for EFB use the “Shook swarm” method or antibiotics such as oxytetracycline.
EFB like AFB, is also a global problem for apiculture. The re-emergence of EFB in Canadian bee hives may signal that strains of Melissococcus plutonius may be developing antibiotic resistance as well.

3. Varroa destructor (Varroa Mite)​

Varroa destructor is an external parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on the honey bees, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana. The disease caused by these mites is called Varroosis. The Varroa mite can reproduce only in a honey bee colony. It attaches to the body of the bee and weakens the bee by sucking on its fat body.
A male mite can mature in 5-6 days after hatching; a female in 7-8 days Females can lay a fertilized egg every 30 hours on bee larvae.

Our science

March 7th, 2024 - The trial was performed in Huatulco Mexico and commenced December 29, 2023. The study was 8 weeks long, covering 5 yards, with a total of 150 colonies included in the trial. This study was to determine the efficacy of ApiSaveTM for Varroa mite and disease control and to measure the tolerance of the bees to different concentrations of ApiSaveTM. The study was performed by Scott Gordon, Apiary Inspector at the BC Ministry of AG.
Download summary of study from Huatulco Mexico
November 30th, 2022 - Use of plant extracts as an alternative, novel, and natural agent for the treatment of Canadian bee colonies affected by foulbrood diseases.   Joe Ross, Ph.D. and  Gerard Bedie, Ph.D. ​
Download plant extracts against foulbrood diseases poster (PDF)
November 24th, 2023 - QCT Final poster. Addressing the use of ApiSaveTM as an alternative, novel, and natural agent for the treatment of Canadian bee colonies affected by foulbrood diseases. By B. Lowrance and J. Ross.
Download QCT Final poster (PDF)
January 1st, 2024 - ApiSaveTM Executive Summary for the Alberta Bee Keeper's conference in Edmonton.
Download ApiSaveTM Executive summary (PDF)
Effect of ApiSaveTM on Atypical, FieldIsolate M. plutonius-infected honeybee larvae reared in vitro. By Dr. K. Bedie, Dr. P. Veiga, & E.Battle National Bee diagnostic Centre, Northwestern Polytechnic.
Download National Bee Diagnostic Center poster (PDF)
Further references:
Bee Health References
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