Honeybee Medicine

Honeybee Medicine Benefits

  • Establish a veterinarian relationship
  • Veterinarian issues prescription
  • Beekeepers use prescriptions to purchase antibiotics from their normal suppliers

An important first step for beekeepers to obtain the antibiotics that they need is to make sure that an active veterinary relationship has been established. The California Veterinary Medical Board has issued regulations that outline what constitutes a Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship.

Lander Veterinary Clinic is readily available to help beekeepers know what is needed to make sure that these relationship guidelines are met, and we’ll explain what is necessary to make sure you have this relationship.

Central Valley Dependent on Honeybees

  • Almond farms need help
  • California supplies 60-80% world’s almonds
  • Honeybees transported to California

Here in the Central Valley, producers have the perfect climate and irrigation conditions to grow almond trees — but they need a lot of help. Each year, over 6,500 Central Valley almond farms will produce 60-80 percent of the world’s almonds.

However, there aren’t enough local bees to pollinate the large number of flowering trees. Every February, approximately half the honeybees in the United States are transported to California to help ensure adequate pollination of the almond crop.

In recent years, beekeepers have struggled to maintain the health of their hives. However, despite the declining health of the honeybee population, they have been largely ignored by veterinarians. Instead, beekeepers have relied on each other, and on a few university researchers, to provide them with information on how to keep their hives healthy.

Fortunately, there is now a better way to serve the needs of beekeepers. A long-time veterinarian to beekeepers, Dr. Christopher Cripps, explains, “The FDA has said veterinarians and beekeepers have to get together. We have education programs that put us in a great position to help beekeepers understand the diseases their bees get and how to control and prevent them.”

Honeybee Health

  • Natural progression in veterinary practice
  • FDA mandate requires veterinary oversight
  • Beekeepers need veterinary prescription
  • Prevention & treatment of foulbrood

Lander Veterinary Clinic over the years, has strived to provide the best veterinary care to all sorts of livestock. Addressing the health of honeybees and their hives is a natural progression in our veterinary practice.

On January 1, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration issued a mandate requiring veterinary oversight of antibiotics in food-producing animals, which include honeybees… the only insect listed as a food-producing animal.

Beekeepers now need a prescription from a qualified veterinarian for antibiotics to prevent and treat European and American foulbrood. This is a challenge for beekeepers, because only a handful of veterinarians in the country know anything about beekeeping.

Meet Dr. Thomas Bauman

  • Lander Associate Veterinarian
  • Received DVM from UC-Davis
  • Active personally as a beekeeper

Dr. Thomas Bauman is an Associate Veterinarian of Lander Veterinary Clinic. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences from the University of California at Davis in 2007 and completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at UC Davis in 2011.

Dr. Bauman has a longstanding interest in beekeeping, purchasing his first hive when he was a teenager. He enjoys working with beekeepers from all over the country who come here to pollinate the almond crop, as well as tinkering in his own hives.

As a livestock veterinarian, Dr. Bauman is accustomed to thinking in terms of “herd health”, addressing disease issues from the standpoint of a population, rather than an individual. This same skill transitions well to honeybee medicine, as hives are always treated as a single “superorganism” rather than as a collection of individuals.