Frequently Asked Questions

Why do beekeepers need veterinarians?

As of January, 2017, a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) is required to obtain all medically important antimicrobials administered in feed to food producing animals.  This initiative is in place to help prevent antimicrobial resistance for humans.  In honey bees, the VFD will be needed to obtain Oxytetracycline (Terramycin) for treatment and control of the foulbrood diseases.

What is a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)?

A VFD is a form that contains detailed information about the producer/client, the livestock, disease diagnosis, and treatment plan, including how to administer treatment and withdrawal times.  The form must be taken to a participating supplier (usually feed stores), or uploaded to purchase the medication online from a supplier.  The veterinarian, producer/client, and supplier must keep the VFD on record for two years.  It is important to note that veterinarians can only provide VFDs in states they are licensed in.

Do veterinarians even know anything about bees?

This is a valid concern, as currently the majority of veterinarians do not, but honey bee educational opportunities are becoming increasingly available in school and following graduation.  It is up to the veterinarian to learn about honey bees and their diseases independently.  If you need a veterinarian, some good questions to ask include:  1. Are you a member of the Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium?  2. Are you a member of your local and state beekeepers associations and attend meetings and educational events?  3.  Are you a beekeeper or otherwise participating in hive checks regularly?

Where can I fill my VFD order?

Mann Lake 


Terra-Pro, Terra-Patties; ready for use.

VFD Distributors by State

Call ahead to verify that a distributor is carrying Terramycin for honey bees.  Honey bee veterinarians are currently working on finding more distributors that carry Terramycin already ready for use, so clients do not have to prepare their own treatments with powdered sugar.  This section will be updated as new information becomes available.

Do fees vary for one hive versus several?

No.  There is one flat hive inspection and VFD fee regardless of the number of hives at this time.  Several hives will be inspected at a bee yard during a visit.  See services for fee information.


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