At a recent LEAP, I was asked what the requirements were for prescribing antibiotics to Bees. And lo and behold… there is a federal government site to answer part of this question. The FDA has permitted no less than 11 substances to be prescribed by a veterinarian in a bee feed directive. Here is the link – https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/development-approval-process/using-medically-important-antimicrobials-bees-questions-and-answers
Now, they don’t answer all the questions for veterinarians in Georgia… but here’s the basic requirements. You should read the full text from the FDA prior to prescribing.
- The Licensed Veterinarian must diagnose the condition and issue an appropriate RX or VFD.
- The veterinarian must establish a valid VCPR
- The veterinarian must retain a copy of the VFD for at least 2 years, in its original format.
- And in the case of issuing a VFD or RX for hives… to establish the VCPR, the vet will likely have to make visits to the facility where patient(s) are managed. Under GA law, that is at least once a year.
- The minimum standard of care must be followed, such that the veterinarian has sufficient knowledge to initiate an preliminary diagnosis… and that likely means enough medical knowledge of bees and their health to make a diagnosis.
Whether it is cats, exotics, poultry, bees, or any other animal, the most important thing before considering how to care for an animal is ensuring that you have enough knowledge and skill to create the initial diagnosis for that animal. So in addition to the FDA requirements, always remember the first part of the VCPR is that the veterinarian assumes responsibility for making medical judgements for the animal. That’s solely the veterinarian’s option.
In any event, I hope this information is helpful… let’s get better together!