In 1892, beekeepers successfully lobbied the Utah territorial legislature to pass the first bee inspection act. The legislation was needed to reduce the spread of deadly foulbrood diseases, which had become rampant. Today beekeepers deal with many new threats in addition to old ones like foulbrood. The Utah Bee Inspection Act is designed to help protect Utah’s bees and beekeepers. Below are links to the current version of the Utah Bee Inspection Act and the rules governing it. Beekeepers should check with their city and county to see what ordinances (if any) they have that relate to bees and beekeeping.
In most cases it will be easier for both the Veterinarian and the Beekeeper to use a prescription rather than a Veterinarian Feed Directive (VFD). Prescriptions will still require the veterinarian to visit the apiary in question and to collect samples themselves. A prescription will be easier in most instances because the veterinarian can issue the antibiotics directly to the beekeeper without having to go through a licensed feed mill. Please consult this guide to see which formulations can be written as a prescription and which must be written as a VFD.
The FDA Veterinary Feed Directive rule (VFD) is now in full effect. It is important for veterinarians to remember that they are liable for ensuring that VFDs are correct and complete. Veterinarians should also ensure that they are only writing VFDs as part of a valid Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship (VCPR) as defined by the state of Utah. Veterinarians should begin familiarizing themselves with the VFD by watching this video.
All veterinarians who are planning on writing VFDs should familiarize themselves with these documents:
It is recommended that veterinarians familiarize themselves with honeybee biology and beekeeping by watching this video series created by the University of Georgia. Veterinarians who want a more sophisticated understanding of honey bees should read “Honeybee Veterinary Medicine: Apis mellifera L.” by Nicolas Vidal-Naquet. Veterinarians can contact the Apiary Program with any questions or requests for assistance at:
Honey bee samples should be submitted to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Entomology Laboratory for diagnostic testing. Please fill out the form below and include it with the sample(s). Sampling instructions are included on the back of the form.
Honey Bee Diagnostic Testing Submission Form
Please mail samples to:
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food
350 N. Redwood Rd.
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
|Name||Phone||Business Address||City & Zip|
|Dustin Durfee||385-881-3846||950 N. Aurora Blvd.||Aurora, UT 84620|
|Verland King||435-425-3487||PO Box 156||Bicknell, UT 84715|
|Kate Schoenhals||801-446-3046||3103 W. 14865 S.||Bluffdale, UT 84065|
|Glen Jensen||435-381-2539||PO Box 535||Castle Dale, UT 84513|
|Kelly D. Esplin||435-586-6216||1203 N. Main||Cedar City, UT 84721|
|Richard Bagley||435-586-4918||2265 W. Midvalley Rd.||Cedar City, UT 84721|
|Scott Rawlinson||435-590-9763||390 N. 4050 W.||Cedar City, UT 84721|
|Klell Ekins||435-864-3921||1115 E. Main||Delta, UT 84624|
|John Anderson||435-979-4127||1860 W. 1500 S.||Delta, UT 84624|
|Tyler Sorensen||435-528-7900||630 S. Main St.||Gunnison, UT 84634|
|Jared Christensen Dum||435-528-7900||630 S. Main St.||Gunnison, UT 84634|
|Bruce Williams||801-787-4326||90 Lloyd Lane||Heber City, UT 84032|
|Rustin Pickett||435-590-5040||90 Lloyd Lane||Heber City, UT 84032|
|Aldon Watkins||435-245-4710||16 E. 6200 S.||Hyrum, UT 84319|
|Kevin Ballard||435-644-2400||6676 E. Hwy 89||Kanab, UT 84741|
|Jason Gibson||435-752-2151||95 W. 900 N.||Logan, UT 84321|
|Jenny Bunnell||435-881-8560||95 W. 900 N.||Logan, UT 84321|
|Gerald Koppenhater||970-749-0262||7388 Creek 41||Mancos, CO 81328|
|Joy Moffett||435-259-8710||4575 Spanish Valley Dr.||Moab, UT 84532|
|Alexis Johnson||435-259-8710||4575 Spanish Valley Dr.||Moab, UT 84532|
|Len Sorensen||435-259-8710||4575 Spanish Valley Dr.||Moab, UT 84532|
|Jason Lott||801-829-3632||395 N. 400 E.||Morgan, UT 84050|
|Marion K. Lott||801-829-3632||395 N. 400 E.||Morgan, UT 84050|
|John Evans||801-372-8165||143 W. 900 N.||Payson, UT 84651|
|Mike Walburger||801-372-4253||4279 W. 12800 S.||Payson, UT 84651|
|Boyd Thayn||435-637-5797||1989 Airport Rd.||Price, UT 84501|
|Justin Bowles||435-258-2484||715 S. 250 E.||Richmond, UT 84333|
|Cliff Mitchell||435-258-2190||191 W. 100 N.||Richmond, UT 84333|
|Mike Gamble||435-722-9066||214 N. 2500 E.||Roosevelt, UT 84066|
|P. Greg Huff||801-234-9671||845 N. 300 W.||Spanish Fork, UT 84660|
|Moe Bracken||435-628-1634||55 S. Bluff St.||St. George, UT 84770|
|Ryan K. Bowler||435-628-6532||730 N. Dixie Dr.||St. George, UT 84770|
|Clayton Barton||435-773-5101||969 N. 3050 E.||St. George, UT 84790|
|Gary Gowans||435-882-4100||254 S. Main||Tooele, UT 84074|
|Bear River Animal Hospital||435-257-7455||390 W. 600 N.||Tremonton, UT 84337|
|John Mathis||435-789-4322||85 E. 650 N.||Vernal, UT 84078|
|David L. Moss||801-732-8387||4715 W. Haven Rd.||West Haven, UT 84401|
|Andrea Russell||801-732-8387||4715 W. Haven Rd.||West Haven, UT 84401|
The Veterinary Feed Directive is a rule that regulates how medically important antibiotics—medications that are important for treating human disease—can be administered to animals in feed and drinking water. Among the provisions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will require veterinary oversight whenever such antibiotics are administered to any animal species via feed or water, even if the animals are not intended for food production. The VFD took effect on January 1st, 2017.
Please watch this video to familiarize yourself with the VFD.
UDAF and the Apiary Program are not responsible for implementation or enforcement of the VFD rule. The VFD rule is a federal level rule that was written by the FDA and is now enforced by the FDA. UDAF and the Apiary Program are working to educate beekeepers on the requirements and to find veterinarians who are willing to work with beekeepers. This is being done to lessen the impact of VFD implementation on beekeepers in Utah.
The driving force for the initial VFD rule in 1996 and the recent revisions is improving drug availability for the benefit of animal health and welfare, and, in turn, food safety. The increasing threat of antibiotic resistance (antimicrobial resistance) to both human and animal health compelled the FDA to take action by removing production uses of medically important antibiotics and implementing greater veterinary oversight by transitioning over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotics to VFD or prescription status. Any antibiotic use can contribute to antibiotic resistance, so it is important to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate uses of antibiotics. The use of medically important antibiotics in livestock is one factor that can contribute to increasing resistance, and the 2017 VFD revisions (published in June 2015) aim to put responsibility for their use into the hands of veterinarians, who are trained to understand not only when these medications are needed, but also what is the appropriate drug, dose, duration, and administration method to resolve infection and protect animal health and our food supply. The expertise of the veterinarian is critical to ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics in animals.
Beekeepers use antibiotics to treat European foulbrood (EFB) and American foulbrood (AFB). Beekeepers will need to comply with the VFD rule when they apply antibiotics to their hives. Meaning beekeepers will need to work with a licensed veterinarian to obtain and lawfully apply antibiotics to their hives. The Apiary Program has compiled a list of veterinarians that are interested in working with beekeepers.
Foulbrood disease comes in two varieties European Foulbrood (EFB) and American Foulbrood (AFB). While both are rare in the State of Utah, American Foulbrood is of particular concern to beekeepers. Please consult the information provided below and contact UDAF with any questions or concerns you may have.
Every beekeeper should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of American foulbrood (AFB). AFB is the most serious of the brood diseases and often results in the death of infected colonies. AFB is highly contagious and can quickly infect many beehives in an area. Please contact UDAF to schedule an inspection if you suspect one of your hives is showing signs of AFB or submit a sample.
American foulbrood (AFB) is not characterized by any single symptom. Pictured above are three of the primary visible symptoms:
See our fact sheet for a more detailed overview of the symptoms: American Foulbrood Fact Sheet
Burning is the safest and most effective way to control AFB. For Beekeepers who do not wish to burn their hives, there are two treatment options:
It is important that robbing is not allowed to occur when a hive is infected with AFB because robber bees may transmit the disease to their colony. If treatment is unsuccessful burning the equipment is the most prudent course of action. Burning is necessary due to the long lived (40 years) AFB spores that are left behind on exposed equipment.
European foulbrood (EFB) infections are significantly less serious than American foulbrood infections. Healthy colonies are even sometimes able to overcome infections without intervention from the beekeeper. However it is still important that beekeepers be aware of the signs and symptoms so they can handle EFB infections according to their management philosophy. Please contact UDAF to schedule an inspection if you suspect one of you hives is showing signs of EFB or submit a sample.
European foulbrood (EFB) is not characterized by any single symptom. Pictured above are three of the primary visible symptoms:
European foulbrood will also cause the dead brood to be ropey and will leave scales. It can be difficult to visually differentiate between American and European foulbrood, which is why lab testing so essential.
The only course of treatment for European foulbrood requires beekeepers to contact a veterinarian who will be able to discuss options for appropriate antibiotic treatment. Thankfully equipment from hives that had European foulbrood does not need to be destroyed. Further information on European foulbrood and how to handle exposed equipment can be found here.