Tuesday, 11th August 2020

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is warning beekeepers to use veterinary medicines safely, effectively and legally.

In practice this means you must follow the instructions in the package leaflet unless directed otherwise by your vet. 

The VMD says it has received a number of specific enquires about the use of amitraz-based products for the treatment of varroosis in the UK.

Varroa treatments 

There are 2 authorised amitraz-based products in the UK - Apitraz and Apivar. The VMD wants to remind beekeepers that Neither of these should be used during a honey flow or when honey supers are on the hive. 

You should only use UK-authorised veterinary medicinal products to treat varroosis in honeybees, unless an appropriate authorised medicine is not available and a veterinary surgeon has prescribed a different product under the prescribing cascade. 

A list of all UK-authorised products is available on the VMD's product information database

Use medicines & dispose correctly and keep records 

Misuse of veterinary medicines can harm bees, make varroa mites resistant to the medicine, contaminate the environment and harm public health. 

You must keep a record of any medicines that have been administered to your bees for a minimum period of 5 years to comply with the legal requirements for food-producing animals. 

Always follow the instructions in the product information about disposal. If in doubt, contact your Regional Bee Inspector. 

The National Bee Unit carries out a programme of honey sampling to check for residues of medicine in honey. They have a duty to report any non-compliant use of medicines they find to the VMD.