Before 2017 it was possible to go to a feed store and buy antibiotics to be fed to your bees. The FDA is trying to assure the safety of our food supply by minimizing antibiotic residues in foods, and also minimize improper antibiotic use that is leading to bacterial resistance (this actually does have human health implications). The intent of the new legislation from the FDA (effective Dec 2017) was to make antibiotic use in bee colonies the responsibility of veterinarians, just as is currently the case for all other food-producing animals that need antibiotics. The problem was - there were no veterinarians trained in bee medicine. That is no longer the case in many areas, ours included. I am a veterinarian interested in treating bees and have acquired additional training in Bee Medicine and Disease. I've been a beekeeper for 8 months and a veterinarian for 31 years, and a member of Palm Beach Beeks for almost a year. I can be contacted at 561-three-zero-two-0230 or at s.d.lehr(at)comcast.net (I've altered these so that spam bots don't recognize them). Samples can be submitted to the US Honey Bee Lab in Beltsville, MD, if necessary. I hope your bees do well and that you don't ever need a veterinarian to treat them, but if you do, I'm interested and available.
Sid Lehr, DVM
Boca Raton, FL
Updating the above info, I've been keeping my own bees for 13 months now, own 5 colonies, and have acquired additional training at the U of MD as a member of the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) Tech transfer team. The BIP Tech Transfer Team works with commercial beekeepers to do colony testing in the field, submits samples to the BIP lab, and makes management recommendations to beekeepers to increase colony health and winter survival. Varroa counts, Nosema testing, hygienic testing, and other evaluations are done in the field and at the U of MD Honey Bee Laboratory by a team of BIP workers in the field and are submitted to the lab. Those beekeepers that have utilized this program over a course of a few years see clear positive results in better winter survival, fewer Varroa problems and more hygienic colonies, and better queen performance based on breeding recommendations made based on test results. These are measurable parameters provided from data from the lab resulting from samples submitted from the field.
Yes, bees are food-producing animals and now fall under these laws