Beware of high winds

During the very strong winds recently my hives got knocked over (I thought the bees may have all frozen but they soon zoomed out and let me know they were ok). I had attached 'z-clip' fastenings in case of attack by badgers, however these were not strong enough to hold the boxes together. Anyone else who has been advised to use these fastenings should consider using something else - I will be using straps.


Veterinary Medicines Directorate and Organic Acids

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Following numerous queries over the last couple of weeks, I would like to clarify the situation with regard to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Use of Organic Acids, Use of other products and also record keeping.

This information has been clarified by Heather Oliver of the VMD this week.
1) Use of Organic Acids for Varroa Treatment:
The VMD has stated that to remain within the law any beekeeper using Organic Acids must be in possession of a Veterinary Surgeons Prescription (issued under the Veterinary Cascade System). This is not as difficult as you may think and a sample letter has been prepared by the NBU (and used successfully). This is attached to this e-mail. Vets cannot charge for the prescription but may charge a small consultation
fee - although this has not always happened.
2) Use of Other products for Varroa Control approved within the EU:

The VMD has stated that to remain within the law any beekeeper using other products which are approved within the EU (Such as Apivar Strips) again must ask their Veterinary Surgeon to obtain it for them under a Veterinary Import Certificate (Cost £15).

3) Record Keeping:

The VMD has clarified that as keepers of 'Food Producing Animals' - Beekeepers are required to keep records of the treatments they administer to their colonies. The records should be kept for a minimum of 5 years and be available for Inspection.
Attached is a record sheet which can be used (available for download), or, alternatively an Animal Medicines Record Book (my preference) which can be obtained from the following sources can also be used.

These books are put together in line with National Office of Animal Health Guidelines (based in Suffolk - the books are also available from them) and cost around £3.50. from whichever source.

Should you or your veterinary surgeon wish to discuss this the person to speak to is Heather Oliver at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate on 01932 338316.

I hope this information proves useful,


Andy Wattam
Central Science Laboratory

Postscript: Andy has confirmed that the above advice does not apply to our normal treatments such as Apiguard, Apistan and Bayvarol. We can continue to purchase and administer these as before.