I'm Terry Ryan Kane, a veterinarian and bee keeper living and working in the Ann Arbor area. With more than 35 years' experience as a veterinarian and business owner, coupled with an understanding of the regulatory processes that govern the veterinary industry, I have the necessary balance of experience to help keep your hives healthy and compliant at a time that our nation's bees are increasingly at risk.
Honey bees hold a special place in human life. They are fundamental to our food production and food security. Bees pollinate our flowers and many of our crops and orchards. They contribute to overall plant biodiversity. Perhaps more visible and familiar are their hive products we consume; honey, propolis, pollen and royal jelly. Honey bees, like all other animals, face diseases and are very sensitive to environmental factors.
The increase in hive deaths has focused attention on bee and environmental health. It is critical that bee keepers and veterinarians work together to understand and manage the multiple factors that impact hive health.
FDA RULES FOR BEE MEDICINES
Did you know that honeybees are classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as livestock along with other food producing animals? Because antibiotic resistance is a serious problem around the world, the judicious legal use of these drugs is required for the health of people, animals and the environment..what we in the medical field call 'One Health'.
What ARE the new rules? Beekeepers are no longer able to buy certain medically important antibiotics over the counter. Instead, they must obtain a "Veterinary Feed Directive" (VFD) , or a prescription from a licensed veterinarian for these medicines.
This new rule applies to bee hobbyists and commercial beekeepers alike, although most hobbyists will never need an antibiotic prescription or a VFD.
WHAT BEE MEDICINES REQUIRE VFDs?
Here is a list of medicines that are transitioning to VFD requirements.
I will keep you updated, as the list may change over time.
By definition, a VFD ("Veterinary Feed Directive") drug is a medication that is intended for use in or on an animal feed and is used only under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
The link above offers you a quite complete list of farm medications, since many beekeepers have other farm animals too.
For those who raise only honeybees, the most common drugs you might use are Tylosin, Terramycin, and Lincomycin.
Bee Culture magazine offers a helpful Q-and-A for beekeepers who are unsure what this means for them and their hives. You can click here to read "Do I Need a Vet for My Bees?"
WHAT IS A HIVE CALL?
Hopefully, your bees won't need a veterinarian. But if they do, we are required to have a working relationship, a VCPR, Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship in order for me to prescribe or dispense certain medications.
You and your bee vet will examine the hives together, collaborate to make clinical judgements and decide together on the care and treatment of the colony (s). If a medication is needed that require any prescriptions (or VFD) , I follow the rules of the State of Michigan and the FDA.
To find a bee veterinarian in Michigan go to
Also, www.hbvc.org, the Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium
MEET THE BEE VET
Dr. Terry Ryan Kane graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980. She also holds an M.S. Ecology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. There she studied the evolution of cave beetles in the Mammoth Cave System of Kentucky . . . and that is when she learned to love the six-legged creatures in addition to the four-leggeds!
In 1981, Dr. Terry founded Michigan's first feline-only hospital, The Cat Practice. After 22 good years, she sold her practice with plans to retire. Instead, she ended up embracing an opportunity she couldn't refuse, in an entirely different role, serving as a Science and Technology Policy Advisor in the U.S. Senate (sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Veterinary Medical Association).
Following her time in Congress, Dr. Terry moved back to Michigan, again thinking she would retire. But then came the new FDA regulations regarding food animals, including our precious bees . . . and again, she felt called back into work.
In addition to caring for honeybees, Dr. Terry is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and served on the Committee on Environmental Issues. She is a member of Michigan's Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) and served on the Food Animal Committee. She has lectured at a number of veterinary schools and conferences on honey bee medicine.
She is a Climate Reality Project Leader, focusing on the impact of global climate change on all pollinators, as well as honey bees and native bees.
Dr. Terry is a member of A2B2, SEMBA and MBA. She serves on the Executive Board of The Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium (www.hbvc.org)
In 2020, Dr. Terry Ryan Kane published her first book, "Honey Bee Medicine for the Veterinary Practitioner."
"Honey Bee Medicine" is a comprehensive guide for veteranarians, professionals or anyone interested in a comprehensive and practical guide to Bee care and health.
The book is published by Wiley Press and available to order today!
Dr. Terry Ryan Kane currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI.
Dr. Kane is available for telemedicine services: virtual, phone, video consultations and lectures.
Dr. Kane's new book, "Honey Bee Medicine" her first book, is available for pre-order now!