Beekeepers have an increasingly difficult time keeping their bees healthy. Whether it is mites, a stunning array of viruses, small hive beetle or the two versions nosema, Nosema apis and its more virulent cousin, Nosema ceranae, there seems no end of ways for bees to get sick and die.
The Canadian and U.S. governments recently moved to restrict access to medications beekeepers use to treat for American Foulbrood. It is part of a greater effort to put such antimicrobial medications behind prescription counters. They want to reduce the potential for resistance to develop in the suite of antibiotics farmers use to treat diseases, as well as reduce “minimum residue levels” of medications from building up farmed foods for sale. Beekeepers are not excluded but could be disproportionately affectedbecause there are few private veterinarians qualified, trained or interested in diagnosing bee diseases.
Now, it seems, we have one less method for keeping our bees healthy, and with no replacement medication in sight.
On Thursday Medivet Pharmaceuticals Ltd., the Canadian company that produces and sell’s the world’s only medication known or approved to work against Nosema, announced it was shutting down. Not just shutting down its nosema medication production facility, but the entire company.
Medivet owner Ursula Da Rugna said in a letter to customers that their raw material supplier for Fumagilin-B has shut down production of the active ingredient, fumagiline-dch. “Unfortunately, there is no other place in the world to buy this product from,” she wrote. (See letter below.)