Chatting Bee Medicine With The Bee Veterinarian | Twin Trees Vet Talk

On today's episode of Twin Trees Vet Talk, we welcome our very special guest, Dr. Jörg Mayer DVM, MS, DABVP, DECZM, DACZM. Dr. Mayer is a Professor of Zoological Medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, where he also teaches Bee Medicine classes to veterinarians and veterinary students.

In this episode we will focus on advice for beekeepers and troubleshooting bee colony loss. We discuss common honeybee diseases like the va roa mite and foulbrood, the use of medications like antibiotics in bees,  hive autopsy, and the recent mandatory involvement of veterinarians in backyard and commercial honeybee farms due to new FDA regulations, the importance of joining your local beekeeper's association as well as providing diverse nectar sources for pollinators by planting wildflowers and native green spaces.

Pollinators are in major danger. Many of them are facing extinction. If you want to help pollinators here are some simple things you can do: Buy organic. Don't use pesticides. Plant wild native flowers. Support your local farmers and local beekeepers by going to the farmers market and buying locally grown food and honey.

We hope you enjoy this episode! Please leave your questions and comments below!
Check out the first episode in this bee series where we discuss the importance of bees with respect to the economy and global food security, the major threats to bees, how to help the bees, and much more.


WELCOME TO TWIN TREES VET TALK! An informal chat with Dr. Lopez (Emergency Veterinarian) and friends to share our perspective on pet predicaments, being a veterinarian, our shared love for animals and more! Have a quick question? Want to run something by us? Or just need our two cents? This is your chance! Each week we select a handful of questions to answer.



The medical information on this site is provided as an educational resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

More Bee Resources from Dr. Mayer

Bee Informed Partnership Inc (BIP) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization using science-based, data-driven approaches to improve the health and long-term sustainability of honey bees (Apis mellifera), other plant pollinators and the ecosystems upon which they depend. We often are contacted about various topics and many answers can be found on our Blog page by entering terms in the Search box.  Below we have posted the most frequently asked questions.

The Honey Bee Health Coalition brings together beekeepers, growers, researchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, conservation groups, manufacturers, and consumer brands to improve the health of honey bees.

Help the honey bees: 
You can help bees directly:
> Honey Bees Have Emotions
> May 17, 2023
> Can Bees Feel Emotions? New Study Suggests They Are Sentient
> By Madeleine Muzdakis <>
> Bees are critical to American agriculture. They pollinate <> over $15 billion worth of crops across our country each year. But lately, habitat destruction and colony collapse disorder have wreaked havoc on these incredible creatures. As useful as they are to humans, bees do not receive the same care and concern over their emotional wellbeing as other agricultural animals. The tiny critters have brains the size of poppy seeds, yet recent research by ecologists such as Stephen Buchmann suggest they can learn, think, and even likely feel, much like mammals.
> Buchmann’s recent book, What a Bee Knows: Exploring the Thoughts, Memories and Personalities of Bees <>, collects the work of bee scholars as they work to unpack what goes on in their minuscule brains. What has until recently been a “fringe” scientific field, the insect minds of bees hold a critical place in the American economy. Buchmann’s work also suggests they should hold a special place in our ethical scheme. For Buchmann and some other scientists, what they have learned about bees changes their research strategies to be more ethical, on par with the standards set for vertebrate mammals such as mice and monkeys.
> Experiments, the outcomes of which are addressed in the book, illuminate the sentient secret life of bees. Lars Chittka, a University College of London professor in sensory and behavioral ecology, did an experiment 16 years ago where he hid a robotic predatory spider in flowers. The spider would grab an unwary bee that came too close and then release it after giving it a good scare. Chittka observed how the released bees learned to look for the spider and to avoid it. He also observed an almost PTSD-like symptom among the previously captured creatures. Some would be too scared to approach even unoccupied flowers.
> Other studies demonstrated that bee brains saw rushes in dopamine and serotonin when they were presented with sucrose (sugar). These happy bees then foraged more than their unrewarded peers. By contrast, stress from poor handling lowered the levels of these happy hormones. Bees must also keep good memories, so that they can return to the best flower patches. “This is not a trivial challenge,” says Chittka. “Different flowers are blooming from one week to the next. And a flower patch you discovered in the morning that was rewarding might be depleted by competitors half an hour later so you have to readjust.”
> “Many of my colleagues do invasive neuroscience experiments where bees have electrodes implanted into various body parts without any form of anesthesia,” Chittka says. “The current carefree situation that [invertebrate] researchers live in with no legal framework needs to be re-evaluated.” There are few regulations regarding bee welfare. Vegan favorites such as almond-milk can actually be brutal on bee populations, which are imported en masse to California to pollinate almond groves. Hives have lost increasing numbers of bees in recent years, causing much to be worried about. Buchmann and others have an inkling the “unhappiness” of bees might be a contributing factor to the troubles the species faces.
> Bees are critical to feeding the world and to plant survival. But the bees need care too. “The ground used to be buzzing with bees,” Buchmann said of past almond groves. “But no more. Now the almonds fall on bare ground or plastic sheeting and are vacuumed up by big harvesting units.” Reforestation and wild flowers can only do so much. The first step in safeguarding the precious bees is learning more about them and their lives. “These unique minds, regardless of how much they may differ from our own, have as much justification to exist as we do,” says Chittka. “It is a wholly new aspect of how weird and wonderful the world is around us.”
> We are here to share current happenings in the bee industry. Bee Culture gathers and shares articles published by outside sources. For more information about this specific article, please visit the original publish source: Can Bees Feel Emotions? New Study Suggests They Are Sentient ( <>


-Bee warned: shelves stripped bare:
-Commercial beekeeping migration map:


00:00 teaser 00:51 intro 01:11 FDA prohibited the sale of antibiotics over the counter to beekeepers 01:33 bee medicine courses for veterinarians and vet students at University of Georgia 02:39 hive autopsy, investigating and reporting colony loss 03:01 data collection and reporting 03:39 join local beekeepers association 04:40 scientific papers and diagnostic laboratories 05:16 consulting a bee veterinarian 08:24 “all beekeeping is local” 09:18 ordering bees 10:56 problems with hobby beekeeping 12:12 varoa mite infestation 12:55 Typhoid Mary hives and robbery 14:07 risks that honey bees pose to native pollinators (disease, competition for food) 15:45 green spaces for bees pollinators 16:41 DIY and OTC antibiotics and multidrug antimicrobial resistance 20:23 take home points

TRANSCRIPT[coming soon]