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Honeybees as a teaching tool in veterinary education

Joerg Mayer DVM, MSc1
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  • 1 From the Exotic Animal, Wildlife and Zoo Animal Medicine Service, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Abstract

Abstract

Veterinary education is becoming more and more complex, but the ultimate goal—providing an education that will prepare students for entry-level positions in the profession—remains the same. Often, hands-on work with living animals aimed at achieving core competencies is relegated to the final year of the veterinary curriculum. But, incorporating honeybees allows introduction of these important concepts during earlier years of veterinary student training. In addition, honeybees are under severe threat from a multitude of health problems, and this has dire implications for our own food supply. Veterinarians need to be actively involved in addressing this health crisis. Ever since the US FDA implemented its Veterinary Feed Directive rule, which dictates how certain antimicrobials can legally be administered in the feed or water of food-producing animals, and made changes to its policy on the use of medically necessary antimicrobials on bees, honeybees have fallen under the direct purview of veterinarians, highlighting the need for greater literacy in honeybee health. The present manuscript describes reasons why and ways how honeybees can play a larger role in the education of veterinarians in the United States.

Abstract

Abstract

Veterinary education is becoming more and more complex, but the ultimate goal—providing an education that will prepare students for entry-level positions in the profession—remains the same. Often, hands-on work with living animals aimed at achieving core competencies is relegated to the final year of the veterinary curriculum. But, incorporating honeybees allows introduction of these important concepts during earlier years of veterinary student training. In addition, honeybees are under severe threat from a multitude of health problems, and this has dire implications for our own food supply. Veterinarians need to be actively involved in addressing this health crisis. Ever since the US FDA implemented its Veterinary Feed Directive rule, which dictates how certain antimicrobials can legally be administered in the feed or water of food-producing animals, and made changes to its policy on the use of medically necessary antimicrobials on bees, honeybees have fallen under the direct purview of veterinarians, highlighting the need for greater literacy in honeybee health. The present manuscript describes reasons why and ways how honeybees can play a larger role in the education of veterinarians in the United States.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Mayer (mayerj@uga.edu).