Fumidil B

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


House Bee
Nov 29, 2008
Reaction score
Crawley, W,Sussex. uk
Hive Type
Number of Hives
I just got this E-mail from Thorne.

Dear Beekeeper

Fumidil B was withdrawn from most European countries several years ago. The supply within the UK has been causing concern for some time. On Thursday 26th February, the Committee on Mutagenicity will meet to decide the future of this product and will advise the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

We understand there could be a number of decisions One is that the product must be withdrawn immediately. If that is the case, we cannot sell Fumidil B after next Thursday. The manufacturers, understandably, will not be making any more of this product until the committee have made their decision. So, even if the license is renewed, supply could be a problem for the remainder of 2009.

We do have stock at the moment with an expiry date of October 2010. You may wish to purchase some before Thursday to be sure of acquiring it.

Representations have been made by the British Beekeepers Association and others. We hope that the outcome will be positive. In fact, we hope this e-mail is a complete waste of time but we feel it is important to advise all our customers of the situation.


Gill Smith

E.H. Thorne (Beehives) Ltd

hi reply to bee keeping in general.

i have never used it and never will,if you are a beekeeper that relies on a bottle of this or that or off the shelf products to keep your bees a live then you are going to start having some big problem's

My opinion on anything like this is as soon as it can be taken of the market the better.

I'm sure one of the companies will come along with a magic cure and we all can pour that all over are bees.

I may be mising something, but why is Fumidil B a problem? Nosema is a bigger problem and Fumidil B can prevent / treat it.

I treated my hives last autumn and have has no issues through the winter.
There is always the sensible attitude and the not so.

For those who wish to keep bees chemical free that is their choice and I wish them and their bees well but fear for the bees.

And there is an alarming amount of nosema around at the moment,so i for one hope it is not banned,and nosema ceranae is the most worrying, can wipe colonys out fast.I don't like using these substances any more than anyone else,but i don't like just watching bee's die either for the sake of it,when something can be done.If our pets/livestock become ill,we take them to a vet,if we become ill,its to the doctor,are bee's for some reason supposed to be exemt from any kind of help when ill.
Last edited:
hi reply to bee keeping in general.

i have never used it and never will,if you are a beekeeper that relies on a bottle of this or that or off the shelf products to keep your bees a live then you are going to start having some big problem's

My opinion on anything like this is as soon as it can be taken of the market the better.

I'm sure one of the companies will come along with a magic cure and we all can pour that all over are bees.

How about self medication?, would you suffer or see your loved ones suffer for want of medication ? I think not !
A sense of proportion is all that's required .
Following your diktat would solve the problem of over population no doubt but are you sure you descend from a blood line capable of producing heirs who will remain healthy without intervention ?, would you take the risk of trialing this, using your own family members?
A careful and timely application of fumidil b does treat nosema with success, why stand by and watch bees suffer (yes they do suffer)from nosema, when help is readily available ?
I used Fumidil as part of my hive plan for last year. Prevention rather than cure being the order of the day.

It worries me if fumildil is not available, and nosema remains prevelant. Next years winter losses could suddenly escalate to epedimic levels.
I think there may be enough losses this year,let alone next year,and nosema will remain prevalent, no doubt about that. Varroa mites are like angels compared to nosema ceranae,at least they are easy to get rid of.good job we have thymol.
Last edited:
Fumidil B doesn't keep well does it? Well if we can't get any new stuff, can we still use old stuff or does something happen to it?

Never had much use for it myself, but rather like the fact it's there if needed.

Pre Varroa Nosema was one of the biggest haedaches for beeks in Winter, it can certainly cause some large losses and in some seasons can be a problem.

Good bees and clean combs play a part in it's reduction and you can try Vita Gold.

Vita Feed Gold and Vita Feed Green to boost honeybee health with natural extracts and essential oils

Two new honeybee health feeds from Vita (Europe) Ltd

21 April 2007

Vita (Europe) Ltd, the honeybee health specialist, has launched two new feeds to help improve honeybee health and stimulate colony development. Vita Feed Gold, a natural extract, and Vita Feed Green, an essential oil, are simple and safe to use leaving no residues and containing no antibiotics. Developed over several years and thoroughly tested in field trials, the new feeds are designed to strengthen colonies and make them more resistant to disease.

Vita Feed Gold is a liquid feed based on natural beet extract and molasses. It stimulates a controlled and sustained build-up of colonies, especially if they are weak, and has been shown to be effective in reducing the number of Nosema spores in colonies.

Vita Feed Green is a liquid feed based on the essential oils of walnut, thyme, marjoram and wild marjoram. By stabilising the acidity (pH) of the bee gut to within the optimum range of 6.3 to 6.6, Vita Feed Green offers wide-spectrum protection against harmful bacteria and fungi. It is an anti-oxidant and helps reduce varroa and chalkbrood infestations.

Vita Feed Green can be used at any time of year but is usually most effective either in spring (to stimulate colony development) or in autumn (to help prepare bees for winter). Vita Feed Gold is best administered in spring or autumn especially if colonies have been weakened by dysentery or related conditions.

“As a honeybee health company with products that control pests and enable field identification of foulbrood diseases, we have spent many years looking for products that will boost the natural defences of colonies,” explained Jeremy Owen, Sales Director of Vita (Europe). “After thorough testing, we are delighted with the effects of Vita Feed Gold and Vita Feed Green in strengthening honeybee colonies, the ease with which the feeds can be administered and the fact that as ‘green’ products they are harmless to bees and humans and leave no residues. ”

Dr Max Watkins, Technical Director of Vita (Europe) added: “We believe that Vita Feed Gold and Vita Feed Green have an important role to play strengthening honeybee colonies’ immune systems, especially at this time with so many unexplained losses of honeybee colonies across the globe. There won’t ever be a “silver bullet” to ensure honeybee health and a variety of approaches will always be beneficial.”

Once a colony is in a bad way though the fire is often the best bet:svengo:

Regards Ian
Last edited:
nosema ceranae,at least they are easy to get rid of.good job we have thymol.

Can you elaborate Hivemaker?

Nosema C. worries me. I've been fortunate enough to have never needed Fumidil B. because nosema (apis) problems have been negligible. But what's the most effective treatment(s) for Nosema C.?


Update: I've now read the scientific beekeeping link. I understand. Have you tried the thymol treatment?
Last edited:
Hivemaker put me onto using thymol last year for Verroa treatment and I must say I love the stuff,I believe it is the bee equivalent of Tea tree oil.

An example is head lice versus Verroa,Tea tree oil can be used for loads of other things the same as Thymol can.

I assume that Fumidil B is being removed (if it is) because it is an antibiotic that can get in the honey yet I bet there are 100 times more antibiotics in a Dutch 4 for a pound pork chops in Tesco !

Without reading up I will stick my kneck out and say that Fumidil B is not produced by Bayer ?
Hi Chris
yes i have used thymol in syrup,a lot,used to feed around one and a half tons of sugar made into syrup with thymol, before i went over to feeding fondant only,all the syrup i fed in autumn was thymolised,but not for any other reason than i have allways fed bee's late in the season,so this was used to prevent fermentation. but i also rarely had any problems with nosema back then,and i believe it had some bad effect on varroa mites.So this could be one downside of feeding fondant,as am now finding more nosema.In a reply i had a couple of weeks back from Randy Oliver,he seems to think thymol is good but needs to be used stronger than the standard dose.So i intend to feed each colony at least one gallon of thymolised syrup each autumn,then top up with fondant,like i used to allways do.Then comb changing in spring when the time is right,also do not intend to use bailey comb change method,cannot see how this can work any more than it could with efb.Have included a peice from another place on a test that was done re thymol,there is a lot of imformation on the net.nosema is i believe now classed as a type of fungi,thymol is a very strong fungicide.

I still think fumigilin is best to clear up an infected colony quick,by spraying.

I have done a fair bit of searching on treatments for Nosema, I came across a 3-year study done at Ege University in Turkey in 2002. They compared the effectiveness of Fumidil-B and Thymol. To summarize the results:

2002 First Year of treatment:
Fumidil-B, 55 colonies - Avg. 4.98 million spores per bee
Thymol, 55 colonies - Avg. 5.06 million spores per bee
Untreated, 52 colonies - Avg. 5.14 million spores per bee

2003 Second Year of treatment:
Fumidil-B, 40 colonies - Avg. 3.8 million spores per bee, Winter loss: 15 colonies (27%)
Thymol, 53 colonies - Avg. 2.8 million spores per bee, Winter loss: 2 colonies (4%)
Untreated, 31 colonies - Avg. 6.0 million spores per bee, Winter loss: 21 colonies (40%)

2004 Third Year of treatment:
Fumidil-B, 32 colonies - Avg. 3.7 million spores per bee, Winter loss: 8 colonies (20%)
Thymol, 51 colonies - Avg. 0.6 million spores per bee, Winter loss: 2 colonies (4%)
Untreated, 15 colonies - Avg. 6.7 million spores per bee, Winter loss: 16 colonies (50%)

The effectiveness of Thymol appears to be much better than Fumidil-B. The lack of a short term effect on spore counts in the first year can be explained by the fact that Thymol works by inactivating the spore, whereas Fumidil-B works after the spore is activated so many of the spores that were observed in the first year of the Thymol group were most likely inactive (as is supported by the significantly better overwintering stats). There was further evidence of the effectiveness of Thymol in the first year when the Avg. worker counts, brood surface area and honey production are compared between the groups.

The indication of this study is that with Thymol you can reduce the Nosema to a level that will not cause re-infection in subsequent years. Fumidil-B will not bring it down to that level and will require that the colonies be continuously treated (it seems to lose effectiveness over time). In addition the Thymol group outperformed the Fumidil-B group during all years of treatment.

There are also several additional advantages of Thymol:

1. It retards molds in the syrup and pollen substitute.
2. It has been shown to have a repellent effect on the Small Hive Beetle (IMHO, this is because it retards the growth of the yeast that SHB infect the pollen with that helps attract them to the hive).

In light of this study and others I have been routinely using Thymol in both my syrup and pollen substitute.

If anyone would like a pdf copy of the study, PM me and I will email it to you.

PS also contacted medivet,makers of fumigilin,to ask if it was okay to add this to thymolised syrup,they say they have done no tests, but do not recomend this. I just thought i might give them nosema's a real bad time.
Last edited:
Many thanks Hivemaker.
Thats extremely useful information. Also very timely. I've largely used fondant over the last few years for convenience but I think I'll revert to syrup. I think I'll give everything a feed early/mid March to get them going so perhaps Thymol is a good idea. I've not lost many colonies yet this winter but I'll be getting samples analysed of some that have died - the results will help make my mind up.
Would any feed with Thymol be a bit late mid March ? I was thinking about the bees storing some then moving it up to the honey supers when they go on?

On reading this thread I think I will do the Thymol/olive oil on a tissue for Verroa when the supers come off late August then give a few pints of Thymol/sugar during September/October then feed fondant as per last year.
I also intend to test all colonys for nosema,in the spring,and just before feed time in autumn,athough i have never done so before.but the test is quick,and can do these in the evenings.The reason is this nosema ceranae,i believe that is the one i now have in a few colonys,but no outwards signs,like dysentry ect.Most of these colonys are at present strong,with brood,and hopefully the treatments will work okay,i'm sure they would be doomed without.

Latest posts