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Effects of chlortetracycline on honeybee brood (Apis mellifera) development and residues in honey following treatment - HH0815SHB

Oxytetracycline has been used by MAFF and NAW appointed bee inspectors since the 1950’s for the treatment of European foulbrood (EFB) in honeybee colonies as part of the Bee Health Programmes. However, since June 2000 there has been a problem with the availability of oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline (aureomycin) is being dispensed by the VLA as a temporary substitute; it is unclear how long this problem will occur. There is no information on the toxicity of chlortetracycline to honeybee brood and the absence of an MRL (maximum residue limit) for chlortetracycline in honey (as is also the case for oxytetracycline) effectively means residues in honey are required to be below the limit of detection.

The aim of this study is to determine whether chlortetracycline treatment of honey bee colonies administered by the bee inspectors results in effects on honey bee adults, larvae or pupae or detectable residues of chlortetracycline (> 50 g/kg) at the statutory 8 week withdrawal period in experimental colonies and the following spring in both experimental colonies and those owned by beekeepers, treated as part of the Bee Health programme.

1. Assessment of the toxic effects of chlortetracycline on adult honeybees and brood
2. Assessment of the residues of chlortetracycline in honey after the statutory 8 week withdrawal period
3. Assessment of the residues of chlortetracycline in honey in the spring after treatment
Project Documents
• Final Report : final project report   (3133k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2001

Cost: £17,557
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Bee Health              
Disease Control              
European Foulbrood              
Fields of Study
Plant Health