Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Search List

Minimisation of oxytetracycline levels in honey after antibiotic treatment - HH3223SHB

All Statutory treatments with oxytetracycline for European foulbrood in England and Wales are undertaken by CSL appointed Bee Inspectors on behalf of Defra and NAW as part of the Bee Health programmes. there is no MRL currently set for ozytetracycline (OTC) in honey, which means that there is zero tolerence limit after treatment. Work undertaken by the national bee unit (NBU) (HH0816SHB) showed that a residues of OTC were detectable in honey for at least 8 weeks after treatment, that residues were dependent on the application method and OTC was toxic to brood. there is therefore an urgent need to address the residues in honey from colonies treated as part of the bee health programmes.
the aim of this investigation is to determine whether two alternative treatment methods significantly reduce the residues of OTC in colonies to levels below the 50ppb reporting limit. The methods assessed will be 1) shook swarm and OTC treatment and 2) feeding with sugar syrup after standard OTC treatment. These data will be used to dtermine the most appropriate treatment methods for EFB to minimise OTC residues in the Bee Health programmes.
1. To evaluate the effects of the shook swarm technique with OTC treatment on residue levels and colony development
2. To assess residue levels of antibiotic in colonies after OTC treatment plus feeding with sugar syrup
Project Documents
• Final Report : Minimisation of oxytetracycline levels in honey after antibiotic treatment   (883k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £25,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Bee Diseases              
Bee Health              
Disease Control              
European Foulbrood              
Fields of Study