Free access
Volume 39, Number 3, May-June 2008
Page(s) 324 - 333
Published online 10 April 2008
Apidologie 39 (2008) 324-333
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2008012

Acaricide residues in beeswax after conversion to organic beekeeping methods

Marco Lodesani, Cecilia Costa, Giorgia Serra, Roberto Colombo and Anna Gloria Sabatini

Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura - Unità di ricerca in apicoltura e bachicoltura, via di Saliceto 80, 40128 Bologna, Italy

Received 22 June 2007 - Revised 21 December 2007 - Accepted 17 January 2008 - Published online 10 April 2008

Abstract - Beekeepers interested in converting their honey farms to organic management must replace old combs with organic foundations. The experiment described in this paper compares two methods of replacement of old combs, "fast" (5 combs per year) and "slow" (2 combs per year), by measuring the levels of acaricide residues in the newly built combs. Tested acaricides were coumaphos (Perizin and Asuntol), fluvalinate (Apistan), and chlorfenvinphos (Supona). Significant differences between the two replacement groups were observed only for the Apistan group in the third year, confirming high lipophilicity of fluvalinate. The residue levels in the new combs three years after beginning the conversion were significantly lower than initial levels for all products. Direct contamination of the combs was highest in Asuntol-treated hives and lowest in Perizin-treated hives. Residues in honey exceeding EU Maximum Residue Limit were found only in the case of Asuntol.

Key words: Apis mellifera / acaricide / organic beekeeping / residues / wax

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008