Free Access
Volume 33, Number 4, July-August 2002
Page(s) 399 - 409

Apidologie 33 (2002) 399-409
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2002029

Determination of residues in honey after treatments with formic and oxalic acid under field conditions

Stefan Bogdanov, Jean-Daniel Charrière, Anton Imdorf, Verena Kilchenmann and Peter Fluri

Swiss Bee Research Centre, FAM, 3003 Bern, Switzerland

(Received 30 August 2001; revised 4 February 2002; accepted 1 March 2002)

Formic acid and oxalic acid field trials for control of Varroa destructor were carried out in autumn according to the Swiss prescriptions during three successive years in different apiaries in Switzerland. The following parameters were determined in honey that was harvested the year after treatment: formic acid, oxalic acid and free acidity. The following range of values were found in honeys of untreated colonies: formic acid, from 17 to 284 mg/kg, n = 34; oxalic acid, from 11 to 119 mg/kg, n = 33. There was a small, but unproblematic increase in formic acid levels in comparison to the levels in the controls; average: 46 mg/kg, maximum: 139 mg/kg. No increase in formic acid was found with increasing number of treatment years. If emergency formic acid treatments were carried out in spring, the residue levels were much higher: average increase of 193 mg/kg, maximum 417 mg/kg. The oxalic acid content remained unchanged, even after two successive treatments during the same autumn. No rise of free acidity was encountered after a combined treatment with formic and oxalic acid during the three trial years.

Key words: honey / residue / formic acid / oxalic acid / free acidity / Varroa destructor

Correspondence and reprints: Stefan Bogdanov

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2002