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      Changes in Lithium Levels in Bees and Their Products Following Anti- Varroa Treatment


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          Varroosis caused by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has been the biggest threat to managed bee colonies over recent decades. Chemicals available to treat the disease imply problems of resistance, inconsistent efficacy, and residues in bee products. Recently, alongside novel compounds to defeat the pest, lithium chloride has been found to be effective. In this study, we found that lithium treatments leave beeswax residue-free. The possibility of decontamination in adult bees, bee bread, and uncapped honey was revealed. On the other hand, ripe honey was found to be affected by lithium administered via feeding. Case studies are necessary to uncover the level of exposition in harvested honey to estimate its potential risk once it becomes a registered veterinary medicine.


          The biggest threat to beekeeping is varroosis caused by the mite Varroa destructor. Chemicals available to treat this fatal disease may present problems of resistance or inconsistent efficacy. Recently, lithium chloride has appeared as a potential alternative. To date, the amount of residue lithium treatments may leave in honeybee products is poorly understood. Honeybees were fed with 25 mM lithiated sugar syrup, which was used in earlier studies. The accumulation and elimination of the lithium were monitored in bees and their products for 22 days. Lithium concentration increased in the entire body of the bees to day 4 post-treatment and then recovered rapidly to the control level. Lithium exposure was found to affect uncapped honey in the short term (<16 days), but ripe (capped) honey measured at the end of the trial remained affected. On the other hand, lithium treatment left beeswax lithium-free. Based on these data, we propose that comprehensive research on harvested honey is needed to decide on the veterinary use of lithium.

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          Biology and control of Varroa destructor.

          The ectoparasitic honey bee mite Varroa destructor was originally confined to the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana. After a shift to the new host Apis mellifera during the first half of the last century, the parasite dispersed world wide and is currently considered the major threat for apiculture. The damage caused by Varroosis is thought to be a crucial driver for the periodical colony losses in Europe and the USA and regular Varroa treatments are essential in these countries. Therefore, Varroa research not only deals with a fascinating host-parasite relationship but also has a responsibility to find sustainable solutions for the beekeeping. This review provides a survey of the current knowledge in the main fields of Varroa research including the biology of the mite, damage to the host, host tolerance, tolerance breeding and Varroa treatment. We first present a general view on the functional morphology and on the biology of the Varroa mite with special emphasis on host-parasite interactions during reproduction of the female mite. The pathology section describes host damage at the individual and colony level including the problem of transmission of secondary infections by the mite. Knowledge of both the biology and the pathology of Varroa mites is essential for understanding possible tolerance mechanisms in the honey bee host. We comment on the few examples of natural tolerance in A. mellifera and evaluate recent approaches to the selection of Varroa tolerant honey bees. Finally, an extensive listing and critical evaluation of chemical and biological methods of Varroa treatments is given. This compilation of present-day knowledge on Varroa honey bee interactions emphasizes that we are still far from a solution for Varroa infestation and that, therefore, further research on mite biology, tolerance breeding, and Varroa treatment is urgently needed. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            American Foulbrood in honeybees and its causative agent, Paenibacillus larvae.

            After more than a century of American Foulbrood (AFB) research, this fatal brood infection is still among the most deleterious bee diseases. Its etiological agent is the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. Huge progress has been made, especially in the last 20 years, in the understanding of the disease and of the underlying host-pathogen interactions. This review will place these recent developments in the study of American Foulbrood and of P. larvae into the general context of AFB research. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Honey for Nutrition and Health: A Review

              Due to the variation of botanical origin honey differs in appearance, sensory perception and composition. The main nutritional and health relevant components are carbohydrates, mainly fructose and glucose but also about 25 different oligosaccharides. Although honey is a high carbohydrate food, its glycemic index varies within a wide range from 32 to 85, depending on the botanical source. It contains small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids, minerals, trace elements, vitamins, aroma compounds and polyphenols. The review covers the composition, the nutritional contribution of its components, its physiological and nutritional effects. It shows that honey has a variety of positive nutritional and health effects, if consumed at higher doses of 50 to 80 g per intake.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                25 June 2021
                July 2021
                : 12
                : 7
                : 579
                [1 ]Festetics Bioinnovation Group, Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, Georgikon Campus, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, H-8360 Keszthely, Hungary; kolicseva@ 123456gmail.com (É.K.); petrovicsnemkk@ 123456gmail.com (K.M.); szepesikinga66@ 123456gmail.com (K.S.); izabella.solti@ 123456gmail.com (I.S.); drnemethgyongyi@ 123456gmail.com (G.N.); taller.janos@ 123456uni-mate.hu (J.T.)
                [2 ]Kolics Apiaries, H-8710 Balatonszentgyörgy, Hungary
                [3 ]Doctoral School of Chemistry, University of Debrecen, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary; sajtos.zsofi@ 123456science.unideb.hu
                [4 ]Atomic Spectrometry Partner Laboratory, Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Debrecen, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary; baranyai.edina@ 123456science.unideb.hu
                [5 ]Balaton Limnological Research Institute, ELKH, H-8237 Tihany, Hungary; specziar.andras@ 123456blki.hu
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: bkolics@ 123456gmail.com ; Tel.: +36-302629236
                Author information
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 19 May 2021
                : 21 June 2021

                lithium chloride,beeswax,honey,chemical residues,apis mellifera,varroa destructor


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