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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Dec 28;53(26):10085-90.

Evaluation of residues of essential oil components in honey after different anti-varroa treatments.

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  • 1Department of Animal Production and Food Science, Veterinary Faculty, University of Zaragoza, Miguel Servet 177, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain.


Apiary trials on the use of three different treatments (Apilife Var, thymol solution in olive oil, and thymol solution in ethanol) for the control of Varroa destructor were conducted in Aragon (northeastern Spain). For the evaluation of the presence of residues of these treatments in honey an analytical method was developed. The method is applied to analyze honey samples before and after treatments with the acaricides mentioned. A solid-phase extraction on trifunctional silane SPE C18 cartridge and gas chromatography separation using a flame ionization detector allow reliable and precise determination of residues of thymol, menthol, eucalyptol, and camphor in honey. The results indicate that camphor is present in only low concentrations, residues of eucalyptol or menthol were not found at all, and only thymol left residues in high concentrations. Residues of thymol found in honey collected from the beehives ranged from 0.75 to 8.20 microg/g for Apilife Var, from 0.03 to 6.30 microg/g for thymol solution in olive oil, and from 0.05 to 6.20 microg/g for thymol solution in ethanol. Even so, natural treatments can be considered to be good alternatives for synthetic acaricides, especially because they do not represent a sanitary risk.

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