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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2010 Apr;58(3):733-9. doi: 10.1007/s00244-009-9387-7. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Impact of the use of fluvalinate on different types of beeswax from Spanish hives.

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Department of Animal Production and Food Science, Veterinary Faculty, Universidad de Zaragoza, Miguel Servet 177, 50013, Zaragoza, Spain.


Acaricides are applied in agriculture as phytosanitary products against pests and in apiculture to control the bee parasite Varroa destructor. Poor apicultural practices could result in an accumulation of residues in honeybees, in the environment, and in beeswax and other bee products by migration from the wax comb into stored honey through a process of diffusion and consequently constitute a potential risk for humans. In this study, six different types of beeswax samples were analysed for the determination of residues of fluvalinate, coumaphos, and bromopropylate and its metabolite 4,4'-dibromobenzophenone, all of which are the most commonly acaricides used by Spanish beekeepers against V. destructor. The analytic method consists of solid-phase extraction on a SPE Florisil cartridge and high-performance liquid chromatography separation using a photo diode array detector. The results show that fluvalinate residues were detected in 36.3% of samples, ranging from 1.2 to 6.6 microg/g wax. Residues of coumaphos, bromopropylate, and 4,4'-dibromobenzophenone were not found to be greater than their detection limits. This study indicates that the analysis of these compounds in beeswax samples could be used as bioindicators of fluvalinate sanitary treatment and handling practices applied by beekeepers.

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