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

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.

Working bee