Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #142703


item Feldlaufer, Mark
item Pettis, Jeffery
item Kochansky, Jan
item Kramer, Matthew

Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Feldlaufer, M.F., Pettis, J.S., Kochansky, J.P., Kramer, M.H. 2004. Residue levels in honey after colony treatment with the antibiotic tylosin. American Bee Journal. 144:143-145.

Interpretive Summary: The honey bee is an important beneficial insect, pollinating crops that are valued in excess of $15 billion. Honey bee colonies are being devastated by the bacteria that causes American foulbrood disease, in large part because strains of the bacteria are resistant to the only antibiotic approved for disease prevention and control. This study was undertaken to determine antibiotic residues that might be present in honey after application of a newer, more effective antibiotic to honey bee colonies. The information from this research will be used by scientists at state and federal regulatory agencies that make decisions about antibiotic use.

Technical Abstract: Residue levels of the antibiotic tylosin in honey were determined after the antibiotic was applied to honey bee colonies. The antibiotic was applied as a dust (200 mg or 1000 mg in 20 g confectioners sugar) three times, one week apart, and both brood and surplus honey were subsequently sampled and analyzed. Tylosin concentrations declined over time in all samples. In surplus honey from colonies treated with a total of 600 mg, tylosin concentrations declined from an average of 1.31 ppm in honey sampled during the treatment period to 0.16 ppm three weeks after the last treatment. Exposure to tylosin from honey is significantly less than from other agricultural products, based on U.S. per capita consumption and an established tolerance of 0.2 ppm.