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Insects 2017, 8(3), 84;

Effects of Oxalic Acid on Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Institute of Biology/Neurobiology, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 28-30, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 7 August 2017
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Abstract: Oxalic acid dihydrate is used to treat varroosis of Apis mellifera. This study investigates lethal and sublethal effects of oxalic acid dihydrate on individually treated honeybees kept in cages under laboratory conditions as well as the distribution in the colony. After oral application, bee mortality occurred at relatively low concentrations (No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) 50 µg/bee; Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) 75 µg/bee) compared to the dermal treatment (NOAEL 212.5 µg/bee; LOAEL 250 µg/bee). The dosage used in regular treatment via dermal application (circa 175 µg/bee) is below the LOAEL, referring to mortality derived in the laboratory. However, the treatment with oxalic acid dihydrate caused sublethal effects: This could be demonstrated in an increased responsiveness to water, decreased longevity and a reduction in pH-values in the digestive system and the hemolymph. The shift towards stronger acidity after treatment confirms that damage to the epithelial tissue and organs is likely to be caused by hyperacidity. The distribution of oxalic acid dihydrate within a colony was shown by macro-computed tomography; it was rapid and consistent. The increased density of the individual bee was continuous for at least 14 days after the treatment indicating the presence of oxalic acid dihydrate in the hive even long after a treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Apis mellifera; Varroa destructor; oxalic acid dihydrate; toxicity; tolerance; sublethal effects Apis mellifera; Varroa destructor; oxalic acid dihydrate; toxicity; tolerance; sublethal effects

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Rademacher, E.; Harz, M.; Schneider, S. Effects of Oxalic Acid on Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Insects 2017, 8, 84.

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