Acaricide, Fungicide and Drug Interactions in Honey Bees
Chemical analysis shows that honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive products contain many pesticides derived from various sources. The most abundant pesticides are acaricides applied by beekeepers to control Varroa destructor. Beekeepers also apply antimicrobial drugs to control bacterial and microsporidial diseases. Fungicides may enter the hive when applied to nearby flowering crops. Acaricides, antimicrobial drugs and fungicides are not highly toxic to bees alone, but in combination there is potential for heightened toxicity due to interactive effects. The effectiveness of tau-fluvalinate  and coumaphos  has waned as Varroa populations have developed resistance to these acaricides. There are also documented interactions between the sterol biosynthesis inhibiting (SBI) fungicides and pyrethroid insecticides in honey bees –. The different acaricides varied greatly in their propensity for interaction with other compounds. Tau-fluvalinate interacted with most other compounds tested, including all 5 acaricides, 8 of 9 fungicides or a fungicide combination, and 2 of 3 antimicrobial compounds. Thymol interacted with 3 of 5 acaricides, 2 of 5 fungicides and none of the 3 antimicrobials.
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