Saturday, January 14, 2006

Contaminants of Bee Products

By Stefan Bogdanov, Apidologie, Vol. 37, January-February 2006

Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux, Swiss Bee Research Centre, Liebefeld, 3003 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract - Bee products can be contaminated from different sources. The contamination can arise from beekeeping practices or from the environment. Environmental contaminants are covered in the first part of the review. They are: the heavy metals lead, cadmium and mercury, radioactive isotopes, organic pollutants, pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and bactericides), pathogenic bacteria and genetically modified organisms. The second part of the review discusses contaminants from beekeeping. The main ones are acaricides: lipophylic synthetic compounds and non-toxic substances such as organic acids and components of essential oils; and antibiotics used for the control of bee brood diseases, mainly tetracyclines, streptomycine, sulfonamides and chloramphenicol. Other substances used in beekeeping play a minor role: para-dichlorobenzene, used for the control of wax moth and chemical repellents. The degree of contamination of honey, pollen, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly by the different contaminants is reviewed.

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