Lithium salts: assessment of their chronic and acute toxicities to honey bees and their anti-Varroa field efficacy

SEVİN S., Bommuraj V., Chen Y., Afik O., Zarchin S., Barel S., ...More

PEST MANAGEMENT SCIENCE, vol.78, no.11, pp.4507-4516, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 78 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/ps.7071
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, Periodicals Index Online, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.4507-4516
  • Keywords: Varroa, Li salts, honey bees, toxicity, efficacy, DESTRUCTOR, COUMAPHOS, RESISTANCE, EFFICIENCY, SURVIVAL, PARASITE, STRESS, MITE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


BACKGROUND Varroa control is essential for the maintenance of healthy honey bee colonies. Overuse of acaricides has led to the evolution of resistance to those substances. Studies of the short-term acaricidal effects and safety of various lithium (Li) salts recently have been reported. This study examined the long-term in vitro and in vivo bee toxicities, short-term motor toxicity to bees and long-term anti-Varroa field efficacy of several Li salts. RESULTS In an in vitro chronic-toxicity assay, lithium citrate (18.8 mm) was the most toxic of the examined salts, followed by lithium lactate (29.5 mm), and lithium formate (32.5 mm). In terms of acute locomotor toxicity to bees, all of the Li salts were well-tolerated and none of the treatment groups differed from the negative control group. In an in vitro survival study, all of the Li treatments significantly reduced bee life spans by a factor of 1.8-7.2, as compared to the control. In terms of life expectancy, lithium citrate was the most toxic salt, with no significant differences noted between lithium formate and lithium lactate. In the bee-mortality field study, none of the examined treatments differed from the negative control. Amitraz and lithium formate exhibited similar acaricide effects, which were significantly different from those observed for lithium lactate and the negative control. CONCLUSION In light of lithium formate's honey bee safety and efficacy as an acaricide, additional sublethal toxicity studies in brood, drones and queens, as well as tests aimed at the optimization of administration frequency are warranted. (c) 2022 Society of Chemical Industry.