Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Terramycin is the only antibiotic approved for the prevention and control of American foulbrood disease (AFB), a serious and highly contagious bacterial disease of honey bees. However, in over 16 states, strains of the bacteria that cause this disease have become resistant to treatment. We have evaluated an alternative antibiotic (lincomycin) and found it to be both non-toxic to bees and effective in controlling resistant AFB. Onc approved by the Food and Drug Administration, this antibiotic will be used by beekeepers throughout the United States.
The antibiotic lincomycin hydrochloride was evaluated for toxicity to larval and adult honey bees and for efficacy in controlling American foulbrood disease (AFB). Results of toxicity studies involving nine applications of lincomycin (200-, 600-, or 1000 mg active ingredient per application) as a dust in confectioners sugar revealed no significant differences in mortality among any of the treatment groups for either adults or larvae, when compared to untreated or sugar-treated controls. In field efficacy studies, 18 colonies with existing oxytetracycline-resistant AFB were dusted three times, one week apart, with either 100-, 200-, or 400 mg lincomycin (in 20 g confectioners sugar). Forty-five days after the third treatment, no visible signs of AFB could be found, regardless of the initial severity of disease or the dose applied.