Apimondia 2019

Antibiotics in honey – treatment against bee diseases


Honey is a natural product that is widely used for both nutritional, medicinal & cosmetic purposes. Honey like other foods is prone to various types of contamination and adulteration.


Honey may contain antibiotics including tylosin, oxytetracycline and streptomycin as these can be used to protect against bacterial diseases in bee colonies such as European/American foulbrood disease and varroa mites.
The antibiotics are normally administered by being mixed into a sugar syrup solution which is then placed into the hives for the bees to consume. This then allows the contamination of the honey that is produced from these colonies.


The use of antibiotics in beekeeping is illegal in some EU countries. However, there are no MRLs established for antibiotics in honey according to European Community regulations, which means that honey containing antibiotics residues are not permitted to be sold.


Long-term effects of exposure to antibiotic residues include microbiological hazards, carcinogenicity and reproductive effects. Certain drugs like nitrofurans and nitroimidazoles can cause cancer in human beings. Similarly, some drugs can produce reproductive and teratogenic effects at very low doses as stated in the Scientific World Journal.


In order to help the honey industry Randox Food Diagnostics have developed Biochip Array Technology. Biochip allows for the detection of multiple antimicrobials / pesticides from a single honey sample. The platform allows the user to run up to 54 honey samples on the Evidence Investigator analyser in under 2 hours 30 minutes, allowing the user to consolidate costs and time.

Randox offer a vast number of arrays to choose from for the detection of antimicrobials in honey including: sulphonamides, trimethoprim, dapsone, Quinolones, streptomycin, tetracyclines, erythromycin, nitroimidazoles and many more.


We will be attending Apimondia 2019 in Montreal, Canada from the 8th – 12th September! Stop by booth B1 to find out about our full range of products for the screening of antibiotics in honey. 


See our full range of arrays for the detection of antibiotics on Biochip Array Technology:


AM I Ultra

AM II Plus




AM Cap Only

For more information please contact us via email at: info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com



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