I had a medium honey super that I had on a hive last year while I was treating for mites with ApiLife Var. Now I believe they decided to use it as a brood chamber. However, that hive swarmed and the virgin queen is yet to hatch. Now that there is a small interruption in the brood cycle, what are your thoughts on taking that medium super, putting it above a queen excluder, and letting the bees hatch out, clean it up, and fill it with honey (potential human consumption)? I’m not sure whether that would be good or not, because it was in contact with the mite treatment last year…
Hello Kat, I will leave it to those who have to treat for Varroa but I’m sure they would ask what you used to treat for the Varroa mite.
There was a research done on the subject by Federal Dairy Research Institute, Switzerland.
ApiLife Var made of 76% of thymol, the rest are eucalyptol, menthol and camphor. Last three of no interest because they evaporate relatively quickly. Thymol residue in wax stays for considerable time and indeed defuses into honey. However, it should be a lot of thymol in honey comb to reach concentration in honey by diffusion where it affects taste, let alone to become harmful for human. Just to give some numbers from the research:
Swiss MRL (maximum residue level) of thymol is 0.8 mg/kg.
FAO recognises concentrations up to 50 mg/kg as safe.
Taste threshold - 1.1 and 1.6 mg/kg.
Thymol is a natural component of lime honey - 0.02-0.16 mg/kg.
According to the research to reach 0.06 mg/kg of thymol in honey, it took 2 month of diffusion at temperature 30 degrees centigrade from wax which originally contained 100 mg/kg of thymol.
Given all this I wouldn’t worry much after single treatment.
However they point out that it is not good idea to use thymol during the honey flow as concentration grows faster.
Whole long reading in horoble scan quality: