Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19763–19769 | Cite as

Toxicity of oxalic acid and impact on some antioxidant enzymes on in vitro–reared honeybee larvae

  • Lucia SabováEmail author
  • Anna Sobeková
  • Martin Staroň
  • Rastislav Sabo
  • Jaroslav Legáth
  • Dana Staroňová
  • Ľuboslava Lohajová
  • Peter Javorský
Research Article


Nowadays, Varroa destructor is considered as a serious pest of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and its resistance to acaricides has been reported in Europe since the early 1990s. That is why new methods of treatment for Varroa mites are still in focus of many scientists. In our study, we determined the lethal concentration LC50 (72 h) of 2.425% oxalic acid solution following single spray exposure of honeybee larvae under laboratory conditions (Guideline OECD 237 2013). Potential sublethal effects of oxalic acid were monitored through the determination of the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Activation of primary antioxidant enzymes was observed at 1.75% of oxalic acid; 3.5% of oxalic acid brought on a statistically significant increase of glutathione S-transferase activity. This change was accompanied by an increase in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, products of lipid peroxidation. Our results indicate that oxalic acid may be harmful to bee brood when present during application.


Apis mellifera Larvae Spray exposure Oxalic acid 



The authors would like to thank Mr. Matthieu Louison (École Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse) for his help during the larvae rearing.

Author contribution

All authors have contributed equally to the work.

Funding information

Funding was provided by the Slovak Grant Agency VEGA (Grant Nos. 1/0858/16 and 1/0176/16) and by the National Reference Laboratory for Pesticides of University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Slovakia.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5247_MOESM1_ESM.docx (104 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 104 kb)
11356_2019_5247_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (70 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 69 kb)
11356_2019_5247_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (37 kb)
ESM 3 (PDF 37 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in KošiceKošiceSlovakia
  2. 2.Mendel Bee Research AssociationBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.National Agricultural and Food Centre-Research Institute for Animal ProductionInstitute of Apiculture Liptovský HrádokLiptovský HrádokSlovakia
  4. 4.Centre of Biosciences of the SASInstitute of Animal PhysiologyKošiceSlovakia

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