EPA Advisory on Varroa Control Products

Advisory on the Applicability FIFRA and FFDCA for Substances used to Control Varroa Mites in Beehives

EPA is issuing this advisory to clarify what pesticide products and active ingredients are registered under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to control varroa mites (Varroa destructor) in beehives, what tolerances or exemptions under Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) are applicable, and how the Agency views use of unregistered products to treat beehives for one’s own personal use. EPA is also affirming that use of registered pesticides must comply with FIFRA labeling requirements, that pesticide residues in honey must comply with any federal tolerances under FFDCA, and that states may have more restrictive requirements that must be followed as well.

It is a violation of FIFRA if a person uses registered pesticides in a manner that is not in accordance with label instructions. Currently, EPA has registered 16 pesticide products, covering about 10 active ingredients, that can be used on beehives to control varroa mites. In registering these pesticides products, EPA has conducted comprehensive evaluations and determined the products will not cause unreasonable adverse effects to human health or the environment. Using unregistered pesticides could result in a violation of FFDCA, if there are residues in the honey or other edible bee products (e.g., honeycomb, pollen) that are not covered by a tolerance or exemption under FFDCA. The sale or distribution of adulterated honey is a violation of FFDCA.

EPA remains committed to supporting the compliance and enforcement efforts by states with primary enforcement authority to ensure compliance with FIFRA requirements.

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