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HOECHST-ROUSSEL AGRI-VET ADVISES BEEKEEPERS TO STOP USING EARLY BATCH OF MITICUR(R)

 SOMERVILLE, N.J., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- As a precautionary measure, Hoechst-Roussel Agri-Vet Company is requesting that all beekeepers temporarily stop using Miticur(R) (amitraz) packaged in bags of 300 strips. This measure does not apply to Miticur strips originally packaged in bags of 30 by the manufacturer.
 This measure is being taken in response to reports from the State of Florida of possible adverse reactions in bees following application of Miticur. Investigations are taking place to determine the cause of these adverse reactions. Miticur is used to control tracheal and varroa mites in bees. Infestation of these mites can be fatal to bees.
 Hoechst-Roussel Agri-Vet is asking beekeepers to either hold on to their Miticur strips from the bags of 300 until further notice, exchange them for an equivalent supply of strips originally packaged 30 to a bag by the manufacturer, or return them for a refund. This exchange can be done where the bag containing 300 strips was purchased.
 "Hoechst-Roussel Agri-Vet is confident it will be able to quickly identify the cause of the reactions," said H. Newton Williams, vice president and general manager of Hoechst-Roussel's Animal Health Business Unit. "We will share the results of the investigation once it is completed. The results of the investigation will determine the usability of the strips from the packages of 300."
 The adverse reaction involved one confirmed case in Florida in which a beekeeper observed disorientation and a noticeable increase in the mortality rate in his bees about a week after Miticur had been applied to the hives.
 Miticur is currently registered by the EPA. It has been extensively tested in short- and long-term studies. More than 500,000 strips have been used under Section 18 Emergency Permits with no adverse reactions reported.
 Bee miticides are used only when bees are not producing honey. The strips are removed prior to seasonal honey production.
 Hoechst-Roussel has set up a hot line for beekeepers to call if they have questions about the situation or concerns about hives already treated. The toll-free number is 1-800-723-6516. Persons calling between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, will be able to obtain direct technical assistance. For calls made during other times, callers will be referred to a number where technical assistance from Hoechst-Roussel Agri-Vet can be obtained.
 "We regret any inconvenience this causes the beekeeping industry," said Williams. "We recognize the importance to the beekeeping industry of safely and effectively controlling tracheal and varroa mites. Miticur continues to be an important tool for mite control."
 Hoechst-Roussel Agri-Vet Company is a part of the Life Sciences Group of Hoechst Celanese Corporation of Somerville, N.J., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoechst AG of Frankfurt Germany.
 -0- 1/15/93
 /CONTACT: Andrea Stine of Hoechst Celanese, 908-231-3752, or home, 609-921-6375/


CO: Hoechst-Roussel Agri-Vet Company ST: New Jersey, Florida IN: MTC SU:

SM -- NY069 -- 5605 01/15/93 18:45 EST
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Date:Jan 15, 1993
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