Journal of Apicultural Science

The antimicrobial activity of honey of the stingless bee Trigona spp.

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 47, Issue 1, Pages 37-49, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
Stingless bees (Trigona spp.) produce a special honey which is less viscous and darker than honey of the honeybees (Apis spp.) and has a strong acid flavour. Trigona bee honey is highly prized in Ethiopia for medicinal use as a panacea for many ills. The antimicrobial activities of two samples of Trigona spp. honey obtained from Ethiopia and honeybee honey from Germany were tested in vitro against four fungal and six bacterial species.
Fungi were generally less sensitive than the bacteria or not sensitive at all to the treatments. Only Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum responded slightly to one honey sample at a higher concentration. The bacteria reacted differently to the honey samples tested, with no relation to their Gram reaction. The minimal inhibitory concentrations of catalase treated honeys from stingless bees were higher than that of the non-treated samples for most bacterial species, indicating that hydrogen peroxide contributes to the antibacterial activity. Apis honey’s hydrogen peroxide played no essential role in the antimicrobial activity against most bacteria tested. Concentrations below a certain value resulted in a microbial lawn of some bacteria around the inhibition zone indicating that the use of honey against infections at lower concentrations could be dangerous by encouraging the growth of bacteria.
stingless bee, stingless bee honey, antimicrobial activity, non-peroxide activity, Trigona spp
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