Composition of Venezuelan honeys from stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponinae) and Apis mellifera LP. Vita, S. Bogdanovb and V. Kilchenmannb
a Dpto Ciencia de los Atimentos, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela
b Bee Department, Federal Dairy Research Station, 3097 Liebefeld, Bern, Switzerland
Abstract - Forty stingless-bee and 21 Apis mellifera honeys from Venezuela were analysed for their essential composition. The stingless bees comprised 3 Melipona and 5 Trigona species. The moisture content of the honeys from the different stingless-bee species was significantly higher than that of the A mellifera honeys. Generally, the stingless-bee honeys had a higher acidity than the A mellifera honeys. The honeys from the Melipona species had lower diastase activity than the Trigona species. There were also differences in the acidity and the ash and nitrogen content of the honeys of the different stingless-bee species, but these differences might also be due to a different floral origin. While the A mellifera honeys fulfilled the quality requirements set by the Codex Alimentarius, the honeys from the stingless bees failed to do so for several parameters, especially the quality factors such as water content, reducing sugars, acidity, and ash content.
Key words: Apis mellifera / stingless bees / Meliponinae / honey / physico-chemical analysis / Venezuela