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Volume 37, Number 4, July-August 2006
Page(s) 480 - 486
Published online 29 June 2006
Apidologie 37 (2006) 480-486
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2006034

Water content of stingless bee honeys (Apidae, Meliponini): interspecific variation and comparison with honey of Apis mellifera

Lubertus Bijlsmaa, Luc L.M. de Bruijnb, Edwin P. Martensc and Marinus J. Sommeijerb

a  Analytical Chemistry, Experimental Sciences Dept., University Jaume I, Campus Rui Sec, 12071 Castellón, Spain
b  Bee Research Department, Utrecht University, PO Box 80.086, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
c  Centre of Biostatistics, Utrecht University, Padualaan 14, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands

(Received 25 February 2005 - Revised 27 June 2005 - Accepted 19 December 2005 - published online 29 June 2006)

Abstract - Honey samples were taken on both islands of the country of Trinidad and Tobago, from colonies of Melipona favosa, Melipona trinitatis, Plebeia tobagoensis, Trigona nigra and Apis mellifera. The Moisture Content (MC) of honeys of the various bee species differed significantly. The honey of the smaller species, P. tobagoensis and T. nigra, had higher MC values than that of the larger Melipona. The highest MC value was found in honey from P. tobagoensis (42.0%). The other MC values were 36.2% for T. nigra, 31.2% for M. favosa and 32.2% for M. trinitatis. The lowest MC was found in honey of A. mellifera (20.2%). There was little variation between colonies of the same species at the same site, but honey of M. favosa from Trinidad had a higher MC (35.1%) than that from Tobago (30.2%). The finding that the MC of honeys of stingless bee species varies according to the species and to the area where it is produced, complicates the establishment of a quality standard for these honeys.

Key words: honey composition / Melipona / Trigona / Plebeia

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2006