The antimicrobial activity and microbiological safety of stingless bee honeys from Costa Rica.

Written by
Journal of Apicultural Research

Vol. 53 (5) pp. 503-513
DOI

10.3896/IBRA.1.53.5.04
Date

December 2014
Article Title

The antimicrobial activity and microbiological safety of stingless bee honeys from Costa Rica.
Author(s)

Gabriel Zamora, Kees Beukelman, Bert van den Berg, María L Arias, Eduardo Umaña, Ingrid Aguilar, Luis A Sánchez, Natalia Fallas, Linda Quarles van Ufford, Norma Gross
Abstract

Stingless bee honeys from Costa Rica possess etnopharmacological value mainly as a wound dressing. The microbiological study by APHA methods reported that 83% of the honeys analysed had microbial counts that comply with European Pharmacopoeia’s acceptance criteria for microbiological quality of non-sterile substances for pharmaceutical use. All samples reported the absence of Clostridium botulinum spores by PCR. Over 90% of Tetragonisca angustula and Melipona beecheii honeys inhibited Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus at minimum inhibitory concentrations lower than MedihoneyTM. Under the conditions tested, MedihoneyTM was not active against Candida albicans, whereas 53% of T. angustula honeys rendered inhibition. The melissopalynological analyses reported a homogeneous (monofloral) botanical composition for the Meliponini honeys, which emphasizes the contribution of nectar constituents to the antimicrobial activity and provides foundation to the standardization of a desired inhibitory effect. The traditional use of Costa Rican stingless bee honey as a dressing for burns and wounds reveals the application of a proficient antiseptic agent with low health associated risks.

Keywords

Meliponini, stingless bee, honey, MedihoneyTM, antimicrobial activity, melissopalynology
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