SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online


MERCES, Manuela Dória; PERALTA, Edna Dória; UETANABARO, Ana Paula Trovatti  and  LUCCHESE, Angélica Maria. Atividade antimicrobiana de méis de cinco espécies de abelhas brasileiras sem ferrão. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2013, vol.43, n.4, pp.672-675.  Epub Mar 15, 2013. ISSN 0103-8478.


Honey from stingless bees has antimicrobial properties



Researchers from Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana and from Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, in Brazil, demonstrated that honey from stingless bees has antimicrobial properties. The research was published in Ciência Rural, v.43, of April 2013.

The bee species Melipona asilvai, Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides, Friseomelita doederleinei, Tetragonisca angustula and Plebeia sp. showed the action against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. In the experiment, the researchers showed that only samples produced by M. quadrifasciata anthidioides and F. doederleinei inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli. Honeys of M. asilvai, M. quadrifasciata anthidioides, F. doerderleinei and T. angustula were more active than those of Plebeia sp. front of the two bacteria, S. aureus and E.coli. The microorganism Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans were resistant to all the honeys.

According to the researcher Angelica Maria Lucchese, the study results may explain the popular use of honeys from stingless bee species for the treatment of bacterial diseases. These honeys have been used by people for the treatment of diseases such as cataract, pterygium, gastritis, ulcers, lung weakness, coughs, wounds and bruises. "One of the tested bacteria, Staphylococcus, is related to appearance of wounds and skin diseases, and pulmonary diseases. So, after further study, these honeys can be given for medical use besides food, "says the researcher.

The research is important to assess scientifically the popular use of honey, pointing it as an alternative to treatment of bacterial, replacing the use of antibiotics. As says the researcher Angelica, honey can be used in cases of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In addition, honey appears as a low cost alternative and environmentally sustainable because it is produced on family farms in the semiarid region. "Recognition of the antimicrobial potential of honey from stingless bee species in this region can add value to the product and be beneficial to the country man, who already has a history of production and use of these honeys."



Angélica Maria Lucchese

Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Departamento de Ciências Exatas, Área de Química.
KM 03 BR 116 Campus Universitário
44031-460 - Feira de Santana, BA - Brasil - Caixa-postal: 252
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