Beekeeping in India is mainly reared for honey. However, with the progress research and development in apiculture, the other valuable bee-hive products such as royal jelly,beeswax, bee venom, pollen and propolis have become known to apiculturist .
Royal jelly is milky or light pale edible item. It is composed of proteins 15-18 %, lipids 2-6%, carbohydrates 9 -`10% and minerals 0.7-1.2%. It contains 65-70 % moistures.
The proteins are mainly amino acids and essential amino acids. Alanine, arginine, aspartic acids, glutamic acids, glysine, isoleusine, lysine, mehteonine, phenyl alanine , tryptophan, tyrosine and serine are present in royal jelly.
Carbohydrates in royal jelly are glucose, fructose, melibiose, trehalose, maltose and sucrose. It also contains vitamin A, B and C . Mineral elements present in jelly are iron, copper, silicon and sulphur.
Royal jelly also contains some other chemical stimulants which are responsible for queen determination. Royal jelly is secreted in hypopharyngeal glands by nurse-bees of 1 to 2 week age. It is very nutritious food and is fed to young workers and queen larva.
Uses: Royal jelly is very nutritious for humans’ beings, as it increases vigour and vitality.
Beeswax is complex substance having complex esters of monoatomic alcohols and fatty acids from 70.4 to 74.7% of wax. Other compounds are free acids 13.5 to 15.0% and saturated hydrocarbons 12.5 to 15.5%.
It specific gravity is 0.95 and melting point is 650C. This is secreted as liquid but solidifies when exposed to air and scales are formed. These scales are removed by hive-bees and used for comb building.
Wax scales are normally white but color of wax is influenced by pigments of pollen. Beeswax is obtained from the capping collected during honey extraction, and form damage and abandoned comb.
In India, major portion of wax comes from dorsata comb. There are different methods of collecting wax. Generally unused comb or washed capping can be boiled in water-bath at 65 0C and collected fluid is strained through the muslin-cloth or strainer and dipped in cold water.
The wax block is obtained after solidification at the top of water.
Beeswax mainly required by candle industry and beekeeping industry for preparing comb- foundation sheets. Wax is also important constituent of cosmetics like cold cream, lipsticks and rouges. Pharmaceuticals and perfume industries are also major users of wax. It is also used in ointments, capsules, pills coating and deodorants.wax is also utilized for preparing shoe-polish and varnishes.
Honey is whole food , containing sugar, acid, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and antibiotics, present in small track. Honey contains many types of sugars but it chiefly has two reducing sugars; dextrose (glucose) and levulose (fructose) and these account for almost 70 % of the total solids.
Minerals composition of honey is very broad comprising potassium, calcium, phosphorus sodium, magnesium, copper, sulphur, silicon and iron and all these account for 1 % solids in honey.
Different vitamins present in honey are thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), nicotine acid, vitamin K, folic acids, biotin, pyridoxine and ascorbic acid. The pigments present are carotene, chlorophyll and xanthophylls are responsible for coloration of honey.
Honey is hygroscopic which means it absorbs moistures from air and atmosphere. Moisture in honey is equilibrium to particular relative humidity level, for example 21.3% moisture in honey is in equilibrium with 66% relative humidity. Pure honey should have specific gravity between 1.35 and 1.44 and less than 20% moisture content.
It is sweet viscous fluid produced by honeybees mainly from the nectar of the flowers. The quality of honey varies from plant to plant depending upon the physicochemical properties of the nectar.
Honey is categorized on the basis of floral sources such as mustard honey, litchi honey, berseem honey eucalyptus honey etc. Honey is extracted and prepared for market by different methods.
Honey provides energy with high calories in a readily available form and helps building hemoglobin. It forms an ideal health drinks with tea, coffee and lemon. Honey is used as carrier for all ayurvedic and unani medicine.
Honey is good laxative, blood purifier, preventive against cough and cold and relieves sore throat. It is remedy for tongue ulcers. Its regular use is recommendation in severe cases of malnutrition with impaired digestion, stomach and intestinal ulcers.
It is collected by bees from resinous exudates of trees. In bee- colony, propolis is used by bees for sticking frames, sealing cracks and crevices. Propolis is mainly composed of resins and balsams 55 %, ethanol and aromatics oils 10 % and pollen 5 %.
Propolis is obtained by scrapping it from frames. It is used as an adhesive and has quality of healing wounds, preparing ointments for treating cuts, wounds and abscesses in cattle. Mixed with Vaseline, it heals burns.
Sting apparatus of the workers bees is attach to poison-sac where venom is stored. Normally, 2 week old worker bee can secrete maximum venom in her sac. Bee venom is mainly used by bees as a defense mechanism.
Composition of bee venom is complex and is composed of many active chemicals such as histamine, apamine, acitthinase, hydrochloric acid, formic acid, ortho phosphoric acid, sulphur, calcium, copper and magnesium sulphate.
Bee Venom production technique :
Commercial method of obtaining bee venom is by electric shock. Thin copper wires are attached about 1 cm apart on a wooden frame which is alternatively charged. The wire devices are inserted between bottom board and brood chamber and electric current is passes through wires at 12-15 volts.
The bees get shock when come in contact with electric wire and get irritated. They released venom by inserted in sting into a thin nylon- cloth below the copper wires. Venom is deposited on a glass plate paced below nylon sheet. The venom on dying is scraped from glass plate.
Uses of bee venom:
Bee venom has been reported useful for curing many human diseases and disorders. Rheumatism cannot be cured by any other system of medical treatment but can be cured through bee venom injection to patients.
Bee venom is also useful effect in curing necrosis, endoarthiritis and neuralgia. It has stimulating effect on heart muscles and stinging decreases cholesterol level and also lowers blood pressure.
The treatment through bee venom is now a day’s getting popularity, and it is known as apitherpy. Some people may show allergic reaction to bee venom and bee sting may have general indisposition, vomiting, swelling and diarrhea but repeated stinging at intervals makes them immune.
Honey is used as a healing touch. Proteins antigens of bee cause hypersensitivity. Antihistamine cream or injection and adrenaline are used as antiallergents.
1Harjindra Singh , 2Ramesh Kumar snap , and 3S.M. Haldhar
1,2 Ph.D. scholar Entomology, College of Agriculture, Bikaner
3 Scientist, CIAH, Bikaner)