Stingless Bee’s Honey from Yucatán: Culture, Traditional Uses and Nutraceutical Potential

Elizabeth de la Luz Ortiz Vázquez, Jorge Carlos Ruiz Ruiz, Denis Israel Magaña Ortiz and Jesus Manuel Ramon Sierra (Editors)
Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Av. Tecnológico km. 4.5 S/N, C.P. 97118. Mérida, Yucatán, México. Department of Postgraduate Studies and Research

Series: Insects and Other Terrestrial Arthropods: Biology, Chemistry and Behavior
BISAC: NAT017000

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Chronic diseases and microbial infections are increasing threats for human health. There are numerous natural compounds that can contribute to control acute infections caused by bacteria and fungi. Also, these bioactive molecules can prevent several disorders like hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Honey has been reported as an antimicrobial substance in the treatment of skin injuries, stomach diseases and fungal colonization of mucosa. In this sense, the high impact of antibacterial effect in honey has been demonstrated in the inhibition of strains that have resistance to antibiotics.

Some species with antibiotic resistance that have been reported as susceptible to honey compounds are Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In a similar way, honey is a natural source of antioxidant compounds that promotes several aspects of human health like blood pressure stabilization and control of reactive oxygen species, in synergy with other compounds present in honey; antioxidants can kill opportunistic pathogens that could proliferate in diverse tissues and organs.

However, the current studies of honey have been focused in one bee species, Apis mellifera; this social insect is the predominant producer of honey around the world, and it is used as a pollinator of several crops. In contrast to this predominance, the study of native bees, like stingless bees, remains poorly explored. The initial reports have documented the potential of these honeys in the treatment of burn injuries, diabetic complications and cataracts. Also, this honey is highly effective in the control of several bacterial and fungal infections recalcitrant to available antibiotics.

All of these results make this organic product very demanded in many nations around the globe. The purpose of this book is to describe the ancient uses of Melipona beecheii honey in the Mayan culture before the arrival of Spanish conquerors, the present state of the melipona cultures in the inhabitants of Yucatan Peninsula, the physical, chemical and nutraceutical properties of this valuable product, relevant aspects of the quality control and the more exciting discoveries about the medicinal properties of melipona honey. Without a doubt, the information contained in this book would contribute to promote the conservation of stingless bee species and to encourage the fair trade of the honey produced by these species.
(Imprint: Nova)

Preface

Chapter 1
A Brief Introduction of Melipona Honey Cultivation in the Mayan Culture
(José Luis Domínguez Castro, Roberto Patiño Ramírez, Archivo Histórico Universitario. Campus Ciencias Sociales, Económico-Administrativas y Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Carretera Mérida-Tizimín, Cholul, Mexico)

Chapter 2
Medicinal uses of Melipona Bee Honey in Mayan Communities of Yucatán
(Jesus Ramón Sierra, Denis Magaña Ortiz, Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Departamento de Ingeniería Química-Bioquímica, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán, México)

Chapter 3
Foraging Selectivity of Melipona beecheii (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini) in the Yucatan Peninsula
(Roger Cauich Kumul, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Maira Segura Campos, Departamento de Ingeniería Química-Bioquímica, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán, México, and others)

Chapter 4
Novel Techniques for Stingless Beekeeping: Experience in Mexico
(Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Jesus Ramón Sierra, Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Denis Magaña Ortiz, Departamento de Ingeniería Química-Bioquímica, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán, México)

Chapter 5
Composition of Stingless Bee Honey: The Need for Quality Control
(Victor Moo Huchin, Enrique Sauri Duch, Elizabeth Ortíz Vázquez, Luis Cuevas Glory, Mariela Moo Huchin, José Lira Maas, Cuerpo Académico Bioprocesos. Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Calkiní, Calkiní, Campeche, México, and others)

Chapter 6
Antioxidant Activity of Stingless Bee Honey
(Victor Moo Huchin, Enrique Sauri Duch, Mariela Moo-Huchin, R. Estrada León, Ivan Estrada Mota, E. Pérez Pacheco, Cuerpo Académico Bioprocesos. Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Calkiní, Calkiní, Campeche, México, and others)

Chapter 7
Mechanisms Associated to the Antibacterial Activity of Honey from Indigenous Stingless Honeybees
(Jesus Ramón-Sierra, Denis Magaña Ortiz, Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Departamento de Ingeniería Química-Bioquímica, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán, México)

Chapter 8
Antimicrobial Activity of Honey Produced by Native Stingless Bee Melipona beecheii
(Jesus Ramón Sierra, Denis Magaña Ortiz, Nidia Hau Yama, David Chan Rodriguez, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, C.P., Mérida-Progreso, Mérida, Yucatán, México)

Chapter 9
Antimicrobial Activity of Flavonoids Extracted from Melipona beecheii Honey
(Denis Magaña Ortiz, Jose Martínez Guevara, Jesus Ramón Sierra, Luis Cuevas Glory, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida-Progreso, Mérida, Yucatán, México, and others)

Chapter 10
Antimicrobial Activity of Protein Extracted from Melipona beecheii Honey
(Jesus Ramón Sierra, Denis Magaña Ortiz, Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Departamento de Ingeniería Química-Bioquímica, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán, México)

Chapter 11
Honey Microflora Associated with the Stingless Bee Melipona beecheii
(Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Rubiel Dzib León, Jorge Lope Ayora, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz Jorge, Jesus Ramón Sierra, Denis Magaña Ortiz, Departamento de Ingeniería Química-Bioquímica, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán, México)

Chapter 12
Electrophoresis Characterization of Proteins in Honey to Establish their Entomological Origin
(Jesus Ramón-Sierra, Denis Magaña Ortiz, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Elizabeth Ortiz Vázquez, Departamento de Ingeniería Química-Bioquímica, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán, México)

Index

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