Neelima R Kumar, Anita Devi and Namita
Background: Apitoxin or the bee venom is made in the venom gland and is stored in the venom sac at the base of the sting apparatus. It is a bitter colorless liquid having active portion of a mixture of proteins, which causes local inflammation and acts as an anticoagulant. A honeybee can inject 0.1 mg of venom via its stinger.
Aim: The aim of the study is to compare the macromolecular composition, free amino acids and the enzymatic assay on the venom gland and venom sac of the European honey bee Apis mellifera L.
Methods and results: Different biochemical tests were performed on the venom apparatus of Apis mellifera and it was observed that there were considerable differences in the composition of venom gland and venom sac secretions of Apis species. The concentration of lipids, proteins, activity of acid phosphatase and hexokinase was found to be more in case of Venom gland while cholesterol, glucose and activity of alkaline phosphatase was more in venom sac. Glycogen was absent in both venom gland and venom sac of Apis species as confirmed by the absence of glucose-6-phosphatase activity.
Conclusion: The presence of some exocrine cells in the distal part of venom sac which is otherwise known only to store the components of venom gland led to the present study which reveals that the venom sac also secretes various biochemicals and enzymes which are added to the total venom.
Significance and Impact of the study: Apitoxin or bee venom is the poison that makes bee stings painful. It is used to make medicine and having use in Apitherapy. So we should know the bee venom at its component level in venom gland and venom sac separately.
Keywords: Apis mellifera, Biochemical, Sting gland, Reservoir, Macromolecular.