Royal jelly is an important apiarian product for honeybees and has been used as an important ingredient to human health and healthy life style. Because of its wide use, there is great demand in their production. As royal jelly is a secretion of the cephalic glands of bees and it is produced at a certain age of the workers, it is necessary to perform the selection of producing queens to increase the amount produced. The employment of molecular markers is a tool that can be used to identify the genotypes of the best producers. Among the molecular markers, one of them called MRJP3 (Major Royal Jelly Protein 3) has been used in the Program of Improvement of Apis mellifera Royal Jelly Producing (PIAMRJP), State University of Maringá, Brazil. This molecular marker has been efficient in genotyping queens’ royal jelly producers. Combined with classical breeding studies, the selection of queens assisted by MRJP3 marker has allowed to keep the selected genotypes for royal jelly production since 2006 (10 years). In this chapter, we present the main aspects of royal jelly, the hypopharyngeal glands, the major proteins of royal jelly and how it can be used as molecular markers.
Part of the book: Beekeeping and Bee Conservation
The aim of this chapter is to describe the most commonly used techniques to evaluate the microbiological characteristics of honey for the purpose of identifying its contaminant flora, its significance and its control in this type of food. Honey is a product that is rich in simple sugars, minerals, vitamins and bioactive compounds and possesses an antimicrobial activity of great significance for human health. However, as it has physical and chemical properties that are unfavourable for the proliferation of micro-flora, honey can contain a large population of microorganisms from two sources of contamination—the first primarily represented by pollen, the digestive system of the bee, dust, air and the flower itself; and the second as the result of negligence and the absence of good health practices during handling and use; for example, placing honey in wooden beehives directly on the floor or the use of improperly washed honey extraction equipment, rather than equipment based on the oxidizable material, or using very dark honeycombs and storing the honey for long periods in wooden beehives. As honey is a natural product, the risks inherent to the lack of industrial processing, such as pasteurization and strict microbiological quality control, are often overlooked.
Part of the book: Honey Analysis