Physico-chemical properties of honeys produced by two stingless bee species - Trigona carbonaria and Melipona Beecheii in South-Eastern Nigeria
AbstractTropical honeybees pollinate arable, plantation and wild crops. They also produce honey, which is the most harvested bee product. While apiculture is being practised by few people in Nigeria, meliponiculture which is
the practise of keeping stingless bees for production of honey is hardly practiced. This study therefore assessed the physico-chemical properties of honeys produced by two stingless honeybee species, namely Trigona
carbonaria and Melipona beecheii found in south-eastern Nigeria. Stinglessbees honey samples were analysed in the laboratory to determine their physico-chemical properties. The results obtained showed that specific
gravity and pH were 1.40 and 3.97 for Trigona carbonaria and 1.45 and 4.26 for Melipona beecheii . The values of the moisture, protein and ash contents were 25.43%, 1.29% and 0.45% for Trigona carbonaria and 26.51%, 0.93%, a for Melipona beecheii. Vitamin A content of Trigona carbonaria and Melipona beecheii honey samples were 12.0mg/100g and 11.95mg/100g respectively. Calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P) and sodium (Na) contents were 25.43%, 0.76%, and 12.67% for Trigona carbonaria honey and 26.51%, 1.03% and 11.96% for Melipona beecheii .The fructose, glucose, reducing sugar, higher sugar, sucrose and calorific value contents of Trigona carbonaria honey were 37.25%, 31.64%, 68.89%, 1.50%, 1.20%, 398.88kj/g respectively while for Melipona beecheii, the values were 38.19%, 31.02%, 69.21%, 1.55%, 1.60% and 398.68% respectively. The Ttest results of the physico-chemical properties of the two honey samples studied showed no significant differences (p<0.05) in (a) physical properties especially specific gravity and pH, (b) proximate compositions (moisture, protein and ash) and (c) vitamin A levels for the two honey samples. However, significant differences were observed in phosphorus, sodium, fructose and glucose contents of Trigona carbonaria and Melipona beecheii honeys respectively. Sodium and glucose levels were higher in Trigona carbonaria honey while phosphorus and fructose levels were higher in Melipona beecheii honey respectively.