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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lewiston, Maine, USA

    Default Honey from Russian bees/subspecies specific honey

    Hello beekeepers of Bee Source,

    My name is Kathleen and I'm an undergraduate in biochemistry at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine (wonderful state for bees given all the blueberry pollination!). My lab partner Elena and I are conducting our research project on enzyme content and activity in raw honeys, depending on bee variety (Italian, Russian, Carniolan). The enzyme we are interested in is glucose oxidase, which gets introduced to the honey by the bees (it's an animal enzyme, not plant, and it gives antibacterial qualities). It takes glucose and oxygen and converts it to a glucose derivative (GDL) and hydrogen peroxide. It is activated upon the dilution of honey with water (which is why raw honey is great in tea, because the antibacterial properties get activated when added). It is a heat and light sensitive protein, but luckily the dark amber color of honey occludes it from light. Our aim is to purify the enzyme and along the way test its activity along each step, and at the end with a constant concentration of the enzyme for all samples. Our expectation is that subspecies of the honey bee are genetically different enough that the glucose oxidase encoded in their DNA is slightly variant and so its activity may differ across subspecies.

    It's a small undergraduate project, but we have good hopes and expectations for it!

    So far we are in the process of collecting samples and preparing to run the purification. We have Italian bee honey (supplied by one of our professors who keeps bees) and Carniolan bee honey (supplied by New Moon Apiaries in Maine). Our hope was to find a supplier of Russian / Caucasian bee honey. So far we have not been able to find producers in Maine or New Hampshire that have honey to spare, so we are expanding our search to nonlocal (but raw) and/or other (not Italian or Carniolan) subspecies of bee. The honey would have to be produced by mostly one subspecies (not very mixed), since the enzyme is a product of the bee itself.

    If anyone has any suggested keepers/apiaries to contact that either keep/specialize in Russian bees or some other subspecies, and sell honey, let us know! We would pay for both the honey and shipping costs, and are looking for 100-200 grams (4 to 8 ounces).

    Also, if anyone knows more about the differences between, especially in the honey produced by, various subspecies of the honey bee, we would very much appreciate the knowledge and pointers! It will definitely help us form a hypothesis on what to expect from the honey.

    We understand if might be difficult to find honey suppliers in the winter. Thank you for any and all help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    van buren michigan

    Default Re: Honey from Russian bees/subspecies specific honey

    Tire the people from this web
    I’m new beekeeper and I tried to get some Russian bees but they are sold out already
    I grow up whit those black bees and I’m still interesting to get some of them
    On my opinion is they are doing way better in cold wheatear then the rest
    Appreciate your time in bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Sale Creek, Tn, USA

    Default Re: Honey from Russian bees/subspecies specific honey

    Interesting study. I sent you an email with a couple of questions and wish you the best of luck with your research.


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