Examining the Effect of Lactic-Acid-Producing Bacteria on Honey Quality and Quantity
Background: Honeybees play a pivotal role in the sustainability of ecosystems and biodiversity. Various environmental problems have affected the most significant pollinator, honeybee. Currently, many challenges are facing the honeybee health, and lactic acid-producing bacteria, naturally found in honeybees' gut microbiota, could be used as an enhancer of honey production and quality in honeybees. This study aimed to examine the effect of using lactic acid-producing bacteria probiotics as a supplement in food for honeybees on honey quality and quantity compared to un-supplemented honeybees.
Methods: Probiotic supplements (Lactobacillus Reuteri, Lactobacillus Helveticus, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium Bifidum) for honeybees were prepared in three different ways (supernatant, pellet, direct feeding probiotic) with control group consuming only regular honeybee food (water with sugar). After the feeding process was done, honey samples were collected and analyzed in terms of production rate (amount), proximate analysis in terms of HMF, ash, moisture, mineral content, and antioxidant content of flavonoid and phenolic levels.
Results: Our study showed that supplementing honeybee food had an increase in honey production overall with p< 0.0001, especially in the supernatant group with 147% rate. Phenolic content showed higher values generally and higher mineral content particularly in honeybees supplemented with a supernatant of probiotics only.
Conclusion: These results are expected to bring a favorable influence on the honeybee's overall health and increase stress tolerance and disease resistance in the honeybee population in the future with an expected enhanced quality of honey produced that could potentially be used as a supplemented food in the form of nutraceutical to target element or component deficiencies in humans.
Keywords: Honeybees, lactic acid, probiotics, honey quality, quantity