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Antioxidants in wax cappings of honey bee brood

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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 49 (4) pp. 293-301
October 2010
Article Title

Antioxidants in wax cappings of honey bee brood


Diana Sammataro, Blaise LeBlanc, Mark J. Carroll, Jennifer Finley and Mohammed T. Torabi


We examined the antioxidant activities of wax cappings from honey bee drone and worker brood infested with the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, as well as from worker brood from different queen lines. We used assays that measured two separate aspects of antioxidant activity in wax cappings, namely free radical scavenging capacity (DPPH assay) and ferric ion reduction capacity (FRAP assay). Mite infestation tended to have different effects on the antioxidant activities of wax cappings of drone and worker brood. Wax cappings from infested worker brood had higher antioxidant activities than cappings from uninfested worker brood. By contrast, antioxidant activities of cappings from uninfested drone brood did not differ from the activities of infested drone brood cappings. Different queen lines shared a similar overall pattern of higher antioxidant activities in cappings from infested worker brood than cappings from uninfested brood, but differed in the absolute magnitude of the antioxidant activities. In particular, Italian and “hygienic” queen lines had proportionally much higher FRAP wax capping activities in infested brood relative to uninfested brood (313% and 311%) than Russian queen lines (171%).


antioxidants, honey bees, brood cappings, Varroa destructor, Apis mellifera

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