greater wax moth
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Bee propolis is a sticky amalgamation of plant resins collected by honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and used in the hive for filling cracks and repairing combs. Propolis contains a diversity of compounds of plant origin, and is reported to have medicinal, antimicrobial, insecticidal, and phytotoxic properties. We examined the physical and chemical composition of North American samples of bee propolis from several sites in North America and tested for bioactivity against larvae of the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella L.), a common apiary pest. The amount of methanol-extractable resin in samples from Ohio and Georgia ranged from 24% to 79% by weight. Propolis collected from hives in Ohio was more chemically diverse (over 30 compounds detected by paper chromatography) than material from south Georgia (fewer than 10 major compounds) and contained a lower proportion of methanol-insoluble beeswax. The paper chromatographic surveys revealed little variation in the chemical profile of specific hives over a six-month period and no differences between propolis from adjacent hives. Four flavonoids were identified from propolis collected in Ohio: kaempferol, galangin, 3,3′-dimethoxyquercetin and 3-methoxykaempferol. When mixed into artificial diet, fractionated propolis reduced larval growth of the greater wax moth, but not dramatically. An array of phenolics reported from propolis (caffeic acid, chrysin, ferulic acid, galangin, kaempferol, and quercetin) were bioassayed individually for effects on larvae, but none reduced larval growth at the concentrations tested, suggesting that wax moths are tolerant of some phenolics in their diet.
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