COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMICAL STUDIES ON THE POISON GLAND AND POISON SAC OF THE WORKER BEES OF THREE DIFFERENT APIS SPECIES (APIS DORSATA, APIS MELLIFERA AND APIS FLOREA)


Neelima R Kumar, Anita Devi, Kriti Handa & Namita

ABSTRACT
In Hymenoptera glands associated with the sting apparatus of worker honey bee produce venom which is known to be composed of a wide spectrum of biomolecules ranging from biogenic amines to peptides and proteins. The anatomy of “Venom apparatus” reveals the presence of two important associated exocrine glands i.e. Venom gland and Dufors gland. The secretions of both glands are apocrine and are released into the lumen to be stored in the venom sac. The presence of some exocrine cells in the distal part of venom sac which is otherwise known to only store the component of Venom gland led to the present study. To compare the macromolecules and enzyme activity on extract of Venom gland and Venom sac different biochemical tests were performed in different Apis species. It was observed that there were considerable differences in the composition of Venom gland and Venom sac secretions of different Apis species. The concentration of lipids, proteins, activity of acid phosphatase and hexokinase was found to be more in case of Venom gland of A. dorsata followed by A. mellifera and then by A. florea while cholesterol, glucose, free amino acids, and activity of alkaline phosphatase was more in Venom sac of A. dorsata followed by A. mellifera and then by A. florea. Glycogen was absent in both Venom gland and Venom sac of Apis species as confirmed by the absence of glucose-6-phosphatase activity. It is established from the present study that Venom sac also secretes various biochemicals and enzymes which are added to the total Venom. 
Keywods : Honeybee, Biochemical, Bee venom, Sting apparatus.