COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMICAL STUDY ON THE VENOM APPARATUS OF THE ASIAN HONEY BEE APIS CERANA


Neelima R Kumar and Anita Devi

ABSTRACT
Introduction: The bee venom is made in the venom gland and is stored in the venom sac at the base of the stinger. Young bees have little venom. Their venom sac is not filled until their 15th to 20th day, when it contains about 0.3 mg of liquid venom. The spring bees that are raised with a lot of pollen have the most and most effective venom.
Aim and Objectives: The glands associated with the venom 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 aim of the study is to compare the macromolecular composition and the enzymatic assay on the venom gland and venom sac of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana separately.
Methods and results: To compare the macromolecules and enzyme activity on extract of Venom gland and Venom sac of venom apparatus; different biochemical tests were performed in Apis cerana. It was observed that there were considerable differences in the composition of Venom gland and Venom sac secretions of Apis species. The concentration of lipids, proteins, activity of acid phosphatase and hexokinase was found to be more in case of Venom gland while cholesterol, glucose and activity of alkaline phosphatase was more in Venom sac. Glycogen was absent in both Venom gland and Venom sac of Apis species as confirmed by the absence of glucose-6-phosphatase activity.
Conclusion:  It is established from the present study that Venom sac also secretes various biochemicals and enzymes which are added to the total Venom.
Significance and Impact of the study: After comparing the macromolecules and enzyme activity on extract of Venom gland and Venom sac, we can go for evaluation of therapeutic potentiality of bee venom. 
Keywords:  Honey bee; Apis cerana; macromolecules; venom gland; venom sac; biochemical.