Detection of antimicrobials in bee products with activity against viridans streptococci

Academic Article


  • Objectives: Bee products have been studied extensively for their healing properties and have become part of cosmetic preparations and folk medicine. The major objective of this study was to examine the presence of antimicrobials in various bee products. Design: Propolis, honeycomb lids, pollen, honeycombs, and honey were screened for antimicrobial compounds. Viridans streptococci were used as indicator strains. Ethanol extracts were applied onto paper disks, dried, and put on the surface of nutrient agar plates with the overlay containing viridans streptococci. The plates were then incubated and evaluated the next day for the presence of inhibition zones. The size of the inhibition zone represented a quantitative measure of antimicrobial activity in a sample. Thin-layer chromatography was used for separation of compounds in the samples and biodetection - an overlay with indicator strain - identified the antimicrobial compounds by formation of inhibition zones. Results: Ethanol extracts of propolis and honeycomb lids, as well as honey containing honeycomb lids contained a mixture of antimicrobial compounds in various amounts. Thin-layer chromatography experiments with two different solvent systems differing in polarity suggested that major antimicrobials present in the samples prepared from honeycomb lids, honeycombs, pollen, and propolis have similar properties. These active compounds were not extremely hydrophobic. Conclusions: Extracts from the tested samples of bee products exhibited antimicrobial properties at various levels depending on the sample and bacterial species used for testing. Using chromatographic techniques, we demonstrated similar properties of the active compounds in various active samples. In conclusion, our results suggest that honey containing honeycomb lids may be a beneficial food supplement because of the presence of antibacterial compounds.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tichy J; Novak J
  • Start Page

  • 383
  • End Page

  • 389
  • Volume

  • 6
  • Issue

  • 5