Mycoflora Associated to Bee Pollen Collected by Domesticated Bees (Apis mellifera L)

Carlos Manuel Bucio Villalobos, Gustavo López Preciado, Oscar Alejandro Martínez Jaime, Juan José Torres Morales


Introduction: Bee pollen that is harvested from apicultural businesses can be colonized with fungi potentially toxigenics during its production or storage, whose toxins can produce serious consequences on the health of people who consume them. The objective of the present research was to quantify degree of contamination with fungi in 19 samples of bee pollen obtained in León, Gto. city.

Method: 19 samples of bee pollen in different commercial presentations, were obtained in natural products stores from Leon, Gto., and were processed by triplicate placed 100 grains on Potato Dextrose Agar, and incubated by seven days to 25 °C. At the end of the period of incubation the number of grains colonized by the different fungi was quantified.

Results and Discussion: Results showed that the three samples with highest contamination with fungi (98, 100 and 100 %) were handled without packages, similar result to the obtained in a previous research realised in 2007 with samples collected in Irapuato, Gto. city. The contamination of samples handled in plastic packages (with and without seals in its covers) was low; this results contrast to observed in the previous research, where the contamination was greater to 90 % in some samples, which indicates that contamination is not consequence only of kind to package bee pollen. Incidence of fungi was generally low: Aspergillus (3.6 %), Alternaria (3.6 %), Mucor (3.1 %), Fusarium (2.9 %), Penicillium (2.9 %) and Rhizopus (0.7 %); within the Micoflora asociada a granos de polen recolectados por abejas domésticas (Apis mellifera L) Revista Electrónica Nova Scientia, Nº 4 Vol. 2 (2), 2010. ISSN 2007 – 0705, pp: 93 – 103 - 96 - Aspergillus genera was found A. flavus species, which is potentially producing aflatoxins. This species was detected in 4 of 19 analyzed samples, with incidences of 27, 14, 10 and 1 %, which were higher than found in previous research where the contamination was not greater to 2%, wich demonstrated that the presence of potentially toxigenic fungi can vary of place in place or different years.

Conclusion: In the present preliminary study, contamination with fungi of bee pollen samples were from 0 to 100 %, demonstrating the presence of potentially toxigenic fungi. Future researches are recommended for evaluate the natural mycotoxins contamination of bee pollen, as well as determining strategies of mycotoxins control during production process, drying, packaging and commercialization of bee pollen.


Toxigenic fungi; pollen bee; mycotoxins


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