Chemical composition and biological activity of propolis from Brazilian meliponinae.Z Naturforsch C J Biosci 2000 Sep-Oct; 55(9-10):785-9ZN
Twenty-one propolis samples produced by 12 different Meliponinae species were analyzed by GC-MS. Several chemical types of stingless bees' propolis could be grouped, according to the prevailing type of compounds like: 'gallic acid", "diterpenic" and "triterpenic" types. The results confirm that neither the bee species nor the geographical location determine the chemical composition of Meliponinae propolis and the choice of its plant source, respectively. This could be explained by the fact that Meliponinae forage over short distances (maximum 500 m) and thus use as propolis source the first plant exudate they encounter during their flights. The antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities of the samples were also investigated. Most samples had weak or no activity against E. coli, weak action against Candida albicans. Some of them showed significant activity against St. aureus., presumably connected to the high concentration of diterpenic acids. Samples rich in diterpenic acids possessed also high cytotoxic activity (Artemia salina test).