Letter | Published:

Characterization of the Products of the Action of Bee Venom Hyaluronidase

Naturevolume 199pages693694 (1963) | Download Citation



PREVIOUS workers1 have reported that bee venom contains a hyaluronidase, but the products of its action on hyaluronic acid have not been characterized. In the work recorded here bee venom was obtained from several thousand bees using a novel method of collection. Trays of bees, preferably > 15 days old, were induced to sting into thin sheets (< 0.005 in.) of silicone rubber by subjecting them to a mild electric shock. Under these conditions the bee can withdraw its stinging apparatus and the venom is deposited as a globule on the underside of the sheet where it quickly dries to a crystalline form. The bees themselves appear to become ravenous and will devour large quantities of honey, after which they appear to suffer no adverse effects. In fact, marked bees have been noted working normally on the combs 12 days after venom extraction. The venom crystals (about 0.1 mg/bee) retain their hyaluronidase activity for at least a year if stored at 2°.

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  1. Chemistry Department, University of Birmingham

    • S. A. BARKER
    • , S. I. BAYYUK
    • , J. S. BRIMACOMBE
    •  & D. J. PALMER


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