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Exploring the Magic of Nature: How to extract DNA from honey

DNA Kits

Amongst the many blessings that nature has to offer, honey is probably the purest of them. This high viscosity liquid is sweet and offers so many benefits to health. It has been consumed as a savory and natural sweetener since time immemorial. 

Honey has been a staple for thousands of years. Humans make lovely combinations of honey and make the most of it. However, a deeper look into it from a lab perspective shows us the immense microbiology-related secrets that honey holds.

Research shows that the molecular composition of honey is close to that of human blood. This offers some interesting aspects to have a closer look at honey.

Assessing Bee Health Using Honey

Analysis of honey can tell us a lot. Did you know that the major component of honey’s DNA comes from the pollen? This means that you can identify the type of flowers honeybees used to produce a certain batch of honey.

Moreover, we can also assess the health of a honeybee by analyzing the quality of honey. Furthermore, what goes into the honey is reflected on different levels of analysis. For instance, the microbes that go into the honey will be shown in the results when honey is analyzed. It can also be used to tell the overall health of the bees.

Colony Collapse Disorder

It is a sad thing to say, but the honey population has seen a sharp decline globally. This is an unfortunate sight, and there may be many reasons attached to it. One prominent reason that causes the decline of bee communities globally is the rising temperatures overall. Bearing high temperatures isn’t possible for bees. As a result, they are dying out.

Another reason for bee population decline is the excessive use of agrarian chemicals. Farmers around the globe are using chemicals to increase food yields and protect the produce from pests. However, excessive use of pesticides is proving to be detrimental to the honey bee population.

As a result, a massive loss of worker bees is observed. Worker bees are the main pillar of the bee colony and with them losing lives, there will be a sharp decline in natural beehives. This phenomenon is called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In 2007 a committee was specially formulated by USDA to address this issue. The committee was called the CCD Steering Committee, which was given the agenda to get to the root of the problems and come up with strategies to reduce the bee mortality figures.

Analyzing the DNA of Honey Bees offers immense help in understanding bees and their behaviors. What diet they take, what flowers they favor, and other important topics are addressed via this research. That is why analyzing honey’s DNA composition is important. The gathered information shall allow us to understand the necessary steps we should take in order to improve the lives of the bees, with the eventual goal to sustain the bee population all around the world.

Challenges while analyzing DNA of Honey 

Analysis of the DNA of honey is not easy at all. The main reason is that honey has a unique texture. It is highly viscous (Ralte Lalhmangaihi, 2014) with hardly any water content in it. There are some ways to work around it, like dilution of honey before working on it and then collecting proportional amounts of honey and running it through lysis buffer through the necessary tools. DNA extraction kits, to be precise. One thing to note is that you should never use sub-quality DNA extraction kits

That will contaminate the sample, and you’ll not get the results in the truest form. Processing honey is a difficult task. However, with the necessary caution and processes, you can extract the results you like. 

Final Thoughts 

Bees are an asset provided to us by nature. Analyzing the DNA of Honey will allow us to understand them better and eventually help them so we can sustain their existence on the planet!

References

Ralte Lalhmangaihi, S. G. (2014). Protocol For Optimal Quality And Quantity Pollen DNA Isolation From Honey Samples. Journal Of Biomolecular Techniques, 92-95.

 

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