Bees that make honey usually have some proportion of the hive naturally die; this is different than "colony collapse". In very cold regions this can amount to 10-30% during the winter. In summer the hive colony has specialized "undertaker" bees which are capable of dispatching/carrying a dead bee up to 6 meters from the hive.

These dead bees can be collected &, among other purposes, processed into chito-san (from their chitin). A method for producing bee chito-san can be found in the English free full text when scroll down of Lootsik, et al. (2016) "Honeybee (Apis mellifera) chitosan: purification, heterogeneity and hemocoagulating activity"; link =

The above method produces 6.5 grams of chito-san from 10 grams of bee chitin. The degree of de-acetyl-ation the end product has is notable, being 85 +/-6%. In terms of bee chito-san mass on an atomic scale it is (using their method) predominately in the range of 80-320 kiloDaltons. Authors report it is more water soluble at moderate pH (7 pH) than crustacean derived chito-san &, among other things, means it is more suitable for agricultural uses (not discussed in report).

Elsewhere in Forum the superiority of insect chitin vs. commercially commonplace crustacean chito-san is mentioned. To better understand the merit of developing insect chito-san products take a look at the more detailed report below.

Although not specifically about bee derived chito-san it is posted here since I believe it's salient relationships (although not precisely same de-acetylation & KiloDalton figures) can be extrapolated from the locust to bees, as it relates to crustacean chito-san. See free full pdf of (2017) Marei, et al., "Enhanced wound healing activity of desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) vs. shrimp (Penaeus monodon) chitosan based scaffolds"; link=

Locust bug chito-san is 97.8 % de-acetylated vs. shrimp chito-san being 74% de-acetylated; generally the higher de-acetylation the better (bee chito-san produced as per above averages 85% de-acetylation). Authors explain that the greater degree of de-acetylation the "... higher inter-molecular bonds prevent water from entering ... the material ... lower swelling ... are appropriate for clinical applications ...."

Fig. 1 electron microscopic picture show the differences between insect chito-san & crustacean chito-san studied. And the subject of immunological implications for the different chito-sans points out how these structural differences play out. Namely, when the insect chito-san implanted it took 5 days for inflammatory markers (macro-phage) to abate vs. 14 days in relation to crustacean chito-san. Part of the dynamic is likely due to the revelation that locust insect chito-san molecular weight (KiloDaltons) a bit less than 1/3 (32%) the size of shrimp crustacean chito-san molecular weight.


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