An effective and economic method to produce re-ripe honey with honeybee colonies

Abstract Beekeepers who manage migratory beekeeping in China preferred to produce non-ripe honey rather than natural ripe honey in short flowering seasons, to obtain higher honey yield and profits. To explore an alternative method for production of ripe honey, we fed Apis cerana cerana colonies with non-ripe honey produced from Apis mellifera ligustica colonies to produce re-ripe honey. The production rate of re-ripe honey was 29.06%, which led to a high market profit considering price factors. The contents of glucose and fructose in re-ripe honey didn’t change significantly, and small amounts of sucrose and maltose were detected. The amylase activity (39.06 mL/(g*h) in re-ripe honey significantly increased, compared with that (34.86 mL/(g*h)) in non-ripe honey. The types and relative content of volatile organic components, namely, alcohols and esters, in re-ripe honey were lower than those in non-ripe honey, indicating the milder and non-irritating aroma of the former. Overall, the method raised by us is a practical approach to produce honey with high quality and economic values and could be easily accepted by the market.