Honey and Other Bee Products

NAME OF THE COURSE Honey and Other Bee Products



Year of study


Course teacher

Prof Igor Jerković

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

The subject goal is student’s introduction to:
- main traits of honey bee colony,
- anatomy – physiological traits of honey bees and their behaviour,
- tasks carried out by the honey bees in the hive, gathering activity outside the hive, in prder to explain the honey formation process, the role of the pollen and propolis in honey bee colony,
- chemical composition and physical characteristics, as well as the specificities of bee products,
- analytics, botanical origin (melissopalynological analysis) and honey sensory analysis,
- factors affecting honey flow and honey flow resources in Croatia,
- possibility of using the apiary in touristic and educational purposes as well as the marketing and promotion of bee products through the ”Apitourism”
- differences in legal regulation in conventional and organic beekeeping,
- alternative approach in honey bee treatment.
The programme of the course Honey and other bee products will enable students in acquisition of basic theoretical and practical knowledge on bee products production and analytics which are necessary for successful management of companies as well for the households dealng with production and marketing of honey and other bee products, and provide a foundation for further upgrade of gained knowledge

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course


Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

After completing the course, the student will be able to:
- to define direct and indirect honeybee benefits
- to enumerate honey bee races according to production traits
- to explain honey formation and to describe its composition and physical properties
- to recognize main types of honey
- to recognize honey defects
- to rank samples within the same honey type according to sensory characteristics
- to recognize main nectariferous plant species
- to interpret the results of the main physico-chemical honey parameters
- to determine the water content, to measure electrical conductivity and pH value of honey
- to prepare honey samples for analysis
- to plan the sequence of activities and to choose the equipment for production of honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom and beeswax

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

1st week: Importance of beekeeping and basics of honey bee colony biology L - Direct and indirect honey bee benefits. Members of honey bee colony, basics of anatomy and physiology of honey bees and division of labour inside and outside the honey bee colony. Main traits of honey bee races.
2nd week: Honey L - Process of honey formation. Chemical composition, physical traits and property of honey. Honey defects.
3rd week: Nectariferous plants L – Factors affecting the honey flow. Nectary types. Honeydew occurrence. The most important continental and mediterranean nectariferous plant species.
4th week: Honey analytics L – Introduction to physico-chemical methods used for determination of honey authenticity.
5th week: Melissopalynological analysis LB – Determination of botanical and geographical origin of honey. Preparation of honey samples for melissopalynological analysis. Qualitative and quantitative melissopalynological analysis.
6th week: Honey sensory analysis - L Sensory traits of main continental and mediterranean types of honey. E Honey competition.
7th week: Field work I FW – Visit an authorized laboratory for honey analytics. Introduction to methods and instruments which used in honey and other bee products analytics.
8th week: Law regulation L – Introduction to law regulation which concerns honey and other bee products quality in conventional and organic beekeeping. I partial exam.
9th week: Pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom and beeswax L - Chemical composition and properties of mentioned bee products and the way of their production.
10th week: ”Apitourism” L – Possibility of using the apiary in agrotourism through tourist - educational purpose, the way of bee products marketing through apitourism.
11th week: Alternative approach in treatment of honey bees L - Biotechnical methods and methods of using organic acids in varroa control. Alternative methods in control of other bee diseases and pests.
12th week: Technology of bee products production E – Colony preparation for honey extraction. Honey extraction. Ways of collecting the pollen and propolis and production of royal jelly, bee venom and beeswax.
13th week: Field work II FW – Visit to honey bottler - introduction to technology of processing and packing the honey.
14the week: Seminar I S – Seminars from previously processed teaching units according to student’s choice. Basic physico-chemical honey analysis LB – Determination of water content, electrical conductivity and pH value.
15th week: Seminar II S – Seminars presentation. II partial exam. Examination period – final exam (oral).

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Active participation in all activities: lectures, consultations, searching the literature.

Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work








Seminar essay






Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

N. Kezić, D. Bubalo, Z. Grgić, M. Dražić, D. Barišić, J. Filipi, M. Ševar, D. Krakar, V. Tretinjak: Konvencionalno i ekološko pčelarenje, Interna skripta, Agronomski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, 2013.


F. Šimić: Naše medonosno bilje, Nakladni zavod Znanje, Zagreb, 1980.


E. Crane: Honey. A comprehensive survey, Heinemann, London, 1975.


Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

The Hive and the Honey Bee, Dadant & Sons Hamilton, 1987.
H. Horn, C. Lulmann: DasgrosseHonigbuch, Műnchen, 1992.
Časopis ”Hrvatska pčela”, Hrvatski pčelarski savez, Zagreb

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

Quality assurance will be performed at three levels:
(1) University Level;
(2) Faculty Level by Quality Control Committee;
(3) Lecturer’s Level.

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)