Effects of Vespa Amino Acid Mixture on Exercise and Cellular Metabolism in Honey Bees

Attia Mohamed


Vespa Amino Acid Mixture (VAAM) is a commercially available pre-workout supplement based on the chemical mixture secreted in saliva of larval Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarina). VAAM is reported to increase aerobic capacity in a variety of animal species, however its mechanism of activity is not clear. To test effects of VAAM on cellular metabolism we exposed adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) to diets containing 5% glucose or 5% glucose and 0.3% VAAM (the manufacturer recommended dose). A subset of bees from each group were exercised to exhaustion by a forced swim test and then indicators of cellular metabolism were measured in carcass extracts of exercised and non-exercised bees. Surprisingly, bees treated with VAAM swam for significantly shorter periods of time than control bees (mean swim time 204 seconds vs. 1056 seconds, p = 0.02). While remaining ATP in the bee carcasses was not impacted by diet or exercise treatment, carcass isolates from bees fed VAAM had higher levels of free glucose than control bees (mean free glucose 24.1 mg/mL vs. 17.9mg/mL, p = 0.04), regardless of whether they had been exercised. These data suggest that VAAM increased mobilization of stored glucose, but it did not seem to increase efficiency of ATP production.


energy metabolism, exercise capacity, cellular respiration

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