Apitherapy for Arthritis and Heartland Apiculture Society’s Annual Conference

July 7, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

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I have read about the application of apitherapy against arthritis and might have mentioned it here in passing. Apitherapy is the medical use of honey bee products such as honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and bee venom.

Though in arthritis, apitherapy refers more to bee venom therapy than the consumption of other bee products.

Bee venom therapy is claimed to be of use in arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, dissolving scar tissue (e.g. keloids), Herpes zoster (shingles), etc.

The most abundant active component of the venom is melittin, which has a powerful anti-inflammatory action. However, bee venom is a complex mix of a variety of peptides and

proteins, some of which have strong neurotoxic and immunogenic effects.

There is no standardized practice as some purport the location of the sting is important, with the sting acting as a sort of acupuncture in combination with the effects of the venom, while others report the location is not important. The number of stings also varies widely from a few to hundreds and they may be administered either by live bees or by injection.


note of course that those with bee allergy cannot do apitherapy or risk death.

Speaking of apitherapy, the 2008 Heartland Apiculture Society’s (HAS) annual conference is happening at the Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia (WV) on July 10-12.

From The Associated Press:

The buzz around Marshall University this week will be about the importance of honeybees.

About 300 beekeepers were expected to join 12 vendors and dozens more presenters at the Heartland Apiculture Society’s annual conference starting Thursday in Huntington.

Speakers will educate conference attendees about bees and stress their importance at a time when honeybee populations continue to decline, farmers face increased production costs and consumers could ultimately have to pay more for produce.

Gabe Blatt of Huntington and President of the Heartland Apiculture Society is using bee venom therapy to manage his arthritic left wrist — he takes a live bee and lets it sting him about once a month.

“My arthritis wasn’t that bad until it started flaring up. So I decided to try it out and see what happens. It cleared it right up. It does work. It has to be in the right spot. I can get stung in other places and it doesn’t quite work.

Oh, it hurts. But it’s not that bad.

For me, the next day I can tell the difference It will vary from person to person. And I’m sure there are people it won’t work for. It’s like any medicine. It doesn’t work for everybody, but it works for a good number of folks.”

I totally agree. Bee venom therapy isn’t for everyone. Again, I suggest to seek out professional advice before heading out to get this kind of treatment.

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