Dr. Maiella loves bees. She has always loved bees, even before she was a doctor and learned of their medicinal gifts, and even before she was a beekeeper. To be able to offer the guidance of bee medicine brings her so much joy, because it combines a passion with her profession.
Bee venom therapy is the part of apitherapy which utilizes bee venom in the treatment of health conditions. Apitherapy is the use of beehive products, including honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom. It has been used for centuries to treat arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, skin diseases and has now found a very important place as an alternative therapy to treat multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease and many of the symptoms that accompany chronic illnesses.
Bee venom is a rich source of enzymes, peptides and biogenic amines. There are at least 18 active components in the venom which have healing properties. (“Bee Venom Therapy for Chronic Pain,” Dietrich Klinghardt, J. of Neurol and Orthop. Med and Surg., Vol. 11, Issue 9, Oct 1990, pp. 195-197).
Recent research revealed that one of the peptides in bee venom, melittin, has a strong inhibitory effect on the Lyme spirochete at very low doses (“Bee Stings as Lyme Inhibitor” by L. L. Lubke and C. F. Garon, J. Clin. Infect. Diseases, July 1997, 25 Suppl. 1, pp. 48-51). When the spirochete is inhibited it does not multiply and is vulnerable to the host’s own immune system and to medication.
Traditionally, bee venom was administered with live bees by stimulating them to sting in the affected area, trigger points or acupuncture points. Depending on the nature of the disease, the standardized venom can be used in an ointment or injection form. Bee venom is most effective when it comes directly from the live bee during the late spring to early fall season when bees have a good pollen source to produce potent venom, however, venom during the winter months is less potent. To ensure quality and bee venom standardization, we use a injectable venom solution that has been isolated from the honey bee. The venom solution is prepared from pure bee venom (Apis Venenum Purum), and to make the solution more harmonized, a homeopathic apis is added to the preparation. It is administered intradermally just between the skin layers or subcutaneously under the skin to imitate the effect of a bee sting. Each injection is equivalent to or is less than the average dry venom sac content of a honey bee.
The therapy starts with the determination of whether the patient is allergic to the venom by administering a small amount of venom intradermally. If no allergic reaction develops within a certain time, the therapy is continued with the administration of one to two bee stings or injections. The therapy is carried out every other day (three times a week) by gradually increasing the number of bee stings or injections. The length of the therapy is determined by the nature and severity of the condition.
There is some discomfort that is associated with the administration of bee venom including pain, itching, swelling, inflammation and redness. Symptoms like redness, swelling and itching are desired effects of the therapy showing the response of the patient to the venom. In general the more severe the reaction, but not anaphylaxis, the faster the recovery. Anaphylactic reactions which can be life threatening are also reported from bee venom, but they are rare. We also ensure that our patients leave with an epi pen and clear and concise guidelines to help them navigate whether they are having an allergic/dangerous reaction, verses a normal/healthy response.
There are basic guidelines of the therapy which can be followed, but over the last 15 years of observing and using bee venom therapy, I have learned from my patients that the treatments are totally individualized.
The dosage and frequency of treatment is determined by the patient’s clinical response. Patients with Babesia or Mycoplasma infections require higher dosages compared to those with only B. burgdorferi infections.
Different bee venoms are on the market. At the Windhorse Naturopathic Clinic, we Apys500 and ApysMD, which are different only in the concentration of melitin. The content of melittin in bee venom is dependent on the hive/colony; the season and the pollen source the bees have access to at the time. Generally between one third and one half of the venom is melittin. Because of these variables the symptoms seen on administration of the venom can also vary. Bee venom is used for desensitization and is approved with the FDA for this purpose. There is an official monograph in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoea of the United States (HPUS), also recognized by the FDA.
If you have any questions about Bee Venom Therapy, feel free to call the office and we will help to answer questions. Please note that your insurance company will NOT reimburse for office visits pertaining to Bee Venom Therapy.
RESOURCES FOR INFORMATION
Beck, B. F., MD (1997) The Bible of Bee Venom Therapy. Health Resources Press, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, USA, book, ISBN 1-890708-03, pp. 238. Reprint of the original 1935 edition of Dr. Beck: Bee Venom Therapy – Bee Venom, Its Nature, and Its effect on Arthritic and Rheumatoid Conditions. (available from Apitronic Services: Tel.: 604-271-9414)
Broadman, J., MD (1997) Bee Venom – The Natural Curative for Arthritis and Rheumatism. Health Resources Press, Silver Spring, MD, USA, book, ISBN 1-890708-01-3, references, index, glossary, foreword by Harold Goodman, DO, pp. 224 (available from Apitronic Services: Tel.: 604-271-9414)
Klinghardt, D. K., MD (1990) Bee Venom Therapy for Chronic Pain. The Journal of Neurological & Orthopedic Medicine & Surgery, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 195-197
Klinghardt, Dietrich, MD (1999) Treatment Protocol for Bee Venom Therapy. Apitherapy Education Service – Apitronic Services, Richmond, BC, Canada, booklet, 11 pp.
Lubke, L. L. and Garon, C. F. (1997) Bee Stings as Lyme Inhibitor. J. Clin. Infect. Diseases, July, 25 Suppl. 1, pp. 48-51
Marinelli, Rick, ND and Klinghardt, Dietrich, MD (1999) Methodology for Injectable Bee Venom Therapy. Apitherapy Education Service – Apitronic Services, Richmond, BC Canada, 12 pp.
Mraz, Charles (1994) Health and the Honeybee. Queen City Publications, Burlington, VT, USA, ISBN 0-9642485-0-6, pp. vii+92 (available from Apitronic Services: Tel.: 604-271-9414)
American Apitherapy Society, Inc., 5390 Grande Rd., Hillsboro, OH 45133 USA, Tel.: 937-364-1108, Fax: (937) 364-9109, e-mail:Â email@example.com, web page:www.apitherapy.org/aas
American Academy of Neural Therapy, Inc., 410 East Denny Way, Suite 18, Seattle, 98122 USA, Tel.: 206-749-9967, Fax: 206-723-1367, e-mail:Â firstname.lastname@example.org, web page:
Apitherapy Reference Database
Bee Venom Therapy Supplies and Books Bee venom products and therapy related books, literature and Apitherapy Education Service.
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