Friday, March 31, 2006
Most of the honey offered on Bulgarian market is not natural, the local union of honey-producers revealed.
About 80% of the honey in stores has fructose and glucose added, according to Gancho Ganev, head of the Bulgarian association of beekeepers.
Speaking at the opening of an international honey expo in Dobrich, Ganev tried to bring attention to the problems of the business.
In recent years a combination of climate changes and unfavourable purchase prices has weakened the industry, the professional said.
Producers in Bulgaria make only about 0.2 euro out of a kilogram honey, according to Ganev.
Still, some 80% of the Bulgarian produce is exported to other countries.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
This date was chosen for the first annual World Apitherapy Day because it is the birth date of Dr. Philipp Terc (formerly Filip Tertsch), the first scientific researcher to investigate the medical uses of 'apitoxin," or bee venom. Terc was born on March 30, 1844, in Praporiste, Bohemia (Czech Republic).
Products promoting World Apitherapy Day are available at Cafe Press. (All proceeds will go to the non-profit World Apitherapy Network.)
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Chemist & Druggist (UK), 3/25/2006
Comvita is repackaging its products in a bid to achieve greater brand awareness and presence on-shelf. New packs are grouped into families to aid identification. Graphics refer to a product's origin and ingredients.
The new look is being promoted at shows including the Natural Trade Show and the Vitality consumers' show via ads, posters and an exhibition display. Comvita's products include Manuka honey, the Winter Wellness range and Propolis liquids.
Daily Times (Pakistan), 3/29/2006
ISLAMABAD: Recent scientific research has helped understand the manifold benefits of honey in greater depth.
The Journal of Medical Research reported that fresh honey is highly beneficial but should not be eaten with fish, vinegar, radish or melon.
It said that honey has a beneficial effect on the heart because it contains glucose that can be easily assimilated. “It has been noted that it has an invaluable effect on the weakened heart muscle in various types of cardiac diseases,” the journal reported. It said that even diabetics can take honey, since pure honey improves cardiac activity…
The journal said that honey and beeswax form the basic ingredients of many skin creams, lip-balms and hand lotions. By its ability to absorb moisture from the air, honey facilitates the healing process and prevents scarring by stimulating the growth of epithelial cells that form the new skin covering a healed wound. So honey may eliminate the need for tissue transplantation even in case of large wounds, the journal reported.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Daily Mail (UK), 3/28/06
Snake venom could ease the aching joints of seven million UK arthritis sufferers, scientists claim.
The chemicals found in snake venom could also ease the pain from cancer they said.
Dr Naftali Primor, research and development manager at Shulov Institute of Sciences (SIS) in Israel, said a snake venom pain-relieving cream could be on sale within five years. [SEE: Apitronic Services - Bee Venom Therapy Supplies and Books]
The Arthritis Research Campaign said they had heard of examples of people with arthritis being bitten by snakes and having their pain reduced.
Spokeswoman Jane Tadman added: "Similarly, others have reported the same effect from bee stings and nettles and it appears that all venom and stings have some kind of pain-relieving properties…
Monday, March 27, 2006
Eloise Dortch, The West Australian, 3/25/06
Bee stings may one day be used to treat arthritis and multiple sclerosis in Australia - in a natural therapy already commonly used in Japan, say scientists.
Speaking at the eighth annual Asian Apicultural Association conference at the University of WA, Nepalese entomologist Ratna Thapa said he had used bee venom to treat arthritis with a 50-60 per cent success rate and lower back pain and shoulder ache with 90 per cent success.
He combined some venom treatments with honey and propolis - a resin deposited outside the hive, which could contain concentrated flavonoids with restorative properties. Such treatments were already popular in Japan and were gaining interest across Asia, Dr Thapa said…
Japan Apitherapy Association director Hirofumi Naito said bee venom therapy involved removing bees' stings using forceps and lightly touching the skin several times to reduce blood pressure or rebalance the nervous system.
Dr. Qazi Shaikh Abbas Borhany, Yemen Times, 3/27/2006
Scientific research that is in accordance with Sharia has helped us a lot in understanding some honey issues in much greater depth. A Hadith points out a tradition that says, “If it is used at least thrice in a month at early morning, the one who uses it will remain safe from diseases.”…
The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) drank honey in the early morning and in the afternoon. The Sunnat is a blessing if one has no doubt. The user achieves two advantages simultaneously: one is physical, which is a cure, and the other is spiritual blessing.
Sayedna Abdullah bin Abbas provided the Hadith, “You have sources of cure and remedies – Qur’an and honey.”…
Sunday, March 26, 2006
By Jane Duckwall, The Charlotte Observer (USA), 3/26/2006
If you're someone who sneezes through spring, you may find relief in the sweetest of home remedies: honey from the very bees who may have flown through your garden, gathering the pollens that make your eyes water, your nose run and your companion continually say, "Bless you!"
The theory is that local pollen particles end up in local beehives, and honey from those hives helps create immunities for allergy sufferers.
Lest anyone confuse me for a doctor or someone who knows what she's talking about, let me add a disclaimer: I'm not a doctor and I really don't know what I'm talking about. But I like this theory just the same. And if you're anticipating a spring made miserable -- instead of glorious -- by beautiful blooming plants propelling allergens in the air, what's the harm in a couple of teaspoons of honey every day?...
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Dr. Behnam Kaviani-Vahid, a pharmacist in Iran, describes the improvement experienced by a 35-year-old man after being treated with bee stings. In his conclusion, Kaviani-Vahid states:
“We do not claim that the patient is fully recovered from multiple myeloma. However, we note that in 2001 several of Iran’s most eminent oncologists predicted that he would survive for only about six months, and that when he interrupted his bee venom therapy, his blood test results worsened. We therefore conclude that at the very least this therapy has controlled his disease, with minimal side effects.”
Dr. Behnam Kaviani-Vahid
Patsy McCook, Editor, Journal of the American Apitherapy Society
Friday, March 24, 2006
Drug Week, 3/31/2006
Cancer therapy data are the focus of recent research from Italy, Croatia and Netherlands.
Study 1: The hop flavonoid xanthohumol (XN) impedes tumor angiogenesis.
According to recent research from Italy, "XN, the principal flavonoid of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus L.) and a constituent of beer, has been suggested to have potential cancer chemopreventive activities...
Study 2: Administration of propolis and its polyphenolic compounds might delay tumor formation and growth.
"Many dietary constituents are chemopreventive in animal models, and experiments with cultured cells are revealing various potential mechanisms of action. Compounds classified as blocking agents can prevent, or greatly reduce, initiation of carcinogenesis, or suppressing agents can act on cell proliferation," investigators in Croatia reported.
"Caffeic acid (CA) and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), members of the polyphenolic compounds, are present in high concentrations in medicinal plants and propolis, a natural beehive product. A water-soluble extract of propolis (WSDP) and two components of propolis, CA and CAPE were investigated for direct antitumor activity in vivo and in vitro," explained N. Orsoilc and colleagues, University of Zagreb.
"The local presence of CA and CAPE in the tissue caused a significant delay in tumor formation and increased life span 29.30 to 51.73%, respectively. CA and CAPE, but not WSDP, significantly suppressed human HeLa cervical carcinoma cell proliferation in vitro."
The researchers concluded, "Based on these results, we postulate that the antitumor activity of polyphenolic compounds includes direct cytotoxic effects on tumor cells."
Orsoilc and colleagues published their study in Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Effects of local administration of propolis and its polyphenolic compounds on tumor formation and growth. Biol Pharm Bull, 2005;28(10):1928-1933).
For additional information, contact N. Orsoilc, University of Zagreb, Faculty Science, Dept. Animal Physiol, Rooseveltov Trg 6, Zagreb 10000, Croatia.
Humans around the world have been keeping bees for millennia
By Elaine Klaassen, Pulse of the Twin Cities (USA), 3/23/2006
Humans around the world have been keeping bees for millennia. Honeybees in hives were brought to North America about 500 years ago. Pollinators are worth billions to agriculture, and people benefit daily from bee products such as honey, wax and propolis—the glue made by bees—which the Russians have used forever as a cure for ulcers...
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Journal of Wound Care, 2006 Mar;15(3):133-6
OBJECTIVE: Anecdotal reports suggest that certain honey dressings have a positive effect on wound healing. However, there is limited empirical evidence supporting its use.This double-blind randomised controlled trial investigated the effect of a honey dressing on wound healing following toenail surgery with matrix phenolisation…
CONCLUSION: The results suggest that patients may benefit more from paraffin tulle gras dressings than honey dressings following partial toenail avulsion. No statistically significant difference was found for healing times after total toenail avulsion, although the marginal benefit of the honey dressing on these healing times warrants further investigation.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, Volume 37, Issue 2, April 2006, Pages 173-177
Abstract: Aliphatic alcohols of chain lengths of 24–34 carbons have been found to be beneficial in treating hypercholesterolemia. Approximately 40% of beeswax is long-chain esters which can be transesterified in supercritical carbon dioxide to give these alcohols and fatty acid methyl esters…
[NOTE: Hypercholesterolemia is a disorder that is characterized by an extremely high concentration of cholesterol in the blood and cells.]
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
The International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds, Vol. 5, No. 1, 40-54 (2006)
Some clinicians are under the impression that there is little or no evidence to support the use of honey as a wound dressing.
To allow sound decisions to be made, this seminar article has covered the various reports that have been published on the clinical usage of honey. Positive findings on honey in wound care have been reported from 17 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1965 participants, and 5 clinical trials of other forms involving 97 participants treated with honey.
The effectiveness of honey in assisting wound healing has also been demonstrated in 16 trials on a total of 533 wounds on experimental animals. There is also a large amount of evidence in the form of case studies that have been reported. It has been shown to give good results on a very wide range of types of wound.
It is therefore mystifying that there appears to be a lack of universal acceptance of honey as a wound dressing. It is recommended that clinicians should look for the clinical evidence that exists to support the use of other wound care products to compare with the evidence that exists for honey.
Comtex News Network/Sinocast, 3/20/2006
SHANGHAI - Nestle, the world leading foods group, announced it would produce a kind of milk powder suitable for drinking before sleep.
Mengniu Dairy, who is working on promoting "Good Night" milk, expressed that the potential of sleeping milk is great.
Nestle revealed that it added vitamins and longan honey in its new products, which enhance milk's characteristic of tempting people to sleep. Nestle dairy products business director Zhao Shide said, "Chinese customers clearly realized that foods play an important role in defending diseases and promoting quality sleep to keep fit. And the hot milk added with honey is considered as the best drink for sleeping."…
Actually, it is Bright Dairy & Food that has first introduced sleeping milk to Chinese market and their products have taken a firm position in Shanghai market.
Steve Sternberg, USA Today, 3/20/2006
Nearly a century after two daring London doctors made medical history by injecting hay-fever patients with a watery extract of boiled pollen, Andy Saxon is trying to reinvent the allergy shot.
It's not that the "pollen vaccine" invented by Leonard Noon and John Freeman in 1911 doesn't work. It does. Until antihistamines came along in the 1950s, allergy shots were the only available allergy remedy. But their drawbacks, Saxon says, are nothing to sneeze at…
Monday, March 20, 2006
TIANJIN, March 20 (CEIS) – A new national standard for royal jelly, a popular bee product in China, is likely to be publicized in the first half of 2006 in a bid to eliminate fake royal jelly rampant in domestic market, Luo Shangye, vice president of China’s Bee Products Association (CBPA) said here on March 16.
It is learned that the former recommended standard will be replaced by the new compulsory standard, which stipulates a minimum content of 10-HAD (unique ingredient in royal jelly that can enhance human body’s anti-disease mechanism and immunity) should not be less than 1.4 percent.
According to a selective examination conducted by the CBPA in 2004, about 20-30 percent of the royal jelly products are unqualified, mostly lacking of nutrition…
Qazi Shaikh Borhany, Yemen Times, 3/20/2006
Demand for honey today is higher than in ancient times. All sacred scriptures have discussed its merit. Chinese, Greek and Roman accounts also provide us innumerable benefits of honey. Ancient Egyptians used honey as a preservative. When King Edward I of England died in 1307 and later was exhumed in 1774, his hands and face were well-preserved, attributable to the fact that they had been coated with a thin layer of wax and honey.
Indian sacred scriptures compiled around 1500 B.C. also contain references of honey. Hindus believed that eating honey would enable them to maintain good health. According to Hindu faith, Krishna has been depicted as a bee…
Like bees, honey was a symbol of spirituality as well as poetic inspiration. It was looked upon as supernatural nourishment – the food of the saints, carried by bees even to the divine throne. Honey is mentioned widely throughout the Bible…
The Qur’an and Hadith refer to honey as a healer of disease. The Qur’an says, “Bees were inspired through inborn advice by the Rabb, instructing: ‘Make hives in mountains, in trees and in that which they (humans) build. Then eat of all the fruits and follow the ways of your Rabb submissively. There comes out from within (their bodies) a drink of various hues (honey), in it is healing (effect) for humans. Verily in this is a sign for the people who consider it.’” (Surat 16, Ayaat Nos. 68-69)…
Theresa Campbell, Daily Sun (USA), 3/20/2006
THE VILLAGES — Women worldwide can thank new Villages resident Audrey Morris for their favorite cosmetics and skin creams.
It may be one of The Villages’ best-kept secrets that Morris’ company, Audrey Morris Cosmetics and Skincare International Inc., creates many of the products women here and across the globe use. Her company manufactures high-quality, private-label skin care and cosmetics for large and small clients worldwide, including salons, dermatologists, estheticians, professional beauty schools, modeling agencies, spas, celebrities and well-known make-up artists…
Morris recalled her favorite college subjects were science and chemistry, so creating cosmetics came natural to her. And she wanted products that were good for the skin. She grew up in a family who preferred using natural ingredients for skin care — honey, glycerin, almond meal, natural rose water and witch hazel — and that also played a role in her skin care creations.
Morris recalled her father had a hobby of raising bees, and he collected the bee pollen, honey and wax that he believed also would help many skin problems when mixed with citrus, camphor or other ingredients. She felt the same. The new skin care treatments and colors were tested on her family and herself before marketing them to students and boutique customers.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Associated Press, 3/19/2006
SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. – By August 1999, muscular dystrophy had so severely sapped Kevin Lovitz’s muscles that the Sauk Rapids teenager hadn’t so much as rolled over in bed by himself for a year and a half.
Diagnosed at 6, Lovitz, 18, was in a wheelchair by 11 and wasn’t expected to live this long. But Kevin and his family believe he has been granted extra time by enduring more than 20,000 honeybee stings...
The Lovitzes practice apitherapy, the therapeutic use of bee products such as honey, pollen, beeswax and bee venom for health and healing.
While considered alternative medicine, apitherapy has grown in popularity in the past century. The first World Apitherapy Day is March 30...
Saturday, March 18, 2006
BMC Complement Altern Med., 2006 Mar 14;6(1):6
BACKGROUND: Bee honey is a functional food which has a unique composition, antimicrobial properties and bifidogenic effect. In order to assess whether honey can inhibit the toxic effect of mycotoxins, the present study was undertaken…
CONCLUSIONS: Substituting sugars with honey in processed food can inhibit the harmful effect of mycotoxins, and improve the gut microflora.
Phytother Res., 2006 Mar 6;20(3):187-190
Propolis and Zingiber officinale have been shown to be specifically targeted against Helicobacter pylori strains, to possess antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antitumoral activity and to be used in traditional medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments.
Considering that these natural products could potentially serve as novel therapeutic tools also in combination with an antibiotic, the aim of this work was to evaluate their effect when combined with clarithromycin on clinical H. pylori isolates (n = 25), characterized in respect to both clarithromycin susceptibility and the presence of the cagA gene. The results showed that the combinations of propolis extract + clarithromycin and Z. officinale extract + clarithromycin exhibited improved inhibition of H. pylori with synergistic or additive activity…
The data demonstrate that combinations of propolis extract + clarithromycin and Z. officinale extract + clarithromycin have the potential to help control H. pylori-associated gastroduodenal disease.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 3, Number 1, Pp. 71-77
Propolis, a honeybee product, has gained popularity as a food and alternative medicine. Its constituents have been shown to exert pharmacological (anticancer, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory) effects. We investigated whether Brazilian green propolis exerts neuroprotective effects in the retina in vitro and/or in vivo…
Propolis inhibited the neurotoxicity and apoptosis induced in cultured retinal ganglion cells (RGC-5, a rat ganglion cell line transformed using E1A virus) by 24 h H2O2 exposure. Propolis also inhibited the neurotoxicity induced in RGC-5 cultures by staurosporine. Regarding the possible underlying mechanism, in pig retina homogenates propolis protected against oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation), as also did trolox (water-soluble vitamin E). In mice in vivo, propolis (100 mg kg–1; intraperitoneally administered four times) reduced the retinal damage (decrease in retinal ganglion cells and in thickness of inner plexiform layer) induced by intravitreal in vivo N-methyl-D-aspartate injection.
These findings indicate that Brazilian green propolis has neuroprotective effects against retinal damage both in vitro and in vivo, and that a propolis-induced inhibition of oxidative stress may be partly responsible for these neuroprotective effects.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Cancer Letter, 3/2/2006
We recently demonstrated that two new prenylflavanones, propolin A and propolin B, isolated and characterized from Taiwanese propolis, induced cytotoxicity effect in human melanoma A2058 cells and shows a strong capability to scavenge free radicals. In this study, propolin A effectively induced a cytotoxic effect on five different cancer cell lines. Similar results were obtained for propolin B...
The findings suggest that propolin A and propolin B may activate a mitochondria-mediated apoptosis pathway. On the other hand, our data show that propolin B inhibitied xanthine oxidase activity more efficiently than propolin A or CAPE. However, CAPE suppressed ROS-induced DNA strand breakage more efficiently than propolin A or propolin B. All these results indicated that propolin A and propolin B may trigger apoptosis of A2058 cells through mitochondria-dependent pathways and also shown that propolin A and propolin B were strong antioxidants.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Correio do Brasil, 3/15/2006
Brazilian Agriculture Ministry announced on March 14, 2006 its plans to contact the European Union (EU) with the aim to avoid ban on Brazilian honey scheduled to enter in force on March 17, 2006.
The EU is expected to ban the imports of Brazilian honey due to the lack of control on biological residue in the products exported by the country. The Brazilian Government allegedly did not receive any official newsletter from the EU as regards to problems with biological residue in the Brazilian honey products.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, Brazil plans to monitor the honey for existence of residues under the National Programme for Control of Biological Residues (PNCR). The plan envisages the analysis of 19,613 samples in 2006. The programme envisages monitoring of these products with the aim to determine definitively whether they contain any biological residues…
Pacific Magazine, 3/15/2006
Beekeepers from Pacific Island countries are meeting in Rakiraki, Fiji this week to discuss how to make the most of a growing honey industry. “Beekeeping and honey production have been identified as key business activities in a number of Pacific Islands,” said Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin.
In Fiji alone, figures from Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture show that 200 tonnes of honey were harvested in 2005 and the forecast for 2006 is 250 tonnes. This is still short of the 300 tonnes demanded annually, with the balance being met through imports from Australia, New Zealand, China and India. The regional workshop is part of a drive to increase quality honey production and to boost the capacity of producers to tap into niche markets. Disease-free honey attracts high demand in overseas and regional markets, as well as from national tourism industries.
A key issue for the workshop will be to promote high standards that meet quarantine requirements, especially as free trade opens up over the next decade under the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA). A recent regional meeting of Trade officials agreed that quality standards for niche products must be addressed in the Regional Trade Facilitation Programme, administered by the Forum Secretariat…
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Ear therapy gains popularity while some question its effectiveness
By Jennifer Vogelsong, Daily Record/Sunday News (USA), 3/13/2006
Mar 13, 2006 — Ann Heisler stretched out on a table in the dimmed light of the massage room, her head resting on a pillow, her body covered with a quilt.
A trickle of water from a relaxation fountain mingled with soothing sounds from the stereo in the corner. An orange flame flickered steadily from the candle protruding from her ear.
Candle protruding from her ear?
Well, more like a candle-shaped tube made from strips of muslin dipped in beeswax and infused with herbs. It's ear candling, or coning - an ages-old procedure that's gaining popularity with the acceptance of alternative medicine and traditional therapies.
Heisler gets her ears candled once a month because chronic allergies often make them feel clogged. It's a procedure she first learned of two years ago, when she went to Tranquil Touch Bodyworks in Red Lion for a massage…
History of Ear Candling
What it Does
Where to Find Them
Where to Get it Done
Monday, March 13, 2006
Objective: Supporting the entire body thanks to the local action of the bee poison (apitoxin) (for improving circulation of the blood and the metabolism) and to the systemic action of the bee poison (stimulating metabolism, immune strength, hormone levels, circulation of the blood), which affects the entire body.
Method: The therapeutic properties of bee products such as bee poison, honey and wax have been known since medicine was practised in ancient times; today, they are researched as to their chemical composition and effective mechanisms.
Direct bee poison is not used in the rehabilitation centre; the sting is removed from the bee and introduced into the patient's skin where desired. This leads to a reduction in the patient's fear and pain factors and to a simpler dosing and determination of where the bee poison needs to be applied for exploiting its local effect. Beeswax is used therapeutically in the form of hot compresses, applied once per day on various parts of the body.
ONE of the most popular “drugs” in our society today is honey. Apart from having medicinal values, honey to many people is also a good food, especially those who doesn’t like sugar and the diabetics.
Honey also wards off many ailment and diseases and therefore, it has been regarded as a God-given drug, which has been proven to have various uses. Some even called it “universal medicine”.
But honey may not be able to fight any ailment or cure certain diseases if it is not pure. It thus means that whenever we want to use honey for any healing purpose, we should endeavour to look for the pure one.
These were the words of Dr. Nurudeen Animasaun when responding to a question on the reason why some type of honey are not effective in curing some ailments and diseases...
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Medical Patent Week, 3/19/2006
Derma Sciences, Inc., (DSCI) announced that the company has entered into a long-term exclusive licensing deal with Comvita, Ltd., a New Zealand-based natural health products company.
The licensing deal, which includes patents and other intellectual property, covers the use of Comvita's Medical Manuka honey-based products for the management of chronic wounds, skin tears, post operative wounds, and burns.
Under the agreement, Derma Sciences will receive the exclusive manufacturing and marketing rights to the products throughout the Americas (North, Central, and South)…
Edward J. Quilty, president and CEO of Derma Sciences, said, "We are delighted to enter into this exclusive agreement with Comvita. Comvita has a strong reputation for utilizing raw materials from natural sources and is highly regarded in the natural health products industry. Honey has been used for its healing properties for thousands of years, and the unique qualities found in manuka honey have been shown in clinical studies to be effective in the management of leg ulcers, pressure sores, and post operative conditions. It's capable of treating some of the more antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, a significant and growing problem for hospitals."…
Friday, March 10, 2006
The New Zealand Herald, 3/10/2006
Take up beekeeping and never be bored again - that is what Paul and Sheryl Steens did, building up their business from two to three hives to more than 6000.
It started 23 years ago when Paul Steens gave up his day job as a butcher and culminated in last year's purchase of a 2000-hive Wairarapa operation that will allow Steens Honey to produce between 200 and 250 tonnes of honey each year.
Their main business is supplying active manuka honey to Comvita, Honey New Zealand and other international outlets (active honey has antibacterial properties)…
The Steens got a Technology New Zealand grant to help with the research.
"We're looking into where the antibacterial activity starts and what we could do to enhance the activity. Also as part of that study, we'll be asking what the activity is."
The firm has a tracking system to monitor all production levels and trace where the honey comes from…
Instead of the time-honoured couple of litres of honey for permission to put hives on farms, Steens Honey pays landowners for putting their hives in manuka.
"We're looking at getting manuka plantations started so, in dollar terms, we pay quite a bit. Landowners get a percentage based on the antibacterial activity of the honey and the volume. It's more profitable and sustainable than pine trees and gives people a vested interest."
Thursday, March 09, 2006
While there are many animal architects, one of the more impressive is the honey bee.
Working in the cavity of a hollow tree or other suitable space of about a cubic foot, honey bees can take pollen and nectar gathered from flowers and construct their hive.
All of the necessary tasks of building and maintaining a hive are done by the worker bees. Worker bees are the non-reproductive adult females that make up the vast majority of the hive's residents. Young worker bees between 12 and 18 days old are the ones whose job is comb construction.
The comb is the main feature of a bee hive. It consists of flat vertical panels of six-sided cells made of beeswax. Beeswax is secreted from four pairs of glands on the underside of worker bees' abdomen. The worker bees take the beeswax and form it into the cells using their mouths.
The cells of the comb provide the internal structure of the hive and are used to store the developing young bees and all the provisions used by the colony. The comb has these six-sided cells on both sides, each cell perfectly uniform in shape and built with a precise distance from other cells depending on whether it will be used for storing food (honey or pollen) or young bees (brood comb). This six-sided shape uses the least amount of wax for the volume of the cell and each wall serves two cells...
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
American Apitherapy Society
A few months ago the Journal “Neurology” published an article with the title “A[…] Study of Bee Sting Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis,” written by a team of neurologists. Their idea was to examine how well bee sting therapy works for MS. . .
This work led the neurologists to the following conclusion:
“…we found that the sting therapy had no significant effect on disease activity as measured using….”
We apitherapists and health care providers have serious reservations about this team's design, the execution, and their conclusion.
Now, let me present some commentary about the response we sent to the Journal “Neurology,” the text of which follows this introduction.
Our first reservation regards their technique. They followed an approach of stinging exclusively on the thighs; this approach corresponds to nothing that experienced apitherapists do.
Our second reservation concerns the team's assessment of disease activity and the markers of disease they used: brain lesions as seen on an MRI. The patients in the second group (who had no treatment in the initial twenty-four weeks) developed four times as many lesions as they had developed in the preceding eight to nine years of their illness. We question, therefore, the relevance of the markers chosen.
Our last major concern addresses their statistics. Statistics are ways to evaluate the meaning of measurements. The results the team obtained had such a wide range of values that their statistics did not show significant differences between the beginning and ending measurements. This, however, may have been due to the type of statistical analysis that was done. . .
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
By Erica Angyal, The Japan Times, 3/7/2006
As winter draws to a close, most of us are eagerly awaiting the first signs of spring. Other less fortunate people, however, are busy stockpiling antihistamines, eye drops, face masks, herbal remedies or anything else that will help get them through the anguish of kafunsho (hay fever), which will soon sweep through Japan.
When the runny nose and itchy eyes of hay fever strikes, stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, which includes olive oil and fish such as salmon. . .
Bee pollen may also be effective in alleviating hay fever symptoms. Take it a few weeks before the hay fever season starts. It desensitizes the body and can reduce hay fever symptoms. . .
New Japanese Drink Contains Royal Jelly, Propolis
Within each Potion bottle, you get 100ml of "herb drink," a subtle blend of Royal Jelly, Propolis Extract, Elderberry, Camomile, Sage, Thyme, Hyssop, Fennel, Marjoram, Rosemary, Basil and Melissa, not to mention carbonated water, caffeine and artificial coloring. . .
Monday, March 06, 2006
Food Addit Contam, 2006 Feb;23(2):159-63
Greek honey was monitored during a three-year surveillance program for residues of chemicals used to protect honey-bee combs from wax-moth. A total of 115 samples purchased from stores (commercial samples) and 1060 samples collected from beekeepers (bulk samples) were analysed for 1,4-dichlorobenzene (p-DCB), 1,2-dibromoethane (DBE) and naphthalene...
During the first year of the study, 82.9% of the commercial samples had residues of p-DCB that exceeded the established limit of 10 microg/kg(-1), whilst during the second year 53.6% and during the third 30% exceeded the limit. The percentage of beekeepers samples that had more than 10 microg/kg(-1) decreased from 46.6 to 34.7% and 39.8% respectively during the three consecutive years of analysis. . .
Naphthalene was found in more commercial samples than in samples from beekeepers during the first year, but decreased to similar levels during the next two years. Honeys that are produced earlier in the season are more contaminated those produced later.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Abstract: Apalbumin1 (Apa1) is the major royal jelly (RJ) and honey glycoprotein having various biological properties. We have previously demonstrated that Apa1 is a regular component of honey and honeybee pollen and stimulates macrophages to release tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). . .
It has been determined that recombinant N-terminal fragment of Apa1 is the most active elicitor of TNFα release in comparison to other three protein fragments of Apa1, as well as to the native Apa1 and rApa1.
Furthermore, it was found that native honey was able to stimulate TNFα secretion from murine macrophages, whereas the deproteinized honey had no effect on the release of TNFα. This result suggests that immunostimulatory effect of honey is based on its RJ-protein content, primarily on its dominant protein Apa1.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +421 2 5941 0203; fax: +421 2 5930 7416.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Drug Week, 3/10/2006
Honeybee venom extract is a safe treatment for patients with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.
According to recent research from the United States, "Although several reports suggest that bee venom may be an effective treatment for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), patients may be subjected to real risks of serious allergic reactions as well as emotional and economic costs. This study was conducted to evaluate the safety of bee venom extract as a possible treatment for patients with progressive forms of MS."
"A total of nine bee venom nonallergic patients with progressive forms of MS, who were 21-55 years of age with no other illnesses, were entered into four groups (A, B, C, and D) on a structured one-year immunization schedule," explained Henry J. Castro and colleagues at Georgetown University. . .
"Although no serious adverse allergic reactions were observed in any of the nine subjects, four experienced worsening of neurological symptoms, requiring termination in the study; this could not be ascribed to side effects of the therapy. Of the remaining five subjects, three felt that the therapy had subjective amelioration of symptoms and two showed objective improvement," reported Castro and his collaborators. . .
Castro and his coauthors published their study in Allergy and Asthma Proceedings (A phase I study of the safety of honeybee venom extract as a possible treatment for patients with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis. Allergy Asthma Proc, 2005;26(6):470-476).
For additional information, contact Joseph A. Bellanti, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Medical Center, 3800 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20057, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Microbiol Res, 1/18/2006
We investigated the antibacterial activity of sub-inhibitory concentrations of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP), and its effect on the antibacterial activity of some antibiotics. . .Our results indicated that EEP had a significant antimicrobial activity towards all tested clinical strains. Adding EEP to antibacterial tested drugs, it drastically increased the antimicrobial effect of ampicillin, gentamycin and streptomycin, moderately the one of chloramphenicol, ceftriaxon and vancomycin, while there was no effect with erithromycin. . .
Thursday, March 02, 2006
National Honey Board (USA)
Honey is very likely the world's most ancient sweetener and has been in use throughout the world across the millennia. Honey's popularity and versatility is evident from the variety of uses it has enjoyed throughout history.
From ancient times, honey has not only been used as a sweetener but as a natural beauty agent and has been employed by some cultures for its medicinal attributes. . .
Honey's Nutritional Profile
Honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates and water, and also includes small amounts of a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid, along with minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Honey as a Source of Antioxidants
It has been hypothesized that consuming more antioxidant-rich foods may help protect against cellular damage and possibly prevent the development of chronic diseases. Research indicates that honey includes numerous compounds with antioxidant potential. The amount and type of these antioxidant compounds depends largely upon the floral source/variety of the honey. In general, darker honeys (Buckwheat honey) have been shown to be higher in antioxidant content than lighter honeys (Clover and Sage honey). While the antioxidant content of honey may not rival that of some of the more antioxidant-rich fruits (berries and apples) and vegetables (kale and beans), on a gram for gram basis, honey may, nevertheless, provide an additional source of dietary antioxidants. . .
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Propolis Extracts Exhibit an Immunoregulatory Activity in an OVA-Sensitized Airway Inflammatory Animal Model
International Immunopharmacology, 2/28/2006
Abstract: Propolis, which has been used widely in folk medicine, has been shown to exhibit various biological activities but its immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory activities in intact animals have not been well studied. We investigated these activities of propolis using an ovalbumin-induced asthma animal model. . .
The splenocytes from mice administered with propolis extracts (low- and high-dose groups) exhibit a strong inhibition of IL-10 secretion and up-regulation of IFN-γ secretion in splenocytes stimulated with concanavalin A (ConA). In addition, cytokine (IFN-γ, IL-6, and IL-10) secretion in OVA-stimulated splenocytes from the propolis groups was significantly lower than that in the control group.
These results suggest that propolis extracts may be a potential novel therapeutic agent for asthma.