Sunday, November 30, 2008

Apitherapy in Egypt and Arabian Countries

By Ahmed G. Hegazi, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt
E-Mail: ahmedgaffer@mailer.scu.eun.eg and ahmedhegazi128@gmail.com

Egypt has great experience in apitherapy, dating back to the use of honey and propolis to mummify corpses.

The Holy Bible, in the Old and New Testaments, points to the bees and their products more than 40 times in urging the eating of honey, giving honey as gifts to inhabitants of countries far away and as a good food, either alone or with other food materials, in the human diet. The Holy Bible (Habakkuk 43) also mentions honey as a gift and describes its use by Solomon.

The Holy Koran has a long chapter (Sura 16, Al-Nahl) named “The Bees.” That chapter states: "And thy Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills on trees and in (men's) habitations; Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth) and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.” (Verses 68-69)

In the Holy Hadith (traditions), the prophet Mohammed said he preferred honey as a food. He once took honey as a gift from the King of Egypt. Also he recommended that people not kill bees because they have a great role in the agriculture, medicine and nutrition.

Recently, apitherapy has great attention in Egypt and Arabian countries. Apitherapy opens a good area of research to overcome many diseases and avoid the side effects of drugs. Bee hive products are also used to treat auto-immune system disorders, prostate problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Protein Test Can Detect Adulterated Honey

Immunological Characterization of Honey Major Protein and Its Application
Food Chemistry, Volume 113, Issue 4, 15 April 2009, Pages 1334-1338

Honey contains a small amount of proteins and we purified the major protein in honey produced by Apis cerana and by Apis mellifera, respectively. Each purified major protein was injected in rats and after repeated immunization; antibodies were obtained and verified with Western-blot.

Although honey samples used in this study differ due to geographical variations, storage periods and botanical origins, each antibody was reacted specifically to its antigen with high affinity. These results showed that the major proteins in honey derived from A. cerana and from A. mellifera have different surface structures.

This feature can be applied for discrimination of honey from different honeybee species and for detection of adulterated honey by ELISA with high sensitivity.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Veterinarian Uses Honey On Injured Sea Turtles

Associated Press, 11/27/2008

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. — Months after Duffy suffered grievous cuts from a boat propeller, the 75-pound loggerhead sea turtle circles her tank flashing glimpses of the deep wound her veterinarians have plugged with what looks like some sort of milky, mystery paste.

The sticky stuff vets at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center have used to seal Duffy's wound may have saved her life. It's a new treatment for injured sea turtles that has roots in ancient Rome -- and it's about as low-tech as medicine gets.

The mystery paste is actually beeswax from a mashed-up honeycomb, generously coated with honey...

Tubes Bottom Boards Improve Beehive Product Quality

By Jean-Pierre LE PABIC
E-mail: jp.lepabic@gmail.com

[Editor’s Note: This presentation is part of the Second National Apitherapy Congress, Expo and Workshops with International Participation held November 21-24, 2008, in Iasi, Romania.]

1 – Introduction

The tubes bottom board has been available for sale in France since 2002. Having previously used it for nearly a decade at that time, I had the conviction that it was useful for the bees, mainly in helping them to combat Varroa mites but also for fostering a more populous colony in spring. That is why I took the gamble to produce it and propose it to beekeepers.

A great deal of information flowed from the keepers using the tubes boards. Some observations only served to confirm my experiences but some others were new and then good surprises.

All of the field work evolved into conducting comparative experiments under protocol to confirm or disproof beekeepers observations and eventually to quantify each point. The results were very positive.

Many questions remain unanswered, especially as to the means by which the tubes bottom board gets its efficiency. For some questions, we can venture a hypothesis, for others we are not yet ready.

Future experiments will have to provide more information about the way the tubes bottom board works but will also show more on the bees colonies themselves.

2 - Description of the Tubes Bottom Board

The tubes bottom board consists of: a wooden frame; several tubes; and three struts. The tubes are held in place by the struts. The gaps between the tubes are about 3.5 mm. Bees cannot pass through them. Hive waste as well as Varroa mites fall through the funnel shaped openings and can be examined under the hive.

3 – History of the Tubes Bottom Board

The tubes bottom board was invented in 1993 by Marcel Legris, a beekeeper from Marseille in the south of France. At that time, it was discovered that numerous feral bee colonies survived without any anti-Varroa treatment. The belief being that the reason was a certain amount of Varroa mites fell out of the cluster to disappear under the colony in places unvisited by the bees. The tubes bottom board was originally created to reproduce those conditions.

The Legris design was made with rigid tubes fitted into holes recessed into the wooden frame on each side. The tubes were expensive and manufacturing was complicated. The lack of profitability quickly caused Mr. Legris to close the business.

Having purchased some of these boards and using them in my apiary, the positive observations I made compelled me to seek a more affordable design for the board.

This was accomplished in 2002 and allowed me to introduce the new tubes bottom board under the “HAPPYKEEPER” brand name. As already indicated, the tubes are no longer fitted into holes inside the frame but rather held in place by three struts punched from plastic sheets. It was then possible to use less expensive polyethylene tubes on which nothing will stick. Because the tubes are not rigid nor perfectly round, a strut is placed in the middle to keep them parallel.

4 - Beekeepers Observations

The first observation can be easily seen by anybody, preferably in September or October. It was reported to me very early by a beekeeper living near my home. He was desperate. Having a very high mite infestation rate, even though he was using mesh boards. He wanted to try the tubes boards as a last resort. In less than a week he came back telling me that “as soon as he had replaced the mesh boards with the tubes boards, the mite falls increased considerably”. This same observation was reported to me by several other keepers. It cannot however be witnessed at just any time because mite falls occur only from September until April.

The second observation which I was soon told about is the cleanliness of the tubes board in spring. Many beekeepers at first bought only a few tubes boards to try, but this advantage inspired them to quickly equip the rest of their hives.

Regarding the cleanliness of the tubes board, if it is not clean in spring, it means there is something wrong in the colony. Usually it is queenless.

Many beekeepers using the tubes bottom board no longer treat. In my case, not since April 1997 and not in return of a weak colony as may be the case with other kinds of bottom boards. On the contrary. The colonies on tubes bottom boards are reported to be populating earlier and to be stronger in spring.

In my personal apiary, I measured infestations rates about 2 to 3% in spring after a few years without any treatment.

On the other hand, beekeepers who have not dared to stop treatments are not encouraged to do so because their infestation rates do not decrease very much.

The last point to be made is that a beekeeper having his hives at a high altitude in the Alps reported very low temperatures : 3 weeks in January and 3 weeks in February at about -10 °C / 14 F and occasionally at - 15 °C / 5 F. And all his colonies were alive and perfectly healthy in spring on tubes boards.

This collective knowledge was a basis for creating written protocols to carry out experiments which took place in Toulouse from January until October 2005 and in Vesoul from January 2006 until June 2007.

5 - Protocol Controlled Experiments

5.1 - Toulouse Conditions


Climate: In Toulouse, min and max average temperatures in winter are about 2 °C and 10 °C, 36-50 F. In summer they are about 17 °C and 28 °C, 63-82 F. There are about 50 mm of rainfall per month from July until March; about 70 mm from April until June.

Number of colonies: There were ten colonies on tubes boards and ten on mesh boards.

Bees: Bees were Buckfast and queens were sisters.

Last anti-Varroa treatment: Last anti-Varroa treatment was applied in August 2004.

5.2 - Vesoul Conditions

Climate: In Vesoul, min and max average temperatures in winter are about -1 °C / 30 F and 5 °C / 41 F. In summer they are about 15 °C / 59 F and 25 °C / 77 F. There are between 80 and 100 mm / 3-4” of rainfall per month all year round

Number of colonies: There were ten colonies on tubes boards and ten on mesh boards.

Bees: Bees were black bees and queens were sisters.

Last anti-Varroa treatment : Last anti-Varroa treatment was Apivar applied from September until December 2005

5.3 - Outstanding Results

Brood surface in spring: In hives equipped with tubes boards, there was 25% more brood surface in May in Toulouse, and 93% more brood surface in April in Vesoul.

Average honey harvest per hive in spring: There was no honey flow in spring in Toulouse. In Vesoul, the average honey harvest was 3,6 kg with tubes boards; 1,8 kg with mesh boards.

Varroa mite falls: In Toulouse, Varroa mite falls were mainly higher on tubes boards at the beginning of the experiment when the boards were first put in place. No increase of mite falls was observed in September. In Vesoul, they were equal between January and August and 3 times higher on tubes boards from September till January. They were nearly 5 times higher after replacing a mesh board with a tubes board; less than half after replacing a tubes board with a mesh board.

Infestation rates:

Toulouse (Sept 2005)
In Toulouse, infestation rates with tubes boards were from 1.1% to 8%, 5.5% on average.
With mesh boards they were from 5.4% to 20.1%, 8.9% on average.
Vesoul (June 2007)
In Vesoul, infestation rates with tubes boards were from 1.5% to 6.5%, 4.4% on average.
With mesh boards they were from 1.7% to 11.6%, 6.1% on average.
No correlation was found between infestation rates and mite falls.

Of course, full reports can be downloaded from our website.

6 - Analysis

In my opinion, the key point is the substantial increase in mite falls after replacement of a mesh board with a tubes board. Many beekeepers observations were further validated by the Vesoul trial. Nothing can change in a hive so rapidly, except ventilation. We may then assume that the tubes bottom board is effective because it allows bees to ventilate inside the hive according to their needs and therefore to provide a healthy atmosphere around the cluster, perfectly suited to their needs at the time.

Further studies are necessary to qualify this point.

Although infestation rates are significantly lower with tubes boards, they are not all immediately below 5%, which is the spring infestation rate under which treatments are unnecessary.

These results only serve as the basis for more long term monitoring studies and timely measurements without anti-Varroa treatment to determine stabilizing infestation rates. Further experiments should then meet the following specifications:

- Start in September
- No summer or autumn anti-Varroa treatment before starting. Most treatments are poisonous to bees also and it seems like they weaken the colony in such a way that mites re-infestation occurs faster. It seems that a few years are necessary to reach stabilized infestation rates.
- Measurement of infestation rates each spring over several years.

Being given that I received only positive feedback from beekeepers, there is every reason to be very optimistic about the results. However, in case it should be found necessary, queens breeders could include colony hygienic behavior towards Varroa mites in their selection criteria.

It is often considered that mite falls alone are a good measurement of infestation rates in a colony. It was demonstrated in Vesoul that such is not the case.

It is usually noticed that there is practically no mite fall from May until August on non treated colonies (an increase in September was seen in Vesoul but not in Toulouse). It appears that mite populations increase in summer only to be mostly eradicated in winter. This element should be investigated further.

Another very important advantage is that the bees raise much more brood in spring, resulting in stronger colonies and therefore better harvests.

7 - Some Different Types of Tubes Boards

The first tubes boards sizes were Langstroth / Dadant 10 frames and 12 frames. Struts punched from polypropylene plastic sheets were utilized. Recently the board was enhanced by replacing the punched struts with molded polyethylene struts in the Langstroth / Dadant 10 f board. The enhancement resulted in a more attractive product although functionally equivalent.

A 10 f bottom pollen trap has also been developed. The general problem with this type of pollen trap is that hive waste is mixed with the pollen. Mycosis which have about the same density as the pollen pellets are particularly difficult to eliminate. Moreover, pollen pellets may be stained with sticky hive waste particles.


In the tubes pollen trap, most of the hive waste is eliminated at the rear of the board through the openings between the tubes. Larger pieces of debris are taken outside by the cleaning bees through the drones holes. As a result, pollen contains only very few bee body particles which can be industrially eliminated easily by ventilation while hobbyists can simply use their mouth to blow them away.

Another exclusive to this pollen trap is the rotating pollen comb. By turning it from outside, you put the pollen trap in or out of service. And it is not confusing the bees because their way in or out is always the same.

I have not personally seen any changes in the strength of the colonies nor in Varroa mites infestations compared to the standard bottom board.

8 – Conclusion

We cannot yet say, without reservation, that any and all colonies would stay strong against Varroa mites without any treatment on the tubes board. However, an effective anti-Varroa result was demonstrated in the experiments of Toulouse and Vesoul.

On the other hand, beekeepers observations can be seen as reliable. It is then very likely that an apiary using tubes boards will eventually not need any treatment and enable the production of hive products undoubtedly free of any substance extraneous to the hive.

The ability of the pollen trap to produce pristine pollen is an extra benefit. All of these advantages represent the promise for top shelf, high quality Beehive products for Apitherapy.

A lot of work remains to be done.

The experiments in Toulouse and Vesoul have to be re-done more accurately, for longer periods of time and under various climates. Other parameters of experimentation must be identified and well defined to discover and comprehend exactly how the tubes bottom board functions and eventually to upgrade its design.

HAPPYKEEPER
20, avenue des Acacias
92500 RUEIL-MALMAISON
FRANCE
http://www.apiculture.com/happykeeper/
Tél.: 33 1 47 14 10 52

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Role of Apitherapy in Human Health

By Dr. Seema Rathour1 and Dr. D.C. Karnatak

[Editor’s Note: This poster is part of the Second National Apitherapy Congress, Expo and Workshops with International Participation held November 21-24, 2008, in Iasi, Romania.]

Apitherapy is the use of bee hive products such as bee venom, bee-collected pollen, royal jelly, propolis, beeswax, and honey to maintain good health and in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions.

Honey – Honey is the pre-digested food made by bees from nectar. The bees collect the nectar from flowers and store it in their primary or honey stomach. There it is partially digested and converted into the substance we call honey. In past societies, honey was of great importance, particularly for its medicinal purposes. It was believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac and a valuable antibacterial wound dressing.

Health Benefits of Honey - Taking raw honey is a healthy way to get an energy boost. Its carbohydrates supply us with energy and strength. It can boost your endurance and reduce muscle fatigue. Honey is a great aid in relieving morning sickness, reportedly even more effective than traditional soda crackers. It's also good for sore throats including laryngitis and pharyngitis.

Honey and cinnamon can help in many areas including relief from bladder infections, arthritis, upset stomach and bad breath. It's even supposed to be able to slow down hair loss. Honey can be used as a medication for men with problems of impotence and women with problems related to infertility. Warm raw goat milk and raw honey is believed to increase sperm count considerably.

A salve made of honey has been proven effective for diabetic ulcers when other topical antibiotics are not well tolerated. It can be applied to eczema, canker sores or bleeding gums. Honey and lemon goes to work in the body shifting the extra fat stores, thus making it usable energy for regular body functions. And, honey is cholesterol-free. It reportedly can even help to keep cholesterol levels in check.

Honey has a viscous texture due to its low water content. It also establishes a poor environment for bad bacteria to grow, and is a good natural preservative. Doctors have combined sterile honey from Australian bees with seaweed to clean wounds infected after heart surgery.

Royal Jelly - Royal Jelly is derived from a combination of honey and bee pollen, combined with enzymes that nurse bees produce in their salivary glands and feed to the larvae. Royal jelly has traditionally been used through the centuries to improve skin tone, to bolster the immune system, and to increase energy levels. Recent human studies using royal jelly have looked at its ability to lower blood cholesterol levels. Studies show that royal jelly may stimulate the reproductive system. Some studies have indicated that fresh royal jelly can stimulate the immune system and help fight off viral infection.

Propolis – Propolis is a resinous substance gathered by bees from trees. It is used to fill holes and varnish and strengthen the hive. Bees also use it as a natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal agent. It is used as a medicine and food supplement. The antioxidant, antimicrobial and antifungal activities of propolis offer scope for applications in food technology. Propolis is a bee product used in some cultures as treatment for mouth ulcers.

Propolis Decreases Cancer Cell Division - The in vitro anticarcinogenic and antimitotic effects of propolis and mitomycin-C (MMC) on transitional carcinoma cell cultures were investigated. Tissue samples were obtained from 22 patients with bladder carcinomas, which were exposed to propolis (0.1 mL) and MMC (1.6 µL). The differences between the control and exposed cells were significant. We conclude that exposure to propolis can decrease cell division and it may be used as an antimitotic and anticarcinogenic agent.

Bee Pollen - Collected from flowers and brought back to the hive as a load on the hind legs. It is a food source for the bee and is stored in the hive. Bee pollen is used as a food supplement. Bee pollen rejuvenates your body, stimulates organs and glands, enhances vitality, and brings about a longer life span.

Principal Project Manager, Biotech Park, Sector G, Jankipuram, Lucknow-226021
E-mail: seemarathour@gmail.com
Senior Research Fellow, G.B.P.U.A & T, Pantnagar-263145, Uttarakhand
E-mail: dineshkarnatak@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bee Pollen High in Antioxidants

By Sam McManis, McClatchy News Service, 11/25/2008

Flavonols are the antioxidant property most associated with grapes' dietary benefits. Which of the three foods contain the most quercetin, believed to be the most potent flavonol?

a) red grapes
b) bee pollen
c) apples

- Answers: b (bee pollen, 31.78 mg quercetin per 100 mg; apples, 7.37; red grapes, 3.98)

Apitherapy Used in Lithuanian Ophthalmology

By Jurate Jankauskiene, Dalia Jarusaitiene
Eye Clinic, Kaunas Medical University
E-Mail: jurate.jankauskiene@gmail.com

[Editor’s Note: This presentation is part of the Second National Apitherapy Congress, Expo and Workshops with International Participation held November 21-24, 2008, in Iasi, Romania.]

Bee products (honey, propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly) are widely used in ophthalmology today in Lithuania. These products are generally considered to have medicinal effects.

According to the results of investigation there was noted that honey drops (20 percent) have very good anti-inflammatory action, regenerative and anti-toxic features and we recommend their use to treat such eye disorders as dry eye syndrome, keratopathy, keratitis, corneal ulcers, corneal opacities, conjunctivitis…

Cigarette smoking decreased the efficacy of honey therapy and patients with Graves ophthalmopathy should be encouraged to refrain from smoking.

In patients with Graves ophthalmopathy who used royal jelly, an improvement of visual functions and reduction of retinal blind spot was noted.

An improvement of visual functions (visual acuity, contrast sensitivity) and dilatation of retinal arteries was noted in patients with myopia who used royal jelly.

In patients with age-related macula degeneration who used royal jelly, an improvement of visual functions (visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, mean threshold sensitivity of central visual field) was found.

Royal jelly can be recommended together with other methods of conservative treatment of myopia and age-related macula degeneration.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Propolis Potential Alternative Treatment for Fungal Infections

Trichophyton Species Susceptibility to Green and Red Propolis from Brazil
Letters in Applied Microbiology, Published Online: 19 Nov 2008

Aims: The in vitro antifungal activity of Brazilian green and red propolis was tested against different species of Trichophyton.

Methods and Results: The antifungal activity of the Brazilian aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the green propolis and the alcoholic extract of red propolis was observed against Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton tonsurans and Trichophyton mentagrohytes samples, using as controls itraconazole and terbinafine. The minimal inhibitory concentration was determined following the microdilution method indicated by the 'Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute'. The minimal fungicide concentration was determined by the absence of growth in liquid sabouraud culture medium. The data obtained showed that the green propolis alcoholic extract's antifungal activity was from 64 to 1024 μg ml−1, whereas the red propolis alcoholic extract was from 8 to 1024 μg ml−1.

Conclusions: The antifungal activity of the red propolis alcoholic extract was more efficient than the green propolis alcoholic extract for all three species studied. The T. rubrum samples were shown to be more sensitive to the antifungal activity of the alcoholic extracts of the propolis.

Significance and Impact of the Study: The antifungal potential of the alcoholic extracts of green and red propolis demonstrated suggest an applicable potential as an alternative treatment for dermatophytosis caused by these species.

Colonies in Collapse: What's Causing Massive Honeybee Die-Offs?

Research Penn State, 11/11/2008
This article is part one of a three-part in-depth series.

…As the single bee species maintained by the vast majority of beekeepers in the United States and Europe, Apis mellifera, the western honeybee, is the very essence of a keystone insect. The economic worth of this crucial honeybee — which pollinates over one hundred different fruit and vegetable crops in the United States, including oranges, apples and blueberries, as well as almond trees and animal food crops like clover — has been estimated at more than $14 billion. California’s almond orchards alone require 1.5 million hives to pollinate them, and yield over $2 billion worth of almonds. In Pennsylvania, State Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff has made it clear that “Honeybees are critical to Pennsylvania agriculture and to our state’s economy… We can’t afford to be lax in dealing with this problem.”…

Monday, November 24, 2008

Apitherapy Used to Treat Lung Cancer

Apitherapy/Phytotherapy for Broncho-Pulmonary Tumor: A Clinical Case
Dr. Cristina Aosan, Romania
E-Mail: draosan@gmail.com
www.aosan.com

[Editor’s Note: This presentation is part of the Second National Apitherapy Congress, Expo and Workshops with International Participation held November 21-24, 2008, in Iasi, Romania.]

P.F. - 73 years old (woman)
Diagnosis: Right Broncho–Pulmonary Tumor

Debut: 6 years ago - the diagnosis was right broncho-pulmonary cancer (They made a few cytostatics cures; after that: no other treatments, no medical controls.)

After 5 years: pains in the thorax, cough with mucous expectoration, dispnea, strong asthenia.

Investigation at another hospital: thorax radiography, bronchoscopy with biopsy, abdominal echography, blood analysis

With the diagnosis “Right broncho-pulmonary cancer,” she preferred to leave the hospital to seek natural treatment.

But the histopathology examination shows: “epidermoid metaplasia tumor.”

The first consultation (June 2004) - the mentioned symptoms, with repose dispnea, weight of 44 Kg (for 158 cm of height), diminished vesicular murmur in the right posterior middle aria

Starting the Api-Phyto-Therapy (June 2004). Bee products: propolis as tincture, royal jelly, pollen and honey. Medicinal plants: Salix alba, Arctium lappa, Plantago off., Thymus serpilum, Urtica dioica, Callendula off., Achillea millefolium, Viola tricolor, Aristolochia Clematitis, Chelidonium majus, Echinacaea angustifolia, Symphytum off., Crataegus monogina (teas and tinctures administrated in alternative combinations); Hippophae rhamnoides oil.

Good clinical evolution: progressive diminishing and then disappearing of the pains, dispnea and cough, increasing of the weight.

October 2004 - micro thorax radiography: no active images in the pulmonary aria

June 2005 – thorax radiography: no active images

All Natural Beauty Brand Launches Honey Skin Care Product

The Body Deli Introduces an Edible 100% Raw Anti-Aging Superfood Peel

WEBWIRE – Saturday, November 22, 2008 - Palm Desert, CA - The Body Deli, an all natural beauty brand, introduces their most effective anti-aging treatment, Radiance Enzyme Peel. Radiance Enzyme Peel is formulated with 100% raw, unfiltered, certified Active + UMF 20 Manuka Honey imported from New Zealand.

Manuka Honey is gathered from the nectar of the flowering Manuka Shrub, a close cousin to Tea-Tree (melaleuca). This superfood has anti-bacterial properties and due to its high plant-derived components, is full of oxygen. The honey is capable of creating an environment which promotes the regeneration of skin tissue, ultimately reducing the signs of aging on your face.

“Manuka Honey is one of the best superfoods for our skin,” said David Parker, co-owner of The Body Deli. “It is the finest natural preservative and provides smoothing and rejuvenating properties that are unparallel to any other ingredient.”…

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bee Venom Apipuncture May Help Pain Management

Acupoint Stimulation with Diluted Bee Venom (Apipuncture) Potentiates the Analgesic Effect of Intrathecal Clonidine in the Rodent Formalin Test and in a Neuropathic Pain Model
The Journal of Pain, Article in Press

Abstract: Although intrathecal (i.t.) administration of the α2-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine has a pronounced analgesic effect, the clinical use of clonidine is limited by its side effects.

Previously, our laboratory has demonstrated that the subcutaneous injection of diluted bee venom (DBV) into an acupoint (termed apipuncture) produces significant analgesic effect in various pain animal models. The present study was designed to examine whether DBV injection into the Zusanli acupoint (ST-36) could enhance lower-dose clonidine-induced analgesic effects without the development of hypotension, bradycardia, or sedation…

DBV apipuncture alone or in combination with a low dose of i.t. clonidine produced an analgesic effect similar to that of the high dose of clonidine, but without significant side effects. The analgesic effect produced by the combination of i.t. clonidine and apipuncture was completely blocked by pretreatment with an α2-adrenoceptor antagonist.

These data show that DBV-apipuncture significantly enhances clonidine-induced analgesia and suggest that a combination of low dose clonidine with acupuncture therapy represents a novel strategy for pain management that could eliminates clonidine's side effects.

Perspective

This study demonstrated that intrathecal clonidine-induced analgesia is significantly enhanced when it is combined with chemical acupuncture treatment. The administration of low-dose clonidine in combination with acupuncture produced a potent analgesic effect without significant side effects and thus represents a potential novel strategy for the management of chronic pain.

Debate: Which is the World's Most Invaluable Species?

Plankton, bats, primates, fungi and bees - which species would have the greatest impact on our planet if it were lost?
By Jessica Aldred, The Guardian (UK), 11/14/2008

Bees - 'Bees are irreplaceable. Their loss will be catastrophic'
Dr George McGavin of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History


The partnership between flowering plants and pollinating insects, especially bees, is one of the most widespread and significant symbiotic interactions on Earth. This 100m-year-old collaboration has spawned a rich diversity of species and promoted the rise to dominance of humans.

Now the need to feed our burgeoning population, coupled with the agricultural means to that end – a plethora of pesticides, the unabated loss of natural habitat and the translocation of alien species and diseases - are driving wild and managed bee populations into a very steep decline. Seventy percent of the crop species eaten by humans depend wholly or partly on pollination and recent estimates put the economic value of insect pollination at over £121 billion ($192bn) - representing at least 10% of the value of the world's agricultural production.

Bees are irreplaceable and the debate about what might happen if they disappeared is no longer academic. We have set in motion processes that may lead to the extinction of the planet's most important pollinators along with countless other species that depend on them. Not only will the world be a much less colourful place, it will also be poorer in every other way imaginable. The effects will be nothing short of catastrophic...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Diabetes Foods: Is Honey a Good Substitute for Sugar?

Mayo Clinic, 11/19/2008

Q. I have diabetes, and I'm wondering if I can substitute honey for sugar in my diet?

A. Generally, there's no advantage to substituting honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan. Both honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level.

Honey is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you might use a smaller amount of honey for sugar in some recipes. But honey actually has slightly more carbohydrates and more calories per teaspoon than does granulated sugar — so any calories and carbohydrates you save will be nominal…

Repeated Bee Stings Calm Immune Response

A Sting a Day Keeps the Allergy Away
By Ewen Callaway, New Scientist, 11/18/2008

Beekeepers faced with daily stings in their work are helping researchers understand why some people are prone to occasionally deadly allergic reactions, while others are not.

High doses of bee venom early in the year block a normally potent immune reaction for the remainder of the season, says Mübeccel Akdis, an immunologist at University of Zurich in Switzerland, who led the study.

The finding could help in treating the roughly 2% to 5% of people who develop severe allergies to bee stings.

Akdis' team followed a group of beekeepers for several years to determine how their immune systems managed the feat. None of the keepers donned protective masks or gloves while handling the bees.

Venom injection


In late April, the beginning of the season in Switzerland, keepers showed visible signs of an immune response to the stings on their skin, including inflammation and swelling. Within a week, their immune system had muzzled this response, only for it to return the following year after the winter break.

After an average of 13 stings a week, beekeepers quickly desensitise to the bees' barb, which delivers a large dose of several venoms, including a membrane-busting protein called phospholipase A.

The keepers' secret turned out to be the production of cells that dampen the immune attack, called regulatory T-cells.

The first bee attacks of the season trigger the production of histamine, a chemical that drives allergic reactions. But as the beekeeper is further stung, a class of T-cell that would normally boost the immune response against the venom instead senses the histamine and morphs into regulatory T-cells, calming the immune response…

Friday, November 21, 2008

Study Examines Antioxidant Activity of Australian Stingless Bee Honey

Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Trigona carbonaria Honey from Australia
Journal of Medicinal Food, November 11, 2008

Stingless bees (Tribe Meliponini) are a diverse group of highly eusocial bees distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics. Trigona carbonaria honey, from Australia, was characterized by traditional physicochemical parameters (acidity, sugars, diastase, electrical conductivity, hydroxymethylfurfural, invertase, nitrogen, and water content) and other compositional factors (flavonoids, polyphenols, organic acids, and water activity), as well as total antioxidant capacity and radical scavenging activity.

For the Australian T. carbonaria, the traditional analytical parameters were similar to those previously reported for neotropical stingless bee honey and confirm that honeys produced by Meliponini bees possess several physicochemical properties that are distinctly different from Apis mellifera honey…

The antioxidant activity can represent an important added value for T. carbonaria honey, to initiate a medicinal approach for both nutritional and pharmaceutical applications, besides further physicochemical characterization.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Canadian Beekeeping Conference to Include Apitherapy Workshop

On Saturday, December 13, the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association will host a workshop on Apitherapy at the Hilton Fallsview Hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Workshop Theme: Apitherapy

Time: 9 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

ChairpersonAnnie Van Alten

Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) – Stefan Board, Northern Nectar, Restoule, Ontario & Don Downs, AAS, Wellington, Ohio, USA

Legality of BVT in Canada - Jean Gibeau, Honeybee Centre, Surrey, British Columbia

Ear Candling – Annie Van Alten, Annie’s Apitherapy, Carlisle, Ontario

Propolis Salve Making
– Frederique Keller, AAS, Huntington, New York, USA

EU to Vote on Honey Bee Recovery Zones

Use Flower Power to Save Europe's Bees: EU Lawmaker

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Honey bees, whose numbers are falling, must be given flowery "recovery zones" in Europe's farmlands to aid their survival, a leading EU lawmaker said Wednesday.

Bees pollinate numerous crops and scientists have expressed alarm over their mysterious and rapid decline. Experts have warned that a drop in the bee population could harm agriculture.

"If we continue to neglect the global bee population, then this will have a dramatic effect on our already strained world food supplies," said Neil Parish, who chairs the European Parliament's agriculture committee.

Parish, a British conservative, said vast swathes of single crops such as wheat often made it difficult for bees to find enough nectar.

But he said farmers could help bees by planting patches of bee-friendly flowers -- including daisies, borage and lavender…

More research is needed to pin down the exact cause of the declining number of bees, the European Parliament is expected to recommend in its vote Wednesday evening…

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Video: Processing Propolis and Bee Pollen (Turkish)

video

Radio Tracking May Help Explain Colony Collapse Disorder

Tiny Radio Tags Offer Rare Glimpse into Bees' Universe
John Roach, National Geographic Magazine, 11/14/2008

What's causing the unprecedented decline of millions of honeybees? This mystery has been vexing some of the world's best scientists ever since U.S. beekeepers began noticing enormous numbers of their bees dying off or vanishing for no apparent reason several years ago.

Honeybees contribute some $15 billion to the U.S. economy every year, pollinating 90 major crops, everything from fruits to nuts. Most of us take these foods for granted, rarely realizing the vital role tiny creatures play in making them thrive.

Put simply, says zoologist Martin Wikelski, "Everything depends on pollinators."

That's one reason this leader in the study of small-animal migration has begun examining the mostly unknown universe of bee movement.

Wikelski is pioneering the use of supersmall radio tracking tags that fit on the backs of bees, a technological breakthrough that may provide him and other scientists with a direct view of the pollinators' flight patterns.

This could someday help them understand what's causing the honeybees' decline—and how to harness other kinds of bees to protect food supplies...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Honey-Based Recipes Help Soothe Coughs and Sore Throats

The National Honey Board Shares Honey-Based Recipes to Soothe Itchy Throats and Pesky Cold and Cough Symptoms

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Winter is just around the corner and with it comes the peak of the cold-flu period, which in the United States is from late August to early April. Americans suffer over 1 billion colds each year and because of the growing problem of drug resistance, many Latinos are going back to the very same natural concoctions they took as children in their home countries.

Soothing recipes that include natural ingredients like honey and garlic are once again becoming the first line of defense when facing those pesky symptoms typical of viral infections -- sore throat, cough, chest pain, etc. To help millions uncover the soothing properties of nature’s own liquid gold, the National Honey Board is sharing tips and honey-based recipes, which can help itchy throats during those bothersome winter months.

"Honey may be used to help ease the symptoms from a cold or cough," said M.D., M.Sc. Ian Paul, leading researcher from Penn State College of Medicine, in an interview. "A recent study we conducted demonstrated how the use of buckwheat honey is more effective in alleviating cough symptoms in children than any other over the counter (OTC) cough medication."

Soothing tips for cold-cough season include:

1. Soothe your Sore Throat. Drink warm fluids like tea and add teaspoons
of 100% pure honey or gargle with warm water and honey

2. Calm your Cough. Take a spoonful of honey with the same amount of lemon
juice

3. Double-up. Eat honey with foods such as garlic, onion, ginger and
lemon, which can also help soothe a cold

For a tropical kick, try this favorite soothing honey-based recipe which is very popular during the cold season in Mexico.

Honey-Tropical Juice Boost

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of honey
3 whole guavas
2 slices of pineapple
2 cups of natural orange juice
1/2 cup of lemon juice

Preparation:

Cut the guavas and slices of pineapple into small pieces, incorporate the honey and blend it with the orange and lemon juices. Drink immediately.

Honey should not be fed to infants under the age of one year. For more information and other 100% pure honey-based recipes, please visit http://www.mielpura.org.

Apiforestation Experiment Conducted at U.S. Mine Reclamation Sites

Irish Documentarians Film EKU Beekeeping Initiative
The buzz about EKU’s beekeeping initiative has reached the shores of Ireland.
EKUpdate, 11/17/2008

Irish filmmakers Ross McDonnell and Carter Gunn shot footage on the EKU campus and at the Thunder Ridge surface mining site in Leslie County for possible inclusion in their documentary, “Colony.”

Earlier this summer, McDonnell and Gunn approached Tammy Horn, researcher/apiculturalist with EKU’s Eastern Kentucky Environmental Research Institute, at a meeting of the Eastern Apiculture Society. Horn, an author and widely recognized expert on beekeeping, is spearheading an innovative effort to promote beekeeping on mine reclamation sites in Eastern Kentucky for both economic development and environmental reasons…

A film crew is scheduled to meet with Horn on Nov. 25 at one of the four mine reclamation sites in southeastern Kentucky where bee hives have been established.

Recently, Horn received a $10,000 grant from the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees to conduct an experiment in apiforestation, a term that describes a new form of reclamation focused on the planting of pollinator-friendly flowers and trees. Specifically, Horn is looking at the benefits of sourwood, which “makes one of the finest honeys in the United States…

The funds from the Foundation will provide for MegaBee pollen supplement for the 40 sentinel hives already established at the four mine sites, organic flower seeds to be provided by earthlygoods.com, a honey extractor, replacement queens, and travel expenses.

Horn’s first book was “Bees in America: How the Honeybee Shaped a Nation.” Her second book, to be published in 2009 or 2010, will be entitled “Piping Up: A History of Women and Bees.”

Monday, November 17, 2008

Propolis Recommended for Canker Sores

The Absolute Best Canker Sore Remedies You Don’t Know About
By Janet Malley, Webprime Magazine, 11/16/2008

If you suffer from canker sores, then you know how painful and irritating these recurring ulcerated mouth sores can be. They appear on the inside of your mouth - on the tongue, soft palate (the back portion of the roof of your mouth), or inside your cheeks, and are round, white, or gray in color, with a red edge or border...

Remedies with Anti-viral Properties:

Propolis - Produced by bees, propolis is used as a construction material in bee hives, comprised of a complex of chemicals (especially flavonoids), which play a role as an antiviral agent. Some individuals have allergic reactions to Propolis, and for them, this would not be a good choice…

Bees Make Decisions, Function Without Leader

Press & Sun-Bulletin (USA), 11/16/2008

Question: How does the queen bee know what's going on in the hive?

Answer: This is a very interesting question, especially because you asked "How." So you think the queen bee knows how things go in the hive and controls her castle? This is quite a natural observation, because those bees look very well-orchestrated to work together for the common good in the hive, just like our human society. We have people who are responsible for monitoring and maintaining our communities, such as principals, mayors, and the president. So things must be the same in a colony of those social insects too.

Well, in fact, the mechanism that organizes the bees' society is quite different from that of our society. So the answer to your question is, the queen bee knows nearly NOTHING about what's going on in the hive. Moreover, there is no single individual anywhere in the hive that directs the operation of the whole colony.

The role of the queen bee in the hive is not even remotely close to what people would imagine from the words like "queen" or "king." Biologically, she is the mother of all the workers (female bees) and drones (male bees) in the hive, and laying eggs is the only thing she does for her entire life. Other worker bees usually don't lay eggs, so the queen bee is often considered a specialized "reproductive organ" of the whole hive, a "super-organism" made of many individual bees.

Then, how are those worker bees organized so nicely that they can collaborate to build hives, collect and distribute honey and pollen, and raise their larvae as a community? This question has attracted lots of attention from many scientists for hundreds of years. While details still remain unclear, research has provided more and more evidence showing that those social insects achieve complex tasks in a distributed way, without any central controller. Each individual insect acts following simple behavioral rules, using locally available information only…

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Royal Jelly Antioxidant Properties Decrease with Time of Harvest, Larval Age

Antioxidant Properties of Royal Jelly Associated with Larval Age and Time of Harvest
J. Agric. Food Chem, November 13, 2008

This study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant properties of royal jelly (RJ) collected from larvae of different ages that were transferred in artificial bee queen cells for 24, 48, and 72 h.

RJ harvested from the 1 day old larvae 24 h after the graft displayed predominant antioxidant properties, including scavenging activity of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals, inhibition of linoleic acid peroxidation, and reducing power. Regardless of the initial larval age, lower antioxidant activities were observed in the RJ harvested later than 24 h except for the activity of superoxide dismutase.

In addition, higher contents of proteins and polyphenolic compounds were determined in the RJ harvested 24 h than that harvested 48 or 72 h after the graft. It implied that the polyphenolic compounds may be the major component for giving the antioxidant activities in RJ.

In summary, the time of harvest and the initial larval age did affect the antioxidant potencies in RJ, and RJ collected 24 h after the larval transfer showed the most substantial antioxidant activities.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Green Propolis May Help Treat Breast, Prostate Cancer

Artepillin C (ARC) in Brazilian Green Propolis Selectively Blocks Oncogenic PAK1 Signaling and Suppresses the Growth of NF Tumors in Mice
Phytotherapy Research, 2008 Nov 11

There are mainly three types of propolis whose major anticancer ingredients are entirely different: (1) CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester)-based propolis in Europe, Far East and New Zealand, (2) artepillin C (ARC)-based Brazilian green propolis and (3) Brazilian red propolis.

It was shown previously that NF (neurofibromatosis)-associated tumors require the kinase PAK1 for their growth, and CAPE-based propolis extracts such as Bio 30 suppress completely the growth of NF tumors in vivo by blocking PAK1 signaling. Also it was demonstrated that ARC suppresses angiogenesis, suggesting the possibility that ARC also blocks oncogenic PAK1 signaling.

Here it is shown for the first time that both ARC and green propolis extract (GPE) indeed block the PAK1 signaling selectively, without affecting another kinase known as AKT.

Furthermore, it was confirmed that ARC as well as GPE suppress almost completely the growth of human NF tumor xenografts in mice, as does Bio 30. These results suggest that both CAPE-based and ARC-based propolis extracts are natural anti-PAK1 remedies and could be among the first effective NF therapeutics available on the market.

Since more than 70% of human cancers such as breast and prostate cancers require the kinase PAK1 for their growth, it is quite possible that GPE could be potentially useful for the treatment of these cancers, as is Bio 30.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Turkish Apiculture Journal Seeks Submissions

The Turkish journal Mellifera, a publication of Hacettepe University Apiculture and Bee Products Research and Implementation Centre (HARÜM), is seeking research papers.

Mellifera, which focuses on subjects such as beekeeping, bee products and apitherapy, publishes article titles and abstracts in Turkish while the full text of the articles is in English.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Kadriye Sorkun, Editor, Hacettepe University Faculty of Science Biology Department, 06580, Beytepe, Ankara/TURKEY

E-mail: kadriye@hacettepe.edu.tr

Bees Essential for Biodiesel

Pollinators are vital to agriculture yet are often taken for granted. The number of pollinators has been steadily declining, a dismal prospect that could have unexpected consequences for oilseed crop production and bioenergy as a whole.
By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy
Biodiesel Magazine, December 2008

High vegetable oil prices over the past year have reportedly driven most biodiesel producers to using yellow grease, animal tallow or palm oil as feedstocks, but vegetable oil remains an important and often preferred feedstock. The viability of oilseed crops is as important to the biodiesel industry as is the viability of an end-user market, which is why it’s in the industry’s interest to start paying closer attention to the health of pollinators.

As bees, moths, butterflies, beetles, bats and birds move about feeding on nectar and pollen, they are ensuring the reproduction of almost 90 percent of all flowering plants, according to the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit advocacy group based in California. Pollinators help start the food chain; they are part of the food supply and they pollinate food for the wildlife higher up in the food chain. Without their actions, 75 percent of the plants humans consume as food, fiber, spice or medicine could not reproduce…

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Honey Recommended as ‘Precautionary Measure’ for Dengue Fever

Honey Cures Dengue Fever: Hakeem Khalid
The Post (Pakistan), 11/12/2008

Lahore: Hakeem Qazi MA Khalid, Secretary General Council of Herbal Physicians Pakistan, has said that masses should not be afraid of dengue fever as dengue virus is curable and the patient can recuperate in two weeks with proper treatment and care.

He said the most fatal cases were dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock fever, though the ratio of these cases was 3 to 5 per cent but proper care was important. Qazi Khalid said according to Herbal System of Medicine honey was the best cure for dengue fever.

He prescribed one spoon honey mixed in lukewarm water thrice a day as precautionary measure for dengue virus.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bee Pollen Extract Alleviates Biochemical Impact of Toxin

Effect of Carbaryl on Some Biochemical Changes in Rats: The Ameliorative Effect of Bee Pollen
Food Chem Toxicol, 2008 Oct 21

In this study, 42 female Wistar albino rats, weighing between 200 and 250g, were used and they were divided into six equal groups. Group 1 was allocated as the control group. Rats included in groups 2 and 3 were administered a water-solubilized extract of bee pollen at a dose of 50mg/kg bw/day and 100mg/kg bw/day, respectively. Group 4 received 225mg/kg bw/day carbaryl. Groups 5 and 6 were given a water-solubilized extract of bee pollen at a dose of 50mg/kg bw/day and 100mg/kg bw/day, respectively, plus 225mg/kg bw/day carbaryl

MDA levels and the activities of CAT, SOD and GSH-Px were analysed in blood and tissues (liver, kidney, brain and heart). At the same time, levels/activities of total protein, albumin, glucose, triglyceride, T-cholesterol, T-bilirubin, BUN, creatinine, uric acid, GGT, LDH, AST, ALT and ALP, magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride were evaluated in serum samples.

In conclusion, carbaryl was determined to cause negative changes in most of the oxidative stress markers and serum biochemical parameters investigated. These effects were observed to alleviate with the administration of bee pollen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honey Better at Treating MRSA Infections

Honey Fights Infection
Irish Medical News, 11/10/2008

About one per cent of the population of Ireland stands to benefit from the healing properties of manuka honey, according to a study published last week in A Picture of Health 2008, which highlights 17 Health Research Board-funded research projects and their potential impacts.

The study by specialist wound care nurse, Ms Georgina Gethin, confirmed manuka honey is effective in treating painful leg ulcers. The study author said: “It increases the options available to patients with chronic ulcers. But don’t go out and buy your own – it must be medical grade honey which is sterile and safe to use.”…

In the first clinical trial of its kind, 108 patients received either manuka honey or standard hydrogel treatment. At 12 weeks, the wounds of those treated with honey were more likely to be healed than those treated with hydrogel.

Moreover, 16 of the wounds were infected with hard-to-treat methicillin resistant Staphyl­ococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. Honey eradicated it in 70 per cent of cases, compared to only 16 per cent with hydrogel.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Honey Promotes Growth of Healthy Bacteria

Probiotics, Not So Friendly After All?
New research indicates that many probiotics are ineffective and some may even cause harm. Now scientists say we should switch to prebiotics
By Peta Bee, The Times (UK), 11/10/2008

Over the past two decades, it seemed that our guts had never had it so good. Probiotic products claiming to rid the body of the bad bacteria that causes illness burst on to the market and two million of us now swallow their promise of improved digestive health, provided by so-called “friendly bacteria”. We spend almost £350 million a year on drinks, yoghurts, powders and capsules, in the hope of improving our gut health. But is it money well spent? A growing number of experts think not. While they do not dispute that a balance of gut flora is beneficial, many believe that probiotics are not as helpful as was once thought.

According to some experts, the new bugs on the block - prebiotics, naturally present in food and easily obtained in the diet - are what we should have been taking all along. “Whereas probiotics provide new doses of bacteria, prebiotics nourish and feed the friendly bacteria already present,” Denny explains. Found naturally in breast milk, prebiotics are also present in foods that contain non-digestive carbohydrate (see box). “Substances such as inulin, a non-digestible part of carbohydrate, and oligosaccharides sail through the digestive system and are fermented to boost the immune system.”…

Some honey has prebiotic properties, says the University of Reading and the Instituto de Fermentaciones Industriales in Madrid. Manuka honey from New Zealand has been shown in trials to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria.

Turkish Honey Prevents Liver Damage

Anzer Honey Prevents N-Ethylmaleimide-Induced Liver Damage in Rats
Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology, 2008 Nov 4

N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) is a sulphydryl blocker which impairs the sulphydryl dependent antioxidant system (mainly glutathione) in the body by alkylating endogenous sulphydryls.

This study was designed to investigate the effects of Anzer honey on NEM-induced liver injury in rats…

NEM treatment alone caused a significant reduction of the liver glutathione levels in group 2. Furthermore, NEM treatment caused congestion and mononuclear cell infiltration in the liver when compared to the control group.

In group 3, Anzer honey treatment reversed all the changes in glutathione level, as well as histopathological alterations, normally induced by NEM. The findings imply that depletion of glutathione concentration plays a causal role in NEM-induced liver injury, and that the hepatoprotective effect of Anzer honey may be mediated through sulfhydryl-sensitive processes. They further imply that it may also possess antioxidant properties.

[Editor’s Note: “Anzer Honey” is made from nectar collected from thymus sp in the Artvin and Erzurum regions or Turkey.]

'Clean-Up' Bees Could Save Endangered Hives

Plan to use genetically programmed 'hygienic' breeds to combat parasites
Caroline Davies, The Guardian (UK), 11/9/2008

A British scientist is hoping to reverse the critical decline of the honeybee by breeding 'cleaner bees' to protect hives from potentially devastating diseases.

Francis Ratnieks, the UK's only professor of apiculture, is undertaking pioneering research based on a breed of worker bee genetically programmed to keep hives clean. So-called 'hygienic' bees are responsible for removing dead pupae and larvae from hives, but they only exist in very small numbers.

The Sussex University academic believes that, if more of them can be artificially bred, they will protect hives from parasites such as the varroa mite which last year killed two billion honeybees and wiped out one in three colonies…

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Propolis Helps Heal Elephant’s Wound

Propolis Cure is the Bees Knees
Western Telegraph (UK), 11/9/2008

When beekeeper Ian Richards got a call asking if he could help an injured Buddhist elephant, he was understandably a little taken aback.

The elephant, belonging to the Skanda Vale Buddhist community, near Carmarthen, had cut its leg on barbed wire and its keeper was looking for propolis to aid the healing process.

Ian said: “One of the trainee monks got in touch with me and one of his jobs was to look after the elephant.

“I supplied them with propolis and within a fortnight they got back to me and said it had worked marvellously.”…

New Honey Cooler Soothes Sore Throats

Integrated Beverage Group Launches Children's Throat Cooler
Lab Business Week, November 9, 2008

As cough and cold season rapidly approaches, Integrated Beverage Group, Ltd. (IBG), a manufacturer of innovative sports and nutraceutical products has launched its newest product -- Children's Throat Cooler(R). This non-medicated ready-to-freeze liquid product is a perfect choice for parents who wish to choose a 100% drug free product to help hydrate and rejuvenate their young children's dry, scratchy throats. Throat Cooler(R) is made with honey and 100% Vitamin C in each serving and is meant to be consumed frozen (see also Integrated Beverage Group, Ltd.)…

In the past year, over-the-counter cough and cold medicines have been under scrutiny by doctors and consumer advocates who believe these medicines are unproven and potentially dangerous for young children. These medications have long been sold to fight against coughs and congestion, but recent research shows an increase in the risks of stroke, seizure and other complications, often by taking the wrong doses. As a result, companies have voluntarily stopped selling over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for babies and toddlers. In response to these current events, IBG has created Children's Throat Cooler. It is 100% drug free and safe for children ages 2 and older.

Children's Throat Cooler(R) contains pure honey and 100% of the RDA of Vitamin C for children ages 2 and 3 (66% of the RDA for children 4 years and older) to help support a child's throat health and immune system…

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Propolis Boosts Bees’ Immune Response

International Pollinator Conference Highlights Importance of Bees
U.S. continues efforts to protect declining pollinator populations
By Daniel Gorelick, U.S. Department of State, 11/7/2008

Numbers of bees, birds and other pollinating animals are declining, posing a threat to the survival of thousands of plants used for food, fibers and medicines, according to scientists and government officials at the eighth annual international conference of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC)…

NAPPC also funds research on bee health, some of which was featured at the 2008 meeting. Marla Spivack, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota, studies propolis, a tree resin that protects leaf buds from infections.

Propolis has anti-microbial properties and has been shown to suppress HIV replication in the laboratory. Bees line their hives with propolis like caulk. Spivack’s preliminary studies suggest that treating laboratory bees with propolis reduces the number of bacteria and helps their immune responses. She is now repeating these studies in the field using more bees, hoping that propolis may be a useful tool in the fight to save the bees.

Bee Venom Aids Arthritis Pain Relief

By Mark John, My Q10, 10/30/2008

As far back as 400 B.C., Hippocrates - the Greek physician, used bee venom to treat joint pain and swelling, in fact bee venom therapy has been with us since the birth of medicine itself. Reference’s to the treatment go all the way back to ancient Egypt and Greece. The medical or correct name for the procedure is ‘Apitherapy’, the technique is more widely used in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. Today many people still find this therapy helpful when addressing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and osteoarthritis (OA).

Honeybee venom contains many active substances one of which is ‘Mellitin’, an anti-inflammatory agent which is known to be more than one hundred times stronger than cortisone. These substances stimulate the body’s release of the hormone cortisol as well as neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, all of which can help relieve the pain, stiffness and swelling of arthritis…

Is Bee Venom A Proven Method for treating Arthritis?

Apitherapy remains a largely unproven method, but having said that, a small number of doctors have reported some good results using the substance to treat arthritic conditions…

If you do decide you would like to try bee stings, speak with your doctor. It’s important that you be prepared for a severe allergic reaction by having a bee sting allergy kit on hand - even if you’ve never reacted negatively to bee stings in the past. Although the side effects of bee-venom therapy usually are mild, an allergic reaction to a sting could potentially be deadly…

Friday, November 07, 2008

Antibiotic Detected in Bee Products 332 Days After Treatment

Study of the Distribution and Depletion of Chloramphenicol Residues in Bee Products Extracted from Treated Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Colonies
Apidologie 39 (2008) 537-546, Published online 28 October 2008

Bee colonies were dosed with chloramphenicol (CAP) 1.0 g per hive (single dose in sucrose solution). Samples of honey were then collected at intervals over a 48-week period and samples of royal jelly, beeswax, honeybees and brood collected at intervals over a 12 week period…

These results indicate that use of CAP can be detected up to 332 days after dosing even if the shook swarm procedure is used in an attempt to clean the hives. There was no evidence of any significant formation of bound CAP-glucose conjugates in honey.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Royal Jelly May Prevent Insulin Resistance, Hypertension

Royal Jelly Ameliorates Insulin Resistance in Fructose-Drinking Rats
Biol Pharm Bull, 2008 Nov;31(11):2103-7

Royal jelly (RJ) produced by honey bees is known to contain three major nutrients including amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, RJ has various biological activities such as a hypotensive effect, insulin-like action and antitumor activity. Therefore, it is possible that RJ may have some effects on insulin resistance, which is considered to be a cause of various lifestyle-related diseases…

In conclusion, the present study suggests that RJ is a food with health-promoting benefits, containing bioactive substances that improve not only insulin resistance, but also hypertension via indirectly vascular control dysfunction regulated by adrenergic and CGRPergic nerves in the hyperinsulinemic state. Additionally, the present study suggests that daily RJ intake would be effective to prevent the development of insulin resistance and hypertension.

Honey Degradation Marker Examined

Degradation of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural in Honey
Journal of Food Science, Volume 73 Issue 9, Pages C625 - C631, Published Online: 17 Oct 2008

5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is the most important intermediate product of the acid-catalyzed dehydration reaction of hexoses and/or Maillard reaction; furthermore, it is the most used index to evaluate thermal damages or ageing in food products…

This study reports the findings concerning the degradation kinetics of HMF, in honeys of different floral origin at a temperature between 25 and 50 °C…

The fluctuation of HMF in honeys could depend on the equilibrium between the accumulation and the degradation processes. This can affect the validity of HMF as storage index in some honeys, above all during the analysis of those honeys whose legislation is too restrictive (citrus) or in chestnut honey analysis where it does not accumulate.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Honey Used to Preserve Tissue Samples

Data on Life Sciences Reported by R. Almaaini and Co-Researchers
Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week, 8 November 2008

(NewsRx.com) -- "The preservative and antimicrobial powers of honey have been known for centuries. Recently, it has been shown that tissues preserved in low concentrations of honey and stained with hematoxylin and eosin yield results comparable with tissues that have been conventionally fixed in formalin," investigators in Wales report…

The researchers concluded: "These results Support the use of 10% honey as an alternative to formalin in the histological demonstration of connective tissues without the need for amendments to existing laboratory protocols."

Almaaini and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Histotechnology (Honey as an alternative to formalin in the demonstration of connective tissue components. Journal of Histotechnology, 2008;31(2):67-72).Add Image

New Book Examines Colony Collapse Disorder

What’s Killing the Honeybees?
By Paul Comstock, California Literary Review, 11/4/2008

CLR INTERVIEW: Rowan Jacobsen is an environmental writer living in Vermont. His most recent book is Fruitless Fall, an investigation into the collapse of honeybee colonies throughout the world. Below is Rowan’s interview with the California Literary Review...

What is CCD? When did it start, and what is the current status of honeybee colonies throughout the world?

Colony Collapse Disorder first showed up in the fall of 2006, though there were a few signs of it in 2005. Honeybee populations, which had been slowly declining for decades, suddenly fell off a cliff. 31 percent of America’s honeybees died that winter, and another 36 percent died last winter. The situation is similar in most other developed countries. No one knows what is causing CCD, though there are a few leading suspects.

What would happen to us if honeybees were to completely die off?

More than 100 crops, about a third of the calories we eat, require cross-pollination by honeybees. The grain staples such as corn, rice, and oats are wind-pollinated, but most of the stuff that adds color to our plates and vitamins and antioxidants to our diets—apples, pears, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, plums, melons, cucumbers, zucchini, almonds, macadamia nuts, and so on—would disappear. Plants like lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and onions, which don’t make edible fruits but need to make seeds for next year’s supply, also rely on bees. Bees also cross-pollinate the forage crops, like alfalfa and clover, that are vital to many dairying and beef cattle operations. And don’t forget honey, of course…

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Honey Effective in Treating Leg Ulcers

Honey's On Menu for a Healthy Life
By Grainne Cunningham, Independent (Ireland), 11/4/2008

It's the little things that count -- eating up your greens, chatting to your family and friends and plain old honey are all key to staying healthy, new research has shown.

'A picture of health 2008' is a booklet capturing outcomes from research funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) and it demonstrates that the path to good health includes some fairly simple remedies.

One study, conducted at the Royal College of Surgeons, has discovered that manuka honey is a highly effective method of treating wounds such as leg ulcers.

During a clinical trial, 108 patients received either manuka honey or the standard treatment, hydrogel.

After 12 weeks, the wounds of those treated with honey were more likely to have healed. The honey also eradicated a dangerous infection that was present in some of the wounds in 70pc of cases, compared with a success rate of just 16pc for hydrogel.

Manuka honey is now available as a medical therapy for wound treatment, but don't go out and buy your own as it must be medical-grade honey which is sterile and safe to use...

Airline Looks at Propolis Cabin Spray

A Life in the Day: Gloria Havenhand, Beekeeper
The bee fanatic, 63, looks after a million bees at Troway Hall, her home in Derbyshire, and also runs the bee-product company Medibee. Her husband, Donald, owns a steelworks. They have two sons, Giles and Julian
The Times (UK), 11/2/2008

Bees are the most fascinating creatures on the planet. They collect tree resins and gums to make propolis, which is the greatest antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal system in the world. They use it to plug every crack in the hive, but Florence Nightingale used it in the Crimea for its healing properties. I’ve been asked by a major airline to look into making a propolis mist to spray into the cabins. The beehive — a totally sterile environment — is nature’s pharmacy…

Chinese Beekeepers Facing Unknown Menace

Mystery Bee Deaths Puzzling Guangdong
China Internet Information Center, 11/3/2008

Beekeepers in Shixing County in southern China's Guangdong Province are facing an unknown menace that is threatening to wipe out their bees and their livelihoods.

At the start of this year Lu Chunguang had 40 hives and about 2.4 million honeybees. But in early July he noticed something strange. "Every morning, at about eight, the bees would fly out of their hives. Some of the bees wobbled, then circled around and dropped dead," said the farmer who has lost ten hives and almost a quarter of his bees in the last three months. "The abdomens of the dead bees were stiff and swollen."…

Monday, November 03, 2008

Study Says Honey Eases Cough, Improves Sleep

PakTribune, 11/3/2008

ISLAMABAD: A spoonful of honey can ease children`s night-time cough and help them and their parents sleep better, an American study reveals.

There is currently no proven effective treatment for cough due to an upper respiratory infection like the common cold.

While dextromethorphan (a cough syrup ingredient) is widely used, there is no evidence that it works, Health news reported.

Honey is used around the world as a home remedy for cough, and might provide a safe, effective alternative to a cough medicine.

According to American researchers from the Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, compared buckwheat honey, with a honey-flavoured dextromethorphan preparation and no treatment in 105 children, 2 to 18 years of age, who had sought treatment for night-time coughs due to colds.

Honey is a more effective cough remedy for children than many over-the-counter medications, according to a new study…

Video: Collecting Malaysian 'Tualang' (Apis Dorsata) Honey

video

Honey Reduces Muslim Pilgrims’ Sore Throat, Rhinitis

The Role of Honey in Alleviating Respiratory Syndromes Among Malysian Haj Pilgrims
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

Background: Annually in the Muslim month of Zulhijjah, Muslims from the world over congregate in Mekah to perform the fifth tenet of Islam; the Haj. As a result of overcrowding, physical exhaustion, anxiety and other stress factors, many pilgrims suffer from acute respiratory symptoms. The hot-dry atmospheric air exacerbates the problems.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the role of honey in alleviating acute respiratory symptoms among Malaysian hajj pilgrims.

Methodology: The study had 2 parts; a cross-sectional prevalence study and nonrandomized control study conducted on Malaysian pilgrims during the 1407/2007 haj season. The prevalence study was conducted using survey questionnaire forms. The nonrandomized control trial was conducted by giving two kilograms of ‘Madu Tualang” honey per subject where they were requested to consume 20 g twice daily throughout the 42 - day hajj period. The subjects of this controlled trial were requested to record the respiratory symptoms daily in the diary provided. The outcomes were compared with the control group who did not take honey nor receiving flu vaccination. The results of the prevalence study were analysed using STATA and the interventional study using repeated measures ANOVA using SPSS software.

Results: In the prevalence study, 394 pilgrims completed and returned the survey forms; 219 males and 173 were females [2 persons did not state their gender]…

Results from the interventional study showed that the group that received honey has significantly lower percentage of symptoms on sore throat and rhinitis during the third week of the haj period. No significant differences were noted in the symptoms of cough and fever.

Conclusion: Honey has some beneficial effect in reducing some common respiratory symptoms among haj pilgrims. Honey, “Madu Lebah Tualang – Agromas,” is significantly effective in reducing sore throat and rhinitis on the mid hajj period amongst Malaysia Hajj pilgrims. It is therefore suggested that honey could be adopted as one of the prophylactic measures in reducing acute respiratory symptoms among pilgrims.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

New Korean Bee Venom Collector

ChungJin Biotech Develops a New Electro-Stimulation Bee Venom Collector and World's First Digital Honeybee Artificial Insemination Instrument
Business Wire, 10/31/2008

ChungJin Biotech Co., Ltd, a manufacturer of Bee Venom Collector and fluid bed granulation coating machines in South Korea, announced today that they have developed a new electro-stimulation Bee Venom Collator and the world’s first Honeybee Artificial Insemination Instrument with integrated digital screen. Along with their development, the company also announced that they will begin global marketing with these products, focusing on Europe and Latin America.

ChungJin’s new Bee Venom Collector extracts bee-venom through an electrical shock to a live bee, while minimizing the time spent for the electricity of 12V for the shock. As a result, the death rate of the bees used in the machine is reduced significantly. Also, it uses safety glass, stainless, and enhanced plastic material in order to achieve superb safety, durability, and lightweight convenience for producers at bee farms…

Choul-Koo Kim, CEO and president of ChungJin Biotech, said, “Compared to current products in the market, ChungJin’s new Bee Venom Collector provide very efficient bee venom collection by minimizing the damages to the bees and therefore generate more profits for the bee farms. Also, ChungJin`s Honeybee artificial Insemination Instrument is integrated with digital media device, which helps saving the cost for the machine since it doesn’t require any additional devices for the insemination process.”

“Because of the side effects from abusing antibiotics, there are numerous researches around the world to find the replacement for it. Bee Venoms are well known as natural antibiotics, which means that there is a great potential for bee venoms market and lots of opportunities ahead of us,” he added...

Antimicrobial Bee Venom Peptide Identified

Melectin: A Novel Antimicrobial Peptide from the Venom of the Cleptoparasitic Bee Melecta albifrons
ChemBioChem, Published Online: 22 Oct 2008

A novel antimicrobial peptide designated melectin was isolated from the venom of the cleptoparasitic bee Melecta albifrons…

Synthetic melectin exhibited antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and -negative bacteria and it degranulated rat peritoneal mast cells, but its hemolytic activity was low…