Tuesday, January 20, 2009

‘Dr. Sting’ Demonstrates Bee Venom Therapy

'Butterfly Guy' Flutters By Master Gardener Seminar
By T.C. Conner, The Write Gardener, 1/19/2009

Avid gardeners and other interested parties didn’t let a winter storm that dropped over seven inches of snow last Saturday stop them from attending the Mercer County Master Gardener’s ’Come Grow With Us!’ seminar. Guest speakers Rick Mikula, Jim Higgins, and Scott Weikert presented the day-long seminar at Mercer County Cooperative Extension, Leslie N. Firth Learning Center on Route 19, one mile north of Mercer. Approximately 55 brave travelers attended…

The next speaker was Jim Higgins from Hillsboro, Ohio. Higgins is a beekeeper and president of the Highland County Beekeepers Association. ’Dr. Sting,’ as Higgins is referred to by fellow beekeepers, administers bee stings from his home for various ailments including arthritis, hormonal problems, tennis elbow, bursitis, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

During his presentation, Higgins asked if anyone was experiencing sinus problems. ’How many of you in here have a sinus problem right now?’ Several hands were raised. ’If you will eat a teaspoon of honey, wax and all, check your watch, in 30 minutes or less your sinuses are going to open up and be fine for the day,’ Higgins said. This type of therapy is known as apitherapy and includes six products from bee hives: honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom.

Higgins astonished the audience by allowing himself to be stung on the wrist by a honeybee. His display of apitherapy products included a screened box of several honeybees for just this purpose. ’The stinger has three points to it, nestled together with a little cavity between the three points that becomes Mother Nature’s hypodermic needle,’ Higgins said. ’Two of those points have barbs at the sides, so when it hits you, one of these will seat under the skin and hold so that the other one can go in,’ Higgins explained.

He also pointed out that after stinging, the honeybee dies within 24 hours because it disembowels itself after depositing its stinger. The stinger has a bulbous sac loaded with venom, and the sac acts as a pumping unit for discharging venom.

Higgins likened this process to a computer system. ’Bees don’t have the nervous system that you and I have; it’s kind of like having computer chips hither and thither around the body that do their thing in their part of the body independent of the rest of the body.’…

No comments: