Judd Jones, The Coeur d' Alene Press, November 30, 2013
This week, I have "8 Apitherapy Questions" for Frank Wiedemann. Frank has been a bee enthusiast for more than 30 years. He has given classes on beekeeping and apitherapy, and is an engaging public speaker with a passion for spreading the good news about bees. He is a member of the American Apitherapy Society and regularly attends courses and conferences with leaders in the field.
Frank is an avid believer in the health properties of bee venom and other natural remedies derived from the hive. He is a practicing apitherapist and is CMACC trained. Frank has experience in commercial beekeeping and currently raises bees on his property in Idaho.
Ramey's IS 2012
Q: Frank, can you give us a brief understanding of apitherapy?
A: Apitherapy is a holistic medicine where all products from bees are used to promote good health. These products include: honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom. The use of bee products as medicine has been recorded for over 8,000 years. In China, there is evidence that acupuncture had its origins from bee venom therapy.
Q: How would athletes and fitness enthusiasts apply the use of apitherapy to support their exercise programs?
A: People with active lifestyles can improve their energy and endurance levels by using bee products. For maximum benefit it is important to use all or as many different bee products as possible. Bee products have a synergetic effect when used in combination with each other. I suggest taking 1 tablespoon honey and one tablespoon bee pollen twice each day. Also once each day a propolis and royal jelly supplement. Two to three hours before an event or extreme workout, I suggest taking one or two extra tablespoons of pollen for that extra energy boost.
Q: Many mainstream athletes take bee pollen before competitions what is the benefit of the pollen before a workout or event?
A: Despite many athletes consuming bee pollen prior to events or workouts, there is no conclusive evidence which supports that pollen has ergogenic properties. Components in bee pollen vary from region to region but pollen mainly consists of 20 to 40 percent proteins, 55 percent carbohydrates, 1 to 2 percent fats, 3 percent minerals. Bee pollen is close to being a whole food; one teaspoon of bee pollen is equivalent to a hearty serving of vegetables. As to the benefits of taking bee pollen prior to heavy physical exertion, I'm all for it but it does remain a mystery as to how the compounds in bee pollen interact. We do not fully understand the significance of some flavonoids, carotenoids and phytosterols in bee pollen. The full physiological effects of bee pollen on the human body remains to be determined. For now anecdotal information is plenty good for me.
Q: Why use raw honey over processed honey as an energy source of your workouts?
A: It's very simple: Raw, multiflower, unheated, unfiltered and unprocessed honey is loaded with natural sugars, antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, anti-inflammatories, phytochemicals, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals just to name a few. Natural honey is an instant energy-building powerhouse. Processed honey is generally heated (over 140 degrees F), this will destroy all beneficial qualities in honey and you might as well be using white sugar, also: filtered or otherwise processed honey will jeopardize quality.
Q: Can aspects of apitherapy help you with healing and recovery after exercise?
A: Yes, bee pollen, honey, propolis and venom are all anti-inflammatory and help reduce pain and recovery. Bee pollen mixed half and half with raw honey is good after a hard workout. As far as injuries are concerned, I suggest bee venom therapy as it stimulates various healing responses in our bodies.