Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Book Looks at Honey Trade Worldwide

Honey of a Book Tells Sticky, Sweet Tale
Otago Daily Times (New Zealand), 5/31/2008

Honey is more than just a breakfast spread. It may just hold the key to the future of our food supply.

THE HONEY SPINNER: On the trail of ancient honey, vanishing bees and the politics of liquid gold
Grace Pundyk
Pier 9, pbk, $40

Review by Charmian Smith

There is a trend for authors to trace certain products around the world, writing a sort of travel book, memoir, history and exploration of a topic all rolled into one.

Australian journalist Grace Pundyk picks honey and honeybees as her topic, and follows them along the sticky road from Yemen to Australia, from Borneo to China and through the big honey-packing businesses in the United Kingdom and United States.

It is not all sweetness and light, despite the heavenly wild honeys she discovers along the way…

Until people started asking about CCD nobody paid much attention to bees and honey, arguing that if honey could be imported more cheaply, why should they bother with a home-grown product.

But honey is individual to the country and its vegetation - we treasure New Zealand manuka, kamahi, and beech forest honeydew honeys; across the ditch Tasmanian leatherwood and the various gum-tree honeys are enjoyed, while in the Middle East people will pay $150 for a jar of sidr honey from Yemen.

Pundyk travels with nomadic beekeepers in Yemen and in Australia who take their hives around the country to wherever the crops are flowering.

She visits New Zealand to explore the unusual antiseptic properties of manuka honey and chart the spread of the varroa mite from the north to Wellington on a truckload of logs in which a swarm of bees was nesting.

She finds NGOs promoting non-timber forest products and helping tribal wild honey collectors in the jungles of Borneo…

Organic Honey Production Increases in Cuba

GUANTANAMO, Cuba, May 30 (Cuban News Agency) A notable increase in the production of organic honey was reported by co-ops in the easternmost province of Guantanamo, which have nearly doubled projected production amounts for this time of year.

More than 40 tons of environmentally friendly, organic honey -in high demand in the international market- was produced. The increase in the production was achieved thanks to good weather conditions with perfect temperatures and rains that favored fields in the municipalities of Guantanamo, San Antonio del Sur and Imias…

Molan: Manuka Tests May Give Different Results, Yet Still Be Accurate

Honey Ratings System Under Fire
All About Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand), 5/30/2008

A honey industry association which owns a ratings system for medical honey today stepped up the level of tit-for-tat retaliation with a dissident honey company.

The rebel company, Manuka Health Ltd, last night alleged the Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) had known for two years that laboratory tests of the antibacterial action in some manuka honey can vary by up to 50 percent when the same sample is tested…

Professor Peter Molan, of Waikato University, who set up the UMF standard, said microbiological assays always have a degree of error because living organisms -- such as the bacteria used in the tests -- varied.

"If tests are done repeatedly on the same sample of honey -- and within the range the assay was designed to be used for -- the variation is within one UMF unit," he said. The assay tests were originally designed for UMF values up to 20 -- because that was the highest level of activity found before apiarists started to heat the honey to raise the activity level. The tests could be used for more active levels, if the honey was diluted.

Prof Molan said natural honey could vary in its chemical composition within the same drum of honey, and successive samples from the same drum could give different results, yet still be accurate.

Prof Molan spent years researching "active" manuka honey and his work has been developed by apiarists using the UMF umbrella to create a market for medical honey, wound dressings and similar products which they say are worth more than $100 million...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Honeybees Thrive on New York City Rooftops

It’s Spring, and Many Honeybees Choose to Call New York Home
By Marc Santora and Kareem Fahim, The New York Times, 5/28/2008

Thousands of years of evolution and cultivation have led honeybees to seek certain qualities in a home — the ideal being something like a hollowed-out wooden tree limb.

A few hundred years of construction by humans in New York City, it turns out, have resulted in an abundance of structures that mimic the conditions bees like best — from the water towers that dot the rooftops to the cornices and overhangs that adorn the buildings.

And each year about this time, thousands of bees swarm to those sites in the city, setting up hives and causing a certain amount of apprehension among the people who spot them…

Although raising bees in New York City has long been a violation of the city health code, the rooftops make an ideal place to keep honeybees and there is a thriving illegal bee scene…

Manuka Honey Group Rejects Claim of Varying Antibacterial Test Results

AMHA Brand Manager John Rawcliffe Responds to Manuka Health Test Claims

May 29, 2008 - “The Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) refutes claims made today by former member Manuka Health Limited that the rating test for the antibacterial effectiveness of UMF honey gives varying results for the same batch of honey.

“The 50% variance claim is simply not true for the majority of natural UMF honey. AMHA is concerned where natural honey is adulterated.

“Initial research shows that at lower levels of UMF honey there is no measurable methylglyoxal component. AMHA has also been carrying out research into methylglyoxal and invited Manuka Health to work with us in November 2007. Manuka Health did not support AMHA’s research into this area and also refused to provide product samples.”

For further information:

Christine Meads
M: 027 294 0823

Thursday, May 29, 2008

German Company Rejects US Honey Plot Accusations

Associated Press, 5/28/2008

BERLIN - A German company on Wednesday rejected U.S. accusations that it imported honey in violation of customs regulations and pledged to defend itself "with all legal means."

U.S. authorities announced on Tuesday that two executives of Hamburg-based Alfred L. Wolff GmbH had been arrested on federal charges of conspiring to import to the U.S. honey that was contaminated with an illegal antibiotic from China...

Manuka Honey Row Escalates

NZPA, 5/29/2008

A Te Awamutu honey company at odds with other New Zealand apiarists promoting anti-bacterial manuka honey claims rating tests for medical effectiveness gives varying results for the same batches of honey.

Manuka Health NZ Ltd, said today that the wider manuka honey industry had failed to disclose that repeated tests on the same sample can vary by up to 50 per cent in terms of its anti-bacterial effectiveness.

It said New Zealand Laboratory Services Ltd had stated two years ago there was a problem with the "repeatability" of results for honeys rated at UMF 20 with high anti-bacterial activity levels.

Manuka Health has been in dispute with the Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) - which watchdogs the unique manuka factor (UMF) rating system and its associated brand - and has funded German researchers who say measuring a specific chemical compound is a more reliable rating method.

The German researchers announced two years ago that a natural compound, methylglyoxal, is responsible for manuka honey's unique antibacterial properties.

This chemical can be measured with an accuracy of 2-3 per cent.

Industry observers are concerned the argument may cause confusion among customers of UMF honey products - including medical items such as wound dressings - which are worth more than $100 million…

Manuka Expose´ - UMF Test ‘Inaccurate and Unreliable’

Honey Companies Knew UMF Test Was Inaccurate
Scoop Independent News (New Zealand), 5/29/2008

Manuka honey companies which rely on the UMF test for anti-bacterial activity have known for five years it is inaccurate and unreliable.

A newspaper distributed today across the manuka honey industry reveals the UMF test is “not repeatable”, with results from multiple tests on the same sample varying by up to 50%.

The UMF (unique manuka factor) test is the basis of domestic and export manuka honey and honey product markets worth more than $100 million a year.

The Manuka Expose´ newspaper publishes excerpts from minutes of a meeting of the Active Manuka Honey Association and a letter to AMHA from the testing laboratory which show test problems were known to honey companies in 2003.

Manuka Expose´ is published by Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd which uses the recently-discovered active ingredient methylglyoxal to measure anti-bacterial strength.

When Manuka Health launched MGO™ manuka honey earlier this year, AMHA invalidly terminated the company’s membership and revoked its licence to use the UMF brand.

In an article headed “Test lab, producers knew of UMF errors” the tabloid paper says the UMF test is based on an agar diffusion technique “used as a screening method to give a general classification of anti-bacterial activity”.

“Micobiologists never use the method as a precise measurement,” the paper says. “Because of the variation inherent in the technique, results are normally interpreted as part of a range.”

“Despite this, AMHA adopted UMF as an exact measure — with unfortunate consequences for beekeepers, honey producers and consumers.”…

See Related Story: Tabloid Calls for Active Ingredient Test

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Honey Recommended as Facial Mask

Sweet Like Sugar
The Examiner (USA), 5/27/2008

...Raw honey does amazing things for humans' bodies, inside and out. It carries a wealth of enzymes, minerals and vitamins. It lightens skin discoloration as well as exfoliating, and raw, unpasteurized honey's antibacterial properties make it an effective wound dressing.

Manuka honey, indigenous only to certain parts of New Zealand and Australia, is the product of bees that pollinate the Manuka, or Tea Tree bush.

Tea Tree oil has long been used as an antibacterial agent, and honey that is produced by bees who nosh on Manuka blossoms in a pure, unpolluted environment is positively turbo-powered. To wit: a ratings system devised solely for Manuka honey, called the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor-I am not making that up)…

Well, whatever it is and however it works, I'm in Honey Love. I have seen actual evidence in Manuka honey's astonishing antibacterial power since beginning to use pure Manuka honey as a facial mask…

Vietnamese Apiculture Hurt by EU Import Ban

The Decline of Apiculture
VietNamNet, 5/28/2008

The fall of honey output and the European Union’s temporary ban on Vietnamese honey have disrupted Vietnamese apiculture.

“Regulation” bans beekeeping

Dinh Quyet Tam, Secretary General of the Vietnam Beekeeping Association, said Vietnam’s honey output has decreased because of unfavourable weather and the ban on beekeeping in some provinces…

European honey importers are asking Vietnamese honey to contain no more than 18.5% water while Vietnam’s standard is 22.5%. They have also requested that honey processors apply HACCP standards, which take time and money.

Bui Phuong Hoa, Deputy Director of the Central Veterinary Hygiene Centre, said the centre has a honey quality testing system and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development assigned the Veterinary Agency to collect bee samples from beekeeping farms for analysis. The Veterinary Agency initially registered to check for 20 quality standards, which has increased to 34 at present at the request of honey-importing countries. The EU recently sent experts to Vietnam to supervise honey quality…

Execs Arrested in Plot to Import Contaminated Chinese Honey

German Food Company Executives Arrested in Plot to Import Honey Illegally from China
The Associated Press, 5/28/2008

CHICAGO: Two executives of a German-based company have been arrested on federal charges of conspiring to import honey contaminated with an illegal antibiotic from China, authorities announced Tuesday.

Prosecutors issued a statement saying the honey was falsely labeled as coming from such countries as Russia and Ukraine to avoid paying antidumping duties and contained an antibiotic that was not approved for use in food-producing animals, including bees.

A search of the Chicago offices of Hamburg-based Alfred L. Wolff GmbH showed that a shipment of honey was sold to a company in Texas even though it was found to have contained the antibiotic, authorities said…

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Review: Use of Medical Honey in Wound Care

Medical Honey for Wound Care—Still the ‘Latest Resort’?
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, January 7, 2008

In this review, we put our clinical experience into a broader perspective to comment on the use of medical honey in wound care. More prospective randomized studies on a wider range of types of wounds are needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of medical honey in wound care.

Nonetheless, the current evidence confirming the antibacterial properties and additional beneficial effects of medical honey on wound healing should encourage other wound care professionals to use CE-certified honey dressings with standardized antibacterial activity, such as MedihoneyTM products, as an alternative treatment approach in wounds of different natures…

Monday, May 26, 2008

Honey Bee Losses Continue to Rise in U.S.

ScienceDaily (May 26, 2008) — Colony Collapse Disorder, diseases, parasitic mites and other stressors continue to take a devastating toll on U.S. honey bee populations, but Pennsylvania beekeepers on average fared better than their counterparts nationally during this past winter, according to apiculture experts in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences…

Video: Local Honey for Allergies

Fox 29 – Philadelphia: Local honey could help allergy sufferers cope.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Video: Chinese Use Bee Venom to Treat Arthritis, Pain

Clinic in Beijing, China, Uses Bee Venom Therapy to Treat Rheumatism, Arthritis, Pain, Liver Disease, and Cancer

Britain's Honeybee Could Be Extinct Within a Decade

So What's Plan Bee?
By Simon Garfield, The Observer (UK), 5/25/2008

They are nature's most productive workers, the farmer's friend and the essence of wholesome country life. But within a decade Britain's honeybee could be extinct. Simon Garfield meets the keepers battling a killer disease that's already wiped out a third of America's colonies – and now threatens our own…

Germany Bans Chemicals Linked to Honeybee Devastation

By Alison Benjamin, The Guardian (UK), 5/23/2008

Germany has banned a family of pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has suspended the registration for eight pesticide seed treatment products used in rapeseed oil and sweetcorn.

The move follows reports from German beekeepers in the Baden-Württemberg region that two thirds of their bees died earlier this month following the application of a pesticide called clothianidin…

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Study: Manuka Honey Dressings Decrease Wound pH, Size

The Impact of Manuka Honey Dressings on the Surface pH of Chronic Wounds
International Wound Journal, Volume 5 Issue 2 Page 185-194, May 2008

Abstract: Chronic non healing wounds have an elevated alkaline environment. The acidic pH of Manuka honey makes it a potential treatment for lowering wound pH, but the duration of effect is unknown. Lowering wound pH can potentially reduce protease activity, increase fibroblast activity and increase oxygen release consequently aiding wound healing.

The aim of this study was to analyse the changes in surface pH and size of non healing ulcers following application of Manuka honey dressing after 2 weeks. The study was an open label, non randomised prospective study. Patients presenting consecutively with non healing chronic superficial ulcers, determined by aetiology and no reduction in wound size in previous 3 weeks…

The use of Manuka honey dressings was associated with a statistically significant decrease in wound pH and a reduction in wound size. Elevated pH readings at the start were associated with minimal reduction in size. Surface wound pH measurements may contribute to objective wound assessments, but further research is necessary to determine its exact contribution.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Video: Honey Used to Treat Diabetic Ulcers, Allergies, Coughs

Sweet Remedy Could Treat Variety of Ailments
By Sylvia Perez, ABC 7 (USA), 5/22/2008

In laboratories around the world, scientists are doggedly searching for new medical treatments. And it turns out a "sweet remedy" that's been used for thousands of years may be one of the most promising…

Honey is now being used to treat a long list of ailments including stubborn diabetic ulcers. And some people swear by its ability to lessen seasonal allergies...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Honey Effective in Reducing Radiochemotherapy-Induced Mucositis

Honey as Topical Prophylaxis Against Radiochemotherapy-Induced Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer
The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 19 May 2008

Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of pure natural honey as prophylaxis against radiochemotherapy-induced mucositis, through clinical scoring of oral and oropharyngeal mucositis, and culturing of pathogenic oral and oropharyngeal microbes.

Patients and methods: The study was done in Assiut University Hospital, Egypt, between January 2005 and July 2006. Forty patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer were entered into the trial. Enrolled patients were randomised to either the treatment group, receiving concomitant chemotherapy and radiotherapy (with a significant area of directly visible oral and/or oropharyngeal mucosa included in the radiation fields) plus prior topical application of pure natural honey, or the control group, receiving concomitant chemotherapy and radiotherapy without honey. Patients were evaluated clinically every week to assess development of radiation mucositis. Aerobic cultures and candida colonisation assessment were undertaken, via oral and oropharyngeal swabs, prior to and at the completion of irradiation, and when infection was evident.

Results: In the treatment group, no patients developed grade four mucositis and only three patients (15 per cent) developed grade three mucositis. In the control group, 13 patients (65 per cent) developed grade three or four mucositis.

Conclusion: This study shows that prophylactic use of pure natural honey was effective in reducing mucositis resulting from radiochemotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wound-Healing Honey Featured in National Geographic Magazine

Derma Sciences MEDIHONEY(TM) Dressing Featured in National Geographic

PRINCETON, N.J., May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Derma Sciences, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: DSCI), a provider of advanced wound-care products, announced today that National Geographic highlighted its MEDIHONEY(TM) Dressing with Active Leptospermum (Manuka) Honey in the June issue of the journal. The full-page story ran in the Health section, and was titled "Sweet Fix".

CEO Ed Quilty commented, "This is another great example of exposure of our technology by a large, well-respected member of the media. To date, MEDIHONEY has been featured on dedicated television news segments on various ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates, has been featured in dedicated print newspaper articles in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among many other newspapers nationwide and on the prestigious radio program Marketplace.

All this activity helps to raise awareness by clinicians and consumers alike. The piece in National Geographic further validates that the technology is resonating with a wide group of people. This level of interest has helped us to build our salesforce, and we look forward to bringing the product line to retail pharmacy chains by the end of this year."

Ugandan Bee Population Threatened by Black Ants

Black Ants a Threat to Bee Population, Honey Industry
By Kikonyogo Ngatya, New Vision (Uganda), 5/20/2008

A common type of black ants has been singled out as the most devastating pest to bees in Uganda. The insects commonly called munyeera in Luganda, nginingini in Luo, attack beehives, suck out the honey and kill the bee pupae and eggs.

They are too small to be counter-attacked by beehive guards. They make the bees flee the hives…

Most honey producers prefer apis mellifera and asonii bees species. But six other species of sting less trigonid bees are widely kept.

There are also other exotic species being kept. However, these bees often die when their environment is degraded, they are invaded by toxic pasture species, or when Poor harvest technologies and agro-chemical are used.

During harvesting of honey, hives are crudely attacked at night and in the process many bees die as honey is extracted. Some studies by Makerere University say exotic plant species like lantana camara poison bees and kill them. Normally, the bees would instinctively avoid landing on the toxic plants in their hunt for nectar. However, during drought when other crops have withered, the toxic plants tend to be drought resistant, flower and subsequently attract bees…

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Propolis: Creating a Buzz as a Natural Preservative

Food Engineering & Ingredients, 5/1/2008

Preservatives are an essential ingredient for most foods and beverages. Despite the effectiveness of synthetic preservatives such as sodium benzoate, consumers are increasingly demanding all-natural ingredients. Natural preservatives are therefore growing in appeal.

Bee propolis, already widely known as a nutritional supplement, may represent an attractive option for food manufacturers seeking natural preservatives as a means to differentiate their products. However, differences in the composition of propolis collected by honey bees from varying regions will mean that suppliers will need to standardise their extracts...

Propolis Toothpaste Introduced in Japan

Propolis Antibacterial Toothpaste
Cosmetics & Toiletries & Household Products Marketing News, 5/25/2008

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical has released "Polis Guard" an antibacterial/anti-inflammatory toothpaste product formulated with natural propolis to help prevent common gum diseases such as pyorrhoea in addition to general irritation and bleeding. In addition to its mild antibacterial properties, the propolis (A natural antibacterial agent produced by bees and positioned around the entrance to the hive to prevent infections) also helps keep the mouth feeling fresh long after brushing…

Is Apitherapy Right for You?

Can Getting Stung by Bees Actually Heal?
By Michael Segers, Associated Content, 5/19/2008

The word apitherapy is derived from the Latin apis, "bee," and refers to the use of injectible bee venom solution or live bee stings, as well as the use of other bee products, such as honey, beeswax, and royal jelly. Apitherapists claim that bee venom will reduce inflammation and might strengthen the immune system. Although the American Apitherapy Society claims success in treating a variety of illnesses, it seems to be used most often for arthritis.

The first writers in traditional Chinese medicine wrote about apitherapy, as did Hippocrates, founder of Western medicine. The first writing on what might be called modern apitherapy dates from the late 1880's. Afterwards, in the United States, apitherapy was absorbed into rural folk medicine, practiced by untrained beekeepers. Now, people either use live bees on themselves or with the help of a beekeeper, or they can turn to physicians who typically use injectable venom. Although the cost of the bees is not typically covered by insurance, injectable venom administered by a physician may be.

Like other alternative treatments, apitherapy is seen as a treatment of last-resort for people who are not helped by conventional treatments. There is reason to believe that the many chemicals in bee venom might be therapeutic, for conditions ranging from hypertension to depression...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Paul: Manuka Health Never Claimed Cancer-Curing Properties

By Kerry Paul, Chief Executive, Manuka Health New Zealand Limited

(May 19, 2008) - AMHA is making yet another false statement about Manuka Health. There has been no release of promotional materials claiming methylglyoxal in manuka honey has cancer-curing properties. To our knowledge there has never been any research showing manuka honey has cancer curing properties.

[Editor’s Note: See "New Zealand Manuka Honey Group Discounts Cancer Claims"]

What is AMHA’s motivation in this exercise? Simply it is to attempt to dis-credit Manuka Health. AMHA is extremely bitter at Manuka Health for launching its MGOTM manuka honey testing system in January 2008.

Ever since the launch there has been attacks from AMHA including allegations of fraud, product misrepresentation and misleading advertising. None of these are true.

The issue is really about science. The discovery by Professor Henle’s research group at the University of Dresden published in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, January 2008 that the active ingredient in manuka honey is dietary methylglyoxal. This has removed all the mystery from what was responsible for the reliable anti-bacterial activity only found in manuka honey. Previously this was called UMF or Unique Manuka Factor and now this concept has been made redundant by Manuka Health.

Manuka Health has adopted the latest scientific discovery and now markets and tests its products based on the methylglyoxal content. For instance MGOTM 100 manuka honey represents 100mg methylglyoxal in 1 kilogram of manuka honey being the minimum required to get any health benefit. Manuka Health markets products up to MGOTM 550.

The MGOTM manuka honey test method is precise and repeatable. In contrast, the UMF test is not repeatable and can vary by between 25 to 50% when re-testing the same sample.

AMHA is managed by five of Manuka Health’s competitors who have seen the threat created by the MGOTM manuka honey system and their only response has been to make false allegations.

For more information on the MGOTM manuka honey system please visit us at or contact the writer at

How is Beeswax Different from Other Waxes?

The Boston Globe (USA), 5/19/2008

The term "wax" traditionally refers to the stuff that bees make their honeycombs out of, but it has come to mean pretty much anything that shares similar properties. Waxes include carnauba wax, which comes from a plant and is popular in furniture and car polishes, beeswax, petroleum-based wax, and earwax (yuck!).

The basic properties of wax are that it is easy to mold at temperatures near room temperature and yet has a high melting point (typically above 114 degrees). This high melting point is meant to help distinguish a wax from common oils and fats, which share the characterisic of being water repellent and insoluble in water.

Beeswax is an amazing substance produced from glands on the abdomens of worker bees between 12 and 17 days old. Initially it comes out as clear flakes, but gets colored by pollen and other chemicals as the bees chew it, transforming it into the honeycomb. After 17 or so days, the baby bees collect pollen instead…

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Video: Apitherapy Used to Treat Arthritis, MS, Cancer, Infections

Health Beat - Apitherapy

May 14, 2008 (USA) - Jerry Catana talks to Health Beat about Apitherapy. The video includes a demonstration of bee venom therapy used to treat a dog with arthritis.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Zealand Manuka Honey Group Discounts Cancer Claims

AMHA Moves to Distance Itself from Cancer Claims
Active Manuka Honey Association, 5/16/2008

The Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) has acted swiftly to distance itself from promotional material released by former member Manuka Health New Zealand Limited which is written in such a way that consumers could be led to believe that the company's MGO-branded Manuka Honey could cure cancer.

AMHA Brand Manager, John Rawcliffe, said Manuka Health had been disseminating promotional materials offshore which said that Indian cancer researchers had found that methylglyoxal (a compound found in manuka honey) in large doses has the potential to act specifically against the body and has a significant curative effect on a wide range of cancers in animals.

"Overseas markets have picked up on the claims and are challenging the validity and seeking recourse," Mr Rawcliffe said.

"AMHA has been forced to respond and inform the public and authorities that it is distancing itself from the company Manuka Health and its directors and senior staff. We will also be taking all legal action required to address the situation.

"Linking cancer research to promote sales of honey is not only damaging to the UMFR brand it is also misleading and raises false hope amongst those people with cancer. AMHA could never stand by such a tenuous association which questionably appears to be motivated by making profits.

"Manuka Health has also linked cancer claims to German research using the company's propolis product. This is in breach of New Zealand 's MedSafe/Government regulations, as they are not supported by sufficient clinical trials to allow such claims to be made in relation to consumable products…

Doctor Calls Honey ‘Head-to-Toe Cure’

The Sweet Solution
Dr Rubaiul Murshed, The Daily Star (Bangladesh), 5/16/2008

…Honey is truly a head-to-toe cure remedy. Modern medicine is slowly learning this fact. It is an effective treatment for depressed immune system. It can increase hemoglobin count and treat anemia caused by nutritional factors.

Honey is a unique source of energy that provides 64 calories per tablespoon. Moving down the esophagus and through the digestive tract, honey can help distressed stomachs. It has been proven to regulate digestive tract function. It reduces the weight and good for obese people. It contains at least 31 nutrients, 13 minerals, the component part of nine vitamins, 20 of the 22 known amino acids and four key enzymes. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases.

It has been published that pure honey taken with food daily relieves complains of high cholesterol. Honey increases calcium absorption. It stimulates the formation of cells and tissue, acts as an anti-rheumatic and relieves inflammation. It is helpful in treating Arthritis. It also contains a variety of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Propolis Component Shows Anti-Inflammatory Effect

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Bioavailable Compound, Artepillin C, in Brazilian Propolis
European Journal of Pharmacology, Article in Press

Abstract: Artepillin C is the major compound in the Brazilian green propolis from Baccharis dracunculifolia. Our aim in this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects, absorption, and bioavailability of Artepillin C in mice…

In vivo, Artepillin C produced a maximal inhibition of 38% after 360 min on paw oedema. Artepillin C also decreased the number of neutrophils during peritonitis (IC50: 0.9 (0.5–1.4) mg/kg). Treatment with Artepillin C decreased prostaglandin E2 by 29 ± 3% and 58 ± 5% at 1 and 10 mg/kg, respectively, with a mean ID50 of 8.5 (8.0–8.7)mg/kg).

Similarly, in in vitro models, Artepillin C (3, 10, or 100 μM) decreased nitric oxide production by RAW 264.7 cells with a mean IC50 of 8.5 (7.8–9.2) μM. In HEK 293 cells, Artepillin C reduced NF-κB activity with a mean IC50 of 26 (22–30) μg/ml), suggesting anti-inflammatory activity, particularly during acute inflammation. Lastly, Artepillin C was absorbed after an oral dose (10 mg/kg) with maximal peaks found at 1 h (22 μg/ml).

Collectively, Artepillin C showed anti-inflammatory effects mediated, at least in part, by prostaglandin E2 and nitric oxide inhibition through NF-κB modulation, and exhibited bioavailability by oral administration.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5th Annual Greek Apitherapy Congress

The Greek Scientific Apitherapy Center is organizing on the 30, 31 of May & 1 of June 2008, MELIAMA 2008, the 5th Annual Greek Apitherapy Congress together with a Honey festival.

The event is under the auspices of APIMONDIA, the Greek Ministry of Food and Agriculture and it is supported by the Consumer Institute of Greece, the Institute of Agronomic Sciences, and the Mediterranean Forum for Health and it is open to the public.

In the event, that will take place in the Institute of Agronomic Sciences, Ktima Sygrou, Maroussi - Athens, the following topics will be discussed:


Apitherapy in Dermatology
Apitherapy & Wound Healing
Apitherapy & MS
Apitherapy, Recent Clinical Evidence
Apitherapy & Homeopathy
Apitherapy & Holistic Medicine
Bee Products in Sports
Bee Products in Nutrition
Apitherapy, Adverse Reactions

U.S. Prof, Student Find Honey Wound Dressings Effective

Healing Honey
MSU News Service, 5/14/2008

Honey reduces pain and odor in wounds. It has strong antibacterial properties, says Karen Zulkowski, MSU associate professor of nursing in Billings. But don't raid a beehive or spoon honey out of a jar and slather it onto a wound.

Zulkowski and student Jayme Day went to Billings Health and Rehabilitation to test a dressing that uses Manuka honey in calcium alginate. The honey had been sterilized. The calcium alginate retained moisture so the dressing wouldn't stick to the wound, but helped remove dead tissue.

Finding the dressing effective, Day presented her results this spring at MSU's Student Research Celebration. She and Zulkowski will explain their research this summer to the World Union of Wound Healing Societies. Honey dressings have been used in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Video: Honey Used to Treat Allergies, Heartburn, Coughs, Wounds

Video: A Honey of a Medical Treatment

By Lisa Thomas-Laury, May 13, 2008 (WPVI) -- In laboratories all around the Delaware and Lehigh valleys, researchers are working relentlessly on new medical treatments. As it turns out, one of the most promising ones is 5,000 years old…

Indians Use Bee Venom Therapy to Treat Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis

Bee Sting-New Treatment Regimen for Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis
By Anuradha Mascarenhas, The Indian Express, 5/13/2008

While most of us rush to the doctor if stung by a red coloured wasp, there are others who wait for the bee keeper to remove a live bee from its hive with a pair of tweezers, hold it next to the skin and wait for it to sting. And they do it as part of a treatment regimen - apitherapy, the medical use of honeybee products that include the use of honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and even bee venom.

Dr Mukund Bhide, a software consultant from Mumbai should know. Suffering from multiple sclerosis, Bhide has had a prolonged battle with the disease for several years and after watching a television programme that spoke of the benefits of apitherapy, he started his own search for a place that could offer live bee stings.

Bhide zeroed down to Pune-based Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI) and urged the officials to administer live bee stings. “I was really fed up with this pain. I could not walk properly and had to drag my feet despite my crutches. So when the road to modern medicine has its limitations I decided what harm could a bee sting do,” asks Bhide.

A year and five sessions of some 50 bee stings each later, Bhide craved for more…

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Video: Using Bee Stings to Treat Pain

Could the cure for pain relief be right in front of us? A small group of people think so.

Ten Things to Do to Help Honeybees

By Jessica Aldred, The Guardian (UK), 5/13/2008

Honeybees are under threat worldwide because of virulent viruses against which they have no natural defences. Nearly all colonies in the wild have died out and without beekeepers to care for them, honeybees could disappear in a few years. Here's what you can do to help:

1. Become a beekeeper
Beekeeping is a most enjoyable, fascinating and interesting hobby – and you get to eat your own honey too. Every year local beekeeping associations run courses to help new people to take up beekeeping and even help them find the equipment they need and a colony of bees. Training programmes continue to allow enthusiasts to become Master Beekeepers. For information on courses visit the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) web site

2. Help to protect swarms
Swarming is a natural process when colonies of honeybees can increase their numbers. If you see a swarm contact the local authority or the police who will contact a local beekeeper who will collect the swarm and take it away. Honeybees in a swarm are usually very gentle and present very little danger. They can be made aggressive if disturbed or sprayed with water. Just leave them alone and wait for a competent beekeeper to arrive...

Pesticide Blamed for German Honey Bee Die-Off

German Beehives Hit by Mass Die-Off
Beekeepers are pointing the finger at a Bayer CropScience pesticide marketed under the name Poncho, but government tests aren't conclusive
By Andrew Curry, Spiegel Online, 5/12/2008

In Germany's bucolic Baden-Württemburg region, there is a curious silence this week. All up and down the Rhine river, farm fields usually buzzing with bees are quiet. Beginning late last week, helpless beekeepers could only watch as their hives were hit by an unprecedented die-off. Many say one of Germany's biggest chemical companies is to blame…

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Bee Pollen Product in Australia

Bee Healthy with Goods in Store
Mornington Peninsular Leader (Australia), 5/13/2008

RYE Health Store offers lots of what customers need for a more natural lifestyle.

Store owner Andrew Blease said he was excited to be one of two stores in the state that stocked the new product NatureBee.

It is a supplement made from bee pollen that claims to boost your immune system and improve digestion and mental alertness.

Mr Blease said bee pollen was an organic product that had been a staple of the health world for centuries. He said it contained naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.

``All too often modern lifestyle tends to drag us away from the environment and that affects our health,'' he said. ``I firmly believe the only way to regain health is to find ways of reconnecting with nature.''

Mr Blease said NatureBee was a ``very exciting'' new product, which a lot of people were talking about…

China’s Honey Product Output Declines Markedly

China Industry Daily News, 12 May 2008

China’s honey product output will decline considerably in 2008, according to the latest information released by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products. Some honey processing enterprises are now faced with serious raw material supply shortages, which are likely to affect domestic sales and exports of honey products...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Propolis Reverses Oxidative Alterations to Liver, Kidneys

Propolis Reverses Acetaminophen Induced Acute Hepatorenal Alterations: A Biochemical and Histopathological Approach
Archives of Pharmacal Research, Issue Volume 31, Number 4, Published online: 1 May 2008

Abstract: The present study has been conducted to evaluate the curative effect of propolis extract, a honey bee-hive product, against acetaminophen (APAP) induced oxidative stress and dysfunction in liver and kidney…

The results indicated that ethanolic extract of propolis has ability to reverse APAP-induced hepatorenal biochemical and histopathological alterations probably by increasing the antioxidative defense activities due to various phenolic compounds present in it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Propolis May Prevent Bone Damage by Anti-Epileptic Drug

Fish Liver Oil and Propolis as Protective Natural Products Against the Effect of the Anti-Epileptic Drug Valproate on Immunological Markers of Bone Formation in Rats
Epilepsy Research, 2008 May 1

Epilepsy is a major public health problem affecting nearly 50 million people world wide. Treatment with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) is generally chronic if not life long and may be associated with significant metabolic effects including decreased bone mass and increased fractures.

The aim of this work was to investigate the protective role of fish liver oil and propolis against the effect of the drug valproate that is widely used for treatment of epilepsy…

In conclusion, in epileptic rats treated with valproate (which cause osteoporosis) fish liver oil and propolis increase the bone formation markers and decrease the bone resorption one's. They increase the OPG and decrease TNF-alpha, and RANKL which inhibit the osteoclastogenesis.

We recommend the use of Fish Oil, or propolis as a prophylactic treatment for epileptic patients using valproate against the side effect of valproate on bone.

FDA Approves New Honey Wound Dressing

Derma Sciences, Inc. (DSCI) Receives Third FDA Clearance for MEDIHONEY(TM) Wound & Burn Dressings

PRINCETON, N.J., April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Derma Sciences (OTC Bulletin Board: DSCI - News), a provider of advanced wound care products, today announced that the FDA has given clearance to another dressing in the MEDIHONEY(TM) product line. This dressing is the first 100% medical grade honey product cleared for use on burns and wounds by the FDA.

The product is 100% Active Leptospermum Honey and comes in a 1oz tube with an easy-to-use applicator tip…

The new dressing has been shown to lower the pH level of wounds. Much recent attention has been focused on the effect of pH in wounds, and the research suggests that lowering the pH of a wound helps to create an optimal environment for healing. When wound pH is lowered, it has been shown that protease modulation and increased oxygen diffusion take place, both beneficial to hard-to-heal wounds.

Additionally, the dressing -- due to its high level of glucose and other sugars -- has been shown to promote a strong osmotic effect. This osmotic effect, drawing fluid from surrounding tissues, helps to constantly bathe and debride wounds…

Scientists Discover Why Honey Sticks to the Spoon

Australian News

Melbourne, May 10 : Ever wondered why honey sticks to your spoon when you take it out of the bottle? This is a question that has long been debated and now it seems scientists have reached a consensus, claiming everybody was right with their theory about the stickiness of the viscous fluid.

According to an international team of researchers, sugar molecules in honey move like how cars move in a traffic jam - molecules can change lane but cannot move forward very far…

Friday, May 09, 2008

Beeswax ‘Ear Candles’ Used to Clear Congestion

Hopi: A Candle Brought Music to My Ears
Daily Telegraph (UK), 5/5/2008

…"London is LOUD, isn't it," I texted a friend. God, I felt good, euphoric almost - as though my brain had been "freed up". This must be how normal people feel all the time, I thought; people whose auditory canals and sinuses are as clear and free-flowing as a mountain stream.

My own anatomy in this region had more in common with the old Leeds and Liverpool Canal - static and stagnant - until a kindly therapist stuck a burning candle in each ear, decongesting them, releasing pressure and triggering a wonderful ripple effect throughout all interconnected tubes and cavities.

Therapist Marie Coudounas was diplomatic. "There's a lot of build-up, particularly in your left ear," she said. "You may need to come again." What she meant was, "You have a disgusting amount of wax and one treatment won't shift it."

I am now addicted to what is known as thermal auricular therapy, or ear candling. Though subsequent treatments have not proved as dramatic as the first, the decongested life is a revelation, and more pleasant than knocking back Sudafed.

Ear candling, a traditional therapy used by the Ancient Greeks, was popularised by the Hopi Indian tribe of the American south-west. The narrow, hollow rolled column of cotton flax is impregnated with beeswax. Now know as Hopi candles, they also contain honey, sage, St Johns Wort, and camomile. The patient lies on their side and a candle is gently inserted as far as is comfortable into the ear canal. It doesn't hurt, but it feels odd...

Manipulating Bee Behavior, Physiology May Improve Quality of Honey

Bee Choice of Food Source and Processing Inside the Hive: Two Essential Mechanisms to Determine Bee Product Quality

[Editor's Note: The following presentation were offered at the 6th German Apitherapy and Apipuncture Congress held in Passau from March 27th to April 1st, 2008]

By Janko Božič, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty - Department of Biology, Večna pot 111. 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Contact:

Major components of honey derive outside of the bee hive. Nectar and honeydew have to be collected by the bees and brought inside of the hive where processing and maturation from food source sugar solutions into valuable honey occurs.

Along with the most abundant sugars - glucose, fructose and sucrose - bees also collect other organic and inorganic compounds that are secreted from nectarous glands or by honeydew’s producers.

Plants attract pollinators not only by sugar rewards but they often secrete chemical signals that can trigger research foraging behavior in pollinating bees and further help the bees to stay along the same well-rewarded patch of flowers.

In case of honeydew producers, secretions are actually excretes and bees collect it due to its high sucrose level. Content of the honeydew depends more on physiology of the aphids or scale insects, which are most often source of honeydew. Secretions often contain oligosaharides, which are usually the result of complex physiological and biochemical processes inside of the aphid’s or scale insect’s intestine. There are also other compounds related to the host plant metabolism and physiology.

Special waggle dance communication within the hive enables selection of food sources with the highest profitability. This usually means that bees forage the most profitable food source. Some bees don’t follow the major foraging groups and keep foraging on their own food source.

No significant research has been done on these minor foraging groups inside bee colony. A hypothesis can be developed that this minor foraging could bring some special nectar or honeydew source, which can give specific quality attributes to the final stored honey. One of the crucial steps in investigation would be olfactory preference of different foraging bees: pollen, nectar or honeydew and plant resins collectors.

This is the first possible step in honey production in which bees can significantly contribute to the final quality of the honey. Possible known manipulations of the bees related to the food preference and selection are discussed.

The major contribution of the bees is related to the processing of the nectar and honeydew into the honey. The best known contribution is secretion of two enzymes. Alfa glycosidase contributes to the reduction of sucrose level and increase of fructose and glucose level. An additional enzyme, glucose oxidase contributes significantly to the antimicrobial activity of the honey by producing hydrogen peroxide.

Both enzymes are secreted from hypo-pharyngeal gland of the foraging bees. In younger nurse bees, this gland produces royal jelly proteins. It has been shown that food exchange inside of the hive contributes to the passage of nurse bee secretions into the honey.

It is not well know how much and which compounds are perhaps also secreted by other glands with the secretions inside of oral cavity. There are several possibilities to manipulate honeybee behavior and physiology to increase potential secretions into the honey. Some have already been practice, but detailed technology is under development.

View a PDF version of the presentation.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thymol, Camphor Add to Therapeutic Properties of Spanish Honey

Study of the Essential Oil Components in Honey of Aragon (NE Spain)

[Editor's Note: The following presentation were offered at the 6th German Apitherapy and Apipuncture Congress held in Passau from March 27th to April 1st, 2008]

By Adamczyk S., Lázaro R, Pérez-Arquillué C., Conchello, P., Herrera A., Veterinary Faculty, Department of Animal Production and Food Science, Area of Human Nutrition and Food Science, University of Zaragoza, Miguel Servet 177, E- 50013 Zaragoza, Spain

Due to its climatic conditions, Aragon is rich in aromatic herbs, in particular in labiataes (labiates). Many of these labiates are medicinal plants such as rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), thyme (Thymus sp.) and lavender (Lavandula sp.) and their honey also has therapeutic properties.

The objective of this study is to determine the essential oil components, in particular Labiataes, of 63 honey samples from Aragon.

Materials and methods: The method of determination of the essential oils components (thymol, eucalyptol, menthol and camphor) in honey consists of solid phase extraction using C18 columns and an identification and quantification of the essential oils components with capillary gas chromatography (GC-FID).

This analytical method based on that described by Bogdanov et al. (1998) has been optimized and validated in our laboratory.

Results: Twenty-three honey samples contain thymol levels between 0.2 and 6.5 µg/ghoney and 24 samples camphor levels between 0,2 and 2,2 µg/ghoney. Concentrations of eucalyptol and menthol were not found above the limit of detection.

Conclusion: These results show that thymol and camphor, which are especially found in Labiataes, were present at higher levels of concentration in some honey from Aragon. This supports the therapeutic properties of its honey.

Acknowledgment: This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Technology (INIA), by the Government of Aragon (apiculture government aid, Spain) and by DGA/Grupo de Investigación Consolidado A01.

Medicinal Honey Producer in Dispute with New Zealand University

Comvita to Take $2m Charge in Waikato Uni Dispute
NZPA (New Zealand), 5/8/2008

Honey products company Comvita Ltd said today it expected to book a $2 million accounting charge in its annual result unless it resolves a dispute with Waikato University.

Comvita and WaikatoLink, the university's commercialisation arm, are both taking legal action over a 2006 agreement to buy intellectual property and future rights from the university.

Comvita said formal mediation attempts had failed, leading to WaikatoLink suing for payment, and Comvita counter-suing for damages…

The court case had yet to be heard, although filings had been presented. Comvita had put on hold its 20-year relationship with Waikato University.

But Comvita – which controls about 70 per cent of the biologically active manuka honey harvest in New Zealand – had relationships with other New Zealand institutions, and research organisations overseas, Mr Hewlett said...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Honey Consumption Reduces Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Natural Honey and Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Effects on Blood Glucose, Cholesterol, Triacylglycerole, CRP, and Body Weight Compared with Sucrose
The Scientific World, 2008, Volume 8, Pages 463-469

Abstract: It has been found that honey ameliorates cardiovascular risk factors in healthy individuals and in patients with elevated risk factors.

The present study investigated the effect of natural honey on total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triacylglycerole, C-reactive protein (CRP), fasting blood glucose (FBG), and body weight in overweight individuals...

Results showed that honey caused a mild reduction in body weight (1.3%) and body fat (1.1%). Honey reduced total cholesterol (3%), LDL-C (5.8), triacylglycerole (11%), FBG (4.2%), and CRP (3.2%), and increased HDL-C (3.3%) in subjects with normal values, while in patients with elevated variables, honey caused reduction in total cholesterol by 3.3%, LDL-C by 4.3%, triacylglycerole by 19%, and CRP by 3.3% (p < 0.05). It is our conclusion that consumption of natural honey reduces cardiovascular risk factors, particularly in subjects with elevated risk factors, and it does not increase body weight in overweight or obese subjects.

Survey: 36% of U.S. Commercial Hives Lost Last Year

Survey Shows US honey Bee Deaths Increased Over Last Year
By Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press, 5/6/2008

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A survey of bee health released Tuesday revealed a grim picture, with 36.1 percent of the nation's commercially managed hives lost since last year…

Health Benefits of Honey

Make a Beeline for Sweet Honey
By Diane Parkes, Birmingham Mail (UK), 5/6/2008

Enjoy National Honey Week for ten good reasons:

* Stomach settler - honey is a strong antibiotic particularly in the digestive tract. Cold-pressed honey can kill bacteria in the stomach so can help aid treatment for diarrhoea and gastroenteritis. New Zealand manuka honey is especially good for combatting gastric pains.

* Comfort blanket - honey can help protect the stomach lining from irritants such as medication.

* Fend off hay fever - Tests have shown that eating unfiltered cold-pressed honey in its honeycomb can alleviate the worst effects of hay fever.

* Sweetener - honey is a good sugar replacement and, because it is actually much sweeter than sugar, a smaller amount can be used.

* Soothes - a popular ingredient in cough sweets and syrups, make your own sore throat buster mixing honey, lemon and hot water.

* Energy-booster - go for honey rather than refined sugars as a quick boost of energy before heading for the gym.

* Healer - Honey's antiseptic qualities mean it can help heal minor cuts, grazes and burns...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Honey Extracts Have ‘Potent’ Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic Effect

Identification of Polyphenolic Antioxidants from Honey Methanol and Ethyl Acetate Extracts and their Anti-Inflammatory and Antinociceptive Activities

[Editor's Note: The following presentation were offered at the 6th German Apitherapy and Apipuncture Congress held in Passau from March 27th to April 1st, 2008]

By Mustafa Kassim Abdulazez and Kamaruddin Mohd.Yusoff, Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Abstract: Malaysian Honey has been used for the treatment of antimicrobial, ulcer and wound healing. Honey also has been shown to stimulate the immune system, the rapid production of granulation tissue, increase fibroblasts production, and it also contains a high antioxidant capacity.

This study was designed to identify polyphenolic antioxidant compounds in honey methanol extract (HME) and honey ethyl acetate extract (HEAE) by HPLC and LC-MS. Their anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects in animal model were investigated.

Acute inflammations were induced in rat paw edema by carrageenin. To reveal the mechanism of the anti-inflammatory effect of extracts, we examined its effect on cyclooxygenase type 2 (COX2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) by measurement of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide NO in paws exudates tissues, volume of inflammation was monitored by plethysmometer and pain also was measured by infrared analgesia meter.

Our data indicated that active polyphenolic antioxidant compounds such as chrysin, quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, ellagic acid, gallic acid, and caffeic acid are presented in both extracts. These compounds have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory and antinciceptive activities and some of them have shown down-regulation of NF-kB as well as inhibitor of COX-2 and iNOS.

HME and HEAE were found to significantly inhibit the productions of (NO), (PGE2) and deceased the volume of exudates and monitoring the pain and all results were significant and we had shown that the HME was more potent than HEAE because high concentration of these compounds and some water soluble compounds have anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities. The anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties of extracts may be due to the inhibition of iNOS and COX-2 expression via the down-regulation of NF-kB.

Honey and its HME and HEAE have potent anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities and are therefore potentially useful for all inflammatory conditions.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Video Shows Production of ‘Red’ Propolis in Brazil

Like pollen, propolis is a bee product that cannot be clearly defined and varies from sample to sample. This is a natural outcome of the collection process. Propolis-collecting bees will use resins from a large variety of tree and other plant species, and these naturally will differ in their qualitative and quantitative chemical composition. Nevertheless, different propolis samples do share considerable similarity in their physical and overall general chemical nature.

Hundreds of chemical compounds have been identified from propolis. The main chemical classes present in propolis are flavonoids, phenolics, and various aromatic compounds. Propolis also contains some volatile oils, terpenes, and beeswax, but these compounds are not believed to contribute as significantly to the chemical properties and effects of propolis.

Flavonoids are well known plant compounds that have antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other properties of propolis include acting as a local anesthetic, reducing spasms, healing gastric ulcers, and strengthening capillaries.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bee Venom Component Kills ‘Sleeping Sickness’ Bug

The Effects of Bee (Apis Mellifera) Venom Phospholipase A2 on Trypanosoma Brucei Brucei and Enterobacteria
Experimental Parasitology, Volume 119, Issue 2, June 2008, Pages 246-251

Abstract: The potential role of phospholipases in trypanosomiasis was investigated using bee venom phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) as a model. The effects of bvPLA2 on the survival of Trypanosoma brucei brucei, 2 h and 12 h cultures of Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Citrobacter freundii were studied.

About 1 mg ml−1 bvPLA2 was trypanocidal after 30 min. Some growth occurred at lower concentrations up to 2 h after treatment but viability decreased up to 8 h. Even very low concentrations of bvPLA2 (10−12 mg ml−1) had some trypanocidal activity. Bee venom PLA2 was bactericidal to 2 h bacterial cultures but bacteriostatic to 12 h ones. Minimum bactericidal concentrations were 10−5–10−6 mg ml−1.

The results showed that bvPLA2 had significant trypanocidal and antibacterial effects on Gram-negative bacteria. The relationship to events occurring during infection is discussed. Phospholipases may play a role in increased endotoxin levels in trypanosomiasis.

Video: Singer Uses Honey to Protect Voice, Heal Sore Throat

Katherine Jenkins appeared recently on the Paul O'Grady show in the UK. In the interview she discussed how she uses Manuka honey to help her voice to recover after singing. She also uses it to help fight sore throats and colds.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Francophone Apitherapy Association to Meet May 17 in Lyon

One-Day Meeting Focuses on Health Benefits of Bee Hive Products

Internationally-known experts on “Apitherapy,” the therapeutic use of bee hive products, will offer four conferences in Lyon, France, on Saturday, May 17, as an overview of the health benefits provided by honey, propolis, bee-collected pollen, beeswax, drone larvae extract, bee venom and royal jelly.

The General Assembly of the Francophone Apitherapy Association will meet on the same day.


Honey Sweet Death to Microbes

Skin & Aging, Volume 16 - Issue 4 - April 2008

A spoonful of sugar may be the medicine. English researchers have confirmed that medicinal honey has significant antibacterial prowess against several strains of virulent pathogens, including those resistant to multiple antibiotics. Used for centuries, honey has been purported to speed healing of various wound types. Honey is thought to work because of its occlusive nature and its osmotic properties.

For many, honey has been thought by some to present an inexpensive alternative in developing countries to more occlusive expensive dressings. Not all honeys are equivalent. A specific brand of honey, the so-called Manuka honey predominantly sourced from Leptospermum species from New Zealand and Australia has been found to have other properties that may render it superior to other honeys. Specifically, this Manuka honey appears to have superior and broad- spectrum antimicrobial properties. To the average person, this may be seen as the lesser need for preservatives within honey. However, to patients with wounds, this antimicrobial action may have a beneficial effect on wound healing.

The first honey bandage to hit the market in the United States is called Medihoney. The public’s interest in and desire for natural products will likely draw significant interest in this product. The low-tech nature may not be as attractive to physicians and the hope is that well-done studies like those published by George and Cutting will help clarify a sticky subject.

Synopsis of the Research:

The researchers tested one form of medicinal honey, Medihoney (Medihoney Pty LTD), which is made in Australia from the Manuka plant, a member of the Leptospermum family.

Honey is believed to kill bacteria in at least four ways, according to the researchers.

1. Its high sugar content and low water activity promotes osmotic action
2. its acidic pH (3.2-4.5) blocks the growth of germs
3. it contains the enzyme glucose oxidase that stimulates the production of hydrogen peroxide; and
4. it may have plant-derived molecules, yet unidentified, that attack microorganisms…

Friday, May 02, 2008

Bee Venom Expert Describes Collection Process

Obtaining Pure Bee Venom for the Production of Injectable Apitoxin of High Quality: Specific Methods and Equipment

By Eng. Carlos Litwin, Farmacia del Lago, Las Termas de Rio, Hondo, Argentina

[Editor's Note: The following presentation were offered at the 6th German Apitherapy and Apipuncture Congress held in Passau from March 27th to April 1st.]

The Argentinian Association of Apitherapy worked very hard along with producers and apitherapists all through the year 2007 in order to inform about the importance of the quality in the products extracted from beehives. Special emphasis was given to the methods of extraction and bottling/packing on behalf of beekeepers and makers of the fine products bees provide.

It is known that pollen, royal jelly, honey, propolis and bee venom are photosensitive and thermolabile substances. They are also easily contaminated. Consequently, an error in the extraction, production, and bottling/packaging causes irreversible changes and loss in the properties of these valuable and rare apicultural products.

Thus, when used for apitherapy, the expected results are no longer obtained. That is why the Argentinian Association of Apitherapy, with Doctor Julio Cesar Diaz as president, is now aiming to professional apitherapy to catch up to science standards.

No one should make any treatments in which the origin and conditions of products as well as the methods used for their extractions are not guaranteed.

The main topic in this work is the production of dry bee venom for the making of medicines. I started the extraction in 1992, after doing several courses with Engineer Cornejo in La Plata.

From then on I began to investigate how to extract bee venom so that it would not get contaminated, lose its properties or cause damage to the beehive. The results have been encouraging provided that the right selection of beehives allowed me to work without causing trouble in the beehives.

Italian bees, known by their calmness and productivity are the most important in Argentina. The weather is a fundamental aspect. You should work on sunny days, over 22° C with a forecast of no rain for the next three days. Of course beehives must be in good sanitary and nutritional condition. Besides, you should visit no more than 80 beehives each time. This is just a piece of advice provided that working with more beehives has proved no harm.

The electronic extractors I own allow me to work with 40 beehives every 40 minutes. I place the frames at the entrance of the beehives (never inside the beehive because this causes trouble). Then I turn on the extractors for 10 minutes (15 volts). This makes the bees sting the glass. After 10 minutes I turn off the extractors for five minutes to renew the bees in the frames (some tend to stay and go on stinging instead of getting into the colony). Let them sting endlessly makes no sense because the first sting is the one which ejects most of the venom. Then I turn on the extractors again and repeat that once more. When I take out the frame with the stung glasses, the beehive re-starts normal activity in 5-10 minutes. This is a much less aggressive process than the extraction of honey or pollen.

Once the job is finished, glasses are put in a box and taken to a dark, dry room where the humidity of the venom will evaporate. After 24-48 hours, you can scrape the glasses and bottle the dry venom, then keep it in a freezer for conservation, having been properly labeled before. Venom must not be in contact with oxygen at any time.

All along the process, everything must be handled with care so as:

* Bees will not die (this is as important as the quality of venom).
* Venom is not in contact with the bee (after being ejected). Otherwise, it can be contaminated with the bees, feces, pollen, honey, or droplets in the air. This is accomplished with a filter.
* Venom extracted must not be in contact with oxygen (it will lose properties).

In ¨Farmacia del Lago¨ we only use the venom I produce, under the surveillance of Biologist Néstor Urtubey who has worked on the production of injections and lotions made with apitoxin for over 20 years. This guarantees safe and efficient therapy which has been proved by hundreds of apitherapist doctors all over the world.

In Argentina many apitherapist doctors use our injections in different ways: intradermic, subcutaneous, intraarticular and sometimes intravenous with excellent results. Some of their experiences are available on DVD´s about the First Congress on Apitoxinotherapy, carried out in Termas de Río Hondo, Santiago del Estero, Argentina in May 2007.

In 20 years after many applications, our injections have proved to be harmless, without causing allergies. This is due to the technology developed in ¨Farmacia del Lago¨ by the Biologist Nestor Urtubey (which is not possible when used directly with bees). We do know these techniques produce allergic reactions, sometimes in high percentages.

I am sure we are setting a standard by making first quality products, which have been developed with the adequate technology so as to obtain the safest and most effective injections, lotions and other products based on apitoxin for medical use.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Video: Superbugs Stung by Honey Bees

Martin Cassidy reports on how researchers in Belfast have discovered the secrets of its anti-microbial properties and its power to destroy a new form of MRSA.

View the BBC VIDEO

Honey Used to Battle New Form of Drug-Resistant Microbe

By Martin Cassidy, BBC (UK), 5/1/2008

The ancient Egyptians understood that honey had healing properties, but now researchers in Belfast have discovered the secrets of its anti-microbial properties and its power to destroy a worrying new form of MRSA.

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.

In Belfast's City Hospital Professor John Moore and his small team of scientists are in hot pursuit of superbugs...

Surrounded by his team, he explains that in medieval times, some physicians used rose honey to treat wounds soldiers received in battle.

Those doctors understood that honey had healing and disinfecting properties and that set the City Hospital scientists thinking.

And far from being the only team looking at the medicinal properties of honey, they found a number of other researchers around the world who were also interested…

Clinical trials will now follow with topical treatment of sores, boils and leg ulcers with a honey dressing…

Video: Haagen Dazs Airs 'Help Save the Honey Bees' Commercial

As part of the “Haagen Dazs Loves Honey Bees”campaign, Haagen Dazs began airing a commercial on April 20 with a “Save the Honey Bees” message, stressing the importance of pollination. As part of the campaign, Haagen Dazs will donate $250,000 to Colony Collapse Disorder research. To view the commercial, visit the Haagen Dazs Loves Honey Bees web site at, then click on “See the Ads” at the bottom of the page. (From

U.S. Apitherapy Firm Donates to Habitat for Humanity

Beehive Botanicals Gives 10% to Habitat for Humanity

Hayward, WI (PRWEB) May 1, 2008 -- Today Beehive Botanicals CEO Linda Graham announced her northwest Wisconsin bee product and dietary supplement manufacturing company will donate 10% of its online sales during May to Habitat for Humanity...