Monday, June 30, 2008

Video: Topical Honey for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Dr. Jennifer Eddy of UW Health Family Medicine Eau Claire is running a clinical trial that investigates whether honey can help in the treatment of diabetic ulcers. - University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Study Identifies 52 Royal Jelly Proteins

Comprehensive Royal Jelly (RJ) Proteomics Using One- and Two-Dimensional Proteomics Platforms Reveals Novel RJ Proteins and Potential Phospho/Glycoproteins
J. Proteome Res, June 26, 2008

Abstract: Royal jelly (RJ) is an exclusive food for queen honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) that is synthesized and secreted by young worker bees. RJ is also widely used in medical products, cosmetics, and as health foods. However, little is known about RJ functionality and the total protein components, although recent research is attempting to unravel the RJ proteome.

We have embarked on a detailed investigation of the RJ proteome, using a modified protein extraction protocol and two complementary proteomics approaches, one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (1-DGE and 2-DGE) in conjunction with tandem mass spectrometry…

As the RJ from 48 (or sometimes 72) is commercially used, we selected the RJ sample at 48 h for detailed analysis with the first collection. 1-DGE identified 90 and 15 proteins from the first and second selection, respectively; in total, 47 nonredundant proteins were identified. 2-DGE identified 105 proteins comprising 14 nonredundant proteins.

In total, 52 nonredundant proteins were identified in this study, and other than the major royal jelly protein family and some other previously identified proteins, 42 novel proteins were identified…

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Video: Use of Active Manuka Honey for Wound Care


Two New Products Launched in Honey Wound Care Line

Derma Sciences Launches Two New MEDIHONEY(TM) Formulations
Additional products will provide coverage for most wound types

PRINCETON, N.J., June 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Derma Sciences (OTC Bulletin Board: DSCI), a provider of advanced wound care products, announced today that it is launching two new formulations of its key product line, MEDIHONEY(TM) Wound & Burn Dressings, this week.

The new products consist of 100 percent Active Leptospermum Honey packaged in a tube, and a patented colloidal sheet referred to as a Honeycolloid(TM). These two new formulations will greatly enhance the brand's utilization in variety of wounds, including lightly draining wounds, wounds that are difficult to dress due to their anatomical location, and wounds on patients that are sensitive to pain at dressing changes.

CEO Ed Quilty stated, "We are very excited about these two new products hitting the market. Our customers have been requesting a MEDIHONEY version dispensed from a tube. This will help them to reach and dress difficult areas. It also provides a dressing to be used when the wound is not draining. The Honeycolloid is based on one of the patents we licensed from our global commercialization partner, Comvita New Zealand, Inc. This dressing is the most sophisticated in the line, combining ease-of-use attributes with strong clinical benefits. The Leptospermum honey is intrinsically bound within the dressing, allowing the honey to stay at the site of the wound longer even in the presence of exudate. This is a key challenge with honey based dressings used on exudating wounds…”

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Honeybee Corpses Source of ‘High Quality’ Chitin

Honeybee Corpses as an Available Source of Chitin
Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Volume 109 Issue 3, Pages 1974 - 1981

Abstract: Corpses of naturally died honeybees were used as a raw material for chitin isolation.

Process of deproteinization of the powder made from clean bee corpses was carried out in the presence of 1M NaOH at 80°C. Influence of time of alkaline treatment on the yield and molar mass of chitin was studied and optimal conditions of proteins removal were found.

Process of final depigmentation of protein-free remainders was carried out using oxidization-reduction reagents. Dependences of the yield of reaction and molar mass of the obtained chitin samples from concentration of oxidizing agent KMnO4 and from time of discoloring treatment were determined.

Final product - high quality chitin with molar masses in range from 318 × 103 to 424 × 103 Da - was obtained in amount of 18% from initial mass of honeybee corpses. Chemical structure of chitin was determined in 1H NMR investigation. It was found that honeybee chitin has high degree of acetylation of about 96%. FTIR spectra of honeybee chitin did not differ from FTIR spectrum of control sample of shrimps chitin with degree of acetylation about 95%.

Results of quantitative determination of isolated chitin and its molar characteristic showed that applied treatment of honeybee corpses allowed to acquire successfully chitin of high quality in wide range of molar masses.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Testimonial: Melanoma and Bee Stings

By Bill Truesdell
Bath, Maine

[From the BEE-L list.]

I had two bouts of malignant melanoma, one on my skin (face) about 12 years ago and the other in a lymph node in my neck, just below where the first was found, about five years ago.

I started stinging myself for arthritis a little after the time the first melanoma was removed. I tried it to help with the arthritis pain because of a talk by Charlie Mraz at our State meeting, and it worked.

Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, so it does have a correlation to the immune system. Charlie had you sting at the point of pain, so you were re-directing the immune system to the location where the system was not working properly (my, not his, guess).

My lymph node tumor was walnut sized and had been there for at least a year, as I started to feel something there. General consensus was it was a cyst, so no big deal, but my dentist thought otherwise so I had it removed (easier than a biopsy). It had not spread since something kept it in check.

I thought it might be the bee stings since they do kick up the immune system. Over the past several years, more and more has come out about the immune system and melanoma, that a strong immune system can keep it in check.

Today there is additional confirmation of that.

When I last visited my dermatologist, he told me that he has another beekeeper who had melanoma and his experience was almost identical to mine.

I take a lot of what is posted by the apitherapy people with a grain of salt, but in the area of bee stings and the immune system, there are at least two of us in the Portland, Maine area who do match the template.

Know of any other hobby that fights cancer?

Burt's Bees President Asks Congress to Help Honeybees

By Barbara Barrett, The News & Observer (USA), 6/26/2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congress took up the plight of the honeybee this morning, welcoming a North Carolina cucumber farmer and the president of Durham cosmetics company Burt's Bees to talk about how mass bee deaths could affect food supplies and the economy.

For each of the past two years, about a third of the nation's honeybee colonies have mysteriously disappeared, dying off because of some unknown virus or environmental hit -- or, more probably, a combination of both.

Because a third of the nation's food supply relies on pollinators such as honeybees to survive, the consequences of continued bee colony wipeouts could be devastating, say researchers, beekeepers and farmers.

Researchers finally identified the unknown danger as "Colony Collapse Disorder," though they still don't know the causes or what actually kills the bees...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rainforest Propolis Shows High Antibacterial Activity

Comparative Study of the Antibacterial Activity of Propolis from Different Geographical and Climatic Zones
Phytotherapy Research, Published Online: 20 Jun 2008

Abstract: Propolis is a natural substance produced by honeybees upon collection and transformation of resins and exudates from plants. Comparative studies on propolis collected from a wide range of countries are crucial for linking its provenance to antibacterial activity and thus ensuring that the beneficial properties of propolis are used more efficiently by the general public.

This study reports the in vitro screening of ethanol extracts of propolis (n = 40), collected from a wide range of countries within the tropical, subtropical and temperate zones, and on the comparison of their activity against a range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria using a broth microdilution assay.

The results obtained revealed that propolis extracts were mostly active against Gram-positive bacteria.

The samples were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA) in order to model their activity against Gram-positive microorganisms. Three distinct clusters were distinguished in the PCA mapping based on MIC values, categorizing samples with strong (MIC range 3.9-31.25 mg/L), moderate (MIC range 31.25-500 mg/L) and weak antibacterial activity or inactivity (MIC 500 mg/L only).

It is hypothesized that for samples of tropical provenance differences in the activity profiles may depend on the climatic characteristics of the collection sites. High antibacterial activity was observed for samples from locations characterized by a wet-tropical rainforest-type climate.

Algerian Propolis Shows Antiviral, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant Activity

Antiviral, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant Activities and Chemical Composition of Algerian Propolis

Ahmed G. Hegazi, Faten K. Abd El Hady, Kamel H. Shaker, Naiema Modear, and Saadi Houcine, Deptartment of Zoonosis, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt, Deptartment of Chemistry of Natural Products, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt; Faculty of Science and Pharmacy, Mohamed Boudiaf University, Masila, Algeria

[Presented at APIMEDICA and APIQUALITY 2008 in Rome.]

Summary: Four Algerian propolis samples were investigated by GC/MS, 87 compounds were identified, 21 being new to propolis. Propolis (1) was characterized by the presence of: 2.48% of caffeate esters and isoferulate esters (2.47%). Propolis (2) was characterized by the presence of 13.1% sterols, 3 new valeric acid derivatives (5.75%), the new 3-hexanyl- octyldihydroferulate ester, furofuran & benzofuran lignans (11.43%). Sample (3) contained 35% of benzoic acid, new valeric acid derivatives (2.37%) benzofuran lignan (2.61.%). Sample (4) characterized by the presence of 32.44% fatty acid esters mainly for hexadecanoic and oleic acids, 7 of them are new to propolis. It was also characterized by the presence of 13.24 % sterols, 4 of them are new to propolis.

The antiviral activity of propolis samples against avian reo virus (ARV), Bovine ephemeral fever virus (BEFV) and infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) was evaluated. All propolis samples reduced the viral infectivity in variable degree according to the propolis origin. Propolis sample (4) showed the highest activity against all viruses.

The antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus; Escherichia coli and Candida albicans was also investigated. The propolis samples showed inhibition in the growth of the examined pathogens but the inhibition varied according to the propolis origin.

The antioxidant activity of four propolis samples were evaluated with three different assays; DPPH free radical scavenging assay, superoxide anion generated in xanthine –xanthine oxidase (XOD) system and low density lipoprotein (LDL) peroxidation assay. The propolis samples (2-4) had the highest antioxidant activity in the DPPH assay. The samples (3 and 2) had the highly significant antioxidant activity in XOD system. Propolis samples (3 and 1) had the highly significant antioxidant activity in LDL peroxidation assays.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Video: Estrogen and Red Propolis

Isoflavones have estrogen-like activity and are considered to be phytoestrogens. Isoflavones have 0.01-0.001 times the potency of estradiol, the strongest ovarian estrogen. Red propolis contains antioxidants, is a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory natural compound that combine polyphenol and flavonoid contents.

Red Propolis delivers up to at least four isoflavones, never before reported in propolis; Such isoflavones as homopterocarpin, medicarpin and dimethoxy-2, These isoflavones have been reported as having antimicrobial, antifungal, anticancer and antioxidant activity combined with naturally occurring vital nutrients, including naturally occurring trace quantities of virtually every vitamin, mineral, ultra trace mineral, amino acid, and enzyme useful for optimal health.

View the video.

Brazilian Apitherapy Firm Seeks Investors for Propolis Production

Nature Best Products, LLC
Business Connections, 6/23/2008

Nature Best Products, LLC. Is an early stage high-production company focused on the development and production of a spectrum of specialty, value-added, nutritional plant source derivatives. We have our own apiary in the NE of Brazil.

We seek investors to increase production of RED-PROPOLIS. This incredible compound, delivers up to at least four isoflavones, never before reported in propolis; Such isoflavones as homopterocarpin, medicarpin and dimethoxy-2. They have been reported as having antimicrobial, antifungal, anticancer and antioxidant activity combined with naturally occurring vital nutrients, including naturally occurring trace quantities of virtually every vitamin, mineral, ultra trace mineral, amino acid, and enzyme useful for optimal health.

Contact Information:

Dalmo Accorsini
Nature Best Products, LLC
301 Golden Isles Dr #511
Hallandale, Florida

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Propolis Reduces Chicken Mortality from Newcastle Disease

Antiviral Activity of Propolis Against Some Avian Viruses
A. G. Hegazi1, F. K. Abd El Hady and A.A. Faraghli, Departments of Zoonotic Diseases and Chemistry of Natural Products, National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. Animal Health Research Institute, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. E- mail: and

[Presented at APIMEDICA and APIQUALITY 2008 in Rome.]

Three Egyptian propolis samples were collected from Dakahlia, Ismailia and Sharkia provinces. The antiviral activity of propolis samples was investigated against some avian viruses as infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), reovirus (RV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), larngotracheitis virus (LTV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV). All propolis samples showed antiviral activity. It was obvious that Dakahlia propolis showed the highest antiviral activity against IB virus and LTV. While Ismailia propolis had the highest antiviral activity against IBDV and RV. On the other hand, Sharkia propolis showed the highest antiviral activity against NDV.

The influence of administration of Egyptian propolis on chicken infected with virulent Newcastle disease virus was investigated. The mortality rate of chickens was reduced in NDV infected group which was subsequently treated with propolis. Infection with vvNDV induced a significant reduction of chicken body weight. Propolis induced a significant increase in antibody titer against NDV in the infected group which was subsequently treated with propolis.

The chemical composition of propolis samples were investigated by GC/MS, 103 compounds were identified, 20 being new for propolis Dakahlia propolis was a typical poplar propolis but it contained two new caffeate esters and two new triterpenoids. Ismailia propolis was characterized by the presence of new triterpenic acid methyl esters and it did not contain any aromatic acids, esters and flavonoids.Sharkia propolis was characterized by the presence of caffeate esters only, some di- and triterpenoids.

Propolis and Bee Venom Effective in Treatment of Psoriasis

Apitherapy in Treatment of Psoriasis: A New Therapeutic Modality
By Fatma A. Abd Raboo, Ahmed G. Hegazi, Nahla E. Ramzy, Dalia M. Shaaban Faten K. Abd El Hady and Doha Y. Khader.
Department of Dermatology & Venereology, Tanta University and Department of Microbiology, National Research Center

[Presented at APIMEDICA and APIQUALITY 2008 in Rome.]

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease with unsettled etiology. It was suggested that T cells are of major importance in its pathogenesis through induction of different inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Several therapeutic modalities are used for treatment of psoriasis however, none of them are satisfactory.

Apitherapy is the medical use of different honey bee products e.g. honey, wax, bee venom and propolis. It was used for treatment of different dermatological conditions as eczema and herpes virus infection.

The aim of this study was to evaluate apitherapy, using bee venom and propolis, as a new therapeutic modality of psoriasis.

The study included 42 patients divided into: group I: (n=12) received intradermal bee venom, group IIA: (n=9) received topical propolis ointment, group IIB: (n=9) received oral and topical propolis and group III: (n=12) received intradermal bee venom and oral and topical propolis.

A significant reduction in both PASI score and serum level of IL-1β was observed in all groups of patients except group IIA which showed non significant reduction in both. Correlation between percentage reduction of PASI score and that of IL-1 β showed a strong positive correlation in group I. However, positive correlation could not be detected in other groups.

Conclusions: Propolis and bee venom are effective in treatment of psoriasis, with minimal tolerable side effects, when used either separately or in combination. However, combination of both can give better clinical and laboratory results.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Does Eating 'Local Honey' Help Prevent Allergies?

By Judy Foreman, The Boston Globe (USA), 6/23/2008

It's an intriguing idea, but even a staunch advocate of honey for this use acknowledges that there's virtually no published, scientific evidence to support his view.

Tom Ogren, a California horticulturalist and botanist ( who advocates local honey (meaning honey harvested within a few miles of where you live), said that bees in any given area "will visit all the flowers that produce pollen" in that area and that this honey will therefore contain pollen from the plants you frequently encounter and may be allergic to.

"If you take small amounts daily, it's like getting allergy shots" because you may become desensitized to the pollens, he said. "I hear from people who are crazy about the results they get" from this, he added.

But as for real data? Zilch. "You can't get a big bee company to do research because it [the honey] has to be local," he said. Ogren acknowledged that any pollen in local honey could also trigger the very allergies a person is hoping to ward off.

Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergist and immunologist at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, said that while "there are no controlled studies of a clinical effect" of local honey to combat allergies, "I do believe there is something to it."...

Mystery Plague Threatens Bees in U.S., Europe

As Mystery Plague Threatens to Wipe Out Bees, Scientist Reveal: Our Survival Depends on Them
By Alison Bejamin and Brian Mccallum, Daily Mail (UK), 6/23/2008

…So far, a third of all honeybees in America have died and the honeybee population in Europe has been devastated.

Sixty years ago, in England and Wales, there were more than 360,000 hives; now there are just 270,000 across the whole of Britain.

But most perplexing of all is that no one knows why this is happening — and what to do about it. Adult bees have been leaving their hives and not returning, leaving their queen, eggs and larvae to starve to death.

This phenomenon has a suitably modern name — Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) — and theories as to what causes it range from mobile phones interfering with the bees’ navigation systems to pesticide poisoning and exposure to GM crops.

More than a year after scientists began investigating, they are still only following vague leads…

Sunday, June 22, 2008

U.S. Surgeon Uses Honey, Polarized Light to Save Limbs

How Sweet it is to Use Honey to Heal Wounds
By Tracy Farnham, The News Herald (USA), 6/21/2008

…Dr. Frank Steele is reviving the use of honey, along with polarized light therapy, for wound care and, in some cases, an alternative solution to amputation.

Steele is a general surgeon who is now medical director of the Comprehensive Wound Healing Center at Valdese Hospital and at Blue Ridge HealthCare's new Affinity Face and Body Center.

Steele said as a youngster he recalled seeing a short movie about an African Safari where a villager used honey to treat a child's sore leg.

"I never thought that almost six decades later I would be doing the same thing," he said.

Returning from recent trips to San Diego and Toronto, Steele has presented his latest work titled "Healing problem wounds using a combination of polarized light and honey."

With this successful treatment, amputations of several limbs have been prevented…

In 2002 Steele was treating a colleague with one amputated leg and suffering from diabetes, bad kidneys and a bad heart.

"Losing that other foot meant a lot to him. Without it he would become dependent," Steele said.

He began polarized light treatment, which healed a spot, but after five months the extreme inflammation and MRSA created complications, and a hole emerged in one toe. "Conventional treatment was to take off his leg." Steele said.

Antibiotics go where there's blood supply and with dead tissue, no antibiotic could get there, he added. Since honey isn't dependent on the blood supply to get there, it eventually produced results.

The colleague said he had nothing to lose and asked Steele to put honey in the hole.

"We applied honey every day for two and a half months. He was getting better almost immediately and kept his leg," Steele said…

Steele's results have been from locally-produced, raw, non-pasteurized honey…

Study on Honeybees Provide Evidence on the Existence of 'Selfish Gene', 6/22/2008

An expert at The University of Western Ontario has unearthed strong evidence supporting British biologist Richard Dawkins' concept of the 'selfish gene', which was long accepted as fact decades ago.

Western biology professor Graham Thompson claims that he and Peter Oxley of the University of Sydney in Australia have for the first time isolated a region on the honey bee genome that houses the 'selfish' gene controlling sterility in female workers bees… [Editor's Note: The research will be published in the July issue of Genetics.]

Wound Care Market Report Shows Interest in Medicinal Honey

Honey, Silver Among Novel Wound Care Treatments
Medical News Today, 6/13/2008

Advancements in biotechnology, biomaterials and tissue engineering are driving growth in the worldwide wound care market -- which reached $12.3 billion in 2007 -- as new products and devices enter the market at lightning speed. Meanwhile, according to a new report by Kalorama Information, "World Wound Care Markets 2008," new research is shining a light on some very familiar substances that have powerful medicinal properties -- including honey and silver.

Using honey to treat wounds is not a new concept; it has served as an effective remedy for centuries. But recently, there has been renewed interest in and new products commercializing its medicinal properties.

Honey's positive effects on the healing process are myriad, from reducing inflammation, swelling and pain, to promoting the shedding of dead tissue and faster healing with minimal scarring. Honey is also an excellent antibacterial agent, and unlike other antiseptics, it is not harmful to tissues.

What is behind honey's powerful therapeutic and antibacterial properties? The hydrogen peroxide it generates stimulates the growth of new cells and blood vessels. Antioxidants prevent the formation of free radicals, which lead to inflammation. Vitamins, amino acids and minerals are vital to new tissue growth, since damage to the underlying circulation limits nutrients from reaching the wound.

"With clinical trials providing the evidence and rational explanations for its therapeutic efficacy, honey is finding acceptance in the mainstream medical field," notes Mary Anne Crandall, the report's author. Crandall explains that some companies are successfully commercializing honey-based wound care dressings and antibacterial gels…

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pollen Should be Monitored for Toxic Alkaloid Content

Hepatotoxic Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Pollen and Drying-Related Implications for Commercial Processing of Bee Pollen
J. Agric. Food Chem, June 14, 2008

Abstract: Using HPLC-ESI-MS, several saturated and 1,2-dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloids were detected, mainly as their N-oxides, in fresh pollen collected from flowers of the pyrrolizidine alkaloid-producing plants Echium vulgare, E. plantagineum, Senecio jacobaea, S. ovatus, and Eupatorium cannabinum, and/or pollen loads from bees (bee pollen) that foraged on those plants…

Considered in conjunction with international concerns about the adverse effects of these alkaloids, the results strongly indicate a need for monitoring pollen supplies intended for human consumption, at least until conditions for processing and/or selection are clearly defined such as to significantly reduce the hepatotoxic (and potentially carcinogenic and genotoxic) pyrrolizidine alkaloid content of bee pollen.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Royal Jelly Helps Treat Oral Mucositis

Topical Application of Royal Jelly has a Healing Effect for 5-Fluorouracil-Induced Experimental Oral Mucositis in Hamsters
Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol, 2008, 30(2): 103

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of bee products such as honey, royal jelly and propolis on 5-fluorouracil-induced experimental oral mucositis in hamsters.

Oral mucositis was induced in hamsters through a combination of 5-fluorouracil and mild abrasions that were made on the cheek pouch. Honey, royal jelly and propolis were thereafter topically administered to the oral mucosa, and then the healing process was examined by measuring the size of the mucositis.

Honey (1%, 10% and 100%) and propolis (0.3%, 1% and 3%) ointments did not reduce the size of the mucositis in comparison to the vaseline-treated control group. However, the royal jelly (3%, 10% and 30%) ointments significantly improved the recovery from 5-fluorouracil-induced damage in a dose-dependent manner.

These results suggest the possibility that the topical application of royal jelly has a healing effect on severe oral mucositis induced by chemotherapy.

Royal Jelly Market and Research in Japan

Presented by Mitsuo Matsuka, chairman of the Japan Royal Jelly Fair Trade Council, at APIMEDICA and APIQUALITY 2008 in Rome.


The royal jelly market was opened by imports from France and Germany and soon domestic production followed. One hundred kg production was reported in 1959 and increased rapidly thereafter. The first gross import (340 kg) came from Taiwan in 1967. Yoshida and Matsuka (1983) reported these events at the 29th Apimondia Congress in Budapest. At that time, domestic production was 17.6t and 170t was from abroad (mainly from China). After that, consumption continuously increased, supported by the health conscious tendencies of Japanese people, reaching 806t in 2006 (95.6% from China) including 3t of domestic product.


Related enterprises organized an association to pursue fair trade services in 1975, which set rules of management and quality in 1979. After several years of practical management, the Japan Royal Jelly Fair Trade Council became an authorized corporation in 1987 by the Japan Fair Trade Commission. After 20 years more than 300 enterprises joined the council in 2008, which sets rules for fair trading, labels and standards of products. Current quality standards for raw royal jelly are as follows after several amendments according to technical developments for analysis. Standards for dried and preparatory products are also described.

Water contents (62.5 – 68.5%)
Crude protein (12.0 – 15.5%)
10-OH-2-decenoic acid (more than 1.40%)
Acidity (32.0 – 53.0 ml mol/L alkaline solution per 100g)
Bacterial number (less than 500 perg)
Eschericia should be negative

Since ca. 95% royal jelly is imported from China, the council has cooperated with the Chinese government to make a guideline for production and quality control of royal jelly. Processes will be reported and discussed at the 9th Asian Apicultural Association Conference in November (2008) in Zhejiang, China.


The initial stage of royal jelly research in Japan was presented in 1985 by several authors at the 30th Apimondia Congress on chemical, pharmaceutical, and bactericidal effects, as well as quality control of the products. The Fair Trade Council has supported royal jelly research related to dietary effects by representative investigators since 1983. Among these, recent themes are on anti-tumor activity, antioxidative peptides, neurotrophic effect, effect on ulcerative colitis, function of decenoic acid, etc. The council has also held symposia and lectures for the public time to time. The council has compiled 239 related references by the occasion of the 20th anniversary (2007) to be analyzed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Faster, Simpler Method of Quality Control for Royal Jelly

Refractometric Determination of Water Content in Royal Jelly
Apidologie, 39 (2008) 225-232

Abstract - A correlation was found between the measured refraction index of royal jelly and its water content as determined by vacuum oven drying.

Twenty-seven different royal jelly samples were analysed for their water content by performing 24 hour vacuum drying at 48 °C, obtaining values that covered almost the entire range reported in literature. The refraction index values for the same samples were measured using a thermostated Abbe refractometer…

The refractometric evaluation of the water content provides sufficient reliability for the routine quality control of royal jelly and is faster and simpler than currently used methods.

Dispute Over Medicinal Honey Ads Heats Up in New Zealand

Manuka Honey Complaint Upheld
NZPA, 6/19/2008

A continuing row about objective measurement of a chemical compound used to define the efficacy of manuka honey for medicinal purposes has spilled over into advertisements run in community newspapers.

Professor Peter Molan, a pioneer in researching manuka honey used for purposes such as wound dressings, has successfully complained to the Advertising Standards Authority over advertisements run in the Hamilton Press.

The authority said today the advertisement for manuka honey trademarked with MGO, an abbreviation for methylglyoxal, breached a therapeutic products advertising code, as it was not truthful and balanced, and the claims had not been substantiated.

It said the advertisement also breached rules by not observing a high standard of social responsibility.

Manuka Health NZ Ltd did not substantiate the claim that its honey brand had unique anti-bacterial properties that other manuka honeys did not have…

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Video: Fertility Super Foods - Royal Jelly and Bee Propolis

Honey Beats Wound Care Gel in Reducing MRSA

Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial Shows Derma Sciences MEDIHONEY(TM) Eradicates MRSA from Chronic Venous Ulcers
70% Elimination of the Deadly Superbug Provides Hope for Global Caregivers

PRINCETON, N.J., June 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Derma Sciences, a provider of advanced wound care products, announced today that its key product, MEDIHONEY(TM) Wound & Burn Dressing with Active Leptospermum Honey, has been found in a large randomized controlled clinical trial to significantly reduce the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in chronic wounds. The finding was published in the June 2008 issue of The Journal of Wound Care

The trial, a 108-patient randomized and controlled clinical trial, looked at venous leg ulcers that had been proven to be non-healing under standard treatment (compression therapy). In the study, half the patients had a common advanced wound care gel added to the standard treatment, and half had Comvita's Active Leptospermum (Manuka) Honey (now marketed under the brand name MEDIHONEY(TM)) added. After four weeks, 70% of the MEDIHONEY treated wounds versus only 16% of the hydrogel treated wounds had MRSA eradicated.

Published in this month's Journal of Wound Care, the research paper "Bacteriological Changes in Sloughy Venous Leg Ulcers Treated with Manuka Honey or Hydrogel: an RCT," was written by lead investigators Georgina T. Gethin and Seamus Cowman, both of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. They concluded that for sloughy venous ulcers, "the efficacy of honey in eliminating MRSA in such wounds is a positive finding that may have implications for wound management and infection control."…

Honey for Hemorrhoids?

Honey Helped Get Rid of My Hemorrhoids
By Dr. Peter Gott, Erie Times-News (USA), 6/18/2008

Q I want to respond to your column regarding hemorrhoids and how hard it is to get rid of them. I would like to tell you about the experience of my husband's grandmother.

During one of her physical exams, her doctor informed her that she had hemorrhoids and would need surgery to repair them.

She refused the surgery because she had read an article in Prevention Magazine claiming honey would help heal hemorrhoids.

She immediately put honey on everything she could (toast, hot cereal, etc.), and, by the time she saw the doctor again, they were gone. The doctor noticed and commented on her finally deciding on having the surgery.

She said she didn't have the surgery, and if he looked more closely, he would notice the lack of scars. She told him about the honey and how it solved her problem. He was amazed.

A Honey for hemorrhoids is new to me. I am aware of honey's healing properties for wounds and burns; however, in these instances, it is applied topically.

Eating honey to heal hemorrhoids seems like a bit of a stretch, and, I would imagine it would be more effective (and messy) if it were applied topically. However, I can't argue with success.

If any of my readers have tried treating hemorrhoids with honey, please let me know. If the letters I receive show a positive result, I will write a follow-up...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Honey Injections Used to Treat Osteoarthritis

Intraarticular Injection of Honey in Treatment of Hip Osteoarthritis: A Case Study

By Mamdouh Abdulrhman, Professor of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt


A 56-year-old farmer came to my office on June 22, 2006, seeking for an alternative treatment for his right hip joint pain, which had been present for about 10 years. The condition was diagnosed as severe osteoarthritis of the right hip joint; based on symptoms (pain and limitation of movement) and radiological findings.

The patient did not show favorable response to different pharmacological treatment modalities and the pain and disability limited his ability to do his regular physical activities as a farmer. Moreover he started to experience gastrointestinal problems (e.g., epigastric pain) as side effects to the medications.

Ultimately he was advised by an orthopedic surgeon to do arthroplasty (total hip replacement) because of persistence of symptoms and disability despite appropriate treatment, but he refused. After getting consent, he stopped all medications and started to receive honey injections into the affected hip.

Intraarticular honey injection every 2 to 4 weeks has been started since July 6, 2006, and is still ongoing. Honey solution (5 ml) was initially given in a concentration of 10% and thereafter the concentration was gradually increased to 30%.

The pain and joint function started to show improvement from the 2nd injection. A total of 35 honey injections were given to the patient without any significant side effects. During each honey injection the patient experienced hip pain which usually persists for a few hours and disappears spontaneously: this was followed by improvement in both symptoms and function of the joint which usually persist for about 10 days or more. In conclusion; honey injection should be used in future clinical trials in treatment of this disabling disease.

Propolis Helps Treat Canker Sores

Bee Propolis: Nature's Healing Balm with Immune Boosting Properties
By Katherine East, Natural News, 6/16/2008

Bee propolis is a remarkable natural substance collected and produced by honeybees. It is often referred to as a natural antibiotic and has many diverse uses. I love it when nature clearly has the upper hand over the frailty of our human science. Bee propolis is one such substance and has even been described as having anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties with immune modulating effects. These may sound a little too good to be true but you can't go wrong with a bottle of bee propolis in your medicine cabinet. As a natural remedy it will be incredibly useful for at least it's anti-viral effects.

What is Bee Propolis?

Propolis is a resinous substance that bees collect from trees and plants. Bees use it as a natural antibiotic to protect their hive and as defence against disease in the hive. They do this by using it as a seal over foreign matter so that it does not pollute the hive as well as for creating doorways. It is made up of waxes, resins, fatty acids and amino acids. Hundreds of chemical properties have been identified in propolis and this differs from hive to hive as well as with the environment the bees live in and the time of day the propolis was collected. This makes propolis exceedingly complex which is why no one has attempted to synthesise the product. It is natural and cannot be patented and therefore research into the substance is limited regarding its clinical benefits…

A study was done on the effects of bee propolis on Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS) -- also known as canker sores -- at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Canker sores are an ulcerative disorder of the oral cavity. They have no cure and medicine used to prevent further outbreaks and relieve pain comes with its own set of dangerous side-effects. Bee propolis was evaluated as a potential remedy to reduce the number of mouth ulcer outbreaks. There were two groups of patients, one group who took a placebo capsule and the other group who took a propolis capsule. Patients who took the propolis capsule showed a significant decrease in the number of outbreaks of mouth ulcers. Another great effect of the propolis was that the patients reported a definite improvement in their quality of life. This would likely be due to the immune boosting effects that propolis has with its high levels of B-vitamin complex and notable quantities of vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene…

Monday, June 16, 2008

Traces of Antibiotics, Lead Found in Indian Honey

Honey Industry Stung by Traces of Antibiotics, Lead
Sukhdeep Kaur, The Indian Express, 6/16/2008

India’s flourishing honey industry, based primarily in Punjab, has pressed the panic button after over 90 per cent of export samples were found contaminated with residues of antibiotics and lead...

While the source of antibiotic contamination is the indiscriminate use of medicines by beekeepers due to a bacterial disease caused to the bees by a small mite, the lead traces are from beekeepers reusing ghee and oil tins for storage and transportation. “Honey is acidic and reacts with the tin leading to high lead traces,” says Prof L R Verma, who heads the IBA…

Honey Injections Used to Treat Pneumonia

Treatment of Severe Pneumonia by Intravenous Honey in a Patient with Malignant Bone Tumor

By Mamdouh Abdulrhman, Professor of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt


Abstract: A 35-year-old male having osteosarcoma of the left shoulder region (grade III) developed high fever, respiratory distress and cough. He was generally ma rkedly ill and looked very toxic. The temperature was 39.5°C.

Chest examination revealed dullness, bronchial breathing and crepitations on the right side. Plain x-ray of the chest revealed semi homogenous opacity involving most of the right radiological lung zone. He was provisionally diagnosed as having pulmonary metastatic disease. He refused hospital admission for further investigations and management and sought an alternative treatment for this life-threatening condition.

Because of its anti-microbial, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties, honey was used for treatment of this case. Two forms of honey therapy were used: (1) Oral honey in a dose of 50 ml dissolved in water and given before meals three times daily, and (2) Intravenous injection of 5 ml 20% honey solution every two weeks (a total of 3 injections were given).

The patient showed marked improvement (both clinically and radiologically) after about 6 weeks.

After Honey Therapy

Before Honey Therapy

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Study: Honey Potential Source of ‘Novel Antimicrobial Compounds’

Antimicrobial Activity of Bacterial Isolates from Different Floral Sources of Honey
Int J Food Microbiol, 2008 May 5

More than two thousand bacterial strains isolated from six US domestic honeys and two manuka honeys from New Zealand were screened for production of antimicrobial compounds.

A high incidence of antimicrobial inhibition determined by deferred inhibition assays was observed with the bacterial isolates from all eight honey samples.

In total, 2217 isolates out of 2398 strains (92.5% of total isolates) exhibited antimicrobial activity against at least one of the tested microorganisms. Antifungal activity by bacterial isolates originating from the eight honeys ranged from 44.4% to 98.0%.

Bacterial isolates from manuka honey (MH1) exhibited antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 and Bacillus cereus F4552, at 51.5% and 53.3% of the isolates, respectively. However, less than 30% of the bacterial isolates from the other manuka honey (MH2) and six domestic honey sources exhibited anti-Bacillus activity.

Listeria monocytogenes F2-586 1053 showed higher overall rates of sensitivity to between 11 and 66% of the bacterial isolates.

The high rate of antimicrobial activity exhibited by the bacterial strains isolated from different honey sources could provide potential sources of novel antimicrobial compounds.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Propolis Shows ‘Significant Hepatoprotective Effect’

Effect of Propolis on Oxidative Stress and Histomorphology of Liver Tissue in Experimental Obstructive Jaundice
Eur Surg Res, 2008;41:231-237

Background: Propolis is a natural product collected by honey bees from various plant sources. We aimed to determine the possible effects of propolis on oxidative stress and hepatocyte apoptosis in experimental obstructive jaundice.

Results: The plasma and liver levels of MDA were significantly lower in the propolis group than in the BDL group…In the propolis group, the enlargement of hepatocytes, dilatation of canaliculi and the edema regressed. The regenerating and normal hepatocytes were demonstrated. In the TUNEL assay, propolis administration reduced hepatocyte apoptosis.

Conclusion: Propolis showed a significant hepatoprotective effect in this experimental obstructive jaundice model.

Brazil: 1st International Seminar on Clinical Apitherapy

When: August 14-15, 2008
Where: Faculdade de Educação - Campus UFMG - Belo Horizonte - MG
Official Language: English
International Speakers Include: Dr. Stefan Stangaciu (Romania), Dr. Francesca Borrelli (Italy), Dr. Andreas Daugh
Contact: E-mail:, Tel: +55 (31) 3409-2497

Friday, June 13, 2008

Propolis Component Protects Against Liver Cancer

Evidence that the Anticarcinogenic Effect of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester in the Resistant Hepatocyte Model Involves Modifications of Cytochrome P450
Toxicological Sciences, 2008 104(1):100-106

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a natural component of propolis, shows anticarcinogenic properties in the modified resistant hepatocyte model when administered before initiation or promotion of hepatocarcinogenesis process; however, information about the mechanism underlying this chemoprotection is limited.

The aim of this work was to characterize the effect of CAPE on cytochrome P450 (CYP), which is involved in diethylnitrosamine (DEN) metabolism during the initiation stage of chemical hepatocarcinogenesis…

Our results suggest that CAPE modifies the enzymatic activity of CYP isoforms involved in the activation of DEN, such as CYP1A1/2 and CYP2B1/2. These findings describe an alternative mechanism for understanding the ability of CAPE to protect against chemical hepatocarcinogenesis.

Bee Products Used to Treat Wounds, Burns, Ulcers, Allergies, Hemorrhoids

Honey Said to Work on Allergies and Cuts
By Geralda Miller, The Reno Gazette-Journal (USA), 6/10/2008

..Dr. Michael Gerber, a homeopathic physician in Reno, said he learned early in his medical training about honey's features.

He remembers taking care of a morbidly obese man after he had gall bladder surgery.

"It was my job to honey the wound twice a day," he said. "Honey is a great antiseptic. Bacteria cannot live in honey."

Leonard Joy, a local bee keeper and honey producer, said he appreciates honey's qualities. "Whenever I get a cut or an abrasion I put it (honey) on the Band-Aid," he said. "It keeps bacteria from growing and it stimulates healing."…

Meanwhile, in addition to honey, Gerber says the venom in bee stings, the glue the holds the bee hives together and the whole bee are medicinal.

"The whole bee, the whole hive is wonderful," he said.

Here are some medicinal uses and remedies for sweet honey and the bee:

Allergies: Using honey made within a 100-mile radius will help with allergies, Joy said.

"Local honey with local pollens helps build the immunity," he said. "Now it only works on pollen that these bees collect."

Foster said about 80 percent of the honey he sells at local farmers markets is to people who believe it will help their hay fever and allergies.

"A lot of doctors send their patients with allergies to get local honey," Foster said.

The whole bee, ground up and homeopathically diluted, also is good for allergies, Gerber said.

Burns: Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, honey can promote healing burns.

"It has been used in burn units for years," Joy said.

Instead of using the aloe vera plant, treat a burn at home by running cool water over it, applying a little honey and covering with clean gauze.

Hemorrhoids: Honey works as an anti-inflammatory for hemorrhoids. Instead of using in the liquid form, Gerber suggests using beeswax. Beeswax is produced from the bee hive of honey bees.

Ulcers/gastritis: The resin bees create to build their hives, which is called propolis, is an anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory that is good for ulcers and gastritis, Gerber said. He said the "glue" also is good for colds and as an immune strengthener…

Cuban Plant Produces Propolis, Honey, Beeswax

Cuba Increases Export of Honey and Wax

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, June 11 (acn) As a result of the modern technology implemented in a new honey and wax processing plant in this eastern city, there has been a gradual increase in the export of such products…

The Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) has another plant in the central Cuban city of Sancti Spiritus, where it’s carrying out similar transformations, aimed at expanding the sale of one of the main exportable items of Cuban agriculture.

The quality of its honey is certified by research centers from Cuba and Germany, in terms of its color and humidity and 16 other parameters.

The two plants also collect important volumes of wax and propolis, which are used for industrial, sanitary, and biotechnological purposes.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Study: Honey Ameliorates Bacterial Translocation

Effect of Honey on Bacterial Translocation and Intestinal Morphology in Obstructive Jaundice
World J Gastroenterol, 2008 June;14(21):3410-3415

AIM: To evaluate the effects of honey on bacterial translocation and intestinal villus histopathology in experimental obstructive jaundice.

METHODS: Thirty Wistar-Albino rats were randomly divided into three groups each including 10 animals: group I, sham-operated; group II, ligation and section of the common bile duct (BDL); group III, bile duct ligation followed by oral supplementation of honey (BDL + honey) 10 g/kg per day. Liver, blood, spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, and ileal samples were taken for microbiological, light and transmission electrone microscopic examination.

RESULTS: Although the number of villi per centimeter and the height of the mucosa were higher in sham group, there was no statistically significant difference between sham and BDL + honey groups (P > 0.05). On the other hand, there was a statistically significant difference between BDL group and other groups (P <> 0.05). BDL group had significantly higher rates of bacterial translocation as compared with sham and honey groups. Bacterial translocation was predominantly detected in mesenteric lymph nodes.

CONCLUSION: Supplementation of honey in presence of obstructive jaundice ameliorates bacterial translocation and improves ileal morphology.

Beehive Botanicals Gives 10% to Northwoods Humane Society

Beehive Botanicals CEO Linda Graham announced her northwest Wisconsin bee product and dietary supplement manufacturing company will donate 10% of its online sales during June to the Northwoods Humane Society…

Beehive Botanicals is a leading supplier of bee pollen, bee propolis, royal jelly products and a GMP certified manufacturer of dietary supplements for clients worldwide.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Study Looks at Mechanism of Reactions to Bee Venom

Differential Activation of p38 and Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase in Spinal Cord in a Model of Bee Venom-Induced Inflammation and Hyperalgesia
Molecular Pain, 2008, 4:17

Background: Honeybee's sting on human skin can induce ongoing pain, hyperalgesia and inflammation. Injection of bee venom (BV) into the intraplantar surface of the rat hindpaw induces an early onset of spontaneous pain followed by a lasting thermal and mechanical hypersensitivity in the affected paw.

The underlying mechanisms of BV-induced thermal and mechanical hypersensitivity are, however, poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in the generation of BV-induced pain hypersensitivity…

Conclusion: The results indicate that differential activation of p38 and ERK1/2 in the dorsal horn may contribute to the generation and development of BV-induced pain hypersensitivity by different mechanisms.

Video: Pain of Honeybee Sting Rated

Honey Could Treat MRSA

By Kate Devlin, The Telegraph (UK), 6/10/2008

Honey could be used to treat a strain of the superbug MRSA, according to a new study.

In laboratory tests scientists found that four different honeys could kill all trace of the deadly Community Acquired MRSA (CA- MRSA).

Previous studies have shown that a specific type of honey, taken from bees who have eaten the pollen of the New Zealand Manuka bush, could be effective against hospital acquired MRSA, the most common strain of the disease.

The new research is the first to show that natural honey grown in Britain could be used against CA-MRSA.

The researchers, from the Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory at the City Hospital in Belfast, tested three types of local honey plus a French honey.

They applied the spread to the becteria and left in a cool place for 24 hours.

Monitored every eights hours, there were slight differences in how each individual honey performed.

However, all managed to remove any trace of the infaction within one day, the findings, published in the journal Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice shows.

The scientists believe that one reason for the results is that honey contains hydrogen peroxide, the key component of bleach and a powerful disinfectant…

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

CAPE, Pinocembrin Protect Tissues Re-Supplied with Blood

Effect of NFκB Inhibition by CAPE on Skeletal Muscle Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury
Journal of Surgical Research, 12 May 2008

Background/Aims: Nuclear factor κ B (NFκB) plays important role in the pathogenesis of skeletal muscle ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE), a potent NFκB inhibitor, exhibits protective effects on I/R injury in some tissues. In this report, the effect of CAPE on skeletal muscle I/R injury in rats was studied…

Results: Animals submitted to ischemia showed a marked increase in aminotransferases after reperfusion, but with lower levels in the CAPE group. Tissue glutathione levels declined gradually during ischemia to reperfusion, and were partially recovered with CAPE treatment. The histological damage score, muscle edema percentage, tissue malondialdehyde content, apoptosis index, and neutrophil and mast cell infiltration, as well as 4HNE and NFκB p65 labeling, were higher in animals submitted to I/R compared with the ischemia group. However, the CAPE treatment significantly reduced all of these alterations.

Conclusions: CAPE was able to protect skeletal muscle against I/R injury in rats. This effect may be associated with the inhibition of the NFκB signaling pathway and decrease of the tissue inflammatory response following skeletal muscle I/R.

See: Pinocembrin Protects Rat Brain Against Oxidation and Apoptosis Induced by Ischemia–Reperfusion Both In Vivo and In Vitro

Medicinal Honey Firm Takes Control of Beekeepers Group

Comvita Takes Control of Medical Honey Supplier

NZPA - Honey products company Comvita has taken ownership of a group of beekeepers supplying medical-grade honey.

Comvita made the $2.15 million purchase of Kiwi Bee Business in December last year, but took final control of the company on June 1...

Chief executive Brett Hewlett told NZPA the purchase would help ensure security of supply.

Kiwi Bee Business includes 3000 hives in the North Island, and a honey extraction facility. Manuka honey is well known for its healing properties, and Comvita produces wound dressings for the US market...

Urban Beekeeping is the Latest Buzz

By Jessica M. Pasko, The Associated Press, 6/9/2008

ALBANY, N.Y. - When Cindy Barclay asks visitors to her booth at the local farmers market if they want to try honey from downtown Albany, they're often shocked. "...

Like Barclay, city dwellers across the country are rapidly discovering the appeal of urban beekeeping. Large cities like Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Dallas and San Francisco are even promoting beekeeping for pollination health, to keep city vegetation green and lush.

The hobby has become increasingly important amid rising concern over honeybee die-offs attributed to a mysterious disease that causes adult bees to abandon their hives, known as colony collapse disorder. Scientists are struggling to understand what's behind the problem...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Propolis Helps Prevent Gum Disease

A Morphometric and Histopathological Evaluation of the Effects of Propolis on Alveolar Bone Loss in Experimental Periodontitis in Rats
Journal of Periodontology, Posted online on May 15, 2008

Aim: Propolis collected by honeybees from various plant sources is a resinous hive product possessing a broad spectrum of biological activities. Propolis, has been extensively used in diet to improve health and to prevent disease. The purpose of this study was to analyze the morphometric and histopathological changes associated with experimental periodontitis in rats in response to systemic administration of propolis…

Results: At the end of 11 days alveolar bone loss significantly higher in the LO group compared to the NL, Pro100, and Pro200 groups. Osteoclast number of the LO group was significantly higher than those of the NL, Pro100 and Pro200 groups. Both doses of propolis significantly reduced the periodontitis-related bone loss, but the differences between two propolis groups were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: The findings of this study provide morphological and histological evidence that propolis, when administered systemically, prevents alveolar bone loss in the rat model.

Newsweek Ad: ‘Plant this Page. Save a Bee’

Corporations Launching Bee Preservation Efforts
By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post (USA), 6/8/2008

A growing number of corporations are stepping up to help the honeybee.

In addition to an ongoing campaign by Häagen-Dazs, the Oakland, Calif.-based maker of premium ice cream, a brewer and balm maker are launching new programs this month to call attention to Colony Collapse Disorder, the mysterious malady that is shrinking bee populations nationwide…

Lip-balm maker Burt's Bees of Durham, N.C. (, started this month to donate 5 percent of the proceeds from sales of its special edition CCD Beeswax Lip Balm to the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and its Honeybee Health Improvement Project.

Also this month, Häagen-Dazs, which introduced a special honey vanilla ice cream earlier this year, expanded its campaign to include an innovative print advertisement that includes linen paper embedded with wildflower seeds.

The ads, titled "Plant this page. Save a bee," appear in today's editions of Newsweek magazine. They can be torn out of the magazine and planted under a thin layer of soil…

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Propolis Component Protects Against Liver Damage

Protective Effect of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester on Tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide-Induced Oxidative Hepatotoxicity and DNA Damage
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Article in Press, Corrected Proof

Abstract: Increased oxidative stress and associated high levels of free radical generation have been described to occur during the pathogeneses of various diseases in animal models.

In the present work, we investigated the protective effects of the phenethyl ester of caffeic acid (CAPE), an active component of honeybee propolis, on tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-induced hepatotoxicity in a cultured HepG2 cell line and in rat liver.

CAPE was found to significantly reduce t-BHP-induced oxidative injury in HepG2 cells, as determined by cell cytotoxicity, and lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, CAPE protected HepG2 cells against t-BHP-induced oxidative DNA damage, as determined by the Comet assay.

Consistently, CAPE reduced hydroxyl radical-induced 2-deoxy-d-ribose degradation by ferric ion-nitrilotriacetic acid and H2O2, and also removed the superoxide anion generated by a xanthine/xanthine oxidase system.

Our in vivo study showed that pretreatment with CAPE prior to the administration of t-BHP significantly and dose-dependently prevented increases in the serum levels of hepatic enzyme markers (alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase) and reduced lipid peroxidation in rat liver.

Moreover, histopathological evaluation of livers consistently revealed that CAPE reduced liver lesion induction by t-BHP. Taken together, these results suggest that the protective effects of CAPE against t-BHP-induced hepatotoxicity may, at least in part, be due to its ability to scavenge ROS and protect DNA from oxidative stress-induced damage.

Honey Bee Researcher Sought in Saudi Arabia

The Bee Research Unit at King Saud University College of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is seeking a Researcher with a PhD degree in Entomology or Biology to study honeybee biology and beekeeping. It is preferable for applicants to have experience in instrumental insemination of queens.

The researcher will be required to design experiments, to conduct field research and to publish in international journals.

The position includes:

* Monthly salary of SR 6000-9000
* Home rent allowance of SR 25000 (annual) and SR 12500 (one time) for furniture (US$1 = SR 3.75)
* Medical
* Yearly round trip ticket to home country

Contact or send your c.v. to:

Dr. Abdulaziz Alqarni

(Photo: Queen-rearing station in Saudi Arabia)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

‘Primitive’ Storage Conditions May Impact Honey More Than Heating

Quality of Honeys Influenced by Thermal Treatment
LWT - Food Science and Technology, Volume 41, Issue 8, November 2008, Pages 1396-1399

Abstract: Honey producers have been heating honeys at mild temperatures below 100 °C chiefly in order to prevent post-bottling crystallization. In this study, we aimed to determine the effects of thermal treatment on the HMF content of honeydew and floral honey during the isothermal heating process at mild temperatures.

Water content, formol number, total acidity, pH value and minerals were also determined in both honey types as their characteristics differ with composition, which is able to affect the rate of HMF formation…

Our results show that the excessive HMF content might be related to primitive storage conditions rather than overheating.

U.S. Farm Bill to Include Funds for Honeybee Research

Honeybee Researchers to Receive Additional Federal Funds
By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post (USA), 6/6/2008

The chances are excellent that honeybee researchers will receive additional federal funds to help solve the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder, a Florida congressman said this week.

For the first time ever, money for honeybees and other pollinators is in the nation's farm

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, said his message to beekeepers who are still experiencing colony collapse is: "They are going to get help. I cannot tell them when."…

Friday, June 06, 2008

Propolis Component Boosts Brain Cells

(Taiwan) NatureWise Announces Updates on Cancer Drug Candidate, Neurotrophic Factors for Neurodegenerative Disorders

(Press release, NatureWise Biotech & Medicals Corp.)

Botanically-derived drug discovery and development firm NatureWise Biotech & Medicals Corp. (TPO:4732) announced this week two major updates to its drug discovery and development pipeline, with research results to be presented at the BIO 2008 conference and exhibition in San Diego 17-19 June, 2008.

The first is a drug candidate for targeted cancer therapy and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic disorder. The second relates to the company's breakthrough neurotrophic factors derived from prenylflavanone agents (PPLs), which, unlike conventional neurotrophic factors, can pass the blood-brain barrier and reach neurons in the brain. This has exciting implications for the development of new drugs for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease…

About neurotrophic agents from PPLs for neurodegenerative disease therapy:

Several prenylflavanone compounds of small molecular weight--abbreviated as PPLs--were isolated from Taiwanese bee propolis. At low concentrations (as low as 150 ng/mL), these PPLs increased both the survival of cortical neurons and the proliferation of neural stem cells, and induced differentiation of neural stem cells into large number of neuronal cells. They were also found in rat astrocyte cells to significantly up-regulate gene expression of neurotrophic factors, such as GDNF and BDNF. These results suggest that PPLs play an important role as neurotrophic agents to enhance the survival, differentiation and function of neural stem cells. Furthermore, PPLs have been found capable of greatly enhancing the outgrowth of neurites…

Study: Propolis May Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Water-Soluble Derivative of Propolis Mitigates Scopolamine-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment in Mice
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Article in Press, Corrected Proof

Abstract: The water-soluble derivative of propolis (WSDP) was prepared from fresh Chinese propolis. Its major constituents were identified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis.

It has been reported that propolis possessed a broad spectrum of biological activities but including few studies on learning and memory by now. Thus, this study was aimed to investigate the effect of WSDP on scopolamine-induced learning and memory impairment in mice…

The results from 100 mg/kg WSDP group showed significant mitigation scopolamine-induced amnesia in mice. Furthermore, WSDP's effect on the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus was also assayed. As a result, WSDP (100 mg/kg) significantly inhibited AChE activity in the hippocampus of scopolamine-treated mice.

These results indicated that WSDP may mitigate amnesia in vivo through inhibition of AChE activity in the hippocampus, which suggested propolis may have potential as a pharmaceutical of brain protection with elderly population for preventing Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bee Venom Induces Cancer Cell Death

Bee Venom Induced Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Cervical Epidermoid Carcinoma Ca Ski Cells
Anticancer Res, 2008 Mar-Apr;28(2A):833-42

Although it has been previously reported that bee venom (BV) can induce apoptosis in many cancer cell lines, there is no information on the effect of BV on human cervical cancer cells and its molecular mechanisms of action are not fully elucidated.

In this study, the possible mechanisms of apoptosis by which BV acts on human cervical cancer Ca Ski cells were investigated…

In conclusion, our data demonstrated that BV-induced apoptosis occurs via a Fas receptor pathway involving mitochondrial-dependent pathways and is closely related to the level of cytoplasmic Ca2+ in Ca Ski cells.

Indian Royal Jelly Mostly for Export

Royal Jelly, the Wonder Honey that Increases Longevity
ANI (India), 6/5/2008

Pune, June 5: As kids we are generally told a bit about the bees collecting honey from flowers. But what most of us may not know is that these industrious insects also produce an anti-aging medium that is based on honey and named as Royal Jelly.

Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI) in Pune is credited for producing Royal Jelly, a variety of honey valued as nectar since it is said it increases longevity as well as possesses most extraordinary medicinal qualities.

But priced at rupees 15,000 per kilogram, it is surely not within everyone's reach. Besides it is hardly sold in the domestic market and mostly used for export purposes…

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bees Translate Dances of Foreign Species

Mixed Hives Learn to Interpret Signals
By Ian Sample, The Guardian (UK), 6/4/2008

Honeybees can communicate with others from far-off continents by learning to interpret their dance moves, scientists have found.

The world's nine species of honeybee separated about 30m years ago and have since developed their own diverse dances, which are used like languages…

Study Looks at Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Arthritis Effects of Bee Venom

JNK Pathway is Involved in the Inhibition of Inflammatory Target Gene Expression and NF-kappaB Activation by Melittin
Journal of Inflammation, 2008, 5:7, 29 May 2008

Background: Bee venom therapy has been used to treat inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis in humans and in experimental animals. We previously found that bee venom and melittin (a major component of bee venom) have anti-inflammatory effect by reacting with the sulfhydryl group of p50 of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) and IkappaB kinases (IKKs). Since mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase family is implicated in the NF-kappaB activation and inflammatory reaction, we further investigated whether activation of MAP kinase may be also involved in the anti-inflammatory effect of melittin and bee venom…

Conclusion: These data show that melittin and bee venom prevent LPS and SNP-induced NO and PGE2 production via JNK pathway dependent inactivation of NF-kappaB, and suggest that inactivation of JNK pathways may also contribute to the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritis effects of melittin and bee venom.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Royal Jelly Component Lowers Blood Pressure

A Dipeptide YY Derived from Royal Jelly Proteins Inhibits Renin Activity
Int J Mol Med, 2008 Jun;21(6):677-81

Renin is the rate limiting enzyme in the renin-angiotensin (RA) system that regulates blood pressure and electrolyte balance.

In this study, we investigated the renin inhibitory effect of a royal jelly (RJ)-derived peptide. A dipeptide YY was isolated from the digested fraction of RJ proteins by proteases and was found to inhibit human renin activity.

The inhibition constant (Ki) of YY was estimated to be 10 muM when the Km was 0.16 muM using sheep angiotensinogen as the substrate. The peptide was observed to lower blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

Colony Collapse Disorder Decimates Lebanon’s Bee Population

Global Scourge Clips Wings of Lebanon's Beekeepers
Crucial links in food chain are dying in record numbers
By Esther Krenz Muller, The Daily Star, 6/3/2008

BEIRUT: Many people think of bees as just another flying pest, but they are essential to modern civilization's ability to feed itself - and they are dying in unsettling numbers.

"Since 2005, Lebanon's estimated 10,000 beekeepers have lost roughly one quarter of their 4 billion bees," Wadih Yazbek, manager of Yazbek Honey Est., told The Daily Star…

Since 2006 baffled researchers have come up with a term for the mysterious phenomenon - Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In CCD-stricken hives, the entire adult population of worker bees (with the exception of the queen) flies off in search of pollen and mysteriously never returns to the hive. The bees aren't emigrating - they simply cannot find their way home due to disorientation and eventually succumb to exhaustion and cold, according to beekeepers and scientists worldwide...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Propolis Shows No Side Effects When Used as Scolicidal Agent

The Effects of Scolicidal Agent Propolis on Liver and Biliary Tree
J Gastrointest Surg, 2008 May 30

BACKGROUND: This study was designed to examine the effects of propolis on the liver and biliary system when used as a scolicidal agent.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty Wistar-Albino rats were divided into two groups. Propolis and 0.9% saline (NaCl) were injected into the biliary tract of the rats. Three rats from control group and four rats from propolis group died within 5 days after the procedure. Blood samples of remaining 23 rats were obtained 1 week after and at the end of the experimental study for liver function tests. Six months after the procedure, retrograde and magnetic resonance cholangiography were performed and liver, common bile duct, and duodenum were excised en bloc for histopathological examination.

RESULTS: Liver function tests were slightly elevated 1 week after the procedure and were found to be normal at the end of the sixth month in both groups. No stricture in the biliary tree was found on the retrograde and magnetic resonance cholangiograms. The tissue samples of the propolis group showed no histomorphological difference from the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: Propolis may be used as a scolicidal agent even in the case of cystobiliary communication with no side effects on liver and biliary tree.

See: Effects of Honey as a Scolicidal Agent on the Hepatobiliary System