Thursday, July 31, 2008

Educational Site Offers Honey Wound Healing Videos, Curriculum

‘Superbugs’ are antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that can cause problems in some hospitals. In this clip, honey researcher Peter Molan and woundcare nurse Julie Betts explain that Manuka honey is particularly good at killing superbugs. But can superbugs become resistant to Manuka honey?

View other video clips.

Honey to Heal
Biotechnology Learning Hub

You may have been spreading honey on your toast for a few years, but people have been using it to treat illnesses for thousands of years! Now honey is being used to make a product that can help wounds heal more quickly.

Information Sheets

How Honey Heals Wounds
Honeybees and Manuka Trees
Processing Manuka Honey
From Bees to Bandages


Experiment: Antibacterial Effects of Honey
Experiment: Making Honey Crystals
Experiment: The Osmotic Effect of Honey
Experiment: The Properties of Honey
Experiment: The Thixotropic Nature of Manuka Honey
Experiment: The Viscosity of Honey
Experiment: How Much Water is in Honey?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Audio: Breakthrough Made in Controlling Varroa Mite Without Pesticides

Radio New Zealand, 7/21/2008

New Zealand scientists have made a breakthrough in controlling the deadly varroa bee mite without using chemical pesticides, with an organic solution from a naturally occurring fungus, metarhizium, which doesn't affect the bees or the honey. Dr Mark Goodwin, spokesperson, HortResearch, says they have now found a way for the fungus to work in bee colonies, while Becker Underwood will mass produce it.

Listen to the interview.

Video: Demonstration of Romanian Bee Venom Collector

The collector frame is made from wood or plastic and holds a wire grid (electrodes). Underneath the wires is a glass sheet which is covered with a rubber material named Plutex to avoid contamination of the venom. During collection, bees come in contact with the wire grid and receive a mild and adequate electric shock. They sting the surface of the collector sheet as they see this to be the source of danger, an intruder. The venom is then deposited between the glass and the protective material where it dries and is later gathered.

Does venom collection kill bees?

Bee venom is collected without killing bees. At the beginning, in1990s venom collectors used a thick rubber sheet to collect bee stingers. The bees stung into the rubber sheet after receiving an electric shock kill more than 10 bees per hive, who losed their stingers.This loss is not significant to the population of the bee hive and does not effect the life span of the colony.

The newer collector devices and methods are safe and do not harm bees. During 30 minutes of collection, with a well adjusted programm collector device will not die more than 3 bees/day…

U.S. Launches Crackdown on Illegal Honey Imports

Swarming to Arrest Honey Importers
By Cindy Skrzycki, The Washington Post (USA), 7/29/2008

How's this for the plot of a suspense thriller to take to the beach? Contraband worth millions is shipped through Russia to disguise its origin. Federal agents, tipped by an informant, move in for an arrest. A German executive is apprehended as she is leaving the country.

Except this tale is real, a sting, if you will, involving the alleged laundering of Chinese honey through Russia to avoid high U.S. tariffs, some of it possibly contaminated with banned antibiotics.

The case is part of a crackdown on importers trying to get honey into the U.S. market at prices that undercut domestic producers. Over the past 15 years, U.S. honey producers have complained to the International Trade Commission in Washington repeatedly to try to stem such imports from China. A year ago, 221 percent anti-dumping tariffs were slapped on some shipments…

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Honey Included in Review of Biologic Treatments for Burn Wounds

Biologic Dressing in Burns
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 19(4):923-928, July 2008.

Abstract: Advances in cellular biology and knowledge in wound healing and growth factors have given us a wide variety of choices to attack the problem of the complex burn wound. Split-thickness skin grafting with autograft is at present the standard of care. It, however, is not an ideal substitute and frequently is not available for full-burn coverage.

This article will review honey, human amnion, xenograft, allograft, cultured epithelial autograft, and various engineered commercial products for use in the biologic treatment of burn wounds.

Bee Propolis: Synergisitc Health Care for the 21st Century

James Fearnley, BeeVital Research, 7/27/2008

For well over a century modern science has progressed at a startling rate. With this increase in knowledge has come medicinal and healthcare benefits that have seen ages peak and diseases eradicated. These medical advances were based around the paradigm of the “magic bullet”, isolating the active ingredient and using it to alter the chemistry of a single molecule/protein to elicit a change of state in the patient.

Success however has turned to obsession as cracks appear in the armoury of disease fighting drugs at our disposal. MRSA is rifling through our hospitals as antibiotics become ineffective and severe side effects of modern drugs are becoming common place now years after their introduction. A direct consequence of a one dimensional strategy, it is maybe the time to acknowledge the synergistic health benefits of natural medicine.

Propolis is a unique natural medicine because of its breadth of action. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immunomodulatory effects, it could help treat asthma, allergies, arthritis and joint disorders, eczema and dermatitis, ME, viral infections including HIV and even cancer. This medicine could help treat an illness or keep you fit and healthy…

Monday, July 28, 2008

Researcher Looks at Antibacterial Activity of Argentine Honey

Antibiotic Activity of Algarrobo (Prosopis spp), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp) and Chilca (Baccharis spp) Monospecific Honeys Against Meticiline Resistant Bacteria of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Fernando Esteban, ESPACIO APICOLA, Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine, 81 Edition (January-March 2008 in Spanish)

En función de los resultados obtenidos se puede recomendar el reemplazo del azúcar de mesa por estas mieles, en la preparación de apósitos para llagas, escaras o heridas de la piel, particularmente por su comportamiento frente a Staphylococcus aureus una de las principales y más resistentes bacterias que afectan las heridas cutáneas (además de su presencia en infecciones de las mucosas del tracto respiratorio) en consonancia con la experiencia publicada por Kirsten Traynor en el American Bee Journal.

El que distintas mieles, a distinta dilución, tengan diverso comportamiento antibacteriano frente a distintos agentes etiológicos induce a realizar estudios posteriores para optimizar la selección del tipo de miel, sus posibles mezclas y las diluciones más adecuadas para valorar tanto su potencial conservante de alimentos como para distintos usos terapéuticos.

Researchers Seek Varroa-Killing Fungi

Fungus Foot Baths Could Save Bees
University of Warwick (UK), 7/28/2008

One of the biggest world wide threats to honey bees, the varroa mite, could soon be about to meet its nemesis. Researchers at the University of Warwick are examining naturally occurring fungi that kill the varroa mite.

They are also exploring a range of ways to deliver the killer fungus throughout the hives from bee fungal foot baths to powder sprays…

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Construction of Romanian Apitherapy Center Almost Completed

Construction of the International Apitherapy Centre in Mereni, Romania (near Bucharest), is almost 95 percent completed. In a few months it will be able to receive students and experts in Apitherapy from around the world.

On November 21-24, 2008, the Romanian Society of Apitherapy (, in conjonction with the Romanian Asociation of Beekeeping and several national and international bee-related institutions/organizations, will host the Second International Congress, Course and Expo on Apitherapy and Apipuncture.

Contact: Dr. Stefan Stangaciu at or

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Propolis Helps Prevent Chemically-Induced Systemic Toxicity

Synergistic Effects of Ferritin and Propolis in Modulation of Beryllium Induced Toxicogenic Alterations
Food Chem Toxicol, 2008 Jun 25

Synergistic therapeutic potential of ferritin (5mg/kg, i.p.) and propolis (honeybee hive product; 200mg/kg, p.o.) was analyzed to encounter the beryllium induced biochemical and ultra morphological alterations.

Female albino rats were exposed to beryllium nitrate (1mg/kg, i.p.) daily for 28 days followed by treatment of above mentioned therapeutic agents either individually or in combination for five consecutive days…

Beryllium exposure severely altered ultramorphology of liver and kidney that proved its toxic consequences at cellular level. Ferritin in combination with propolis dramatically reversed the alterations of these variables towards control in a synergistic manner concluding its beneficial effects over monotherapy in attenuating beryllium induced systemic toxicity.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stings Lead to Arthritis Relief

By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, The Hartford Courant (USA), 7/25/2008

Q.I was stung on my left leg five times by yellow jackets. I have osteoarthritis in my left knee, and the pain has been gone since I was stung. I'm hoping that it will last! If I had a choice, though, I would definitely pick honeybee stings over yellow jackets, as they're much less painful.

A. You're not the first person to share such a story with us. Years ago, a reader wrote: "While snoozing on the porch I was stung on the finger by a tiny bee. The result: intense pain, and after that a great reduction of arthritis in my arm."

Early in the 20th century, bee-venom therapy was used to treat arthritis. Hospital pharmacies even stocked bee venom for these injections. After World War II, though, this approach was no longer widely used.

Apitherapy, which uses bee stings medicinally, is undergoing a resurgence. Some proponents claim that honeybee stings can alleviate the pain of arthritis, shingles or tendinitis. Yellow jackets can be dangerous, however, and should not be used.

Honey Gains Exposure as Antimicrobial Agent, Antioxidant

Intertek Acquires Honey Testing Expertise with Applica
By Jane Byrne, Food Quality News, 7/23/2008

Intertek has acquired the German-based food analysis centre, Applica, to expand its range of quality and safety services targeted at the food sector, according to the company.

Applica's innovative and analytical methods for identifying quality and authenticity of a variety of foods makes them an essential match for Intertek, a spokesperson for Intertek told…

Honey testing

With this new purchase, Intertek said it gains access to Applica's expertise in applied chemical analysis of honey, with demand for testing of the product to ensure its purity growing significantly among food manufacturers.

Honey is increasingly being used as an ingredient in food products such as baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, candies, dairy products, spreads, cereals meats, snacks and beverages.

"Honey …continues to gain prevalent exposure for its usefulness as both an antimicrobial agent as well as an antioxidant for health conscious consumers," claims Intertek…

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Molan: Honey is Effective in Healing Venous Ulcers

Honey Merits Questioned
Daily News (New Zealand), 7/23/2008

I fully agree with Dr Mosquera that compression bandaging is the proven, effective treatment for venous ulcers, and I would never suggest that it not be used. In all the clinical work in which I have collaborated, honey has always been used in conjunction with compression bandaging.

I am sure that Dr Mosquera will have experienced himself that a proportion of cases of leg ulcers do not heal despite compression bandaging being used.

In the pilot trial that was carried out by community nurses based at Waikato Hospital, it was only patients with non-healing venous ulcers that were recruited. Honey was found to be very effective in healing these ulcers…

It is commonly the case that patients with non-healing venous ulcers have diabetes (poor wound healing is a feature of diabetes). Diabetics were excluded from the HALT trial. The results of a clinical trial in Northern Ireland on using honey on venous ulcers will be published soon. In this trial diabetics were included.

A statistically significant improvement in the rate of healing with honey was found in this trial.

Dr Peter Molan
Professor in Biological Sciences & Director of the Honey Research Unit, University of Waikato

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Honey Gel Reduces Sting of Wound Treatment

Healing Without the Sting
Keith Cutting Discusses the Renaissance of Honey as a Therapeutic Agent in Wound Management
Journal of Community Nursing, 7/21/2008

The use of honey in wound care has received increasing attention in recent years, mainly as a result of improved formulations, increased availability, supportive research, clinical efficacy reports and numerous positive reports in the national and international press. These have all contributed to the renaissance of honey as a therapeutic agent, in particular, its use as an antimicrobial agent which neatly confronts the increasing number of reports on the problem of antibiotic resistance.

The therapeutic advantages of honey have been recorded by Molan (2001) and tabulated by Cutting (2007) Table 1.

Good practice dictates that before first application of any honey product the patient should always be assessed for risk of reaction/allergy to bee or honey products and asked about known sensitivities. Adverse effects from application of honey are rare and although Molan (2001) records that patients find honey soothing and non-irritating some clinicians report that a small number of patients may experience a stinging sensation (Vandeputte & Van Waeyenberge 2003). It has been stated that not all honeys are the same and for this reason honey should not be considered a generic term (Molan 2002). Consequently, with the introduction of a new honey product it should not be assumed that painful reactions following application may occasionally be expected.

Melladerm® PLUS is intended for use in all types of wounds, including burns and is derived from Bulgarian (BULGARIA H) mountain flower honey. Bulgaria H has been selected on the basis of its excellent wound healing properties. Melladerm® PLUS is a proprietary wound ointment/gel that contains 45% BULGARIA H and a mixture of ingredients including glycerin and polyethylene glycol 4000 (PEG 4000) to make the honey dressing more user friendly. PEG 4000 is a blend of water soluble polymers and its use as an additive to honey has been assessed by Subrahmanyam (1996).

Clinical evaluation reports prepared as part of a submission for CE marking on Melladerm Plus demonstrate healing without the disadvantage of occasionally incurring pain following application (Vandeputte 2007)…

Australian Midwives Test Honey Hand Cream

Rainbow Essence Natural Skin Care Products New Manuka Honey Hand Cream
Rainbow Essence announces the exclusive sole Australian distributorship of their soon to be launched all natural Manuka Honey Hand Cream.

Melbourne, Australia, July 23, 2008 --( The extraordinary natural healing benefits of Manuka Honey are widely documented including its anti-bacterial and wound healing properties capable of treating conditions such as dermatitis, acne, wound infections etc.

Manuka Honey has the outstanding ability to moisturise, soothe and repair dry, cracked and damaged skin. Rich in vitamins, minerals and natural protein, it is the ideal ingredient for a hand cream…

Results of trials conducted with hospital midwives in Melbourne are being finalised and the Manuka Honey Healing Hand Cream is expected to be released in early August 2008.

The complete range of Rainbow Essence Natural Skin Care products can be viewed and ordered online at

The Healing Properties of Bee Products

Get a ‘Bee’ in Medicine
By Karen Morano, Eagle Newspapers (USA), 07/21/08

Though some people are afraid of stings, bees play an important part in your health…

The very same poison that can kill so many people can also be used to treat a host of diseases, among them arthritis, multiple sclerosis, PMS, bursitis, hypertension, asthma, tendonitis and eczema. Bee venom contains about 30 active compounds nearly impossible to duplicate synthetically. Some of the main ingredients of interest are peptides, such as mellitin, apamin, peptide 401, adolapin and protease inhibitors.

One way to treat disease is by consuming the venom mixed with honey. Another way is with bee-sting therapy, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Charles Mraz, perhaps the most reknowned and respected apitherapist practitioner in the United States, is recognized as a pioneer in the area. Mraz wondered if there was anything to the bee sting nonsense he'd heard about in folklore. The arthritis in his knees made it nearly impossible for him to get his heavy workload completed, so he gave it a try. The effects were so spectacular he went on to conduct apitherapy until his death at 94.

Mike Johnston of Madison County Soil and Water Conservation was able to clarify the practice of apitherapy. After a sting, he explained, the body reacts by making cortisone. When cortisone is received from an outside source, such as in a cortisone shot, the body reacts by shutting down its own cortisone production. This is, in effect, counterproductive.

Johnston also was able to offer his own experience with apitherapy. He'd wanted to try being stung to treat warts. He unexpectedly received, in his own words, a direct hit to one of them. Within four days, all of the warts were gone.

Honey is a potent medicine that has been used to treat burns and wounds for at least 4,000 years. It is acidic and has a very low moisture content. It makes its own hydrogen peroxide when it mixes with the moisture it draws out from wounds. Bacteria need moisture to survive and honey draws it out very efficiently. It also helps prevent inflammation and odor associated with infection…

Propolis, the resin bees use to seal cracks and prevent air leaks, is a potent antimicrobial. It is often used in mouthwashes and toothpastes. Bee pollen has similar abilities. It can also help regulate intestinal activity. One isolated study showed that taking a 500-milligram dose of pollen twice a day increased the percentage of pregnancy in women suffering from mild endometriosis...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Video: Jui Protex Propolis Body Wash

‘Remarkable’ Variations Observed in Composition of Honey Volatiles

Composition of Volatile Compounds of Honey of Various Floral Origin and Beebread Collected in Lithuania
Food Chemistry, Volume 111, Issue 4, 15 December 2008, Pages 988-997

Abstract: Honey is collected from various flowering plants and its composition, particularly volatile flavour compounds to some extent depends on the nectar source. Therefore, some volatile constituents may be indicators of honey origin.

In this study the volatile profiles of 15 honey samples of different botanical origin and one beebread sample are characterised…

In total 93 compounds in honey and 32 in beebread were identified. They involve different classes of chemical compounds, including alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, acids, terpenes, hydrocarbons, benzene, and furan derivatives…

Remarkable variations were observed in the composition of volatiles in honey from different sources. In addition, volatile profiles of honey samples were analysed after 3 months of storage and it was found that the amount of headspace volatiles in the majority of samples decreased.

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Book: A World Without Bees

Is This the End of Hives of Activity?

All over the world, honeybee populations are dying out. No one knows why, but their decline threatens the very way we live and eat

By Robin McKie, The Observer (UK), 7/20/2008

A World Without Bees
Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum
Guardian Books £9.99, pp256

The Buzz About Bees: Biology of a Superorganism
Jürgen Tautz
Springer £23, pp284

…The cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD), as this new wildlife affliction is termed, remains unclear. Beekeepers blame the introduction of nicotine-based pesticides such as imidacloprid, while scientists say a virus is probably responsible. However, neither group has gathered sufficient evidence to support their theories unequivocally…

Royal Jelly Antioxidant Activity May Prevent Cell Damage

Royal Jelly Peptides Inhibit Lipid Peroxidation In Vitro and In Vivo
Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, Vol. 54 (2008) , No. 3 pp.191-195

Summary: Royal jelly peptides (RJPx) isolated from hydrolysates of water-soluble royal jelly proteins prepared with protease P exhibited significantly stronger hydroxyl radical-scavenging activity, and antioxidant activity against lipid peroxidation, than did water-soluble royal jelly protein (WSRJP) in vitro...

Serum total cholesterol (TC) levels were lower while low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and LPO were significantly higher in Group Fe than in Group C. TC and LPO levels were lower in Group Fe+R than in Group Fe.

Our data suggest that RJPx may inhibit LPO both in vitro and in vivo.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Do Honeybees Protect Secretory Cells From Venom?

Proteomic Analysis of the Honey Bee Worker Venom Gland Focusing on the Mechanisms of Protection Against Tissue Damage
Toxicon, Article in Press

Abstract: Honey bee workers use venom for the defence of the colony and themselves when they are exposed to dangers and predators. It is produced by a long thin, convoluted, and bifurcated gland, and consists of several toxic proteins and peptides.

The present study was undertaken in order to identify the mechanisms that protect the venom gland secretory cells against these harmful components.

Samples of whole venom glands, including the interconnected reservoirs, were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and the most abundant protein spots were subjected to mass spectrometric identification using MALDI TOF/TOF-MS and LC MS/MS…

Two endocuticular structural proteins were abundantly present in the 2D-gel and most probably represent a structural component of the epicuticular lining that protects the secretory cells from the toxins they produce.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Acute Consumption of Propolis Produced Mutagenic Effects

First In Vivo Evaluation of the Mutagenic Effect of Brazilian Green Propolis by Comet Assay and Micronucleus Test
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 46, Issue 7, July 2008, Pages 2580-2584

Abstract: Propolis is a hive product containing chiefly beeswax and plant-derived substances such as resin and volatile compounds. Propolis has been used in various parts of the world as an antiseptic and wound healer since ancient times, and interest in the product has recently increased.

Considering the lack of data concerning the in vivo mutagenicity of green propolis, the capacity of this natural product to cause damage to the DNA was evaluated, using the alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) and micronucleus test, in the peripheral blood cells of mice. The doses tested by gavage were 1000, 1500 and 2000 mg/kg.

Micronucleus and SCGE assays showed that green propolis caused an increase in the damage to DNA in the peripheral blood cells of mice. The polychromatic:normochromatic erythrocytes ratio was not statistically different from the negative control.

Considering the doses and the results obtained in this study, the acute consumption of green propolis produced some mutagenic effects on the blood cells of mice.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Propolis’ Anti-Inflammatory Effect Examined

Inhibitory Effect of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE) on LPS-Induced Inflammation of Human Middle Ear Epithelial Cells
Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 08 May 2008

Objectives: CAPE is a biologically active component of propolis, a resinous material obtained from bee hives, which originates from conifer bark. The effect of CAPE on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory reactions is not known.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of CAPE on cultured human middle ear epithelial cells (HMEECs). ..

Results: CAPE significantly inhibited LPS-induced up-regulation of TNF- in a dose-dependent manner. IL-8 production by LPS was significantly suppressed by the CAPE pretreatment. Furthermore, LPS-induced IκB- degradation was suppressed by the CAPE pretreatment.

Conclusions: The results suggest that the anti-inflammatory effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is due to its inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- expression and interleukin (IL)-8 production.

Chinese, European Honeybee Royal Jelly Proteins Differ

Proteomic Characterization of Royal Jelly Proteins in Chinese (Apis cerana cerana) and European (Apis mellifera) Honeybees
Biochemistry (Mosc). 2008 Jun;73(6):676-80

In this study, the proteins contained in royal jelly (RJ) derived from Chinese and European honeybees have been analyzed in detail and compared. Remarkable differences were found in the heterogeneity of major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), MRJP2 and MRJP3, in terms of molecular weight and isoelectric points between the two species of RJ. MRJP2 and MRJP3 produced by Chinese honeybee are less polymorphic than those produced by European honeybee. This study is a contribution to the description of the royal jelly proteome.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Plant Origin of Okinawan Propolis Identified

Plant Origin of Okinawan Propolis: Honeybee Behavior Observation and Phytochemical Analysis
Naturwissenschaften, Issue Volume 95, Number 8, August, 2008

…Poplar and Baccharis are well known as the source plants of European and Brazilian propolis, respectively. However, the propolis from Okinawa, Japan, contains some prenylflavonoids not seen in other regions such as Europe and Brazil, suggesting that the plant origin of Okinawan propolis is a particular plant that grows in Okinawa. To identify the plant origin of Okinawan propolis, we observed the behavior of honeybees as they collected material from plants and caulked it inside the hive.

Honeybees scraped resinous material from the surface of plant fruits of Macaranga tanarius and brought it back to their hive to use it as propolis. We collected samples of the plant and propolis, and compared their constituents by high-performance liquid chromatography with a photo-diode array detector. We also compared their 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl radical scavenging activity.

The chemical constituents and biological activity of the ethanol extracts of the plant did not differ from those of propolis. This indicates directly that the plant origin of Okinawan propolis is M. tanarius.

Video: Bacteria-Fighting Honey

(NECN) - In this segment of Sci Tech today, the search is on for a solution to bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics. Researchers are looking to the honey bee for the answer.

Tim Kardatzke of the Museum of Science discusses what led researchers to suggest honey bees may be a solution, and what type of research has been done, and results they have had.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brazilian Propolis Shows Anti-Influenza Virus Activity

Anti-Influenza Virus Activity of Propolis In Vitro and Its Efficacy Against Influenza Infection in Mice
Antiviral Chemistry & Chemotherapy, 2008; 19: 7-13

BACKGROUND: Propolis has been used worldwide as a dietary supplement to maintain and improve human health. We examined whether ethanol extracts of Brazilian propolis exhibit antiviral activity against influenza virus in vitro and in vivo.

METHODS: Among 13 ethanol extracts screened in a plaque reduction assay, four showed anti-influenza virus activity. The anti-influenza efficacy of the four extracts was further examined in a murine influenza virus infection model. The mice were infected intranasally with influenza virus, and the four extracts were orally administered at 10 mg/kg three times daily for seven successive days after infection.

RESULTS: In this infection model, only one extract, AF-08, was significantly effective at 10 mg/kg in reducing the body weight loss of infected mice. The doses of 2 and 10 mg/ kg were also effective in prolonging the survival times of infected mice significantly, but 0.4 mg/kg was not. The anti-influenza efficacy of AF-08 at 10 mg/kg was confirmed in a dose-dependent manner in mice. AF-08 at 10 mg/kg significantly reduced virus yields in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluids of lungs in infected mice as compared with the control. The reduction of virus yields by AF-08 at 10 mg/kg significantly corresponded to those induced by oseltamivir at 1 mg/kg twice daily from day 1 to day 4 after infection.

CONCLUSION: The Brazilian propolis AF-08 was indicated to possess anti-influenza virus activity and to ameliorate influenza symptoms in mice. AF-08 may be a possible candidate for an anti-influenza dietary supplement for humans.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Propolis Extract Used to Prevent Cardiotoxicity by Anti-Cancer Drug

Cardioprotective Effects and Mechanism of Action of Polyphenols Extracted from Propolis Against Doxorubicin Toxicity
Pak J Pharm Sci, Jul 2008;21(3):201-9

Propolis is one of the major hive products of bees and is rich in flavonoids, which are known for antioxidant activities. It is well known that the chemical properties of phenolic acids or flavonoids, in terms of the availability of the phenolic hydrogens as hydrogen donating radical scavengers, predict their antioxidant properties.

In this study, the flavonoids scavenging activity of propolis has been exploited to obtain protection against the peroxidative damage in rat heart mitochondria which was induced by the administration of an acute dose of doxorubicin (20mg kg-1, i.p)…

The data demonstrate that antioxidants from natural sources may be useful in the protection of cardiotoxicity in patients who receive doxorubicin and as reported for its claimed beneficial effect on human health by biomedical literature.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Local Wildflower Honey Recommended for Allergies

Fans Say a Teaspoon a Day Keeps Allergies, Other Ailments Away
By Robin Hindery, Daily Democrat (USA), 7/12/2008

When pollen counts are high, many Californians turn to over-the-counter allergy medications, which can leave them groggy, or shots, which can be unpleasant.

But as alternative medicine and natural health remedies have become increasingly mainstream, a sweeter alternative has emerged for allergy sufferers: Honey.

"It's been going on to some extent for years, but it never really caught on till this year," said Sacramento honey producer Frank Lienert Jr., of the use of his product to combat allergies. "My sales have skyrocketed in the last two months."

Lienert, who was born and raised in Woodland, sells his Lienert's Quality Honey varieties at area farmers' markets, as well as to local grocery stores, co-ops and alternative health

Many of those vendors have told Lienert they recommend honey to their own customers for allergy relief, he said.

One such proponent is David Villescaz, a chiropractor in Woodland, who said he has been purchasing honey from Lienert and selling it to his patients for more than 10 years. For allergy sufferers, Villescaz recommends Lienert's wildflower honey - derived from a variety of Sacramento Valley plants - and he said he has heard glowing reports of its effects.

"I have patients who tell me they use fewer antihistamines now that they've been using honey," he said, noting that the dry weather in California over the past two years has exacerbated people's allergies, and therefore increased the demand for fast-acting remedies.

What's more, he said, "if it works, and it's natural and organic, that's even better."

Villescaz and other honey fans believe the small amount of pollen found in locally grown raw honey acts in a similar manner to allergy shots: By desensitizing the body and increasing its tolerance to a particular allergen - a form of treatment known as "immunotherapy."…

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Iranian Researcher Says Bee Venom Useful for Treating MS

IRNA, 7/12/2008

The latest research has shown that the bee venom is useful for treating the multiple sclerosis (MS) disease.

Announcing this, faculty member of Tarbiat Moallem University, Mohammad Nabiyouni, noted that bee venom can repair the damaged nervous system in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

MS or encephalomyelitis disseminata is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS), leading to demyelination...

Video: Disappearing Honey Bees Sting Food Prices

July 12: Honeybees have been disappearing in droves since Octoboer of 2006. NBC's Anne Thompson explains why this is impacting food prices.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bacteria Unlikely to Develop Resistance to Honey

Study Reports that Honey Holds Potential for Healing
Wisconsin Medical Society, 7/11/2008

Madison - There’s one more reason to like honey, besides the taste. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health call the gooey substance “a low-cost topical therapy with important potential for healing.” Their scientific article is published in the latest issue of the Wisconsin Medical Journal (Volume 107, No. 4), which is available here.

The article discusses the use of honey to treat foot ulcers in patients with diabetes, which has become increasingly popular because of “a growing awareness of the cost and burden of diabetic foot ulcers and the need for cost-effective therapies.”

The authors, who are conducting a trial regarding the use of honey for human patients, report there is evidence that honey promotes healing in animals. What may be especially surprising is that it appears to be therapeutic in a variety of ways: its acidity aids in improving circulation; it produces a small amount of hydrogen peroxide that kills bacteria without damaging tissue; and it contains flavanoides and acids that contribute to bacterial-fighting properties.

“Since honey’s antibacterial activity is multi-factorial, bacteria are unlikely to develop resistance to it,” the authors explain. They go on to say that when patients agree to try it as a therapy, antibiotics are often discontinued…

Friday, July 11, 2008

Honey - A Hidden Skin Healer

By Jane Hart, MD

Healthnotes Newswire (July 10, 2008)—When applied to the skin, honey may help prevent and treat skin diseases caused by bacteria, according to a new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. As the number of antibiotic-resistant infections increases, alternative solutions are needed for infections…

The study’s authors commented that since very few new antibiotics are being developed, alternative solutions are needed. Honey, they said, could be helpful in treating wound infections and in preventing infection at skin sites where bacteria are likely to thrive, such as catheter sites in ill patients. Further research is needed to understand the potential role of medical-grade honey in preventing and treating skin infections.

Honey may kill or suppress bacteria growth because of its high sugar content, high acid content, natural production of hydrogen peroxide, or because of other actions related to flower or bee components. Though the authors warn that pulling a jar of honey off of the shelf to treat skin infections may not get the job done (Revamil is produced in a greenhouse under standardized conditions), evidence from other studies suggests that raw, unprocessed honey may be effective.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Honey has ‘Beneficial Effects’ on Weight, Blood Lipids of Diabetic Patients

Effects of Natural Honey Consumption in Diabetic Patients: An 8-Week Randomized Clinical Trial
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 08 May 2008

Objectives: We investigated the effect of natural honey on body weight and some blood biochemical indices of diabetic subjects.

Methods: Forty-eight diabetic type 2 patients were randomly assigned into two groups: the honey group received oral natural honey for 8 weeks, and the control group did not take honey. Before the onset of the study (week 0) and after 8 weeks, weight measurements were taken and fasting blood samples were drawn.

Results: After adjustment for the baseline values, there were no significant differences in the fasting blood sugars between the two groups. Body weight, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and triglyceride decreased (P=0.000), and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol increased significantly (P<0.01) in honey group. The levels of hemoglobin A1C increased significantly in this group (P<0.01).

Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate that 8-week consumption of honey can provide beneficial effects on body weight and blood lipids of diabetic patients. However, since an increase in the hemoglobin A1C levels was observed, cautious consumption of this food by diabetic patients is recommended.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Propolis ‘Exhibited Better Effectiveness’ Than Traditional Liver Drug

Multiple Treatment of Propolis Extract Ameliorates Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Liver Injury in Rats
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Article in Press

Abstract: Propolis, a resinous wax-like beehive product has been used as a traditional remedy for various diseases due to a variety of biological activities of this folk medicine. In the present investigation, an attempt has been made to validate hepatoprotective activity of ethanolic extract of propolis (50–400 mg/kg, p.o.) against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4, 0.5 ml/kg, p.o.) induced acute liver injury in rats.

Silymarin, a known hepatoprotective drug was used as a positive control. Administration of CCl4 altered various diagnostically important biochemical variables. Multiple treatment of propolis significantly prevented the release of transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, urea and uric acid in serum; improved the activity of hepatic microsomal drug metabolizing enzymes, i.e., aniline hydroxylase and amidopyrine-N-demethylase; significantly inhibited lipid peroxidation and markedly enhanced glutathione in liver and kidney as well as brought altered carbohydrate contents (blood sugar and tissue glycogen), protein contents (serum, microsomal and tissue protein) and lipid contents (serum and tissue triglycerides, serum cholesterol, total and esterified cholesterol in tissue) towards control.

Propolis treatment also reversed CCl4 induced severe alterations in histoarchitecture of liver and kidney in a dose dependent manner. Hepatoprotective activity of propolis at doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg was statistically compared to silymarin and found that propolis exhibited better effectiveness than silymarin in certain parameters, concluded its hepatoprotective potential.

Video: Honeybees Reared On Urine

ITN, 7/8/2008

Indian scientists have found a novel way of rearing honeybees. Lynsey Hooper has the story.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Medihoney to Hit Pharmacy Shelves in U.S.

From Low-Tech to High-Tech Wound Care
By Thomas Gaudio, NJ Biz, 7/7/2008

Derma Sciences, Inc. has begun to see the fruit from its strategic labors to shift its focus from everyday health care products to high-tech wound care devices.

Derma struck a deal last month with Shoppers Drug Mart, a retail pharmacy with more than 1,000 stores in Canada, to sell Medihoney Active Manuka Honey Wound & Burn dressings as a private-label product. Also in June, the honey-based dressing was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be sold over-the-counter in this country.

Ed Quilty, chief executive officer of Princeton-based Derma, says retail pharmacy chains in the United States are interested in putting the Medihoney product on their shelves, and he expects a deal in the coming weeks.

Medihoney dressings “have been a real door opener for our sales organization,” he says. “It has allowed us to make an investment in a direct sales force.”

Derma, which has about 160 employees, has grown its sales force from two to 13 since Medihoney launched in October as a prescription product in clinical settings like hospitals, nursing homes and home health care agencies, says Quilty. The company plans to have 19 salespeople by the end of the year to sell the line of dressings and other advanced wound care products to health care providers and distributors…

Monday, July 07, 2008

Honey Helps Prevent Liver Damage

Honey Prevents Hepatic Damage Induced by Obstruction of the Common Bile Duct
World J Gastroenterol, 2008 June;14(23):3729-3732

AIM: To examine the possible effects of honey supplementation on hepatic damage due to obstruction of the common bile duct in an experimental rat model.

METHODS: The study was performed with 30 male rats divided into three groups: a sham group, an obstructive jaundice group, and an obstructive jaundice plus honey group. At the end of the study period, the animals were sacrificed, and levels of nitric oxide (NO), and NO synthase (NOS) activities were measured in liver tissues, and levels of adenosine deaminase (ADA) and alanine transaminase (ALT) activities were measured in serum.

RESULTS: Blood ALT and ADA activities were significantly elevated in the jaundice group as compared to those of the sham group. In the obstructive jaundice plus honey group, blood ALT and ADA activities were significantly decreased as compared to those of the jaundice group. In erythrocytes and liver tissues, NO levels were found to be significantly higher in the obstructive jaundice plus honey group compared to those of the sham group. Additionally, NO levels were found to be significantly higher in liver tissues from the animals in the obstructive jaundice plus honey group than those of the jaundice group.

CONCLUSION: Honey was found to be beneficial in the prevention of hepatic damage due to obstruction of the common bile duct.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Study: Freezing is Best Way to Maintain Quality of Royal Jelly

Proteomics Analysis of Major Royal Jelly Protein Changes under Different Storage Conditions
Journal of Proteome Research, July 3, 2008

Abstract: Protein changes in fresh royal jelly (RJ) were compared when stored at −20, 4 °C, and room temperature (RT) for 12 months…

Significantly more protein spots were found in fresh (85 spots) and −20 °C (81 spots) stored RJ than in samples stored at 4 °C (73 spots) and at RT (70 spots) for 1 year. Most identified spots, 56, 57, 51, 46, corresponding to RJ sample of the fresh, −20 °C, 4 °C, and RT, were assigned to major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs).

Marked differences were found in the heterogeneity of the MRJPs, in particular, MRJP3. The quantity of MRJP1 decreased significantly following the temperature trend in all images, but MRJP 2 and -3 did not increase or decrease following the temperature trend, thus, suggesting that MRJP 1−3 are sensitive to temperature. However, MRJP4, 5, glucose oxidase (GOD), peroxiredoxin (PRDX), and glutathione S-transferase (GST) S1 were clearly absent in all images in samples held at RT for 1 year. This indicates that they are the proteins most sensitive to storage temperature and protein markers for freshness of RJ.

Combining chromatography and nanoLC MS/MS results, we tentatively conclude that MRJP5 is a reliable freshness marker and that the best way to maintain quality of RJ is under freezing conditions.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bee Venom Therapy Used to Treat Arthritis

Beekeepers Visit Marshall for Conference
Associated Press, 7/5/2008

CHARLESTON — The buzz around Marshall University next week will be about the importance of honeybees. Even those dreaded stingers.

About 300 beekeepers will join 12 vendors and dozens more presenters at the Heartland Apiculture Society’s annual conference starting Thursday in Huntington…

“People really have become very much aware of the importance of the honeybee in the last two to three years and the problems we may face if we don’t bring them back,” said Gabe Blatt of Huntington, president of the Heartland Apiculture Society…

Blatt also is hoping to locate a speaker about apitherapy, the use of bee venom by thousands of arthritis sufferers, multiple sclerosis patients and others.

Blatt has been using apitherapy for about eight months for his arthritic left wrist. He’s known about the medically unproven and possibly dangerous method for a long time. The chemicals in bee venom are thought to reduce inflammation.

Blatt takes a live bee and lets it sting him about once a month. His wife also uses the therapy for arthritis in a big toe.

“My arthritis wasn’t that bad until it started flaring up. So I decided to try it out and see what happens. It cleared it right up,” Blatt said. “It does work. It has to be in the right spot. I can get stung in other places and it doesn’t quite work.”...

“For me, the next day I can tell the difference,” Blatt said. “It will vary from person to person. And I’m sure there are people it won’t work for. It’s like any medicine. It doesn’t work for everybody, but it works for a good number of folks.”

Honey Bee Crisis Could Lead to Higher Food Prices

By Stephanie S. Garlow, Associated Press, 7/4/2008

WASHINGTON - Food prices could rise even more unless the mysterious decline in honey bees is solved, farmers and businessmen told lawmakers Thursday.

“No bees, no crops,” North Carolina grower Robert D. Edwards told a House Agriculture subcommittee. Edwards said he had to cut his cucumber acreage in half because of the lack of bees available to rent.

About three-quarters of flowering plants rely on birds, bees and other pollinators to help them reproduce. Bee pollination is essential is responsible for $15 billion annually in crop value.

In 2006, beekeepers began reporting losing 30 percent to 90 percent of their hives. This phenomenon has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Scientists do not know how many bees have died; beekeepers have lost 36 percent of their managed colonies this year. It was 31 percent for 2007, said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service…

Decline in Bee Biodiversity Could Threaten World's Crops

ANI, 7/3/2008

Scientists have said that a decline in bee biodiversity might spell trouble for crop producers as their differences are crucial to the maintenance of the world's crops.

According to a report in New Scientist, about a third of global food production, and possibly two-thirds of major crops, depends on pollination by animals, mainly bees.

Though vanishing bees have raised concerns for crops, researchers have now said that some crops may suffer even if there are plenty of bees around…

Friday, July 04, 2008

U.S. Firm Combines Healing Properties of Honey, Elderberries

Pollinate This
Bees team up with elderberries to make a drink that cures
By Alice Levitt, Seven Days (USA), 6/25/2008

…In Europe, you can drink elderberry brandy and even elderflower-flavored Fanta…

Todd Hardie, of Honey Gardens in Ferrisburgh, wants Americans to experience the benefits of elderberries, too. He points to evidence that the old wives’ tale about the power of sambucus (the umbrella name for plants in the elder family) may be true. “Elderberry has the antiviral agents that chemical medicines do not have to get the virus in the common cold,” Hardie says. “You can’t buy chemical medicines at the pharmacy that are effective against the common cold, unless you can get elderberry. It’s very potent.”

As his company’s name indicates, Hardie’s main business is bees, but bees need plants to pollinate, and crops such as elderberries fit the bill. He relates the growth of his apiary in slow cadences that recall the soothing tones of an undertaker but warm up, as he grows comfortable with his interlocutor, to something like a patient paternal figure. Founded 43 years ago, Honey Gardens grew from a hobby to a business when Hardie began to sell raw honey as a homegrown health aid. Health nuts who embraced raw foods in general touted Pooh Bear’s favorite as a cure-all, and Hardie is its number-one proponent. “You can use raw honey on wounds,” he says. “More and more people and hospitals are using raw honey.” As long as it’s kept below 120 degrees Fahrenheit — unlike the processed, filtered product in most stores — honey is a natural antiseptic. “It takes the air out of the wounds and brings to it a wealth of healing properties,” Hardie says.

Elderberries came into the beekeeper’s life when Greensboro orchardist Lewis Hill encouraged him to make a syrup combining the curative qualities of honey and the fruit…

Besides honey, propolis — the natural spackle that bees make from the bark of pine and poplar trees to protect their homes — also has curative mojo. Its resin is rumored to be the source of a Stradivarius’ sweet sound, and recent scientific papers have linked it to antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial effects. Honey Gardens includes propolis in many of its products, including a topical salve, a natural alternative to Neosporin…

Canadian Screening of ‘The Sacred Bee’

A rough cut of part one of “The Sacred Bee” documentary will be screened (7:30 p.m.) at the Toronto District Beekeepers Association meeting on July 7, 2008. Part one of the documentary features the bee in the Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, and Hindu traditions.

Producer’s Synopsis: “The Sacred Bee” is a fascinating and engaging Canadian produced two-part (2 x 45 minutes) documentary about the sacredness of the bee and honey found in the holy books of the world’s major religions such as: Bible, Koran, Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, and Buddhist Canon, as well as in myths, legends, esoteric tradition and modern science of healing with bee products; apitherapy. Like the bee that goes from flower to flower collecting the essence or nectar our sacred bee will fly from religion to religion, to tradition and myth and gather the essence and uniting what the traditions have to offer humanity as a whole through their regard of the bee and honey.

For directions, go to: (Scroll down.)

Contact the producer:

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Honey, Propolis Potential Anticalculus Agents in Dental Care

Inhibition of the Formation of Oral Calcium Phosphate Precipitates: The Possible Effects of Certain Honeybee Products
Journal of Periodontal Research, Volume 43 Issue 4, Pages 450 – 458

Background and Objective: We studied the effects of honeybee products on the in vitro formation of calcium phosphate precipitates.

Material and Methods: Screening tests of the in vitro formation of calcium phosphate precipitates using 20 types of honey and four types of propolis were carried out using the pH drop method.

Results: The inhibitory effect on the rate of amorphous calcium phosphate transformation to hydroxyapatite and on the induction time varied greatly among the 20 types of honey and four types of propolis...

Conclusion: These results suggest that eight honeys and three types of propolis may have potential as anticalculus agents in toothpastes and mouthwashes.

Propolis is ‘Very Effective' as Dental Medicament

Effectiveness of Propolis and Calcium Hydroxide as a Short-Term Intracanal Medicament Against Enterococcus Faecalis: A Laboratory Study
Australian Endodontic Journal, Published Online: 8 May 2008

Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial activity of propolis-based intracanal medicament against Enterococcus faecalis using infected dentine models, and to compare its antimicrobial efficacy with that of the non-setting calcium hydroxide paste when used as a short-term medication for 1 and 2 days.

Results showed that propolis was significantly more effective than non-setting calcium hydroxide against E. faecalis after short-term application, which made comparison from this prospect unlevelled. The most effective microbiological sampling technique was abrading the lumen with headstrom file. Propolis is very effective as intracanal medicament in rapidly eliminating E. faecalis ex vivo.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Study: Bee Pollen Extract ‘Potential Tool to Treat Allergies’

Anti-allergic Effect of Bee Pollen Phenolic Extract and Myricetin in Ovalbumin-Sensitized Mice
J Ethnopharmacol, 2008 Jun 6

The bee pollen is used in folk medicine to alleviate allergic reactions. The bee pollen phenolic extract (BPPE) consists in phenolic compounds (flavonoids) from plants picked by Apis mellifera bee.

Aim of This Study: Here we evaluated the anti-allergic property of the BPPE and the flavonoid myricetin (MYR) in murine model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergy.

Materials and Methods: The study focused on the BPPE or myricetin treatment of OVA-sensitized BALB/c mice and their effects on the immunoglobulin E (IgE) and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG(1)) production, pulmonary cell migration, eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) activity and anaphylactic shock reaction.

Results: The BPPE treatment (200mg/kg) showed inhibition of the paw edema, IgE and IgG(1) OVA-specific production, leukocyte migration to the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and EPO activity in lungs. In addition, BPPE treatment showed partial protection on the anaphylactic shock reaction induced by OVA. Treatment with myricetin (5mg/kg) also inhibited pulmonary cell migration and IgE and IgG(1) OVA-specific production.

Conclusions: These results support the hypothesis the myricetin is one of the flavonoids of BPPE responsible for the anti-allergic effect and a potential tool to treat allergies.

Botulism a Possibility, Even if Patient Not Fed Honey

Global Occurrence of Infant Botulism, 1976–2006
PEDIATRICS, Vol. 122 No. 1 July 2008, pp. e73-e82

Objective. To summarize the worldwide occurrence of reported infant (intestinal toxemia) botulism cases since first recognition of the disease in 1976.

Patients And Methods. We collected information on infant botulism cases by active and passive surveillance, by provision of therapeutic Human Botulism Immune Globulin to suspected cases, and by searching the medical literature. We defined a case as laboratory-confirmed botulism that occurred in an infant 12 months of age that was not caused by the ingestion of botulinum toxin in food.

Results. Twenty-six countries representing 5 continents reported the occurrence of at least 1 case of infant botulism among their residents. The United States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Italy, and Japan, in this order, reported the largest number of cases. A history of honey exposure was significantly more common among case subjects hospitalized outside of the United States than among those who were recently hospitalized in California.

Conclusions. Most countries have not yet reported cases of infant botulism. This limited reporting of the disease to date contrasts with the known global occurrence of Clostridium botulinum spores in soils and dust and suggests that infant botulism may be underrecognized, underreported, or both. When bulbar palsies, hypotonia, and weakness are present, physicians should consider the possibility of infant botulism even if the patient has not been fed honey. Publication of additional case reports and surveillance summaries will enhance understanding of the occurrence and extent of this underrecognized disease.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Water-Soluble Propolis ‘Significantly’ Inhibits Tumor Growth

Anti-Tumor Effects of Water-Soluble Propolis on a Mouse Sarcoma Cell Line In Vivo and In Vitro
The American Journal of Chinese Medicine (AJCM), 2008 Vol: 36 Issue: 3 (2008), 625 - 634

Abstract: The honeybee product propolis and its extracts are known to have biological effects such as antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities. This study was designed to investigate whether water-soluble propolis (WSP) inhibits tumor growth. The tumor cell line used was mouse sarcoma 180 (S-180), and its growth was determined in vitro and in vivo with exposure to different concentrations of WSP…

The orally administered WSP significantly inhibited the growth of transplanted tumors (p < 0.05). Furthermore, histological findings revealed a significant reduction in mitotic cells and tumor invasion of the muscular tissue at both dose-levels of WSP.