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.”

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