Tuesday, September 30, 2008

UK Group Calls for Pesticide Ban to Aid Honey Bees

Soil Association Urges Ban on Pesticides to Halt Bee Deaths
Alison Benjamin, The Guardian, 9/29/2008

The Soil Association has urged the government to ban pesticides linked to honeybee deaths around the world.

The chemicals are widely used in UK agriculture but have been banned as a precaution in four other European countries. Last week the Italian government issued an immediate suspension after it accepted that the pesticides were implicated in killing honeybees, joining France, Germany and Slovenia…

The pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, are approved to kill insects on a range of crops in the UK including oilseed rape, barley and sugar beet. Their use on oilseed rape is of particular concern to beekeepers as the crop's yellow flower is very attractive to honeybees…

Naphthalene Found in Greek Honey Samples

Solid-Phase Microextraction/Gas-Chromatographic/Mass Spectrometric Analysis of P-Dichlorobenzene and Naphthalene in Honey
Food Additives and Contaminants, Volume 25, Number 10, October 2008 , pp. 1274-1279(6)

Protection of honeycombs from the Wax moth, Galleria mellonella, involves the use of physical, biological or chemical control methods. As chemical control may result in residues in the extracted honey, the presence of p-dichlorobenzene and naphthalene residues was investigated by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to gas-chromatographic/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)…

Application of the method to 90 unifloral Greek honeys revealed that, in 25.6% of the samples, the concentration of either one of the pesticides exceeded the maximum residue level (MRL). Maximum concentrations were 163.03 µg kg-1 honey for p-dichlorobenzene and 193.74 µg kg-1 honey for naphthalene.

Naphthalene was found in traceable amounts in 78.9% of the samples, but only 5.6% of them contained concentrations above the MRL, which indicates the use of pre-contaminated honeycomb foundations or built combs. Nevertheless, because naphthalene is naturally present in some plant species growing in Greece, the contribution of nectar from such a floral source should not be overlooked.

Monday, September 29, 2008

U.S. Research Team Seeks Cause of Colony Collapse Disorder

Healthy Honey Bees is Goal of Multi-Institutional Research Team
Susan A. Steeves, Purdue News Service, 9/28/2008

WEST LAFAYETTE — Greg Hunt, a Purdue apicultural researcher and geneticist, is collaborating with 19 scientists from around the country to launch an in-depth study of bees' behavior, lives, illnesses and deaths to define the syndrome known as colony collapse disorder (CCD). The investigators' goal is to find ways to restore bee colonies and keep them safe.

Hunt and his team are using genomics to investigate honeybee diseases and to identify genes that make the insects resistant to a particularly harmful parasite and to pathogens. Other project collaborators will do genetic testing and observe bees in laboratories and in colonies as they try to discover what's causing losses of whole colonies.

"This project is about honeybee health because it is likely more than one factor is involved in CCD," Hunt said. "It's a mystery whether colony collapse is truly something new or whether it's a combination of factors."

Colony collapse disorder is not a disease, it's a syndrome, he said. A disease is caused by a known pathogen while a syndrome is a set of symptoms. At least 24 states, Canada and most European countries have reported cases of CCD; Indiana is not among them…

Review: Honey Has a Role in Cancer Care

A Systematic Review of Honey Uses and Its Potential Value Within Oncology Care
Journal of Clinical Nursing, Volume 17 Issue 19, Pages 2604 - 2623

Aim. To synthesise the evidence regarding honey's role in health care and to identify whether this evidence applies more specifically to cancer care.

Design. Systematic review.

Methods. The inclusion and exclusion criteria were agreed by two reviewers and a keyword strategy was developed. EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, MEDLINE, COCHRANE and PUBMED databases were screened to identify suitable articles. The citation list from each included study was also screened for potentially suitable papers. The key findings from each study were entered onto a data extraction sheet.

Results. …While the majority of studies noted the efficacy of honey in clinical use, five studies found honey to be equally as effective as the comparator and three found honey to be less effective than the comparator treatment. Other research did not illustrate any significant difference between standard treatment regimes vs. honey treatment. Studies were generally poor in quality because of small sample sizes, lack of randomisation and absence of blinding.

Conclusions. Honey was found to be a suitable alternative for wound healing, burns and various skin conditions and to potentially have a role within cancer care.

Relevance to clinical practice. In the cancer setting, honey may be used for radiation-induced mucositis, radiotherapy-induced skin reactions, hand and foot skin reactions in chemotherapy patients and for oral cavity and external surgical wounds.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Video: Nurses Helped Develop Honey Wound Dressings

Science Meets Nursing
Scientists at the University of Waikato worked closely with nurses to develop the ideal Manuka honey wound dressing.

There are a lot of things to consider when developing a new wound dressing. The best people to ask are the nurses who are going to use it. What did they want in a Manuka honey wound dressing, and why?

Peter Molan (Honey Research Unit, University of Waikato): The absolutely essential part of the development of the dressings was the collaboration with somebody working with patients - a wound care specialist with a very good knowledge of wound healing and an investigative mind and a willingness to try this….

Julie Betts (Health Waikato): During the pilot trial we learnt a lot about the things we might want to see in a dressing, that you might have commercially available.

Lots of nurses saw the honey being used and really wanted to use it more extensively on other patients. We’d said, if we’re going to make a dressing these are the characteristics we need: We need something that’ll absorb the ooze from the wound over a longer period of time - so that the honey gets released into the wound as that happens. Something that doesn’t stick and something that had what we call, haemostatic properties, so that it helps minimise bleeding of the wound’.

The alginates as a dressing do that extremely well.

Honey to Heal
Biotechnology Learning Hub

New Method for Detecting Residues in Royal Jelly

New Multiresidue Method Using Solid-Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography-Micro-Electron-Capture Detection For Pesticide Residues Analysis in Royal Jelly
J Chromatogr A, 2008 Sep 11

Royal jelly, one of the most important bee products, can be contaminated with pesticide and/or antibiotic residues resulting from treatments applied either inside beehives or in the agricultural environment. A new multiresidue method was developed and validated for analysis of nine pesticides in royal jelly…

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Video: ‘Free Range Bee Pollen’ Explained

Company Gets ‘Free Range Bee Pollen’ Registered Trademark

To Bee Free Range Or Not To Bee?
JOEBEES All Natural Bee Pollen Chooses the Former and Gets a Registered Trademark Designation

Pembroke Pines, FL (PRWEB) September 26, 2008 -- Joe Blumenstein, founder and owner of JOEBEES®, wants the world to notice the little "®" that now follows the words "free range bee pollen" in his product's description. This registered trademark designation is significant in the evolution of the JOEBEES national expansion plan because it means no other bee pollen provider can claim that its product is free range.

"This is all-world, bigger than big for us," says Blumenstein, who is known as Joe B. to employees and clients. "By establishing our product as the only free range bee pollen in the world, we've laid claim to the title of having the most natural and pure product on the market. No one else can ever say they are a free range bee pollen bee pollen provider. This is crazy huge for our company."…

JOEBEES can lay claim to the free range title because its apiary is based in remote northern British Columbia, where the bees are allowed to harvest pollen in an open and expansive environment…

Propolis Can Accelerate Wound Healing in Diabetes

The Anti-Inflammatory Agent Propolis Improves Wound Healing in a Rodent Model of Experimental Diabetes
Wound Repair and Regeneration, Volume 16 Issue 5, Pages 706 - 713

Foot ulcers and poor wound healing are problematic for patients with diabetes. The beehive protectant Propolis can improve wound healing but whether it can improve healing in diabetic wounds has not been investigated.

In this study, the effect of a single application of Propolis on epithelial closure, wound morphology, cellular infiltrate, and blood vessel density were investigated…

These novel data indicate that Propolis can accelerate wound healing in diabetes. As neutrophil infiltration is normalized, its mechanism of action may be through anti-inflammatory pathways.

This result and the established safety profile of Propolis provide a rationale for studying topical application of this agent in a clinical setting.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Medihoney Introduced in New Zealand

Sweet News for Those Prone to Eczema, Dermatitis
Comvita New Zealand, 9/25/2008

Sweet news for those prone to eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis or dry skin

Comvita, the global expert in Manuka (Leptospermum) honey is proud to introduce the Medihoney™ brand to New Zealanders

Medihoney™ Antibacterial Honey is the most trialed and tested honey for medical use, proven to speed healing with lower incidence of infection¹ on difficult to manage wounds. There are currently fifty clinical studies utilising Medihoney™ products – more than any other type of honey worldwide.

People who have traditionally used steroid creams and emollients now have a natural choice. New Medihoney™ skincare products provide a pure, safe, gentle and effective option.

Medihoney™ Creams reduce itching while moisturising and protecting the skin. They are safe for children and babies, perfect for using on the face, suitable for large areas and for prolonged use. A little goes a long way with only a small amount needed to achieve results.

The Australian version of Medihoney™ Derma Cream is one of the top selling household brands of its category in Australian pharmacy².

Medihoney™ Derma Cream and Barrier Cream each contain medical grade antibacterial honey and other naturally sourced ingredients including Coconut oil, German Chamomile flower extract, Evening Primrose oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. They do not contain steroids, colour, fragrance, lanolin, parabens or mineral oil…

Honey Stabilizes Physiological Glycemic Response

Natural Honey Modulates Physiological Glycemic Response Compared to Simulated Honey and D-Glucose
Journal of Food Science, Volume 73 Issue 7, Pages H165 - H167

The present study is undertaken to find out the relative glycemic tolerance of natural honey compared with simulated honey and D-glucose using oral glucose tolerance tested up to 180 min…

In conclusion, natural honey stabilizes physiological glycemic response with rebound recovery of PGL.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Honey Kills Bacteria That Cause Sinusitis

Can Honey Help Sinuses?
Preliminary study finds it kills communities of bacteria
Canadian Press, 9/23/2008

TORONTO — Could honey some day become a sweet solution for people suffering from chronic rhinosinusitis?

Researchers at the University of Ottawa have conducted a study that found honey can kill biofilms, small communities of bacteria that adhere to mucus in the nose and that are resistant to antibiotics.

Preliminary findings were presented Tuesday in Chicago at a meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. So far, work has only been done in the lab, and the next step is animal tests.

"It's cheap, it's cheaper than any antibiotic. It doesn't cause side-effects," Dr. Talal Alandejani, who led the study, said from Chicago about the potential of a honey-and-water solution to irrigate the nasal passages.

"The nice thing about it, if you don't like it, you can just irrigate it out with water."

The research involved Manuka honey from New Zealand and Sidr honey from Yemen. Clover and buckwheat honeys from Canada were dropped from the study when they had no effect against the biofilms…

Honey has Less Effect on Insulin Values than Sugar Solution

Effects of Basswood Honey, Honey-Comparable Glucose-Fructose Solution, and Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Solution on Serum Insulin, Glucose, and C-Peptide Concentrations in Healthy Subjects
Journal of Medicinal Food, September 1, 2008, 11(3): 424-428

Studies suggest that honey has less influence on serum glucose concentrations than monosaccharides and disaccharides. This study aimed to confirm these findings conclusively by comparing directly the effects of honey, an identical sugar solution, and oral glucose tolerance (OGT) test solution on serum glucose, insulin, and C-peptide values in healthy subjects…

Honey had less effect on serum glucose, C-peptide, and insulin values than the honey-comparable glucose-fructose solution. Further study to elucidate underlying mechanisms may be worthwhile, as may investigation of the implications of these findings for diabetic patients.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beeswax ‘Ear Candling’ Recommended for Ear, Sinus Health

The Art of Ear Candling
Dr Diane Robertson, Jamaica Gleaner, 9/24/2008

Ear candles are handmade from beeswax and unbleached cotton cloths. They are usually nine to 12 inches in length and burn for about 10 minutes. Many practitioners of ear candling are now rediscovering this art. It is a simple and natural therapy that cleanses the ear canal and sinus passages.

It can also be used to detoxify the lymphatic system, for migraines, to restore some forms of hearing loss and improve clarity of hearing, sight and smell. During the process called 'convection', softer earwax and toxins will be drawn out of the ear, oxidised and turned into vapour.

You would not believe the volume of dirt, wax and toxins that build up over time in the ear canal. Ear candling relaxes and calms the mind; facilitates alert and clearer thinking; balances pressure in the ears and the forehead; relieves sinus congestion, snoring, sore throat and headaches and increases the quantity and quality of inner energy…


Ear candling should not be used if one has a perforated eardrum, had done sinus surgery or is experiencing bleeding or draining of fluids from the ear.

Propolis a Good Preservative Agent in Food Processing

Antimicrobial Effects of Turkish Propolis, Pollen, and Laurel on Spoilage and Pathogenic Food-Related Microorganisms
Journal of Medicinal Food, September 1, 2008, 11(3): 587-592

The antimicrobial activities of propolis extract, pollen extract, and essential oil of laurel (Laurus nobilis L.) at concentrations from 0.02% to 2.5% (vol/vol) were investigated on bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Salmonlla typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Yersinia enterocolitica, Enterococcus faecalis, and Listeria monocytogenes), yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida rugosa), and molds (Aspergillus niger and Rhizopus oryzae).

Pollen has no antimicrobial effects on the bacteria and fungi tested in the concentrations used. Propolis showed a bactericidal effect at 0.02% on B. cereus and B. subtilis, at 1.0% on S. aureus and E. faecalis, and at 0.2% on L. monocytogenes. The minimum inhibitory concentration of propolis for fungi was 2.5%. Propolis and laurel were ineffective against E. coli and S. typhimurium at the concentrations tested.

The results showed that the antimicrobial activity were concentration dependent. Propolis and essential oil of laurel may be used as biopreservative agents in food processing and preservation

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bees Can Spread Genetically Modified Crops

Bees Can Mediate Escape of Genetically Engineered Material Over Several Kilometers

ScienceDaily (Sep. 22, 2008) — A study by scientists from the Nairobi-headquartered international research centre icipe, in collaboration with the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) has established that bees have the potential to mediate the escape of transgenes (genetically engineered material) from crops to their wild relatives over several kilometres.

The findings, which have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of 9th September, bear significant implications for the introduction of genetically modified crops in Africa.

The research, which was partly funded by USAID and the Rockefeller Foundation, was triggered by the planned release of insect-resistant genetically engineered cowpea in Africa, where cowpea’s wild relative, Vigna unguiculata var. spontanea, is widely distributed. For the first time with insect pollinators, the scientists used radio tracking to determine the movements of the carpenter bee Xylocopa flavorufa and their implications for long-distance pollen flow…

Bee Venom May Have Therapeutic Effect on Rheumatoid Arthritis

Effects of Bee Venom on the Maturation of Murine Dendritic Cells Stimulated by LPS
J Ethnopharmacol, 2008 Aug 23

The effect of bee venom (BV), a traditional immunosuppressive Korean acupuncture agent, on the maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) was studied…

These findings suggest that BV may have a therapeutic effect an on abnormally activated immune status, such as autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis, through an immune-modulatory effect on DC.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Propolis Protects Against Nerve Cell Death

Protective Effects of Chinese Propolis and Its Component, Chrysin, Against Neuronal Cell Death via Inhibition of Mitochondrial Apoptosis Pathway in SH-SY5Y Cells
J. Agric. Food Chem, September 12, 2008

Abstract: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and ischemic disorders. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of Chinese propolis and its constituents [chrysin, galangin, pinocembrin, caffeic acid, and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE)] against tunicamycin-induced neuronal cell death in SH-SY5Y cells.

Both Chinese propolis and chrysin concentration-dependently inhibited such cell death, the tunicamycin-induced activation of caspase-3, and the effects of tunicamycin on mitochondria [release of cytochrome c into the cytosol and disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm)]. Furthermore, Chinese propolis and chrysin each inhibited staurosporine-induced cell death.

These findings indicate that the inhibitory effects of Chinese propolis against neuronal cell death induced by ER stress or staurosporine may be exerted primarily by chrysin. Moreover, the mechanism underlying the protective effects may, at least partly, involve inhibitions of caspase-3 activity and the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Prompt Interest in Healing Honey

Ask Dr. H: Using Honey to Heal Wounds
By Mitchell Hecht, Philadelphia Inquirer (USA), 9/15/2008

Question: What can you tell me about using honey to heal hard-to-treat wounds? How well does it work?

Answer: The practice of using honey to heal wounds goes back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians - long before bacteria were known about. Honey has long had a reputation as a folk remedy for infection, but there was little formal study of its potential until recently.

Renewed interest in medicinal honey is due to the rapidly growing problem of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotic drugs. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and it's able to avoid bacterial resistance.

Its bacteria-killing properties are the result of low water concentration; a small amount of the oxidant hydrogen peroxide; and a fairly acidic pH of 3.2-4.5 (water has a neutral pH of 7.0). These properties inhibit bacterial growth and kill topically when honey is applied directly to a bacteria-infected area.

Researchers in the Netherlands recently investigated the antimicrobial properties of medicinal-grade honey produced by bees in closed greenhouses. Their culture studies showed that a 40 percent solution of honey killed all bacteria tested, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as well as vancomycin-resistant E. faecium…

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Italy Bans Pesticides Linked to Bee Devastation

Environmental News Network, 9/19/2008

The Italian government banned the use of several neonicotinoid pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The Ministero del Lavoro della Salute e delle Politiche Sociali issued an immediate suspension of the seed treatment products clothianidin, imidacloprid, fipronil and thiamethoxam used in rapeseed oil, sunflowers and sweetcorn. The Italian government will start a monitoring program to further investigate the reasons of recent bee deaths.

Italy followed Germany and Slovenia which banned sales of clothianidin and imidacloprid in May. In France imidacloprid has been banned on sunflowers already since 1999. In 2003 the substance was also banned as a sweetcorn treatment. Bayer´s application for clothianidin was rejected by French authorities...

The Press Release of the Italian Government: http://www.ministerosalute.it/ (top right: "Tutela patrimonio apistico: sospensione cautelativa dei prodotti fitosanitari utilizzati nel trattamento di concia delle sementi")

Commonly Used Pesticide Might Be Killing Honeybees

Jeff Ball, Detroit News (USA), 9/20/2008

…Likewise, life is getting complicated when deciding to apply the most commonly used insecticide imidacloprid, called Merit on product labels. I've been recommending products containing Merit as the best and safest tool for killing white grubs in the lawn. It doesn't hurt earthworms or any other microbes in the soil; it just kills grubs.

Unfortunately, we are learning that Merit has some ugly side effects, namely causing what has been called colony collapse disorder, where thousands of honeybee colonies are disappearing for no obvious reason. Now we know that any plant that is treated with Merit and has blossoms that attract bees, those bees will receive a non-lethal shot of Merit. But it will cause them to lose their ability to find their way back to the hive. It also weakens the bee's immune system so the bee usually dies of some fungus or virus…

Honey Speeds Healing of Leg Ulcers

Derma Sciences' MEDIHONEY(TM) Proven to Speed Healing in Stalled Leg Ulcers
Randomized controlled study finds significant healing and anti-infective benefits, providing hope for patients and caregivers

PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Derma Sciences, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: DSCI) 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 improve the healing rates of stalled venous leg ulcers. Prior to this study, no other advanced wound care dressing, under compression therapy, had been shown to improve healing rates of leg ulcers. Physicians treat over 4 million leg ulcers in the US per year, at a cost exceeding $1 billion.

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) added. After four weeks, the mean reduction in size of the wounds was 34% in the honey group and 13% in the control group. After 12 weeks, there was a 44% complete healing rate in the honey group vs. only 33% in the control group. Both these differences were statistically significant…

The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, and were written by lead investigators Georgina T. Gethin and Seamus Cowman, both of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. They concluded that, "the [honey] group had shown a greater incidence of healing, more effective desloughing, and lower incidence of infection than the control group."…

Friday, September 19, 2008

Commonly Used Pesticide Might Be Killing Honeybees

Jeff Ball, Detroit News (USA), 9/20/2008

…Likewise, life is getting complicated when deciding to apply the most commonly used insecticide imidacloprid, called Merit on product labels. I've been recommending products containing Merit as the best and safest tool for killing white grubs in the lawn. It doesn't hurt earthworms or any other microbes in the soil; it just kills grubs.

Unfortunately, we are learning that Merit has some ugly side effects, namely causing what has been called colony collapse disorder, where thousands of honeybee colonies are disappearing for no obvious reason. Now we know that any plant that is treated with Merit and has blossoms that attract bees, those bees will receive a non-lethal shot of Merit. But it will cause them to lose their ability to find their way back to the hive. It also weakens the bee's immune system so the bee usually dies of some fungus or virus…

Canadian Ear Candling and Apitherapy Seminar

When: Saturday, September 20, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Goodness Me! Natural Food Market, 1000 Upper Gage, Hamilton, Ontario
Register: Ph: 905-388-8400 (ex.226)
Cost: $55.00 + GST

Annie’s Apitherapy” (a division“Dutchman’s Gold Honey & Maple”) Carlisle, Ontario - is providing this information session, to introduce theoretical applications as well as the many health-giving benefits of Apitherapy.

What is Ear Candling? Ear Candling is a soothing, therapeutic technique that directly removes the excess earwax and congestion from the ear and also provides a cleansing effect to the lymph-system. This harmless, non-evasive procedure can be used safely as a “home remedy.” The benefits include elimination of earwax build-up, relief of sinus irritations, reduced ear-buzzing, regulation of head pressure and balance and lymphatic drainage.

Please Join us for an exciting day of learning, practical hands-on activity, fun and great food. This full-day workshop will provide step-by-step instructions for using ear cone-candling effectively. Each participant will have the opportunity to have their ears candled, and will do the procedure to another during the workshop (2 candles are provided per person). Lunch, tea, apitherapy samples as well as interesting and informative handouts are provided. Extra ear cone candles will be available the day of the workshop for a special price for participants. A Certificate for workshop participation is also included.

Bee Venom May Help Treat Hypertension

Penn Researchers Use Honeybee Venom to Develop a New Tool for Studying Hypertension
Potassium channels can be studied with a specific inhibitor modeled on honeybee venom

PHILADELPHIA - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have modified honeybee venom so that it can be used as a tool to study the inner workings of ion channels that control heart rate and the recycling of salt in kidneys. In general, ion channels selectively allow the passage of small ions such as sodium, potassium, or calcium into and out of the cell.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is from the laboratory of Zhe Lu, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Physiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, who researched the action of the natural bee toxin on inward-rectifier potassium channels, Kir channels for short, to identify new approaches to treat cardiovascular disease…

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Video: Propolis May Help Keep Honey Bees Healthy

U Researchers Hope to Revitalize the Honey Bee
Minnesota Daily (USA), 9/17/2008

Entomology Professor Marla Spivak is trying to change the 20-year decline in honey bee populations. Spivak and her lab are focused on figuring out how to make bees healthy, particularly using their natural behaviors, said entomology graduate student Michael Simone…

Propolis , tree resin collected by bees to seal their hives, may be another natural mechanism of disease resistance, Simone said. The resin has antimicrobial properties and is highly regarded for its human health benefits in some parts of the world, such as Japan and Brazil, Simone added.

Simone’s research focuses on answering how and why bees collect this resin and looking at how it influences bees’ immune systems at a genetic level. He said if it does turn out to prevent disease and offer health benefits to colonies, it could be applied in the beekeeping industry.

Research like this is essential if honey bee populations are to become healthy again, said Daniel Pasche, Minnesota state apiary inspector…

Propolis Decreases Cancer Cell Division

Anticarcinogenic and Antimitotic Effects of Turkish Propolis and Mitomycin-C on Tissue Cultures of Bladder Cancer
Natural Product Research, Volume 22, Issue 12 August 2008 , pages 1060 - 1066

Abstract: The in vitro anticarcinogenic and antimitotic effects of propolis and mitomycin-C (MMC) on transitional carcinoma cell cultures were investigated. Tissue samples were obtained from 22 patients with bladder carcinomas, which were exposed to propolis (0.1 mL) and MMC (1.6 µL). The mean MI rates for control, propolis and MMC were 8.327 ± 0.624, 6.990 ± 0.519 and 5.423 ± 0.479, respectively. The differences between the control and exposed cells were significant (p < 0.05). We conclude that exposure to propolis can decrease cell division and it may be used as an antimitotic and anticarcinogenic agent.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Apitherapy Lecture in Virginia

The Rappahannock Beekeepers Association will meet Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. at the Snow Library of the Marshall Building in Spotsylvania. Gay Rahn, certified apitherapist, will speak on Apitherapy. The event is free. (540) 373-1683, or sarabee@cox.net

Royal Jelly Proteome Explored

Royal Jelly Proteins Are Set
SpectroscopyNOW.com, 9/15/2008

Royal jelly is the key to a longer life. It keeps queen bees alive for 4-5 years whereas the worker bees, who feed on worker jelly, survive for a mere 3-4 weeks, so many people think it will lengthen our lifetimes too. This claim gains some support from the numerous benefits which royal jelly affords, such as antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-allergic and antitumour properties. Royal jelly comprises typically 60-70% water, 12-15% protein, 10-16% sugar and 3-6% lipids, with lesser amounts of vitamins, amino acids and salts, and the pharmacological properties have been attributed to various compounds across these classes…

The royal jelly proteome has been explored before but Asian scientists decide to undertake a comprehensive study using complementary techniques in an attempt to broaden the spread of identified proteins. For the same reasons, they collected royal jelly from European honeybees 24, 48 and 72 hours after it was deposited, as well as in two flower blossoming periods. The first was when dandelions and wild cherry were blooming and the second two weeks later when Robinia pseudoacacia, a tree known as the black locust, was in blossom.

The experimental protocol was described in the Journal of Proteome Research by lead reporter Masami Yonekura and co-researchers from Ibaraki University, The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Yonsei University in Japan and The Research Laboratory for Agricultural Biotechnology and Biochemistry in Kathmandu. Using a novel extraction protocol with the addition of two solubilising buffers, they obtained a "total soluble protein extract" with improved protein solubilisation.

This extract was analysed by both one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis to maximise the number of proteins that were separated for analysis. They were identified by the standard proteomics technique of in-gel digestion followed by electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry with database searching.

The team found no noticeable differences in the protein profiles over the 24-72 hour periods. However, there were some variations in profile between the samples collected at different blossoming periods. By identifying the 8 proteins involved, the differences were attributed to the seasonal flower blooms, although this could not be verified at this stage. Overall, the royal jelly protein compositions were deemed to be stable…

In a second study published in the same issue of the Journal of Proteome Research, scientists from the Institute of Apicultural Research and the Institute of Crop Science at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing examined the stability of the royal jelly proteins under long-term storage. Their aim was to find proteins that could be used as markers of freshness…

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

‘Unprecedented Levels’ of Pesticides Found in Wax, Bees, Pollen

Pesticide Buildup Could Lead to Poor Honey Bee Health
Andrea Messer and Vicki Fong, Penn State University, 9/16/2008

PHILADELPHIA - Honey bees industriously bring pollen and nectar to the hive, but along with the bounty comes a wide variety of pesticides, according to Penn State researchers. Add the outside assault to the pesticides already in the waxy structure of the hive, and bee researchers see a problem difficult to evaluate and correct. However, an innovative approach may mitigate at least some beeswax contamination.

The researchers present their analysis of pollen, brood, adult bees and wax samples today at the 236th national American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia. Those results show unprecedented levels of fluvalinate and coumaphos -- pesticides used in the hives to combat varroa mites -- in all comb and foundation wax samples. They also found lower levels of 70 other pesticides and metabolites of those pesticides in pollen and bees.

"Everyone figured that the acaricides (anti-varroa mite chemicals) would be present in the wax because the wax is reprocessed to form the structure of the hives," says Maryann Frazier, senior extension associate. "It was a bit of a shock to see the levels and the widespread presence of these pesticides."

While the researchers expected the presence of the chemicals available to treat varroa mites in the hives, the other pesticides' levels were also surprising. All of the bees tested showed at least one pesticide and pollen averaged six pesticides with as many as 31 in a sample…

Honey, Propolis Make Medical Comeback

Ancient Thinking on Honey Returns
By Ramona Frances, Madera Tribune (USA), 9/12/2008

Honey made by bees might not be marketed as a wonder drug or available by prescription anytime soon, but it has been used medicinally for thousands of years in countries such as Greece, China, Egypt and India. An overproduction of honey within hives is what honey gatherers and beekeepers look for, so the excess can be removed for other uses without endangering bees.

"Honey is extremely good for burns and wound healing as a whole," said Eric Mussen bee expert and scientist with UC Davis. "But you are not going to get many medical professionals to say this. If something goes wrong, they would rather avoid a suit."

Better known for his work with commercial beekeepers and his efforts to educate people about bee health, Mussen spoke about the virtues of an honest bee's work - collecting nectar, pollen and plant resin found in honey and propolis. Mussen said honey and propolis have been used as medicine since humans figured out how to collect honey from bees.

"We know propolis has antioxident properties too," Mussen.

Propolis is a type of resin extracted from various plants proven to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory in the laboratory and is believed by some to be helpful for ulcers and gastritis…

Monday, September 15, 2008

Maine Physician Offers Bee Venom Therapy

The Sweet Sting of Relief
By Kathryn Skelton, Sun Journal (USA), 9/14/2008

Before a transatlantic flight, he arranges for 40 bee stings in his back. (It's extra-relaxing, of course.) Maine's Théodore Cherbuliez and his bee venom therapy.

Théodore Cherbuliez teaches people how to get bees to sting them. He coaches how to aim a bee, how to get its shot of venom to hurt a little less and how it can provide a jolt of non-traditional pain relief to the not-so-squeamish.

Cherbuliez, 80, takes a bee to the wrist every three months for arthritis.

He does not, fortunately, offer to sting visiting journalists.

Lanky and trim with a strong Swiss accent, he moved to Maine four years ago to be closer to his children. He's a psychologist and the former president of the American Apitherapy Society, a group that explores all the ways to use bees as medicine. (He's VP now.)

He says he learned his techniques from Charles Mraz, the U.S. father of bee venom therapy. He got into apitherapy 25 years ago and proposes - but does not recommend - treatment for people suffering from symptoms of muscular sclerosis and other ailments.

"There is no treatment that has the diversity and the maintenance quality that bee venom has. It's quite remarkable in terms of how it can improve people's conditions," he said…

He only sees each client two or three times. Cherbuliez said he'll get to know their personality, their condition and test for allergies. (He tests both the person who wants to be stung and their partner; stinging should be a two-person affair. It's hard to reach your own back, plus, he warns, there's always the risk of an adverse reaction.)

He always keeps adrenaline on an end table in his office, just in case, and has never had to use it.

"Depending on how you handle it, you can administer venom very un-painful," Cherbuliez said…

If clients feel like they've gotten some relief of symptoms, post-sting, and decide to start treating themselves, they can order tiny boxes of bees from Maryland (you actually get a subscription,) start their own hive, or make friends with someone with a hive.

"Bee sting is not a game, it's a tool. A very sharp tool," he said…

Venom as a treatment is something the body can't become immune to, he added. While over-the-counter medications are the same in every dose, venom is different from bee to bee, influenced by her age and the pollen she's eaten…

Video: The Science Behind MGO™ Manuka Honey

Anti-bacterial MGO™ Manuka Honey from Manuka Health New Zealand is a natural health honey that contains methylglyoxal, the compound thought to produce superior anti-bacterial activity in the honey.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Propolis Blocks Growth of Tumor Blood Vessels

Propolis Suppresses Tumor Angiogenesis by Inducing Apoptosis in Tube-Forming Endothelial Cells
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2008 Sep 7.

We have reported that propolis suppresses tumor-induced angiogenesis in vivo and in vitro, but antiangiogenic mechanism of propolis at cellular level remains unclear. In this study, we observed that propolis not only inhibited tube formation but also induced apoptosis of endothelial cells. These results suggest that propolis exerts its antiangiogenic effects at least in part through induction of apoptosis.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Video: Processing Apitherapy Products in Thailand

Natural pure honey, honey dehydration, royal jelly, bee pollen, beeswax, beekeeping equipment, and beauty products such as soap.

Honey: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals

British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 17, Iss. 15, 14 Aug 2008, pp S24 - S30

There is a growing body of literature promoting the use of honey-based products in wound care, demonstrating their efficacy, cost-effectiveness and excellent record of safety. Thus, there has been a sizeable renaissance in the use of honey as a topical treatment for a wide range of wounds. This resurgence has brought an array of new honey-based wound products into the market place.

Honey for the purposes of wound management has to be ‘medical grade’, which ensures that it has been sterilized by gamma irradiation and has a standardized antibacterial activity – only these honeys can be registered as medical devices. Hence, practitioners should exercise caution before using any unregulated unlicensed honey product as a treatment for wounds.

This article provides healthcare practitioners with the information they need to make a considered decision when choosing between honey-based products. It highlights the importance of established clinical evidence in demonstrating the therapeutic properties of honey and supporting the use of honey-based products in the management of wounds.

The practitioner needs to consider the written information provided by manufacturers as to the clinical evidence base of the product, indications and contraindications for use and safety of the product.

See - Medihoney™: A Complete Wound Bed Preparation Product

Friday, September 12, 2008

Video: Brazilian Green Propolis Improves Immune System

MWHEALTH.COM: Propolis, rich in flavonoids, is a natural antibiotic without any side effects. Brazilian green propolis helps to strengthen our immune system, improve skin complexion and is also useful for preventing diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Propolis Offers ‘Quite Measurable Protection’ Against DNA Damage

Evaluation of Radioprotective Effects of Propolis and Quercetin on Human White Blood Cells In Vitro
Biol Pharm Bull, 2008 Sep;31(9):1778-85

This in vitro study aimed at investigating the possible radioprotective effects of natural substances propolis and quercetin on gamma-irradiated human white blood cells…

The results obtained by all endpoints indicate acceptable toxicity profiles of propolis and quercetin in vitro, and also confirmed their radioprotective abilities. Propolis was found to be more effective in diminishing the levels of primary and more complex cytogenetic DNA damage in gamma-irradiated white blood cells.

Data gathered in present study support the use of propolis and quercetin as non-toxic protective substances…

Present in vitro study showed that EEP and quercetin offer a quite measurable protection against DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation. Data gathered here support their use as non-toxic protective substances…

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Giant Honeybees Use Mexican Waves to Repel Predatory Wasps

ScienceDaily (Sep. 9, 2008) — The phenomenon of "shimmering" in giant honeybees, in which hundreds—or even thousands—of individual honeybees flip their abdomens upwards within a split-second to produce a Mexican Wave-like pattern across the bee nest, has received much interest but both its precise mode of action and its purpose have long remained a mystery.

In a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE this week, researchers at the University of Graz, Austria, and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK, report the finding that shimmering—a remarkable capacity of rapid communication in giant honeybees—acts as a defensive mechanism, which repels predatory hornets, forcing them to hunt free-flying bees, further afield, rather than foraging bees directly from the honeybee nest...

Chloramphenicol Found in Veterinary Royal Jelly Supplements

Veterinary Residues Annual Report Published
Food Standards Agency (UK), 9/8/2008

The Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC) 2007 Annual Report on the surveillance of veterinary residues in food in the UK is now available online. The report details the checks that have been done for a range of residues of veterinary medicines in food.

The VRC is an independent advisory committee overseeing UK surveillance of residues of veterinary medicines in UK-produced and imported foods. It advises the chief executives of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the Food Standards Agency on its work and the importance of its results. The UK programme of residue surveillance is operated by the VMD. More information on the role of the Committee and its residue surveillance work can be found at the VRC website at the link below.

A couple of results were of particular interest to the Agency:

The Agency supported the VRC brand-name survey on chloramphenicol in high concentration royal jelly nutritional supplements. Where positive samples were found during the course of the survey, the Agency was notified and worked with local authorities and the companies involved to ensure that the products were withdrawn from sale. Where the products affected came from outside UK, the Agency notified the European Commission…

See: Survey on Royal Jelly Supplements

In a survey published today on behalf of the Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC), the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) reports that traces of chloramphenicol, a veterinary medicine banned for use in food producing animals, were found in 18 samples of high concentration royal jelly nutritional supplements.

However, the risks from the levels found in the affected samples would have been extremely small…

Study of Propolis Composition May Lead to Standardization

Effect of the Brazilian propolis extracts against bloodstream trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi after 1 day of treatment at 4°C. The bars represent the standard deviation of at least three independent experiments.

Brazilian Propolis: Correlation Between Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity
Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. Medicine, 2008, Volume 5, Number 3 Pp. 317-324

The chemical composition of ethanol extracts from samples of Brazilian propolis (EEPs) determined by HPLC and their activity against Trypanosoma cruzi, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebisiella pneumoniae, Candida albicans, Sporothrix schenckii and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis were determined…

The present study reinforces the relevance of PCUM and derivatives, especially prenylated ones and also of caffeolyquinic acids, on the biological activity of Brazilian propolis…

As typical of Brazilian propolis (2), most of the compounds present in the EEPs were phenolics, being present in high content hydroxycinnamic acids, such as PCUM and CAF and their prenylated derivatives…

The association of the chemical composition of propolis from different geographic regions with biological activities lead to the identification of active principles, a fundamental tool to achieve standardization of this bee product…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Apitherapy Course to be Offered in North Carolina

Learn About Honey, Bee Pollen as Medicine
Dale Neal, Citizen-Times (USA), 9/10/2008

ENKA – Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Natural Products Business class “Healing from the Hive” will be held 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sept. 16 and 23 in Haynes 128 on the Enka campus.

Hive products such as honey, propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen are valuable medicines. Learn how people have used these gifts from the honeybees for centuries as well as recent scientific validation of their efficacy. Topics will cover family care, first aid, and marketing honey…

Royal Jelly May Improve Quality of Life for Menopausal Women

Estrogenic Activities of Fatty Acids and a Sterol Isolated from Royal Jelly
Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. Medicine, 2008, Volume 5, Number 3 Pp. 295-302

We have previously reported that royal jelly (RJ) from honeybees (Apis mellifera) has weak estrogenic activity mediated by interaction with estrogen receptors that leads to changes in gene expression and cell proliferation.

In this study, we isolated four compounds from RJ that exhibit estrogenic activity as evaluated by a ligand-binding assay for the estrogen receptor (ER) β. These compounds were identified as 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid, 10-hydroxydecanoic acid, trans-2-decenoic acid and 24-methylenecholesterol…

These findings provide evidence that these compounds contribute to the estrogenic effect of RJ…

In summary, we isolated and identified four compounds associated with the estrogenic effects of RJ. Further understanding of these compounds should provide a scientific basis for the development of better therapeutic applications of dietary supplement for the improvement of quality of life in menopausal women.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Propolis Component Protects Neurons

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Prevents Cerebellar Granule Neurons (CGNs) Against Glutamate-Induced Neurotoxicity
Neuroscience, 2008 Sep 9;155(4):1098-105

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an active component of propolis obtained from honeybee hives and is found to have the following properties: anti-mitogenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant.

Recent reports suggest that CAPE also has a neuronal protective property against ischemic injury. Since excitotoxicity may play an important role in ischemia, in this study, we investigated whether CAPE could directly protect neurons against excitotoxic insult…

These results suggest that CAPE is able to block glutamate-induced excitotoxicity by inhibiting phosphorylation of p38 and caspase-3 activation. This finding may further help understanding of the mechanism of glutamate-induced neuronal death and CAPE-induced neuroprotection against excitotoxicity.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Program for Romanian Apitherapy Conference Now Online

Second National Apitherapy Congress, Expo and Workshops with International Participation, Iasi, Romania, November 21-24, 2008

Preliminary Program (download)

Main co-organizer of the events: Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Iasi, Romania

Contact: drstangaciu@apitherapy.com or draosan@gmail.com

‘Remarkable Variation’ in Honey Antioxidant Activity

Physico-Chemical and Bioactive Properties of Different Floral Origin Honeys from Romania
Food Chemistry, Volume 112, Issue 4, 15 February 2009, Pages 863-867

Abstract: In this study, we investigated and compared the physico-chemical properties (moisture, colour, ash, and sugars content) as well as total phenols, total flavonoids and antioxidant activity of several honey samples (24) collected from different regions of Romania. The physico-chemical values were in the range of approved limits (conforming to EU legislation); excepting the monosaccharide values for one sample (T2). For this sample, the other values were within legislation limits.

The results obtained showed that the most valuable honey is the honeydew one. Correlation between RSA and total phenols and total flavonoids, respectively, was determined, and a positive correlation was found. This study demonstrates remarkable variation in antioxidant properties and content of total phenols in honey, depending on its botanic or geographic source.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Propolis ‘Nanofood’ Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth

Preparation of Propolis Nanofood and Application to Human Cancer
Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, Vol. 31 (2008) , No. 9 1704

Propolis has well-known antimicrobial activity as well as antioxidant, antitumoral, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative properties, but its effects on the immune response are not well understood. Furthermore, clinical application of this relatively efficacious agent in cancer and other diseases has been limited due to poor aqueous solubility and, consequently, minimal systemic bioavailability.

Nanoparticle-based delivery approaches have the potential to render hydrophobic agents like propolis dispersible in aqueous media, thus circumventing the pitfalls of poor solubility. We have synthesized a polymeric nanoparticle-encapsulated formulation of propolis (propolis nanofood) utilizing micellar aggregates of cross-linked and random copolymers of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAM) with N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (VP) and poly(ethyleneglycol) monoacrylate (PEG-A)…

Propolis nanofood, unlike free propolis, is readily dispersed in aqueous media. Propolis nanofood demonstrates comparable in vitro therapeutic efficacy to free propolis against a panel of human pancreatic cancer cell lines, as assessed by cell viability and clonogenicity assays in soft agar.

Future studies utilizing propolis nanofood are warranted in pre-clinical in vivo models of cancer and other diseases that might benefit from the effects of propolis…

Propolis nanofood opens up avenues for systemic therapy of human cancers wherein the beneficial effects of propolis have been propounded. Future studies using relevant experimental models will enable us to address these scenarios in an in vivo setting. Propolis nanofood inhibits pancreatic cell growth in murine xenograft models; these effects are accompanied by a potent anti-angiogenic response and should facilitate the eventual clinical translation of this well-known but under-utilized therapeutic agent. No overt host toxicity is noted when maximal volumes are administered to mice. Taken together with the dismal outlook for patients with human pancreatic carcinoma, our observations suggest that propolis nanofood should be investigated in the clinical setting…

Saturday, September 06, 2008

U.S. Firm Offers New Line of Digital Honey Refractometers

From Hive to Table; MISCO Digital Honey Refractometer Provides a Sweet Solution for Measuring Honey Moisture and Solids Content
New Honey Refractometer Puts Laboratory Precision in the Palm of Your Hand

Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) September 6, 2008 -- MISCO introduces a new line of handheld digital refractometers designed specifically for state and federal inspectors responsible for the measurement and grading of honey. Although designed for government inspectors, the MISCO Digital Honey Refractometer is equally beneficial to professional beekeepers, honey producers, honey mixers, honey brokers, or anyone requiring the absolute most accurate, repeatable readings of moisture content and percent solids in honey…

Canadian Ear Candling & Apitherapy Day

When: Saturday, September 20, 2008, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: Goodness Me! Natural Food Market, 1000 Upper Gage, Hamilton
To Register: Phone: (905) 388-8400
Cost: $55.00

Workshop participants will receive: Informative Apitherapy (therapeutics of the beehive products) seminar including handouts and samples. Information with regard –“How-To” do a Beeswax, Ear-candling treatment (hands-on). Time also allotted for question and sharing period – Also includes lunch, tea.

Propolis Used to Treat American Foulbrood

Efficacy of Natural Propolis Extract in the Control of American Foulbrood
Veterinary Microbiology, Volume 131, Issues 3-4, 15 October 2008, Pages 324-331

Abstract: Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American Foulbrood (AFB), a severe disease that affects larvae of the honeybees. Due to the serious effects associated with AFB and the problems related to the use of antibiotics, it is necessary to develop alternative strategies for the control of the disease. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of a propolis ethanolic extract (PEE) against P. larvae and its potential for the control of AFB...

All isolates were sensitive to PEE and the MIC median was 0.52% (range 0.32–0.64). PEE was not toxic for bees at least at 50%. Field assays showed that 21 and 42 days after the application of the treatments, the number of P. larvae spores/g of honey was significantly lower in colonies treated with PEE compared to the colonies that were not treated with PEE. To our knowledge, this is the first report about the use of propolis for the treatment of beehives affected with P. larvae spores.

Friday, September 05, 2008

New Method for Analysis of Streptomycin in Royal Jelly

Determination of Streptomycin Residue in Royal Jelly by High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Post-Column Derivatization
Se Pu (Chinese Journal of Chromatography), 2008 May;26(3):395-7

A reliable and sensitive method was introduced for the analysis of streptomycin in royal jelly. The method was based on a separation by a C8 analytical column with beta-naphthoquinone-4-sulfonate post-column derivatization and fluorescence detection…

The method reduced the possibility of the false positive, and it could meet the need of the current work.

Video: Line of Royal Jelly Beauty Products

View the video.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Local Honey Said to Cure Hayfever

'I've Bee-n Cured'
By Bonnie Friend, Borehamwood Times (UK), 9/4/2008

A chronic hayfever-sufferer has enjoyed the summer for the first time in 22 years after finding a cure in his Radlett allotment.

Stuart Thorn, 53, was treated with cortisol injections for 20 years and five years ago started having acupuncture, as recommended by his doctor.

However, in 2006 Mr Thorn and his wife, Mo, realised a long-planned ambition to keep bees and produce honey at their allotment in Phillimore Recreation Ground, in Gills Hill Lane.

And after two years of daily, home-produced honey intake, Mr Thorn realised his hayfever symptoms had disappeared.

“The theory that eating local honey can help hayfever has been around for a long time,” said Mr Thorn.

The idea is that the product contains the nectar from surrounding flowers, which causes an allergic reaction in hayfever sufferers. By eating small doses of the offending substance, the honey acts like an inoculation and allows the body to acclimatise to the pollen and guard against it…

Video: Honey Used to Treat Soldiers in Iraq

Healing Power of Honey
Fox News, 8/19/2008

Honey isn’t just being used to sweeten your tea anymore. Now doctors are using it to help patients heal quicker.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Propolis Suppresses Tryptophan Degradation

Immunomodulatory Effects of Turkish Propolis: Changes in Neopterin Release and Tryptophan Degradation
Immunobiology, Article in Press

Abstract: In most of the diseases which are considered to benefit from propolis, cellular immune reaction is activated, neopterin levels in body fluids are increased and enhanced tryptophan degradation is observed.

In this study, the immunomodulatory effects of six Turkish propolis samples were evaluated by using the in vitro model of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC)…

Results show an immunomodulatory effect of propolis extracts which includes down-regulation of IDO activity. IDO enzyme is considered to play an important role in the development of immunodeficiency and neuropsychiatric symptoms in patient with chronic inflammation. The suppression of tryptophan degradation by propolis extracts may therefore be related with some of its beneficial health properties in humans.

Discovery of Bee Virus May Help Unravel Colony Collapse Disorder Mystery

Bee Researchers Unveil Tool to Chase Colony Collapse Disorder
The University of Montana (USA), 8/29/2008

University of Montana researchers and their UM-affiliated company, Bee Alert Technology Inc., have employed a powerful new tool created by a U.S. Army lab to discover a honeybee virus invading North America.

The new virus does not cause Colony Collapse Disorder – a mysterious malady depopulating beehives around the globe – but the method used to find the virus may help scientists unravel the CCD mystery in the future.

The invading bee virus is called Varroa destructor virus-1. First definitively identified in Europe in 2006, VDV-1 is carried by both honeybees and the tiny varroa mites that afflict them…

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bee Pollen Recommended for Hot Flashes

Dr. Gott: Bee Pollen Assuages Hot Flashes
Northwest Herald (USA), 9/1/2008

Dear Dr. Gott: I read your letter from the 57-year-old lady with hot flashes. I also was bothered with the problem until someone told me to take bee pollen. I took 550 milligrams twice daily and haven’t had any flashes for years. I hope you can pass this on.

Dear Reader: Hot flashes occur when a portion of the brain known as the hypothalamus gets mixed signals and cannot determine whether the body is hot or cold.

The action causes blood vessels to expand and contract in an irregular pattern. An increased flow of blood triggers a feeling of heat, with flushing of the face, neck and chest...

Flashes deplete the body of B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. Supplements to counteract those depletions and deter flashes are available in the form of vitamin E in dosages between 400 and 800 IU daily; bioflavonoids in dosages of 250 milligrams five to six times daily; evening primrose oil; chickweed tincture; ginseng; bee pollen in doses of 500 milligrams taken three times a day; and more...

If the bee pollen works for you, stick with it.

For others who want to try supplements, you might give bee pollen a try. Please let me know of its success or failure so I can report back.

Propolis Component Inhibits Growth of Tumor Cells

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Preferentially Enhanced Radiosensitizing and Increased Oxidative Stress in Medulloblastoma Cell Line
Child's Nervous System, Issue Volume 24, Number 9 / September, 2008

Abstract: Objectives Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active component of propolis, was recently reported to have radiosensitizing effects on medulloblastoma (MB) cells. However, the mechanisms of radiosensitivity involved in medulloblastoma cells are still unclear. The specific aim of this study was to investigate the role of CAPE-induced oxidative stress to influence of radiosensitivity and anti-proliferative effects in medulloblastoma cells…

Results: The results indicated that CAPE inhibited the growth of Daoy cells. CAPE treatment in Daoy cells could effectively decrease glutathione reductase and significantly increase glutathione peroxidase. Radiation-activated NF-κB was reversed by CAPE pretreatment. Finally, the result of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP–biotin nick end labeling assay showed that CAPE treatment can enhance radiation-induced apoptosis in Daoy cells.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated the anti-proliferative and radiosensitizing effects of CAPE on MB cells, which may be achievable through depleting GSH, increased ROS activity, and inhibiting NF-κB activity.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Study Explains Medicinal Properties of Propolis

Immunomodulatory Effects of Turkish Propolis: Changes in Neopterin Release and Tryptophan Degradation
Immunobiology, Article in Press

Abstract: In most of the diseases which are considered to benefit from propolis, cellular immune reaction is activated, neopterin levels in body fluids are increased and enhanced tryptophan degradation is observed.

In this study, the immunomodulatory effects of six Turkish propolis samples were evaluated by using the in vitro model of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC)…

Results show an immunomodulatory effect of propolis extracts which includes down-regulation of IDO activity. IDO enzyme is considered to play an important role in the development of immunodeficiency and neuropsychiatric symptoms in patient with chronic inflammation.

The suppression of tryptophan degradation by propolis extracts may therefore be related with some of its beneficial health properties in humans.

Oleander Honey is Poisonous

In Theory, Even Honey Made From Oleanders' Nectar is Poisonous
The Arizona Republic (USA), 8/30/2008

If bees make honey with nectar from oleander flowers, is the honey poisonous?

Yes. Oleanders are pretty much all-around poisonous from the roots to the leaves to the sap in the branches.

Among other things, they contain oleandrin, which can paralyze the heart.

The bees themselves are not affected by the oleanders' toxins, but at least, in theory, the honey from oleanders would be poisonous.

On the upside I couldn't find any records of anyone dying from such honey…