Friday, October 31, 2008

New Zealand Project to Promote Medicinal Honey

What a Bee-autiful Idea ... Use Scrub to Make Millions
By Rosemary Roberts, The Northern Advocate (New Zealand), 10/31/2008

The Far North's manuka scrublands - once seen as worthless wasteland - could instead create 200 jobs and millions of dollars a year in sales as the region taps into world's most sought-after honey.

Long-term the rewards could be even greater, with Far North iwi looking to cash in on the honey's anti-bacterial properties. The ultimate aim is a centre of excellence in Kaitaia based on manuka's special medicinal qualities and capitalising on the high levels of bioactive compounds in Northland manuka honey.

Think a college for beekeepers, a manufacturing plant to process medical-grade honey and make manuka-based medical products; a laboratory to develop new medical products; and large-scale production of manuka to plant as a "nurse" for slow-growing plantations of kauri and totara…

Enterprise Northland chief executive Brian Roberts said an even greater opportunity was that the venture could break into the international market for manuka-infused bandages to treat wounds and fight "superbugs". Manuka was more effective, cleaner, greener and safer than the present alternatives, the main one being silver-infused bandages…

Cuban Propolis Exhibits Anti-Tumor Activity

The Contribution of Plukenetione A to the Anti-Tumoral Activity of Cuban Propolis
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Article in Press

Increasing efforts are directed toward finding applications for natural products and their derivatives in the treatment of human diseases. Among such products, propolis, a resinous substance produced by honey bees from various plant sources, has been found to be a promising source of potential therapeutics.

In the present work, we aimed at studying the perspective of Cuban propolis as a source of possible anti-cancer agents. We found an anti-metastatic effect in mice and considerable cytotoxicity without cross-resistance in both wild-type and chemoresistant human tumor cell lines.

Plukenetione A—identified for the first time in Cuban propolis—induced G0/G1 arrest and DNA fragmentation in colon carcinoma cells. Furthermore, the activities of both topoisomerase I and DNA polymerase were inhibited, while the expression of topoisomerase II-beta, EGF receptor, and multidrug resistance-related protein genes was found repressed.

We assume that plukenetione A contributes to the anti-tumoral effect of Cuban propolis mainly by targeting topoisomerase I as well as DNA polymerase.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Honey a Cheap, Effective Hair Conditioner

The Healthy Hair Benefits of Honey!
By Gennifer Miller, Black Voices, 10/29/2008

If you are looking to add moisture and manageability to your hair, try honey! Its cheap, effective and can really improve the condition of your hair over time. Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and holds on to water molecules, making a great treatment for dry, damaged hair.

For a deep conditioning boost, add a tablespoon of honey and oil to your conditioner and let penetrate for 20-30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Despite its sticky texture, the honey treatment will rinse easily from the hair, as long as you are using equal parts of honey and oil…

‘Herbhoneys’ Have Properties Similar to Natural Honey

Physicochemical Properties and Quality Parameters of Herbhoneys
Food Chemistry, Volume 113, Issue 2, 15 March 2009, Pages 538-542

Herbhoney is a honey-like substance produced by bees fed on a saccharose-based food supplemented with herbal extracts or fruit juices. Having specific sensory characteristics (colour, aroma and taste), different from those of natural honeys, herbhoneys greatly extend the range of bee products.

With the aim of improving the knowledge of herbhoneys of various origins, their chosen physicochemical and quality parameters were evaluated. It was found that the herbhoneys studied satisfied most of the requirements relative to natural honeys (water, hydroxymethylfurfural and saccharose contents, free acidity, and diastase number).

Some of the samples showed an increased specific conductivity, characteristic of honeydew honeys, although the ash contents of herbhoneys were at a level typical of nectar honeys. The saccharose content of some herbhoneys exceeded the value allowed for most natural honeys. Mineral composition varied between the samples, being in most cases within the limits reported in this literature for natural honeys.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ugandan President Urges Honey, Propolis Production

Reap from Honey — Museveni
By John Kasozi, New Vision, 10/28/2008

President Yoweri Museveni has advised African countries to take advantage of the $3b world honey market trade.

Addressing participants at the launch of Honey Trade Africa (ApiTrade) at a conference at Hotel Africana in Kampala last week, the President said regional honey trade was in line with regional integration. “We need to come together and support these regional groups to flourish. Africa produces rich honey for export but this goes unrecognised all over the world. ApiTrade will recognise our honey,” he said…

“If every homestead had 20 Kenyan Top Bars (KTB) and was extracting 20kgs per season and per hive three times a year, it would earn a good fortune. This would be in addition to bee wax and propolis. Each homestead would earn over sh7m per year.”…

Propolis Protects Against Pesticide Toxicity

Effecs of Cypermethrin on Some Biochemical Changes in Rats: The Protective Role of Propolis
Exp Anim, 2008 Oct;57(5):453-60

Twenty eight female Wistar rats weighing 150-200 g were used in this study and these animals were divided into 4 groups, each comprising 7 rats. The first group served as the control group, and groups 2, 3, and 4 were administered a single dose of 250 mg/ propolis, a single dose of 125 mg/ (1/2LD(50)) cypermethrin, and a single dose of 125 mg/ cypermethrin followed by a single dose of 250 mg/ propolis 30 min later, per os using a catheter, respectively.

Twenty-four hours after propolis administration, blood and tissue (liver, kidney, and brain) samples were collected. Serum glucose, triglyceride, uric acid, cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities/levels, plasma and tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and erythrocyte and tissue superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities were determined.

Compared to group 1, significant increases in plasma and tissue MDA levels and kidney GSH-Px activity, and significant decreases in erythrocyte SOD and CAT, liver SOD and GSH-Px, kidney SOD and brain SOD, CAT and GSH-Px activities were determined in group 3. Compared to group 1, a significant increase in glucose and a significant decrease in triglyceride levels were determined in group 3. Values pertaining to group 4 were demonstrated to be closer to those of group 1.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bee Product Helps Fight Cancer

By Karla Akuhata, Waikato Times (New Zealand), 10/28/2008

A bee-derived product manufactured by Manuka Health New Zealand, in Te Awamutu, is helping international researchers in the fight against cancer.

The team of researchers is using Bio 30 propolis, produced in the Te Awamutu factory, in a trial investigating the effects of propolis on tumour growth in cancer patients.

The team, led by Melbourne-based cancer researcher Hiroshi Maruta, is several months into testing Bio 30 propolis on 70 neurofibromatosis, melanoma and pancreatic cancer sufferers. Neurofiromatosis is a set of genetic disorders which cause tumours to grow along various types of nerves and can affect the development of non-nervous tissue such as bone and skin. In severe cases the disorder affects nerves throughout the body, including the brain and spinal cord.

Progress of the trial has been reported by the research team in a paper published in Wiley InterSciences Phytotherapy Research. According to the research, most patients have shown no further growth in their tumours…

Propolis Gel May Help Prevent Oral Infections

Effects of Nystatin, Fluconazole and Propolis on Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) Resin Surface
Braz Dent J, 2008;19(3):190-6

The prevalence of candidosis in denture wearers is as well established as its treatment with antifungal agents (AAs). However, little research has been done regarding the effects of AAs on denture base surfaces. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of fluconazole (FLU), nystatin (NYS) and propolis orabase gel (PRO) on poly (methyl-methacrylate) (PMMA) surfaces…

In conclusion, PRO was able to induce changes in PMMA surface properties, such as roughness, which could be related to microbial adhesion.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Research Papers Sought for Apitherapy Journal, Conference

Original research papers are being sought for the new Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science and for the 7th German Apitherapy Congress, Expo and Workshops to be held in Passau, Germany, on March 26-31, 2009.

The Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science will publish original research articles, original theoretical papers, notes, comments and authoritative reviews. It covers the relevant properties or substances of the six hive products honey, pollen, propolis, wax, royal jelly, and bee venom. Special attention will be given to biological and health properties. The journal will also cover studies concerning biological and medical effects of bee products in experiments with animal and humans.

E-mail original research articles, notes and comments or reviews for the Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science to

For information on submitting presentations for the 7th German Apitherapy Congress, contact Dr. Stefan Stangaciu at

‘Significant Correlations’ Between Honey Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Content

Evaluation of Antioxidant Activity, Phenolic, Mineral Contents and Some Physicochemical Properties of Several Pine Honeys Collected from Western Anatolia
Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2008 Oct 23:1-13

In this study, the qualities of 15 red pine honey samples from different parts of the Muğla province in Turkey were evaluated…

Pine honey samples also were analyzed for total phenolic contents and antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activities were evaluated based on the ability of the pine honey extracts to scavenge 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl.

Significant correlations were obtained between the antioxidant activity and phenolic content

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Honey Bees Taught to Count

Honey bees can be trained to count up to four, Queensland researchers have found
The Australian, 10/26/2008

Professor Mandyam Srinivasan (Mandyam Srinivasan) from the University of Queensland's Brain Research Institute today said the research also had shown bees could learn colours and smells and be trained to fly through complicated mazes.

One experiment in which landmarks were placed at frequent intervals in flight tunnels showed the tiny insects could be trained to differentiate between up to four separate landmarks before becoming confused.

"If you train them to the first landmark and then test them they will go to the first landmark,'' Prof Srinivasan.

"If you train them to the second one they will then search at the second one, and so one.''

But Prof Srinivasan said the honey bees could not perform if there were more than four landmarks.
"If you test them beyond four then they have trouble.''

He said a "gut feeling'' told him that he and fellow researcher Dr Marie Dacke would find the bees recognised any number beyond four as "many''…

Study: Honey Helps Slow Aging Process

Products of Apiculture and Preventive Maintenance of Aging
Adv Gerontol, 2008; 21(2):252-7

Natural bee honey is one of compound natural products in which structure more than four hundred various components are revealed, including enzymes, organic acids, vitamins and microelements. One of the basic biological properties of honey is the ability to slow down processes of aging, because there are vitamins E, C, enzymes with antioxidative properties and a succinic acid in its structure.

Examination of 193 beekeepers daily using honey in quantity of 57.2 +/- 8.6 gram with definition of their biological age was carried out. The received results have been compared to results of examination of 35 workers who are doing manual labour in the same degree, as the beekeepers, but do not use products of beekeeping.

The research has shown that the biological age of 70% of beekeepers is lower than that of the average in population, 15% of beekeepers are of the same and 15% are of higher biological age than that of the average in population. The biological age of people in the group of comparison is lower than the average in population only in 28.6% of cases, corresponds in 31.4% and is higher than the average in population in 40.0% of cases.

The biological age of beekeepers appeared not only less, than of the persons who are not using products of beekeeping, but it also is less than biological age of the population as a whole.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Honey, Royal Jelly Lip Balm Introduced in Japan

Honey & Royal Jelly Lip Balm
Cosmetics & Toiletries & Household Products Marketing News, 10/25/2008

Vecua has released "Vecua Honey Lustre R" 2 types of lip balm formulated with natural beauty and moisturising agents including honey and royal jelly.

The products are: "Beauty lotion" - formulated to both rehydrate and protect the lips from dryness, the balm also improves blood flow to the lips.

Available in 3 colours "Lip Gloss" - a high gloss balm with a similar composition to the above and containing pearl particle to accentuate the lip profile. Available in 7 colours Price: 2,520 yen.

Honey, Propolis Potential Anticalculus Agents in Toothpaste and Mouthwash

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.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Beeswax, Honey, Royal Jelly Used in ‘Magic’ Skin Cream

The Product: Egyptian Magic ($36, Whole Foods)
Los Angeles Times, 10/23/2008

On the market since 1991, this product has a beeswax, honey and royal jelly extract formula that was "used in ancient Egypt as an anti-aging skin cream," or so the label says.

The Promise: Label doesn't list any specific uses, but there's that vague suggestion of "magic."

The Test Drive: Best cuticle oil of all the products, rubs into the skin the fastest and has an easy-to-control consistency. Too heavy for the hair; it left our locks looking greasy.

The Verdict Good for especially dry patches and cuticles, but not as face-friendly as the Eight Hour Cream or as hair-friendly as Problem Salved. Loses major points in the convenience contest. The 4-ounce jar makes it too big to tote around or carry on a plane.

Honey's Osmotic Action Inhibits Growth of Microbes

How Do Bees Convert Nectar from Flowers into Honey?
The Hindu, 10/23/2008

The conversion of nectar in to honey by honeybees involves both physical and chemical changes. Nectar obtained from the flowers by bees is composed primarily of the disaccharide sugar, sucrose, and the monosaccharide sugars, glucose and fructose.

The concentration and composition of these sugars in the nectar vary from plant species to species. Other constituents that have been identified in nectars include amino acids, vitamins, secondary metabolites such as alkaloids and flavonoids and even some minerals. The taste and colour of honey is affected by all these constituents in the nectar…

The high osmotic nature (low available water content) of honey also helps inhibit the growth of microbes.

Honey Wound Dressing Posters to Be Presented at U.S. Conference

Derma Sciences Announces Multiple Clinical Posters Featuring MEDIHONEY(R) and ALGICELL Ag(R) to be Presented at Upcoming Wound Care Conference
Clinical evidence continues to build for the company's key technologies

PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Derma Sciences, Inc. (OTCBulletinBoard: DSCI) , a company specializing in advanced wound care, today announced that eleven clinical posters focusing on its new technologies have been accepted and will be presented at next week's Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care in Las Vegas.

The products featured include MEDIHONEY dressing with Active Leptospermum Honey…

Four of the most recently completed and not previously announced posters featuring Derma Sciences' products include:

"Limb at Risk: Use of Active Leptospermum Honey for the management of an infected foot wound complicated by cellulitis."…

"Active Leptospermum Honey: Treatment for various lower extremity dermatologic issues."…

"Management of an MRSA colonized wound using Active Leptospermum Honey impregnated calcium alginate."…

"A cost-effective alternative: Investigating absorbent gelling calcium alginate dressings with antimicrobial silver."…

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Royal Jelly Recommended for Fertility Problems

Using Royal Jelly as Brick Wall Against Infertility, Menopausal, Menstrual Problems
By Seye Adeniyi, Nigerian Tribune (Scroll Down), 10/23/2008

Honey is a major product of an insect called bees, but only a few people appreciate the fact that there are other bee products that have more commercial and medicinal values than the popular honey. Another bee product that is of importance to natural medicine practitioners is royal jelly produced by the queen bees.

Royal jelly is also important to pharmaceutical companies, especially those that specialise in the production of dietary supplements, herbal creams and soaps, as well as companies that produce drugs that tackles fertility problems.

The queen bees make use of royal jelly for the production of thousands of young bees and scientists are of the opinion that it also boost the reproduction capacity of a queen bee by allowing the insects to lay thousands of eggs.

Function of royal jelly/how human beings can benefit from royal jelly – By the explanation of naturopaths like Dr. Nurudeen Animasaun, an Ibadan-based natural honey expert Ambali Salako Oniluofetu, as well as Alhaji Yisa Oloyin, who are both popular apitherapists, while speaking with Tribune Health at different fora, on other medicinal effects of honey apart from using it to prevent pile (jedijedi), haemorhoids (yodiyodi) as well as using honey to treat wounds and to keep diabetes at bay, include using it to treat certain eye and ear diseases, provided the honey being used for that purpose is pure, matural one that does not contain sugar, or sugar cane syrup.

However, Dr. Animasaun explained that aside from honey which we all know, royal jelly, an “unpopular bee product” synonymous with queen bees, can also be used to correct certain reproductive problems or diseases in humans especially in women.

Highlighting the medicinal values of royal jelly, the natural medicine practitioner said its function also includes using it for correction of hormonal imbalance in women of reproductive age, especially those looking for the fruits of the womb as well as those that are experiencing prolonged delay in conception again after their last child.

Regular use of royal jelly by such category of women, according to Dr. Animasaun, can assist infertile women to produce oestrogen and progesterone which facilitate easy conception, provided the fertility problem is not spiritually induced…

Propolis Components Display Anti-Ulcer Activity

Evaluation of Antiulcer Activity of the Main Phenolic Acids Found in Brazilian Green Propolis
J Ethnopharmacol, 2008 Sep 24

In a previous study, our group described the gastric protective effect of the hydroalcoholic extract of Brazilian green propolis. The main compounds found in Brazilian green propolis include phenolic acids, such as: caffeic, ferulic, p-coumaric and cinnamic acids.

This study was therefore carried out to evaluate the antiulcerogenic property of the main phenolic acids found in Brazilian Green Propolis. It was observed that treatment using doses of 50 and 250mg/kg of caffeic, ferulic, p-coumaric and cinnamic acids and positive controls (omeprazol or cimetidine) significantly diminished the lesion index, the total area of the lesion and the percentage of lesion in comparison with the negative control groups.

In addition, the percentage of ulcer inhibition was significantly higher in the groups treated with the different phenolic acids, cimetidine or omeprazol, in all the protocols used, compared with the negative control groups…

In relation to the acute toxicity, none sign of toxicity was observed when phenolic acids, used in this study, were administered for rats in dose of 2000mg/kg. In conclusion, the results of this study show that caffeic, ferulic, p-coumaric and cinnamic acids display antiulcer activity.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bees Used to Detect Disease, Monitor Fertility Cycles

A Crystal Ball for Telling the Present, Not the Future
Kathleen Hom, The Washington Post, 10/21/2008

Blowing into a glass bubble that holds buzzing bees sounds a little kooky. But according to Portuguese artist Susana Soares, doing so could help detect disease and monitor fertility cycles.

Soares has some scientific backing for her claims: Certain illnesses -- or, more accurately, the chemicals they release -- have distinctive odors; and with 170 smell receptors and a 99 percent accuracy rate, Soares says, honeybees could become a promising diagnostic tool. Researchers are already working with cancer-sniffing dogs, and scientists are developing electronic noses to detect viruses.

Last year, Soares began working with bees trained to detect pheromones and toxins specific to skin and lung cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis. To get the bees to act as a diagnostic tool, she designed glass instruments with two chambers -- a large one to house the bees and a smaller chamber into which the patient breathes. The bees smell the patient's breath and fly toward the smaller chamber if they detect a specific pheromone or toxin…

Honey Dressing a Safe Alternative for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

A Comparative Study Between Honey and Povidone Iodine as Dressing Solution for Wagner Type II Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Medical Journal of Malaysia, 2008 Mar; 63(1):44-6

Honey dressing has been used to promote wound healing for years but scanty scientific studies did not provide enough evidences to justify it benefits in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

We conducted a prospective study to compare the effect of honey dressing for Wagner's grade-II diabetic foot ulcers with controlled dressing group (povidone iodine followed by normal saline)…

In conclusion, ulcer healing was not significantly different in both study groups. Honey dressing is a safe alternative dressing for Wagner grade-II diabetic foot ulcers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Honey Spray Used to Treat Cow Udders

Iodoshield Active* a Proactive Solution to Teat Care
The Dairy Farmer (New Zealand), August 2008

FIL has once again set the bench mark for animal health products with the launch of Iodoshield Active this autumn. Recent advances in the understanding of udder health have been captured in a revolutionary teat spray formulation offering superior teat health for modern dairy herds...

Unique formulation

Iodoshield Active continues this strong innovation drive with a formulation containing the unique medicinal properties of honey and quality skin care components…

Extensive development

As expected from the company renowned for delivering products farmers can trust, Iodoshield Active has been extensively field tested on dairy herds to ensure what was created in the laboratory delivered on the farm…

Results speak for themselves

The results revealed a marked improvement on average herd teat condition in the Iodoshield Activemob to a perfect "5" against the conventionally treated herd’s average of 3.5…

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bee Venom Inhibits Expression of Inflammatory Genes

Microarray Analysis of Gene Expression Profiles in Response to Treatment with Bee Venom in Lipopolysaccharide Activated RAW 264.7 Cells
J Ethnopharmacol, 2008 Sep 18

Aim of the Study: The therapeutic application of bee venom (BV) has been used in traditional medicine to treat diseases such as arthritis, rheumatism and pain. Macrophages produce molecules that are known to play roles in inflammatory responses...

… BV inhibited the expression of specific inflammatory genes…

Conclusions: These results demonstrate the potent activity of BV as a modulator of the LPS-mediated nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)/MAPK pathway in activated macrophages. In addition, these results can be used to understand other effects of BV treatment.

‘Only Marginal Supportive Evidence’ for Bee Venom Therapy in MS Treatment

Examining the Evidence: Complementary Adjunctive Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis
Neurological Research, Volume 30, Number 7, September 2008 , pp. 710-719(10)

Objective: The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most frequently encountered non-conventional approaches trialed for use in multiple sclerosis (MS). The efficacy and safety of non-conventional approaches ranging from bee venom therapy (BVT) to an array of vitamins and herbal products were discussed and evaluated…

Results: There is presently only marginal supportive evidence for BVT in MS treatment. The inability to identify and quantify the active component of BVT combined with the associated risk of anaphylaxis has deterred its widespread use…

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crops ‘Mostly Unaffected’ By Colony Collapse Disorder

Global Bee Population Decline Not Nearly as Bad as it Seems
By Bart B. Van Bockstaele, Digital Journal, 10/18/2008

The dramatic global decline of pollinator (mainly bee) populations, also known as Colony Collapse Disorder, was predicted to have dire consequences for agriculture and hence for our food supply. Surprisingly enough however, pollinator dependent agricultural crops are mostly unaffected.

Anna Petherick reports in Nature that this is the conclusion of a study by Alexandra Klein and her colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. They have used data from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) spanning a period of 1961 to 2006 to compare the yields of crops that require pollination with crops that do not require pollination.

They discovered that the yields for both types of crops have risen consistently over the years with an average of about 1.5% per annum. Even when they divided the data into crops from developing countries and crops from developed countries, they found no differences…

Antioxidant Properties of Royal Jelly Peptides Examined

Structures and Properties of Antioxidative Peptides Derived from Royal Jelly Protein
Food Chemistry, Volume 113, Issue 1, 1 March 2009, Pages 238-245

Abstract: We previously reported that royal jelly proteins (RJPs) hydrolyzed with protease N show the strong antioxidative activity against the peroxidation of linoleic acid. In this study, 29 antioxidative peptides were isolated from hydrolysate by membrane ultrafiltration, anion-exchange chromatography, gel filtration chromatography, and reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography…

Analysis of the antioxidative properties of these peptides revealed strong hydroxyl radical scavenging activity, but neither metal-chelating activity nor superoxide-anion radical scavenging activity differed significantly among these peptides…

This suggests that the antioxidant properties of these peptides are due to a combination of these abilities to act as free-radical scavengers. Three tyrosyl dipeptides containing Tyr residues at their C-termini (Lys-Tyr, Arg-Tyr, and Tyr-Tyr) have phenolic hydroxyl groups, which scavenge the free radicals via the mechanism of donating a hydrogen atom from their hydroxyl group.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Website Combines Apitherapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Claudette Raynal, a specialist in apitherapy and traditional Chinese medicine, has launched a new website to combine both healing techniques. Raynal is co-founder of the Francophone Association of Apitherapy and author of “Healing with Bees, Apitherapy and Chinese Medicine.”

Cuban Propolis Rich in Isoflavonoids

GC-MS Determination of Isoflavonoids in Seven Red Cuban Propolis Samples
J. Agric. Food Chem, October 14, 2008

Abstract: In the present study, the phenolic composition analysis of seven red varieties of propolis, collected in different regions of Cuba, was evaluated by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Seventeen compounds were identified in all samples by the interpretation of their mass spectra. This appears to be the first report on the GC-MS analysis of isoflavonoids in the propolis.

The results confirmed the presence of the main isoflavonoids isolated previously and suggested the general structure for the other five isoflavonoids. Vestitol, 7-O-methylvestitol, and medicarpin were present in high amounts in all propolis samples analyzed.

This result indicates that propolis samples rich in isoflavonoids are not exclusively found in Pinar del Río province and proves that GC-MS technique is a useful and alternative tool for the chemical analysis of tropical red propolis.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bee Pollen an Inexpensive, Nutritious Food Supplement

Four Inexpensive Whole Food Supplements
By Barbara L. Minton, Natural News, 10/15/2008

(NaturalNews) There is no denying that times are tough for everyone. Some people may be considering cutting back on the amount they spend for supplements, thinking that they really aren't seeing any results, so why keep buying them. This may be a good time to find out that all the nutrients needed for complete and perfect health can be found in some very low cost forms that provide perfect synergy between the nutrients, and extremely high bio-availability...

Here is a short list of whole food supplements that provide a wealth of nutrition at very reasonable cost…

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is an energy enhancer and restorative tonic. It is used around the world to improve vitality and endurance, aid recovery from chronic illness, promote longevity, regulate intestinal functioning, boost blood, prevent infection, alleviate menstrual cramps, promote fertility, vanquish depression and fatigue, treat migraine headaches, normalize cholesterol levels, help children overcome developmental problems, and prevent and treat cancer.

Bee pollen has more protein than any animal source per equal weight, and contains more free-form amino acids than beef, eggs or cheese of equal weight. The protein is highly digestible and absorbable, rendering much more nutritive value than equal amounts of animal protein. It contains an abundance of carotenoids, including lycopene, zeaxanthin and beta carotene that the body will convert to vitamin A as needed. It also contains the complete vitamin B complex including folate, biotin, choline and inositol. It has vitamin C, vitamin D, the complete vitamin E complex, and vitamin K. It is rich in trace minerals including iodine, and macro minerals including selenium. It contains bioflavonoids and natural sugars. Its fatty acid profile is impressive and includes caproic, capric, myristic, palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, arachidic, and eicosanoic, depending on the source of the pollen.

All known enzymes and co-enzymes are contained in bee pollen, along with gums, starch, sucrose, glucose, waxes, resins, steroids, growth factors, growth isorhanetin, nuclein, amines, quercitin, nucleic acids such as RNA and DNA, phenolic acids, tarpenes, and many other as yet unidentified nutrients. Its amino acid profile is also impressive and includes tryptophan, leucine, lysine, isoleucine, methionine, cystine, arginine, phenylalanine, histidine, valine, glutamic acid, tryrosine, glycine, serine, proline and alanine.

Each ounce of bee pollen contains 28 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrate, and is 15% lecithin and 25% pure protein…

Propolis Component ‘Exerts Antimetastatic Potential’

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Inhibits Invasion and Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinase in SK-Hep1 Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells by Targeting Nuclear Factor Kappa B
Genes & Nutrition, Issue Volume 2, Number 4

Abstract: Numerous studies have shown that the levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and/or MMP-9 are associated with the invasive phenotypes of cancer cells.

This study investigated the effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a chemopreventive phytochemical derived from honeybee propolis, on the invasive phenotype of SK-Hep1 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (SK-Hep1 cells).

CAPE effectively suppressed SK-Hep1 cell invasion in a dose-dependent manner. The constitutive expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in SK-Hep1 cells was almost completely abolished by treatment with 12.5 μM CAPE. CAPE also significantly inhibited nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) DNA-binding activity in SK-Hep1 cells.

These results taken together suggest that CAPE exerts antimetastatic potential through inhibition of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression, possibly by targeting NF-κB in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Honey-Based Children’s Cough Syrup

As a pediatrician, Dr. Zak Zarbock found it frustrating when he was unable to offer any help for his young patients with a cough. He set out to create a safe and effective cough remedy that he could feel good about recommending.

Zarbee's is an all-natural cough syrup that provides relief from coughs due to throat irritation while simultaneously boosting the immune system.

Dr. Zarbock has brought together a unique blend of honeys to maximize their antioxident potential. Coupled with Vitamin C and Zinc Gluconate, Zarbee's Cough Syrup is a must in every parent's medicine cabinet.

IBRA to Launch New Apitherapy Journal in January 2009

Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science

The Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science, a scientific peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing research on hive products is scheduled for launch in January 2009 by the International Bee Research Association (IBRA). Through its international network of scientists, IBRA has brought together an editorial team of experts respected throughout the world. Headed by Dr Stefan Bogdanov, the Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science aims to provide its readers with content of the highest quality.

“This journal aims to provide a forum where the efficacy and effectiveness of bee products with therapeutic properties can be presented, debated and evaluated using scientific principle.”
- Prof Rose Cooper

“IBRA, true to its traditions, wants to disseminate the best, scientifically verified aspects of this rapidly developing field, through the medium of this exciting new journal.” - Richard Jones, Director

Call for Papers:

Submit your articles under one of the following headings:

• Original research
• Reviews of relevant research and literature
• Notes and comments on existing research

Submit papers to:

Quarterly £50 €75 US$100
Annual £150 €225 US$300

International Bee Research Association
16 North Road, Cardiff, CF10 3DY
Tel: +44 (0) 29 20372409
Fax: +44 5601 135640

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cobey: Genetic Diversity Critical to Maintaining Colony Fitness

UC Davis Bee Researcher Enhancing Honey Bee Stock to Help Troubled Industry
Western Farm Press, 10/13/2008

…An enhanced-line honey bee stock developed by University of California, Davis Bee Breeder-Geneticist Susan Cobey, that crosses her bee line “New World Carnolians” with “Old World” Carnolians from Germany, shows genetic promise in aiding the troubled bee industry, research reveals.

“I'm really pleased with the stock,” said Cobey, project leader of a honey bee stock improvement grant, funded by the California State Beekeepers’ Association and the California Almond Board. “The bees are very gentle, very hygienic and very productive, and hopefully will confer increased resistance to pests and disease.”…

“Our focus,” Cobey said, “is to identify, select, and enhance honey bee stocks that show increasing levels of resistant to pests and diseases.”…

Cobey said genetic diversity, the raw tools for selection, is critical “in maintaining colony fitness and resisting pests and diseases.” The honey bee (Apis mellifera), initially brought from Europe to America in 1622 and to California in 1853, is declining in population. Mussen and Cobey attribute the decline to multiple factors: diseases, pesticides, parasites, malnutrition, stress, climate change, and colony collapse disorder, in which bees mysteriously abandon their hives…

Propolis Has ‘Potential Effect’ on Leukemia

Effects of Manisa Propolis on Telomerase Activity in Leukemia Cells Obtained from the Bone Marrow of Leukemia Patients
Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2008 Oct 10.:1-5

Abstract: Propolis is a resinous material collected by honeybees and obtained from beehives that has anticancer effects by inducing apoptosis. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of propolis on human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) in the leukemia cells obtained from leukemia patients…

A significant decrease in hTERT expression levels was observed in the 60 ng/ml concentration of propolis. In conclusion, Manisa propolis may also have a potential effect on the expression of hTERT in leukemia-particularly owing to its constituent chrysin.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Video: Health & the Hive - A Beekeeper's Journey

Health & the Hive: A Beekeeper's Journey explores the importance of honeybees in our lives. Topics addressed in the film include pollination, queen breeding, disease control, bee venom therapy, organic agriculture and honey-based plant medicine.

The central figure in the film is Todd Hardie of Honey Garden Apiaries ( Hardie, a lifelong beekeeper, is inspired, articulate and knowledgeable about bees. For him, keeping bees and making plant medicines is a series of partnerships with farmers, horticulturalists, queen breeders and many others. The film follows the web of teamwork that makes up Honey Gardens Apiaries.

The current crisis of the bees which has received so much media attention is not the central focus of the film, but it is impossible to talk about bees these days without addressing that crisis. In the view of one of the experts in the film, the “mysterious disease of the bees” is nothing more than the consequence of bad agricultural practices. Bees, one of the best bio-indicators in nature, the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, reveal how degraded our environment has become. The film suggests that a more respectful, less industrial approach to agriculture in general and beekeeping in particular will lead to a better outcome for both bees and the humans who are so dependent upon them. (53 min.) 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Study: Propolis Extract Halts Tumor Growth

Dollar-a-Day Bee Compound Halts Tumour Growth
Scoop Independent News, 10/13/08

A New Zealand company’s bee-derived product which costs only a dollar a day has halted tumour growth in a group of cancer patients taking part in a trial by international researchers.

Progress in the trial has been reported by the research team in a peer-reviewed paper just published in Wiley InterScience’s Phytotherapy Research.

Manuka Health New Zealand chief executive Kerry Paul said today the company was delighted to hear the results after providing its Bio 30™ Propolis product for the research.

“As in all research, we need to take care not to make a blanket propolis-cures-cancer claim,” he said.

“However, the paper shows the researchers believe Bio 30 holds major promise in the fight against this type of tumour.”

Mr Paul said the research team was several months into a human trial testing Bio 30™ Propolis on 70 neurofibromatosis, melanoma and pancreatic cancer sufferers. The daily cost for adult treatment was only a dollar…

In the Phytotherapy Research paper, Melbourne-based cancer researcher Dr Hiroshi Maruta describes Bio 30 as “a very safe healthcare food supplement”.

“Although our trial is still at a very early stage (less than 12 months for NF1 patients and 6 months for NF2 and a few other cancer patients), so far the majority of these patients showed a positive outcome from Bio 30, namely no further growth of their tumours,” the paper says.

“It is our hope that this work will set the stage, a milestone for much more sophisticated and comprehensive clinical studies in the future for testing the effect of Bio 30 not only on the growth of NF tumours and PAK1-dependent formidable cancers such as pancreatic cancers, melanomas and multiple myeloma, but also several other PAK1-dependent diseases such as AIDS (HIV infection) and Fragile X mental retardation syndrome.”…

Video: Battling Bee-Killing Parasite

National Geographic (AP)

October 2, 2008—Australia is one of the only major beekeeping countries free of a parasitic mite that is killing bees throughout the world. The battle is on to prevent an infestation.

Honey Can Be Used as a Bioindicator

Bee Honey as an Environmental Bioindicator of Pesticides’ Occurrence in Six Agricultural Areas of Greece
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Issue Volume 55, Number 3 / October, 2008, Pages 462-470

Abstract: The pollution of six agricultural areas of Greece (north, central, south) by insecticides used in crop protection has been investigated utilizing, as a bioindicator, bee honey produced in those areas…

This study indicates that in agricultural areas with developed apiculture, useful information about the occurrence and the distribution of pesticide residues due to crop protection treatments can be derived from the analysis of randomly collected honey samples, used as bioindicators. It also shows that, very often, the chemicals used by apiculturists inside the hives in order to control disease are the main pollutants of the produced honey.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

‘Bees Without Borders’ Helps Beekeepers Around the World

Coté Spreads Beekeeping Worldwide
By Nicole Rivard, Norwalk Citizen (USA), 10/11/2008

"I haven't had this since I was a little kid," said a woman who had just tasted some whipped honey at the Andrew's Local Honey booth at the Westport Farmer's Market last Thursday. Later a passerby waved hello at Norwalk native Andrew Coté, local beekeeper, pointing to his bottles of honey and shouted, "That's the best thing I've ever tasted in the world."

Coté was all smiles, soaking it all in, obviously enjoying keeping his customers satisfied. Besides the regular and whipped honey he produces at Silvermine Apiary in Norwalk, Coté sells bee pollen, comb honey, royal jelly and propolis. In addition to Farmer's Markets in Westport and Greenwich, his local honey and related products are sold at Whole Foods in New Haven, Greenwich and Westport.

Ten percent of everything he sells goes to Bees without Borders, a non-profit organization he founded that provides beekeeper training to low-resource communities around the world. BwB brings the value of beekeeping to communities in the developing world, allowing people to increase their income while maintaining their dignity and improving the environment. Through education and training, BwB provides people with the skills they need to maintain healthy beehives and offer bee-related products to developing markets…

Honey Recommended for Allergies, Skin Care, Sore Throats

The Many Benefits of Honey
By Ada Onyema, The Punch (Nigeria), 10/11/2008

If you are one of those who avoid pap because you want to minimise your sugar intake, there is a way out. You can avoid sugar and still enjoy sweet tasting pap by simply adding honey.

Honey is man’s oldest sweetener, so it serves as a good substitute for sugar. But much more important than that, it is highly medicinal and have been scientifically proven to be able to penetrate certain tissues that some orthodox drugs cannot penetrate to take kill certain variants of virus that often prove stubborn.

Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose, as well as minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate.

It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3, all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities.

If you have allergies, honey can be beneficial. If you eat the honey that is found in your locality, it may prevent your seasonal allergies.

Honey may also be good for your skin. It has the ability to attract water. You can use honey instead of alpha hydroxyl masks because of its high content of the acid. It is also safe for sensitive skin.

You can also use it as a moisturiser and a hair conditioner. To use it as a conditioner, mix the honey with olive oil. Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly before you go outside.

If you have sore throat, take some honey. Due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, it will help to heal the wounds more quickly. It also contains chemicals that are capable of killing viruses, bacteria and fungi, making it a good substitute for wound dressing. The taste may also take your mind off the pain...

Plant Origin of Japanese Propolis Identified

Rhus javanica var. chinensis as a New Plant Origin of Propolis from Okayama, Japan
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2008 Oct 7

To directly identify the plant origin of propolis from Takebe-cho (Okayama, Japan), we observed the honeybee behavior. Honeybees scraped sap from the tree, Rhus javanica var. chinensis. We compared the constituents and radical-scavenging activity of this sap and propolis. Their chemical constituents and radical-scavenging activity were comparable. This indicates directly that the plant origin of this propolis is R. javanica var. chinensis.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey High in Medicinal Properties

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 9/10/2008

A Tasmanian leatherwood honey producer is about to start challenging New Zealand's honey industry for the top spot in the premium medicinal honey market.

Launceston company, Australian Honey Products, is testing its honey for medicinal properties, and managing director, Lindsay Bourke, says much of his leatherwood honey is proving to be better than New Zealand's manuka (mah-NOO-kuh).

Mr Bourke says he's been talking with buyers from all over the world at a major organic trade fair in Japan…

Honey Recommended as Gentle Laxative

Honey Has Been Used as a Natural, Gentle Laxative
Jack Sunn, Clarion Ledger (USA), 10/8/2008

Q: Where can I find out how to use honey as a laxative?

A: Before acting on the information I found, consult with your doctor or a someone in the medical field before experimenting with honey as a form of a laxative.

We already know honey is sweet and easy to digest. I searched the Internet and also found several benefits from the use of honey such as nourishing skin, healing wounds, relieving coughs and helping with weight control.

But according to, honey also works as a natural and gentle laxative. There are several types of honey, including organic honey, available...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Article Outlines Health Benefits of Bee Products

5 Health Benefits From Bees, and 5 That Call for Caution
Studies support claims honey soothes burns. Some other bee products are unproven
By Adam Voiland, U.S. News & World Report, 10/8/2008

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but what if the sweet stuff is the medicine? Sounds too good to be true, but the evidence is piling up that honey has some real medical value, especially for healing wounds and burns. When it comes to other bee products, however, be wary. Much of the buzz around royal jelly, bee venom, and propolis may be more scientific fiction than fact. U.S. News scoured the medical literature to find five situations in which today's best scientific evidence suggests that our six-legged, pollen-toting pals can help, and five for which the jury's still out.

Bee products can help if...

You have a burn. Seared your hand while baking? No worries. Of the many supposed medical benefits of honey, few have been studied as extensively as its soothing effect on burns. In fact, a review published this week in Cochrane Reviews synthesized data from multiple studies and concluded that honey reduces healing time more than conventional gauze and film dressings that are often used to treat moderate burns.

You have an infected foot or leg ulcer that's slow to heal. Nope, this doesn't mean that downing a teaspoon of honey will make the gaping ulcer on your leg magically disappear. In fact, treating an ulcer with honey doesn't involve eating even a drop of honey. Here's how it does work: There's a certain type of honey from New Zealand called Manuka honey that has potent antimicrobial properties. Your doctor can get you a prescription for a wound dressing infused with this honey, and some studies suggest it can hasten healing. Read more about Manuka honey in this U.S. News report.

You have a cough. If you think over-the-counter cough medications actually help, think again. The FDA has been questioning the value of these medicines, and the agency has warned that children under the age of 2 should never use them because of potential side effects. What are parents to do when they've got a sneezing, sniffling, coughing kid on their hands? A spoonful of buckwheat honey might be a good place to start. Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine recently compared honey with a cough suppressant called dextromethorphan and found that honey worked better.

You have Fournier's gangrene. Fournier's gangrene, a frightening type of gangrene that mainly affects men, is caused by a bacterial infection that infiltrates the genital region. Though quite rare, the combination of virulent and aggressive microbes that cause the problem can result in organ failure and death. Thankfully, honey seems to help. A study published in 2004 showed that men treated with honey-soaked gauze dressings recovered more quickly than those who got a common solution called Eusol, which is a combination of lime, boric acid, and water. While some patients in both groups died (1 of the 14 men in the honey group, 2 of 16 in the Eusol group) and nine in each group required skin grafts, the men treated with honey were released from the hospital after an average of 19 days, compared with 27 days for the Eusol group.

You're infected with MRSA. Methicillin-resistant Staph aureus has long been a threat in hospitals, and the antibiotic-resistant bacterium has recently emerged in places other than healthcare settings. Usually, MRSA bacteria infects only its victim's skin, which results in a reddish rash, but sometimes the colony penetrates farther into the body, where it can become fatal. The good news is that research shows Manuka honey is surprisingly adept at killing the bug…

Honey Helps Heal Diabetic Foot Wounds

The Healing Power of Honey
In diabetes, wounds that won’t heal are a big problem, and honeybees may have the answer
By Adam Voiland, U.S. News & World Report, 10/7/2008

Wound care is problematic for people with diabetes. A mere nick from an ill-fitting shoe or hangnail haphazardly cut can fester for months and develop into a gaping ulcer teeming with bacteria. Foot ulcers, in fact, are the most common reason people with diabetes are hospitalized, and studies show that an alarming 1 out of 5 people with an infected ulcer ends up undergoing amputation. Recently, however, researchers have started to find that an ancient and affordable remedy—a dab of a certain type of honey with potent antimicrobial properties—is a worthy weapon against an ulcer that refuses to heal.

People like Rita Arsenault, a retired bank administrator from Methuen, Mass., can vouch for what honey can do. Arsenault, who has diabetes and developed a gaping sore near her toe after a nighttime spider bite, says she could nearly see her tendon when the silver-dollar-size wound had reached its peak. (Diabetes typically worsens ulcers by making it more difficult for the body to replace infected tissue with healthy skin.) Some doctors Arsenault consulted recommended a skin graft, but there's a good chance that wouldn't have worked, she says, in which case she most likely would have lost her foot. Instead, she went with a doctor who was willing to try treating her with honey-infused bandages. After a little more than a month, her foot ulcer was gone. "I hardly even have a scar," she says.

Using honey to treat wounds is hardly a new idea. Anthropologists have found evidence showing ancient Egyptians used the approach as far back as 5,000 years ago. Aristotle wrote of using the sweet stuff as a salve for wounds around 350 B.C. The practice has persisted to the present day in certain tribal areas in Africa. Yet the bulk of the 2 million Americans with chronic foot ulcers probably aren't aware of honey's curative power, says Peter Molan, a researcher at the University of Waikato in New Zealand who has been studying honey's properties for decades.

Research suggests that honey's microbe-killing ability stems from its tendency to dehydrate bacteria and its high acidity. Yet the antimicrobial potency of different strains of honey varies as much as 100-fold, and scientists are still working to pinpoint specific substances that make some types so much more potent than others. The most potent, for example, is a strain called Manuka honey, which is produced mainly in New Zealand…

In addition to its antimicrobial qualities, honey offers other pluses for patients. Research suggests that honey dressing may be less painful to use and cause less scarring. Certain potent types even seem to be effective against MRSA, a particularly irksome type of staph infection that's resistant to antibiotics. Plus, honey bandages are cheaper than many of the other options and easy for patients to apply, says Steven Kavros, a podiatrist and wound specialist at the Mayo Clinic…

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Video: Honey Used to Treat Hard-to-Heal Wounds

Jean Enersen, KING 5 News, 10/7/2008

When it comes to treating hard-to-heal wounds, some hospitals are turning to an age-old remedy: honey. But it's not your typical grocery store variety - this honey comes from New Zealand and is known for its ability to kill bacteria, even MRSA. A new study finds it can help treat slow-healing leg ulcers…

Improved Method for Detecting Honey Adulteration

Improved Detection of Honey Adulteration by Measuring Differences Between 13C/12C Stable Carbon Isotope Ratios of Protein and Sugar Compounds with a Combination Of Elemental Analyzer - Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry and Liquid Chromatography - Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry
Apidologie, Published online 20 September 2008

Abstract – The detection of honey adulteration with invert sugar syrups from various C3 and C4 plant sources was realized by coupling an isotope ratio mass spectrometer both to an elemental analyzer and to a liquid chromatograph (EA/LC-IRMS)…

The newly developed EA/LC-IRMS method and the purity criteria defined represent a significant improvement compared to existing methods.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Honey Heals Burns More Quickly Than Standard Dressings

Honey: Best Treatment For Burns
Sky News, 10/8/2008

Natural honey can heal burns more quickly than some standard dressing treatments, a study has shown.

Scientists looked at data from 19 trials involving more than 2,500 patients with a range of different wounds.

They found that honey was better at reducing the time it takes to recover from mild to moderate burns than some widely used gauze and film dressings.

"We're treating these results with caution, but it looks like honey can help speed up ealing in some burns," said Dr Andrew Jull, from New Zealand's University of Auckland…

Propolis Component Induces Cancer Cell Death

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Induces Apoptosis of Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells Involving Caspase and Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Pancreatology, 2008 Sep 29;8(6):566-576

Aims: This study aimed to investigate the effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active component isolated from honeybee propolis, in inducing apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer cells…

Conclusions: These results suggest that CAPE is a potent apoptosis-inducing agent. Its action is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction and activation of caspase-3/caspase-7.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cameroon Beekeepers Taught to Produce Apitherapy Products

Bee Farmers Trained On Profitable Honey Farming
By Olive Ejang Tebug Ngoh, The Post (Cameroon), 10/7/2008

Some bee farmers in the Southwest Province were recently trained on how to make their venture profitable by processing both honey and its bi-products.

The two-day training took place at the Women Empowerment Centre, Kumba. The participants received fresh knowledge on honey quality, good harvest and smoking, pollen, propolis and royal jelly production, bee venom extraction and queen rearing, honey wine and mead, bee-keeping equipment, honey marketing, and access to finances.

According to the Southwest technical adviser of the Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, Irene Manyi Ako, the training is part of mobilisation and capacity building for small and medium size enterprises involved in the value chains of non-wood forest products in Central Africa…

Propolis Supplement Improved Chicken Growth

The Effects of Turkish Propolis on Growth and Carcass Characteristics in Broilers Under Heat Stress
Animal Feed Science and Technology, Volume 146, Issues 1-2, 15 September 2008, Pages 137-148

The present study was carried out to investigate the effects of the ethanol extracts of propolis (EEP) and vitamin C on body weight (BW), body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI), feed conversion ratio and carcass characteristics of broilers exposed to heat stress (at 34 °C)…

The results suggested that heat stress had negative effects on the performance while propolis supplements improved the growth and carcass yield. Dietary EEP supplementation was found to be more effective than dietary vitamin C on performance and carcass characteristics in broilers under heat stress.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Bee Venom May Be Useful in Treating Melanoma

Honeybee Venom Induces Calcium-Dependent But Caspase-Independent Apoptotic Cell Death inHuman Melanoma A2058 Cells
Toxicon, 2008 Aug 1;52(2):318-29

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom (BV) has been reported to exhibit anticancer effects, but its mode of action at the cellular and molecular levels remains largely unknown. We found that honeybee venom induced apoptosis in human melanoma A2058 cells but not in normal skin fibroblast Detroit 551 cells…

These observations provide a molecular explanation for the antiproliferative properties of BV, and suggest that this agent may be useful in treating melanoma.

Beeswax Microspheres Loaded with Salicylic Acid

Preparation and Investigation the Release Behaviour of Wax Microspheres Loaded with Salicylic Acid
Journal of Microencapsulation, 15 September 2008

Salicylic acid-beeswax microspheres were prepared by melt dispersion technique. The effects of formulation parameters on the microscopic characteristic, drug loading and cumulative amount of released drug were investigated by experimental design. Results showed that all of the microparticles were spherical with porous surfaces.

The average size of microspheres was 24-48 µm, the drug content was in the range of 22-45% and the encapsulation efficiency was 46-93%. Drug loading was influenced by emulsification speed as a main factor. All the microspheres had a burst release initially. The emulsifier concentration did not have a significant effect on drug release. The release behaviour of microspheres conformed best to Korsmeyer-Peppas semi-empirical model and the release of SA from beeswax microspheres was Fickian.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Video: ‘Artificial Beeswax’ Caused Allergic Reaction

Paris Woman Who had Severe Allergic Reaction to Lip Gloss Tells Her Story
Stephanie Brletic, KXII-TV, 10/3/2008

PARIS, Tex. -- A woman was hospitalized in critical condition for five days simply because she tried on a lip gloss this summer. She told her story to our Stephanie Brletic.

Gladys Wilkie tells us she's never had any problems with cosmetics before, but when she tried on a brand new lip gloss she bought this summer, she immediately had a severe allergic reaction.

She shared her story with KXII-TV, and warns others to be cautious.

Attorney John Ginn is handling Wilkie's case. He says the lip gloss will be analyzed to determine the exact cause.

Ginn says Wilkie is allergic to bee stings, and the product contains artificial bees wax

Maybelline issued a statement about the situation, saying the company adheres to rigorous standards, meeting all FDA regulations as well as all European regulations, continuing to say the lip gloss Wilkie used has artificial beeswax, and it could not trigger a reaction in someone with an allergy to bees

Portuguese Propolis ‘Important Source’ of Phenols Showing Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidant Properties, Total Phenols and Pollen Analysis of Propolis Samples from Portugal
Food Chem Toxicol, 2008 Aug 30

Pollen analysis, total phenols content and antioxidant activity were studied for the first time in Portuguese propolis samples from Bornes and Fundão region…

The high activity of propolis from Bornes could be related with their different pollen composition. The results obtained indicate that Portuguese propolis is an important source of total phenols showing antioxidant properties that could be beneficial for human health.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Bee Venom Therapy Recommended for Arthritis

Can a Honeybee Bite and Cure?
Dr A Nagarathna, Deccan Herald, 10/3/2008

Bee venom was first linked to arthritis as a possible treatment as the result of a chance observation. Beekeepers noticed that their aches and pains and creaky joints seemed to improve after having been stung by bees repeatedly…

Bee venom is a complex mixture of proteins (enzymes and peptides) with unique pharmacological activities. Enzymes are proteins that catalyze the chemical reaction in living systems. The main enzymes in bee venom are hyaluronidase and phospholopase. Hyaluronidase breaks down hyaluronic acid and the intestinal fluid that holds cells together allowing the venom to spread faster among cells. Peptides are proteins that possess specific biological activities. There are three major peptides in bee venom like melittin, apaonin peptide 401 which stimulates the body's adrenal and pituitary gland to produce cortisol which is a natural steroid which doesn't cause medical complications like the induced steroid. Bee venom is a powerful anti inflammatory agent more effective than cortisone when administered in small doses.

Traditional therapy involves the application of bee stings on the affected area of the patient over a period of time. Gradually the frequency and number of stings are increased until desensitization is achieved.

A single dose of bee venom administered subcutaneously was found to effectively suppress the development of arthritis. Bee venom administered to rats and dogs three times per week beginning for two weeks showed swelling lesions and inflammation noticeably decreased in rats treated with venom…

Bee Venom Therapy Boosts Traditional Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications

Clinical Randomized Study of Bee-Sting Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Zhen Ci Yan Jiu, 2008 Jun;33(3):197-200

Objective: To observe the clinical effect of bee-sting (venom) therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: One hundred RA patients were randomly divided into medication (control) group and bee-venom group, with 50 cases in each. Patients of control group were treated with oral administration of Methotrexate (MTX, 7.5 mg/w), Sulfasalazine (0.5 g,t. i.d.), Meloxicam (Mobic,7. 5 mg, b. i. d.); and those of bee-venom group treated with Bee-sting of Ashi-points and the above-mentioned Western medicines. Ashi-points were selected according to the position of RA and used as the main acupoints, supplemented with other acupoints according to syndrome differentiation. The treatment was given once every other day and all the treatments lasted for 3 months.

Results: Compared with pre-treatment, scores of joint swelling degree, joint activity, pain, and pressing pain, joint-swelling number, grasp force, 15 m-walking duration, morning stiff duration in bee-venom group and medication group were improved significantly (P<0.05, 0.01). Comparison between two groups showed that after the therapy, scores of joint swelling, pain and pressing pain, joint-swelling number and morning stiff duration, and the doses of the administered MTX and Mobic in bee-venom group were all significantly lower than those in medication group (P<0.05, 0.01); whereas the grasp force in been-venom group was markedly higher than that in medication group (P<0.05). In addition, the relapse rate of bee-venom group was obviously lower than that of medication group (P<0.05; 12% vs 32%).

Conclusion: Combined application of bee-venom therapy and medication is superior to simple use of medication in relieving RA, and when bee-sting therapy used, the commonly-taken doses of western medicines may be reduced, and the relapse rate gets lower.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bee Swarms Follow 'Streaker' to New Nest

Streaker Honeybees Play Follow-The-Leaders
By Laura Sanders, Science News, 10/2/2008

She buzzes through the springtime air at breakneck speed, whizzing past slower bees as she makes, forgive me, a beeline to her new home. She is an Apis mellifera streaker, a honeybee, and researchers just found that her fast flight is what guides her 10,000 hive-mates to new digs. Her mad dash has finally been caught on film and is slated to appear in an upcoming Journal of Experimental Biology.

When a hive moves to a new home, only 3 to 5 percent of the bees in the hive, likely the older bees, know where to fly. A long-standing question has been: How do they lead the rest of their group to the right spot?

“This has been a mystery as long as beekeepers have been watching bees,” says coauthor Thomas Seeley of Cornell University. Seeley teamed up with engineers Kevin Schultz and Kevin Passino from Ohio State University in Columbus to solve the riddle…