Saturday, February 28, 2009

Honey Used to Treat Yeast Infection

North Shore Revisits An Old Remedy for Wounds, 2/23/2009

Honey was used in ancient Egypt to heal wounds and is now making a comeback in the product Medihoney™, a highly absorbent, seaweed-based material saturated with manuka honey, which comes from beehives where nectar is collected from manuka and jelly bushes in Australia and New Zealand. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007, the remedy was used to save the leg of a patient at North Shore University Hospital. A yeast infection had ulcerated the leg from the right knee to the ankle. A course of treatment with voriconozole, an antifungal drug, failed to fight off the bacterial superinfection, and a dressing was needed with antibacterial properties.

It was then that Mary Brennan, RN, a clinical nurse specialist, suggested using Medihoney™, produced by Princeton, N.J.-based Derma Sciences, Inc. Within a month of starting the treatment, the skin on the leg showed significant improvement, with reduced inflammation and eschar caused by bacterial infection.

Honey Wound Dressing Did Not Boost Blood Sugar Level

Use of Honey on a Neuropathic Ulcer
Journal of Community Nursing, February 2009, Volume 23, Issue 02

Case Study: Mr B is a 49 year old morbidly obese man with unstable insulin controlled diabetes. The ball of his right unstable Charcot foot developed a neuropathic ulcer following the application of a plaster of Paris for stabilisation. Healing was not taking place and his blood sugars were uncontrolled. The diabetic consultant and vascular surgeons were recommending amputation as the patient was fighting recurrent infections and cellulitis. With an HBA1C of 10.5 per cent and weighing 190kg, Mr B was very immobile for his age as both his legs were very wet, oedematous and MRSA positive…

Wearing compression stockings meant daily easy access to the neuropathic ulcer, and it was at this stage that the nurse decided to start using a honey based antibacterial gel. Medihoney Antibacterial Wound Gel was chosen as it was available on the nurses’ formulary (Wicks 2007), and was one of the first honey products licenced for medical use in Europe (Simon et al 2007). The patient’s wife was taught how to apply the gel daily to the wound and cover it with an alginate and an adhesive foam dressing. The wound required daily dressings at this stage as it was quite a sizeable cavity and exudate was still heavy (honey works by osmosis and draws fluid from the wound, therefore, increasing wetness). Copious amounts of Sudocrem were therefore used to protect the peri-wound skin from deteriorating and the district nursing team was checking the wound twice weekly for progress.

Mr B was seen in the diabetic foot clinic in the early stages of the honey treatment. The podiatrist and diabetic consultant both advised the nurses to discontinue the use of the honey based treatment as it may lead to hyperglycaemia and abscesses. The district nurses at this stage involved the local tissue viability specialist nurses asking for their advice and they recommended treatment to continue as it was obviously working, and since the honey was applied topically it should therefore not affect the patient’s blood sugar levels. Cadogan (2006) argues that despite the reluctance to use honey on diabetics (due to its high sugar content), it is quite safe to do so with close observations of the patient’s blood glucose levels. White (2006) also recommends the use of honey on diabetic foot ulcers as long as it is used by experienced practitioners. The ulcer was by then 2.5cm deep (Figure 2).

Within three months of using honey on the wound, its depth was reduced to 1cm (Figure 3). Doppler assessments were performed six months after original admission to caseload and were again healthy. Mr B had to be re-measured again for smaller made to measure stockings, as the first pairs were too loose due to weight loss and reduction of oedema. His weight is currently steady at 135kg and his HBA1C is 7.1 per cent. The exudate to the wound is now non existent, the ulcer has a depth of 1mm and is continuing to heal (Figure 4). Dressings are still performed twice weekly using honey and an adhesive foam dressing, and Mr B continues to wear Class II compression stockings. He is now mobilising well and his health has much improved in a year. Orthotics have provided him with a new boot as his leg has reduced further in size and his foot shape has improved.

Conclusion: In view of the increasing prevalence of drug resistant bacteria, health professionals now need to look further afield for help in wound care. Honeys with evidence of antibacterial effectiveness are one of the wound dressings worth considering especially when drug resistant organisms are present (Blair, 2000). This new found fame, however, remains somewhat controversial in the field of diabetic wound care, probably because of the honey’s high sugar content. In the case of Mr B the use of honey on his wound has not proved detrimental to his HBA1C readings (Figure 5)…

Friday, February 27, 2009

Video: Honey Used to Treat Sea Turtle Wounds

Sea Turtle Rescue

CNN, 2/21/2009
CNN's Reynolds Wolf visits a rehabilitation center for turtles on Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Propolis, Bee Pollen Exhibit Strong Antioxidant Effects

Comparison of Bee Products Based on Assays of Antioxidant Capacities
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2009, 9:4

Bee products (including propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen) are popular, traditional health foods. We compared antioxidant effects among water and ethanol extracts of Brazilian green propolis (WEP or EEP), its main constituents, water-soluble royal jelly (RJ), and an ethanol extract of bee pollen…

Results: The rank order of antioxidant potencies was as follows: WEP > EEP > pollen, but neither RJ nor 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) had any effects.

Concerning the main constituents of WEP, the rank order of antioxidant effects was: caffeic acid > artepillin C > drupanin, but neither baccharin nor coumaric acid had any effects. The scavenging effects of caffeic acid were as powerful as those of trolox, but stronger than those of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) or vitamin C.

Conclusions: On the basis of the present assays, propolis is the most powerful antioxidant of all the bee product examined, and its effect may be partly due to the various caffeic acids it contains. Pollen, too, exhibited strong antioxidant effects.

Maker of Honey Cough Syrup to Expand Sales

Honey Naturals to Unveil ZarBee's All-Natural Children's Cough Syrup to National Retailers

Salt Lake City, Feb 25, 2009 (Business Wire) -- Honey Naturals, LLC will be meeting with potential national retail channel partners to expand sales of its effective children's cough syrup at the Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) cough, cold and allergy event in Jacksonville, Fla., on March 1, 2009. The company's new product, ZarBee's(TM) Children's Cough Syrup, is an all-natural, honey-based cough suppressant that provides children relief from coughs while simultaneously boosting the immune system…

For more information regarding ZarBee's, visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jamaican Youth Urged to Product Apitherapy Products

Young People Urged to go into Beekeeping
Jamaica Information Service, 2/22/2009

Young people in St. Elizabeth are being urged to get into beekeeping, to satisfy the huge local and international demand for honey and other bee by-products.

"Jamaica has potential; very, very big potential in beekeeping, because honey is in short supply both locally and internationally," said First Deputy Chairman of the Jamaica Federation of Commercial Apiculturists (JFCA), Elton Cawley.

He was addressing an Agri-business Expo held on Thursday (Feb. 19) at the Santa Cruz Community Centre in St. Elizabeth.

According to Mr. Cawley, because of the shortage in supply of honey locally, the price for the product in Jamaica was higher than what it was being sold for overseas.

He said that in addition to producing liquid honey, persons could also go into the production of bee derivatives such as propolis, royal jelly, pollen and wax, which fetch good prices both locally and abroad

Beeswax Could Be Threatened by Bee Shortage

Cosmetics & Toiletries, 2/16/2009

The world's population of honeybees is rapidly decreasing, according to a recent report by NewScientist. This decline could be due to infections, lack of food, pesticides and breeding, but the consensus is that honeybees are in trouble.

A honeybee hive produces a number of items popular in everyday life. Beeswax, a popular cosmetic ingredient, is produced from the hive of honeybees. In addition, the report finds that a third of food relies on bees for pollination…

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Honey and Healing Through the Ages

Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 1 (1) pp. 2 - 5

Honey, along with other products from the hive, is once again becoming accepted as reputable and effective healing agents (Okhiria et al, 2009). This is not just amongst the general public but also amongst those that practice conventional medicine. This widespread acceptance and increased curiosity in the therapeutic powers of honey must be due to the increased awareness of the very positive and encouraging results that are being obtained in clinical tests. Amongst others some most noteworthy is the work being done by Professor Peter Molan in New Zealand and in Cardiff by Professor Rose Cooper.

It is known from evidence such as bees trapped in amber that the honey bee has been around for about 50 million years. Mankind, in recognisable form, has been around for less than 2 million years but, from the very beginning, it would not be hard to conclude that honey has figured somewhere in his diet.

Stone age rock paintings in several different locations show honey hunting and these have been dated 6000BC or earlier. Thus giving between 8 and 10 thousand years of international evidence that the human race has recognised honey as a precious product. In southern England there is evidence of honey being stored in earthenware pots around 2500BC (Crane, 1999).

It is difficult to know when honey became recognised as more than a welcome food supplement, a treat, or something used for special religious ceremonies. The oldest written record is a prescription written on a clay tablet from Nippur, the religious centre of the Sumerians in the Euphrates valley, circa 2000BC. This prescription states:

"Grind to a powder river dust and…(here the words are missing)... then knead it in water and honey and let plain oil and hot cedar oil be spread over it" (Kramer and Levey, 1954)

It is thought that this might be a cure for some skin infection or ulcer. There is certainly evidence from about the same period of similar medicines being used to treat eye and ear disorders. A honey and butter paste was often used after surgery, or to help the healing of stretched or pierced ears. Sometimes, depending on its purpose, the paste was enriched with other ingredients such as barley or herbs.

In Asia, where there are other sources of sweetness, honey has always been recognised as of prime medicinal value. It is mentioned as such in Chinese literature dating from about 2000BC.

The Veda, the sacred books of the people occupying the Indus and Ganges valleys about 1000BC, records: "Let one take honey …. to beautify his appearance, develop his brain faculty and strengthen his body" (Mullick, 1944)…

Monday, February 23, 2009

Book Review: Honey in Modern Wound Management

Edited by Rose Cooper, Peter Molan and Richard White
(2009) published by Wounds UK Ltd., Aberdeen.
Colour illustrated throughout, 201 pages, soft back.
£29.99 (plus postage and packing)

Recent years have seen a resurgence in the use of honey in the treatment of wounds. For millennia local honey has been used as a basic wound dressing now there are licensed products that have undergone the scrutiny of regulatory bodies. Topical application of honey is therapeutic not only because of antimicrobial activity but also because of its ability to promote healing. This book offers insights into historical and modern applications of honey as well as providing clinical and laboratory data to help better understanding of its mode of action.

Its fourteen very erudite chapters cover: historical background, antimicrobial activity, modern wound microbiology; clinical guidelines for the potential use of honey in paediatric care, oncology, radiotherapy, damaged tissue and burns, treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, the prevention of medical device related infections, and the immunomdulatory components of honey.

The increasing acceptance of regulated honey products in the medical pharmacopoeia meant that this book is a timely review of recent developments and will enable health care professionals to make informed decisions about the use of honey in daily practice. In addition the copious references and citations make the book a valuable resource not only for practitioners but also for students and all those who wish to be in formed of the science behind one of Nature's oldest medicines.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Honey Helps Control Biofilms in Chronic Wounds

Honey Modulates Biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a Time and Dose Dependent Manner
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 1 (1) pp.6 -10

Biofilms are complex microbial communities associated with persistent infections that demonstrate increased resistance to immunological and antimicrobial challenges.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been associated with biofilms in chronic wounds. When this opportunist pathogen is grown in suspension culture in the laboratory it is susceptible to manuka honey at concentrations below 10% (v/v), but its susceptibility as a biofilm has not previously been reported.

The effect of two concentrations of manuka honey dissolved in Luria broth (LB) on biofilms of six cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were tested over 24 hours. One type culture (ATCC 27853) and five clinical isolates derived from five different patients with infected wounds were each incubated at 37 ºC for 24 hours in LB in microtitre plates to establish biofilms. Medium was then replaced with LB, or LB containing 20% (w/v) manuka honey or LB containing 40% (w/v) manuka honey and plates were incubated at 37 ºC for 24 hours.

Biofilm biomass was monitored at known intervals by fixing adherent cells with 2.5% (w/v) glutaraldehyde and staining with 0.25% (w/v) crystal violet. Exposure of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms to 40% (w/v) manuka honey in LB resulted in significantly reduced biofilm biomass for all cultures compared to LB alone and 20% (w/v) manuka honey in LB. Differences in biofilm biomass were most noticeable after 9 to 11 hour exposure times.

This preliminary investigation suggests that manuka honey has potential in the control of biofilms in chronic wounds and justifies further study of this subject.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Medicinal Honey Should Contain Enough Methylglyoxal

Health: Bee Prepared
The Scotsman, 2/21/2009

Don't you just love something that's healthy but also gives you pleasure. We've mentioned honey's health-giving properties before, but research revealing more about how this natural wonder works has made us look again.

It turns out that the sweet stuff's antibacterial qualities come from a compound called methylglyoxal (MGO) so you need to make sure that the honey you buy contains enough of the right stuff. And now, to make things easier, Manuka Health MGO Manuka Honey has been given a rating so that you know exactly what you're buying. The range includes MGO 30 which is recommended for general health, MGO 100 which can be used to treat coughs and colds and MGO 550 - the super-strength variety - powerful enough to treat wounds. Naturally amazing.

MGO Manuka Honey, GBP 7.95 for 250g (

Royal Jelly Should be Frozen Immediately After Being Harvested

Quality and Standardisation of Royal Jelly
Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science, 1(1): 16-21 (2009)

Given the exceptional biological properties attributed to it, royal jelly (RJ) has considerable commercial appeal and is today utilised in many sectors, ranging from the pharmaceutical and food industries to the cosmetic and manufacturing sectors. This has resulted, among other things, in large-scale importation in countries where production is insufficient to meet domestic demand.

Research capabilities thus need to be reinforced to permit both a reliable qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the different components and the implementation of analytical tests on commercially available products – RJ on its own or as an additive to new or traditional products – also for the purpose of identifying possible adulteration.

No official data exist about the RJ market (Grillenzoni, 2002), but China is unanimously acknowledged as being the leading world producer and exporter of RJ, which it sells at highly competitive prices. Chinese production of RJ is estimated as 2000 t/year (a quantity that represents over 60% of production worldwide), almost all of which is exported to Japan, the United States and Europe. Other countries like Korea, Taiwan and Japan are important producers and also exporters.

Elsewhere in the world, RJ is produced mainly in Eastern Europe and to a lesser extent in Western Europe and in America: Mexico, in particular, is quite a big producer.

Numerous studies have been dedicated to RJ since as far back as the late 19th century (Planta, 1888; Lercker, 2003). However, it is difficult to bring together the data collected by different authors into an organic whole, as the data themselves are not always comparable due to the lack of homogeneity among the materials used, the different sampling procedures and production conditions.

Additional complicating factors are the multiplicity of experimental conditions, as well as the diversity of the analytical methods used and their continual evolution.

Knowledge of the composition of recently produced RJ is essential in order to define a standard composition, evaluate the quality of commercial products and detect the presence of RJ in other products which containing it.

At present some countries, like Switzerland (Bogdanov et al., 2004), Bulgaria, Brazil (Brasil Leis e decretos, 2001) and Uruguay have defined national standards for this product. A group of the International Honey Commission is dealing presently with royal jelly standardisation…

Although the overall analytic data confirm that exposure to a temperature of 4°C causes no alterations in RJ composition, recently it was also shown that only storage of RJ in frozen state prevents decomposition of biologically active RJ proteins and thus RJ should be frozen as soon as it is harvested (Li et al., 2007).

The next steps should be: 1. Validate the respective methods of analysis 2. Use the method and create a royal jelly standard, based measurements on royal jelly samples produced in different countries. To this end, the UNI (Italian certification body) is presently drawing up standards for these methods based on the available know-how.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Video: Bees Vanishing from British Hives

Where are the Bees?
CNN, 2/19/2009

Bees are vanishing from hives in Britain, leaving beekeepers puzzled and worried. ITN's Tom Clarke reports.

Propolis Boosts Anti-Cancer Agent

Ethanolic Extract of Propolis (EEP) Enhances the Apoptosis-Inducing Potential of TRAIL in Cancer Cells
Molecules, 2009 Feb 13;14(2):738-754

Ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) is one of the richest sources of phenolic acids and flavonoids. EEP and its phenolic compounds have been known for various biological activities including immunopotentiation, chemopreventive and antitumor effects.

Tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a naturally occurring anticancer agent that preferentially induces apoptosis in cancer cells and is not toxic toward normal cells.

We examined the cytotoxic and apoptotic effect of EEP and phenolic compounds identified in propolis in combination with TRAIL on HeLa cancer cells. HeLa cells were resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis.

Our study demonstrated that EEP and its components significantly sensitize to TRAIL induced death in cancer cells…

In this report, we show for the first time that EEP markedly augmented TRAIL mediated apoptosis in cancer cells and confirmed the importance of propolis in chemoprevention of malignant tumors.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Green Propolis Extract Reduced Parasite Levels, Increased Survival

Brazilian Green Propolis: Effects In Vitro and In Vivo on Trypanosoma cruzi
Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. Medicine, Feb. 12. 2009

The composition of a Brazilian green propolis ethanolic extract (Et-Bra) and its effect on Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes and other pathogenic microorganisms have already been reported. Here, we further investigated Et-Bra targets in T. cruzi and its effect on experimental infection of mice.

Acutely infected mice were treated orally with Et-Bra and the parasitemia, mortality and GPT, GOT, CK and urea levels were monitored. The extract (25-300 mg kg(-1) body weight/day for 10 days) reduced the parasitemia, although not at significant levels; increased the survival of the animals and did not induce any hepatic, muscular lesion or renal toxicity. Since Et-Bra was not toxic to the animals, it could be assayed in combination with other drugs.

Et-Bra could be a potential metacyclogenesis blocker, considering its effect on reservosomes, which are an important energy source during parasite differentiation.

A Spoonful of Honey Helps to Cure a Child's Nasty Cough

By Gwenn Garland, Daily Times (USA), 2/19/2009

My mom used to give me a cup of peppermint tea with a big spoonful of honey when I was sick, and it was always soothing. That spoonful was probably what did the trick. WebMD calls honey "the world's best children's cough medicine." Several studies have found that a spoonful of honey is actually more useful in calming kids' coughs than over-the-counter cough medicine. It beat the pants off dextromethorphan, so no longer let the pharmacy aisle tempt you when it comes to helping out a child with a cough. That's great, since no one is supposed to use that medicine on children under age 6 anyway. Just break out the cute little bear bottle and give them one to two teaspoons full. Its effects also work on adults, so give yourself a spoonful if you have a cough, too. But babies under 12 months can't have honey -- they're too susceptible to botulism that might be present in it. So those little peeps are out of luck (maybe corn or maple syrup would have a similar effect?)…

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Video: Harvesting Royal Jelly

Yeasts Present in Nectar of Many Species

Yeasts in Floral Nectar: A Quantitative Survey
Annals of Botany, February 10, 2009

Background and Aims: One peculiarity of floral nectar that remains relatively unexplored from an ecological perspective is its role as a natural habitat for micro-organisms. This study assesses the frequency of occurrence and abundance of yeast cells in floral nectar of insect-pollinated plants from three contrasting plant communities on two continents. Possible correlations between interspecific differences in yeast incidence and pollinator composition are also explored.

Methods: The study was conducted at three widely separated areas, two in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) and one in the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico). Floral nectar samples from 130 species (37–63 species per region) in 44 families were examined microscopically for the presence of yeast cells. For one of the Spanish sites, the relationship across species between incidence of yeasts in nectar and the proportion of flowers visited by each of five major pollinator categories was also investigated.

Key Results: Yeasts occurred regularly in the floral nectar of many species, where they sometimes reached extraordinary densities (up to 4 x 105 cells mm–3). Depending on the region, between 32 and 44 % of all nectar samples contained yeasts. Yeast cell densities in the order of 104 cells mm–3 were commonplace, and densities >105 cells mm–3 were not rare. About one-fifth of species at each site had mean yeast cell densities >104 cells mm–3. Across species, yeast frequency and abundance were directly correlated with the proportion of floral visits by bumble-bees, and inversely with the proportion of visits by solitary bees.

Conclusions: Incorporating nectar yeasts into the scenario of plant–pollinator interactions opens up a number of intriguing avenues for research. In addition, with yeasts being as ubiquitous and abundant in floral nectars as revealed by this study, and given their astounding metabolic versatility, studies focusing on nectar chemical features should carefully control for the presence of yeasts in nectar samples.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Video: Bill Would Legalize Beekeeping in New York City

The Big Apple Hides Many Secret Beehives
NY1 News, 2/14/2009

Believe it or not, it is illegal to keep bees in New York City, and one lawmaker is trying to change that rule. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report on the city's underground beekeeping scene.

Bee Venom Used to Treat Arthritis Pain

Seminar Discusses Benefits of Bees
By Samantha Swindler, The Times-Tribune (USA), 2/162009

From stings that can ease arthritis pain to honey that can treat ulcers, beekeepers shared their stories during a half-day seminar Saturday.

About 90 beekeepers, both veterans and novices, attended “beekeeping school” at the Corbin Center for Technology to discuss the benefits and challenges of raising the helpful insects.

Apiculture (from “apis,” the Latin for bee) is the ancient practice of farming honeybees.

Laura Rogers, a speaker during the seminar, comes from at least five generations of Eastern Kentucky beekeepers…

Laura said a friend has been receiving doctor-prescribed injections of honeybee venom for arthritis. Laura, who has arthritic pain in her ankle, said she regularly lets bees sting her to relieve the pain. The American Apitherapy Society claims multiple sclerosis, arthritis, wounds, gout, shingles, burns, tendonitis and infections can be treated with honeybee products.

“She pays for that, and I go down there and get stung and I get it for free,” she said.

Beyond just the sting, raw honey is an anti-bacterial, enzyme rich food that helps everything from diabetes to open wounds. It can help boost immunity, it’s been used as a cough suppressant for children over the age of 2,and it’s been used topically as a treatment for wounds for preventing infection.

Many of these healing properties are lost in pasturized honey — the kind most often found on supermarket shelves…

Royal Jelly Alleviates Adverse Effects of Fluoride

Effects of Sodium Fluoride Exposure on Some Biochemical Parameters in Mice: Evaluation of the Ameliorative Effect of Royal Jelly Applications on These Parameters
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Article in Press

Forty eight male Balb/c mice, each weighing 30-35 g, were used in the present study. The animals were divided into 4 equal groups. The first group served as the control group, and the second group was administered royal jelly at a dose of 50 mg/kg bw by gavage for a period of 7 days. The third group received 200 ppm fluoride, as sodium fluoride, for a period of 7 days, in drinking water. Lastly, the fourth group was given 200 ppm fluoride in drinking water, in association with royal jelly at a dose of 50 mg/kg bw by gavage, for a period of 7 days.

At the end of the seventh day, blood samples were collected from all groups into heparinised and dry tubes, and liver samples were taken concurrently. Erythrocyte and liver tissue MDA levels and SOD, CAT and GSH-Px activities were evaluated in the blood and tissue samples obtained. Furthermore, serum cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, total protein and albumin levels, and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alcaline phosphatase (ALP) activities were evaluated.

In conclusion, fluoride was determined to cause adverse effects in mice, and the administration of royal jelly to these animals alleviated the adverse effects of fluoride.

Monday, February 16, 2009

American Apitherapy Society Launches New Web Site

The American Apitherapy Society has announced the launch of a re-designed web site:

New Zealand Beekeeper Charged for Selling Toxic Honey

Beekeeper Charged Over Honey Poisoning
NZPA, 2/15/2009

A beekeeper has been charged with selling food unfit for human consumption after his toxic honey allegedly caused convulsions and violent seizures.

Whangamata beekeeper Kevin Prout will appear in Waihi District Court on March 3, facing four charges under the Food Act .

Last April the Food Safety Authority (FSA) confirmed that tutu toxins in honeycomb from Mr Prout's Projen Apiary in Whangamata, marketed as "A Taste of Whangamata Pure Honey", poisoned 22 people.

FSA tests found the honey contained high levels of the toxic substances tutin and its derivative hyenanchin.

Toxic honey is caused when bees feed on "honeydew" secreted from the rear end of tiny sap-sucking vine-hopper insects feeding on the tutu plant…

Rare Stroke Caused By Bee Sting

Stroke Due To Bee Sting
Neurologist, 2009 Jan;15(1):42-3

Although bee stings can cause local reactions, neurovascular complications are rare. A 60-year-old man developed a focal neurologic deficit 2 hours after multiple bee stings, which was confirmed to be acute cerebral infarctions on magnetic resonance imaging scan.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Royal Jelly Product Helps Reduce Wrinkles

Burt's Bees Radiance Serum with Royal Jelly
Columbus Dispatch, 2/12/2009

$18 for 0.45 fluid ounces at drugstores and retail stores (visit and search "store locator")

• Key ingredients: licorice-root extract, glycerin (product is paraben- and phthalate-free)

• The pitch: "Helps enhance skin's natural radiance while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles."…

Royal Jelly Compensates for Age-Associated Decline in Pituitary Function

Effects of Long-Term Administration of Royal Jelly on Pituitary Weight and Gene Expression in Middle-Aged Female Rats
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2009 Feb 7

To determine the effects of ingested royal jelly (RJ) on the pituitary in middle-aged female rats, we performed a long-term RJ administration test.

Several animals showed age-related increases in pituitary weight, and RJ administration compensated for the increase. RJ tended to down-regulate prolactin mRNA and up-regulated thyroid-stimulating hormone beta mRNA in the pituitary.

This suggests that RJ compensates for age-associated decline in pituitary functions…

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cuba Plans Production of Bee Propolis Pills

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 12, (acn).- Cuba is planning to produce bee propolis for oral and vaginal use, reported Radio Rebelde on Thursday. The announcement was made by Carlos Hernandez, president of the Mountain Agriculture Business Group.

The Cuban national radio station said that the design is ready for both the pills and a propolis-based ointment...

Due to its bactericide, fungicide and anti-inflammatory properties, and its quality to aid the formation of scar tissue, propolis is very effective in the treatment of vaginal parasitism associated with acute cervicitis.

Propolis Ointment Stimulates Wound Healing

Dynamics of Reepithelialisation and Penetration Rate of a Bee Propolis Formulation During Cutaneous Wounds Healing
Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 635, Issue 1, 2 March 2009, Pages 115-120

The aim of this work is to investigate the dynamics of reepithelialisation and the penetration rate of a propolis ointment formulation during cutaneous wounds healing. The experiments were performed as a function of the treatment time in a well controlled group of rats.

We observed that the propolis ointment influenced the healing process stimulating keratinocytes cell proliferation as compared to the control group. It was shown that the propagation of the bee propolis was dependent on the wound healing stages.

In addition, the photoacoustic spectroscopy showed that the applied substances reached the deep wound region, highlighting once again the particular characteristic of this technique to evaluate the penetration rate of substances through the skin.

Friday, February 13, 2009

U.S. Beekeeper Develops Line of Propolis Products

Wiregrass Beekeeper Sees Role as Protector of Local Hives
By Peggy Ussery, Dothan Eagle, 2/13/2009

Roslyn Horton spent several years perfecting the recipe, combining bee propolis with emu oil.

Propolis, or bee glue collected from tree sap and plants, is a natural antibiotic. Honey bees use propolis to seal cracks in hives. Emu oil absorbs deep into the skin and has been used to fight muscle and joint aches, inflammation and even wrinkles. Combining the two natural products, Horton believed she could develop the perfect mix for insect bite treatments, lotions, soaps and lip balm.

She calls it Beemu. The distinctive logo is an emu with wings and the black-and-yellow colors of a honey bee.

Horton sells her products at local businesses around the Wiregrass — Sportsman’s Outfitters, Health Concepts and Shute Pecan Co. in Dothan and Emu Miracles near Headland. She prepares most of the mixtures on her farm in Newville, contracting the soap out to a soapmaker in Columbus, Ga…

Pine Pollen Extract Shows Strong Free Radical Scavenging Activity

Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Activity of Pine Pollen Extract In Vitro
Phytotherapy Research, Volume 23 Issue 1, Pages 41 – 48

To determine the medicinal properties of pine pollen, the antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities of the ethanol extract of pine pollen extract (PPE) were investigated.

PPE displayed a strong free radical scavenger activity on 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical and hydrogen peroxide. It was observed also that the antioxidant activity, measured by the ferric thiocyanate method, increased with the addition of PPE to the linoleic acid emulsion system. PPE was also found to inhibit significantly the amount of malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls formed from liver homogenate.

Like the antioxidant activity, the reducing power of PPE was excellent. Thereafter, the study investigated the effects of PPE in modulating the production of pro-inflammatory mediators in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages, and the effect of PPE on interleukin (IL)-1-induced matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) production and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) activation in the human synovial sarcoma cell line, SW982.

PPE was found to inhibit the production of nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-, IL-1 and IL-6 in LPS-activated macrophages. Treatment with PPE at 10 µg/mL significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited IL-1-induced MMPs (MMP-1 and -3) production in SW982 cells. IL-1-induced JNK activation was inhibited by PPE (10 µg/mL), whereas p38 and ERK1/2 were not affected. These findings suggest that pine pollen is a potential antioxidant and beneficial for inflammatory conditions through down-regulation of JNK and MMPs.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Video: Africanized 'Killer Bees' Discovered in Utah

Killer Bees Discovered in Utah
By Whit Johnson, KSL-TV, 2/10/2009

After years of warning, they're finally here. Africanized bees, known as killer bees, have been discovered in southern Utah.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is planning a news conference about the bees tomorrow, and won't provide any details. But we spoke to a Washington County commissioner who says he knows what the announcement is about.

Commissioner Alan Gardner says officials from agriculture department told him in a meeting today that killer bees have been found in multiple locations in southern Utah...

Propolis Alleviates Aluminum Toxicity

Propolis Alleviates Aluminium Induced Lipid Peroxidation and Biochemical Parameters in Male Rats
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Article in Press

Aluminium is present in many manufactured foods and medicines and is also added to drinking water during purification purposes. Therefore, the present experiment was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of propolis in alleviating the toxicity of aluminium chloride (AlCl3) on biochemical parameters, antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation of male Wistar Albino rats...

The presence of propolis with AlCl3 alleviated its toxic effects in rats treated with AlCl3. It can be concluded that propolis has beneficial influences and could be able to antagonize AlCl3 toxicity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Video: Documentary Explores Human Interaction with Bees

Video: Path to Freedom Presents Screening of ‘Pollen Nation’
The documentary “Pollen Nation” traces the life of a commercial beekeeper
Pasadena Now, 2/9/2009

On February 22, Path to Freedom – Urban Homestead will host a vegetarian potluck followed by a screening of the documentary “Pollen Nation”. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 626 Cypress Ave., Pasadena. Due to limited space, reservations are necessary. To book a ticket, priced at $10 each, call 626-844–4586 or register online at

Attendees are encouraged to contribute food produced within a 100-mile radius of their homes (Santa Barbara to San Diego). If that is not possible, then strive to purchase organic foods grown within the closest distance.

The 25-minute long film follows the journey of third-generation, commercial beekeeper Jeff Anderson from the honey harvest on the High Plains to the warm winter -feeding grounds of California. It also explores the history of human interaction with bees; a story that reflects the development of agriculture…

Amino Acids a Parameter for Royal Jelly Quality

Fast Determination of 26 Amino Acids and Their Content Changes in Royal Jelly During Storage Using Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Article in Press

A rapid ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) method was developed for feasible separation and quantification of 26 amino acids in royal jelly…

The results showed that UPLC was a powerful tool for analysis of amino acids in royal jelly. The method was also applied to quantitatively determine free amino acid (FAA) and total amino acid (TAA) profiles in RJ samples stored at different temperatures (−18 °C, 4 °C and 25 °C) for different time intervals (1, 3, 6 and 10 months).

Results showed that the average contents of FAA and TAA in fresh royal jelly were 9.21 mg/g and 111.27 mg/g, respectively; the major FAAs were Pro, Gln, Lys, Glu, and the most abundant TAAs were Asp, Glu, Lys and Leu.

Although the concentration of most FAAs and TAAs showed no significant difference during storage, contents of total Met and free Gln decreased significantly and continuously, and might be a parameter to predict the quality of royal jelly.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Buckwheat Honey Used to Treat Children’s Coughs

Honey Don't Cough Hits Pharmacy Shelves
By Shandra Martinez, The Grand Rapids Press (USA), 2/9/2009

GRAND RAPIDS -- Dr. Jeffery Chamberlain recommends some sweet medicine to parents who want a natural remedy to treat their child's cough: buckwheat honey.

When parents complained the dark honey was hard to find and messy to administer to sick kids, the family practice doctor and his wife, Christine, developed Honey Don't Cough.

The packaged buckwheat honey supplements for children hit pharmacy shelves in December -- and quickly became a hit on

"So far, we've had a lot of people say it really worked well," Chamberlain said.

A box of 10 ready-to-use Liqui-Paks sells for about $5.

Chamberlain began recommending the natural remedy after a 2007 study by Penn State College of Medicine concluded buckwheat honey works better than conventional cold medicine to relieve coughing in children.

More importantly, honey is considered safe for children older than 1 because there is not a serious risk of overdose.

Children have died from overdoses of cough and cold medicines, which the Federal Drug Administration recommends not be given to children under 2. Drug companies have agreed to change labeling to say, "Do not use for children under 4 years of age."…

Stingless Bee Propolis Has Higher Antimicrobial Activity Than Honey

Antimicrobial Properties of Propolis and Honey from the Kenyan Stingless Bee, Dactylurina Schimidti
APIACTA 43 (2008) PAGES 49 - 61 49

This study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of propolis and honey samples of stingless bee, Dactylurina schimidti collected from 4 colonies in Tana River district along the Kenyan Indian Ocean Coast.

Ethanolic extract of Propolis (EEP) was extracted using 70% ethanol. Pure honey and concentrations of 75%, 50% and 25% honey in distilled water were prepared. These preparations were tested for antimicrobial activity against five different types of bacteria; Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis and two types of fungi; Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans.

The disc diffusion method using filter paper discs was employed. Antimicrobial activity was determined as an equivalent of the inhibition zones diameters (in millimeters) after incubation of the cultures at 370C for 24 hours for bacterial species and 48 hours for fungal species. EEP exhibited highest inhibitory effect on Gram positive bacteria compared to all other bacterial and fungal strains.

Pure honey had more effect in inhibiting bacterial growth than different dilutions of honey. Pure honey did not inhibit growth of A. niger and C. albicans. Generally, our findings indicate that propolis from D. schimdti had higher antimicrobial activity against the microbes compared to its honey.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Dubai Festival Features Medicinal Honey

Beeline for Honey
Khaleej Times (UAE), 2/7/2009

DUBAI - Cosmetics made from honey mixtures and medicinal honey are attracting huge crowds at the Honey Festival being held at Al Seef Street as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival 2009 (DSF).
 The Honey Festival, an exhibition and sale of different honey products from around the world, will continue till February 13. It is open between 5pm and 10pm.

Around 15 local vendors are displaying honey products from Yemen, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iran and other countries. Visitors can taste from a variety of honey samples before buying and go through a number of information pamphlets on the benefits of honey including its antibacterial properties…

Honey Heals Faster Than Conventional Wound Dressing

Standardized Antibacterial Honey (Medihoney™) with Standard Therapy in Wound Care: Randomized Clinical Trial
Journal of Advanced Nursing, Volume 65 Issue 3, Pages 565 – 575, Published Online: 3 Feb 2009

Aim. This paper is a report of a study to compare a medical grade honey with conventional treatments on the healing rates of wounds healing by secondary intention.

Background. There is an increasing body of evidence to support the use of honey to treat wounds, but there is a lack of robust randomized trials on which clinicians can base their clinical judgement.

Method. A sample of 105 patients were involved in a single centre, open-label randomized controlled trial in which patients received either a conventional wound dressing or honey. Data were collected between September 2004 and May 2007.

Results. The median time to healing in the honey group was 100 days compared with 140 days in the control group. The healing rate at 12 weeks was equal to 46·2% in the honey group compared with 34·0% in the conventional group, and the difference in the healing rates (95% confidence interval, CI) at 12 weeks between the two groups was 12·2% (−13·6%, 37·9%). The unadjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) from a Cox regression was equal to 1·30 (0·77, 2·19), P = 0·321. When the treatment effect was adjusted for confounding factors (sex, wound type, age and wound area at start of treatment), the hazard ratio increased to 1·51 but was again not statistically significant.

Conclusion. Wound area at start of treatment and sex are both highly statistically significant predictors of time to healing. These results support the proposition that there are clinical benefits from using honey in wound care, but further research is needed.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Honey Contains High Levels of Phenolics and Flavonoids

Characterisation of the Phenolic and Flavonoid Fractions and Antioxidant Power of Italian Honeys of Different Botanical Origin
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Volume 89 Issue 4, Pages 609 – 616, Published Online: 6 Jan 2009

Background: Twenty-seven Italian honey samples of different floral origin were analysed for total phenolic and flavonoid contents by a spectrophotometric method and for antioxidant power and radical-scavenging activity by the ferric-reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays respectively. In addition, the phenolic and flavonoid profiles were analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection (HPLC-UV).

Results: The results of this study showed that honey contains copious amounts of phenolics and flavonoids. HPLC-UV analysis showed a similar qualitative polyphenolic profile for all honey samples analysed. The main difference among samples was in the contribution of individual analytes, which was affected by floral origin. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents varied from 60.50 to 276.04 mg gallic acid equivalent kg-1 and from 41.88 to 211.68 mg quercetin equivalent kg-1 respectively. The antioxidant capacity was high and differed widely among samples. The FRAP value varied from 1.265 to 4.396 mmol Fe2+ kg-1, while the radical-scavenging activity expressed as DPPH-IC50 varied from 7.08 to 64.09 mg mL-1. Correlations between the parameters analysed were found to be statistically significant.
Conclusion: The present study shows that honey contains high levels of phenolics and flavonoids and that the distribution of these compounds is influenced by the honey's floral origin.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Propolis Component Suppresses Growth of Neurofibromatosis Tumors

CAPE (Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester)-Based Propolis Extract (Bio 30) Suppresses the Growth of Human Neurofibromatosis (Nf) Tumor Xenografts in Mice
Phytotherapy Research, Volume 23, Issue 2, Date: February 2009, Pages: 226-230

Dysfunction of the NF1 gene coding a RAS GAP is the major cause of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), whereas neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is caused primarily by dysfunction of the NF2 gene product called merlin that inhibits directly PAK1, an oncogenic Rac/CDC42-dependent Ser/Thr kinase.

It was demonstrated previously that PAK1 is essential for the growth of both NF1 and NF2 tumors. Thus, several anti-PAK1 drugs, including FK228 and CEP-1347, are being developed for the treatment of NF tumors. However, so far no effective NF therapeutic is available on the market.

Since propolis, a very safe healthcare product from bee hives, contains anticancer ingredients called CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester) or ARC (artepillin C), depending on the source, both of which block the oncogenic PAK1 signaling pathways, its potential therapeutic effect on NF tumors was explored in vivo.

Here it is demonstrated that Bio 30, a CAPE-rich water-miscible extract of New Zealand (NZ) propolis suppressed completely the growth of a human NF1 cancer called MPNST (malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor) and caused an almost complete regression of human NF2 tumor (Schwannoma), both grafted in nude mice. Although CAPE alone has never been used clinically, due to its poor bioavailability/water-solubility, Bio 30 contains plenty of lipids which solubilize CAPE, and also includes several other anticancer ingredients that seem to act synergistically with CAPE.

Thus, it would be worth testing clinically to see if Bio 30 and other CAPE-rich propolis are useful for the treatment of NF patients.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Stimulus Bill Includes $150 Million for Honeybee Insurance

"Your World With Neil Cavuto," February 4, 2009

Neil Cavuto, Host: All right, back to the stimulus bill.

And the part that has everyone buzzing — in fact, I have been talking about it every night — this 150 billion bucks for honeybee insurance. People were wondering, I was wondering, how the heck that creates jobs.

So, we thought we would ask a beekeeper to explain this to us. Joining us now is a beekeeper, David Burns…

Honey and Health

Valentine's Day Feast: Honey for Your Honey
Neil Zevnik, Huffington Post, 2/5/2009

The amazing benefits to be found in honey have less to do with nutritional values and more to do with antioxidant and anti-microbial properties that are unique to this natural sweetener. Honey is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals, but it contains several compounds that are thought to function as antioxidants, including two specific phytonutrients that have been shown to shut down the activity of colon cancer-causing enzymes.

It appears that a strange and wonderful synergy is created by the combination of the nectar from the flowers, enzymes in the bees' saliva, and propolis or "bee glue", which produces results greater than the sum of its parts. The First International Symposium of Honey & Human Health in January of 2008 presented research papers that included findings that suggested that large amounts of "friendly bacteria" may account for honey's therapeutic properties, that honey may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity, and that honey is a more effective cough suppressant in children than the widely-used popular medicine dextromethorphan.

[Important Note: honey should never be given to infants under one year of age; botulism spores may be present, causing bacterial infections in the intestinal tract.]

Another traditional use of honey is as a dressing for wounds, and research is now figuring out exactly why it is so incredibly effective - again, a unique combination of ingredients that dry out the wound and provide anti-bacterial and antiseptic benefits. Honey reduces odors, swelling, and scarring; in fact, a recent study in India involving burn patients found that honey was vastly superior to conventional treatments in suppressing infection and speeding healing. Sweet indeed!

And let us not neglect to mention that honey has been used for centuries as a natural, fragrant and wholly pleasing beauty treatment, due to its humectant qualities and silky feel. It is said that Cleopatra herself owed much of her legendary beauty to a daily infusion of golden honey...

Propolis Boosts Disease Resistance in Fish

Propolis and Herba Epimedii Extracts Enhance the Non-Specific Immune Response and Disease Resistance of Chinese Sucker, Myxocyprinus asiaticus
Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 2009 Jan 28

The effect of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulated from propolis and Herba Epimedii extracts at the ratio of 3:1 (w/w) on non-specific immune response of Chinese sucker (Myxocyprinus asiaticus) was investigated.

Fish were fed diets containing 0 (control), 0.1%, 0.5% or 1.0% TCM extracts for five weeks. The respiratory burst and phagocytic activities of blood leukocytes, lysozyme and natural haemolytic complement activities in plasma were measured weekly.

After five weeks of feeding, fish were infected with Aeromonas hydrophila and mortalities were recorded. Results of this study showed that feeding Chinese sucker with different dosage of TCM extracts stimulated respiratory burst activity, phagocytosis of phagocytic cells in blood and lysozyme activity in plasma. They had no effect on plasma natural haemolytic complement activity. All dosage of treated groups showed reduced mortality following A. hydrophila infection.

Feed containing 0.5% TCM extracts was the most effective with the mortality of the fish significantly reduced by 35% compared to the control.

The results indicate that propolis and Herba Epimedii extracts in combination enhances the non-specific immune response and disease resistance of Chinese sucker against A. hydrophila.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

New Manuka Honey Antibacterial Rating Being Developed

Is Your Manuka Honey Really Worth the Money?
By Jerome Burne, Daily Mail (UK), 2/2/2009

Over the past few years, manuka honey from New Zealand has earned a reputation as a bit of a wonder treatment.

Research has shown that the honey - produced by bees who feed off the manuka bush - has powerful antibiotic properties and can help combat MRSA, fight infections, reduce wound inflammation and help with skin conditions such as acne and eczema.

But there are so many brands available, at vastly different prices (you can pay anything from £5 to £35 for a pot), how do you know which one really packs a good bacterial punch? And does spending more guarantee a better product?

Until about a year ago, the solution would have been to rely on the honey's Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating (they range from 10 to 25). The higher the rating, the more potent - and usually more expensive - the honey.

But according to some manuka honey manufacturers, this UMF system is unreliable. The ratings are made by the Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) which compares a batch of honey against the bacteria-killing ability of different concentrations of a standard disinfectant.

'But two tests done at different times on the same batch of honey can give very different results,' alleges Kerry Paul, chief executive of Manuka Health, one of the 'rebel' honey manufacturers.

The AMHA retorts that results vary only by a few points and, anyway, it takes this into account when rating the honey.

But Mr Paul believes there's a better way - by measuring methylglyoxal (MGO) content. This compound is found in high concentrations in manuka honey - up to 100 times greater than ordinary honey - according to German researchers, and is thought to give it its antiseptic edge.

Some manufacturers are now switching to Mr Paul's new system of ratings. To add to the confusion, there is a third rating out there - the label on the honey contains the word 'active', followed by a number (from 10 to 25). But the MGO and UMF camps agree this 'active' rating has no scientific basis and is not regulated.

Later this year a fourth standard is due to appear - developed by Dr Peter Molan, head of honey research at Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand. Although he's not yet willing to divulge the details, it seems to be an upgrade of the UMF rating - which he originally devised and even he claims needs changing…

A Spoonful of Manuka Honey is the Best Medicine

Galway Advertiser (Ireland), 2/5/2009

Most of us have heard of the new miracle remedy called Manuka honey. Manuka honey is made by bees that collect nectar from the manuka bush which grows wild in New Zealand. Manuka honey has traditionally been used for its health benefits and is renowned for warding off infections, and promoting natural healing and general wellbeing. The honey has been researched for decades, but only recently has a team of researchers from Germany identified its active ingredient, called methylglyoxal.

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is a naturally occurring antibacterial agent. It can be measured by laboratory test and is expressed as “MGO” with a number indicating its strength. This strength usually varies between MGO100 and MGO400. To ensure antibacterial activity, only MGO Manuka honey available in health stores should be purchased.

Manuka honey’s antibacterial activity has been proven by researchers the world over, it works wonders for infected wounds, leg ulcers, stomach infections, and stubborn colds. Manuka dressings are already being used in many hospitals today. Recently, the Sligo Institute of Technology has joined the ranks of this research and is now collaborating with a US based pharmaceutical manufacturer to bring its research to the public. Several studies prove Manuka honey’s ability to kill MRSA in vitro, which is a major advantage…

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course & Conference - CMACC 2009

What: 15th annual apitherapy training and conference of the American Apitherapy Society takes a look at the science of ancient healing treatments using bee sting therapy and all beehive products

When: April 17-19, 2009

Where: DoubleTree Guest Suites, Tampa, Florida

Contact: Visit or call (631) 470 9446

Friday, April 17, will provide attendees with a basic training in the therapeutic properties of each of the hive products – honey, pollen, propolis and royal jelly, and will include a hands-on bee venom therapy clinic Friday night.

Presentations on apitherapy protocols for conditions such as lyme disease, cancer, auto-immune diseases, mental disorders, and others will take place all day Saturday, April 18.

Propolis Effective in Controlling Dental Infections

In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Endodontic Pastes with Propolis Extracts and Calcium Hydroxide: A Preliminary Study
Brazilian Dental Journal, 2008;19(4):301-5

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of two experimental pastes containing propolis extract associated with calcium hydroxide against polymicrobial cultures collected from 16 necrotic and fistulae root canals in primary molars of 4-8-year-old children of both sexes.

The agar-well diffusion technique was used to determine the antimicrobial activity of the following pastes: 11.0% ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) + calcium hydroxide; and 11.0% extract of propolis without ethanol (EP) + calcium hydroxide. EEP, EP and the association of calcium hydroxide and propylene glycol (CHP) was used as the positive control groups, and propylene glycol was used as a negative control group.

Friedman and Wilcoxon tests were used to compare the data from the microbial growth inhibition zones. Paste 1 and Paste 2 showed larger growth inhibition zones against microorganisms from root canal samples than CHP. Paste 2 tended to have larger growth inhibition zones than Paste 1.

The association between propolis and calcium hydroxide was effective in controlling dental infections in vitro.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bee Venom Component Helps Kill Cancer Cells

Melittin, a Major Component of Bee Venom, Sensitizes Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells to Tumor Necrosis Factor-related Apoptosis-inducing Ligand (TRAIL)-induced Apoptosis by Activating CaMKII-TAK1-JNK/p38 and Inhibiting IB Kinase-NFB
J. Biol. Chem, Vol. 284, Issue 6, 3804-3813, February 6, 2009

Promoting apoptosis is a strategy for cancer drug discovery. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis in a wide range of malignant cells. However, several cancers, including human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), exhibit a major resistance to TRAIL-induced cell death.

Melittin, a water-soluble 26-amino acid peptide derived from bee venom of Apis mellifera, can exert toxic or inhibitory effects on many types of tumor cells. Here we report that melittin can induce apoptosis of HCC cells by activating Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1), and JNK/p38 MAPK…

In the presence of melittin, TRAIL-induced apoptosis is significantly increased in TRAIL-resistant HCC cells, which may be attributed to melittin-induced TAK1-JNK/p38 activation and melittin-mediated inhibition of IB kinase-NFB.

Our data suggest that melittin can synergize with TRAIL in the induction of HCC cell apoptosis by activating the TAK1-JNK/p38 pathway but inhibiting the IB kinase-NFB pathway.

Therefore, the combination of melittin with TRAIL may be a promising therapeutic approach in the treatment of TRAIL-resistant human cancer.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Honey Helps Heal Radiotherapy-Impaired Wounds

Using Leptospermum Honey to Manage Wounds Impaired By Radiotherapy: A Case Series
Ostomy Wound Management, 2009 Jan;55(1):38-47

Radiation-induced tissue injury and wounds with radiation-impaired healing are traumatic for patients and challenging for their caregivers. Standardized management approaches do not exist.

The effect of Leptospermum honey as a primary dressing for managing these wounds was assessed in four patients (age range 63 to 93 years) who had previously undergone radiotherapy that left them with fragile friable areas of damaged skin that did not respond to conventional treatment.

Compromised areas involved the neck, cheek, groin/perineum, and chest. In patients 1 and 2, after topical application of honey via hydrofiber rope and nonadhesive foam, respectively, improvements in the size and condition of wound/periwound area and a reduction in pain were noted before death or loss to follow-up.

After including honey in the treatment regimen of patients 3 and 4, complete healing was noted in 2.5 weeks (with honey and paraffin) and 6 weeks (with honey-soaked hydrofiber rope), respectively. No adverse events were reported. Honey as an adjunct to conventional wound/skin care post radiation therapy shows promise for less painful healing in these chronic wounds. Prospective, randomized, controlled clinical studies are needed to confirm these observations…


Four patients with radiotherapy-impaired wounds and compromised skin received care that included medical grade honey. In all cases, a change from conventional dressings to the topical application of honey was followed by a noticeable improvement in healing. It is not possible to report complete healing in all examples because Patient 1 (Mr. G) died and Patient 2 (Ms. H) was lost to follow-up but the latter reported a noticeable reduction in pain once honey was introduced. No adverse events were observed and even though Patient 3 (Ms. J) had type 2 diabetes, daily honey applications to her wound had no adverse effect on her blood sugar levels. All patients readily accepted honey as a dressing for their wounds…

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Bee Venom Used to Treat Arthritis, MS, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Can Bee Stings Treat Disease? An Apitherapy Practitioner Says Yes
By Tom Keyser, Times Union (USA), 1/31/2009

Walter Blohm has shown his slides and explained the therapy, and now it's time. He approaches an audience member who has just volunteered how he still has discomfort from rotator-cuff surgery.

"I'll show you how we do it," Blohm says. "You ready to get stung?"

The man looks Blohm straight in the eyes.

"Bring it on," he says.

This is what the nearly 100 people attending Monday's regular meeting of the Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association in Ballston Spa have come to see. Blohm, the guest speaker, has driven up in his Frontier pickup with NYCHONEY license plates from Queens, where he has for 18 years practiced apitherapy, or bee-sting therapy…

He learned apitherapy from Charles Mraz, the country's leading advocate for bee-sting therapy. Mraz died in 1999 at home in Middlebury, Vt., frustrated at the lack of acceptance by the medical community of bee venom as a viable treatment for arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.

For this story calls were placed to numerous medical associations, public and private, including the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians and the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Media specialists said no information about bee-sting therapy was available…

He's one of maybe two dozen apitherapists in the country, he says. However, he says, it's impossible to estimate how many people practice or receive bee-sting therapy, because many do it privately.

Blohm performed it first on his wife 20 years ago after meeting Mraz at a bee conference. Blohm's wife had arthritis in one knee from a skiing accident.

"She wasn't too happy about it in the beginning," Blohm says. "But after that, she was thrilled. She had no more pain."

Blohm learned more about bee-sting therapy from the AAS before offering to treat others, he says. It works — when it works, he says — by stimulating the immune system and drawing blood to the diseased or wounded area. Some doctors inject venom extracted from bees, but that venom, Blohm says, is less potent.

Venom from honeybees contains more than 40 active substances, according to alternative-medicine publications. The most abundant is an anti-inflammatory called melittin. It causes the body to produce cortisol, an agent of the body's own healing process, the publications say. Other substances in bee venom include apamin, which enhances nerve transmission, and adolapin, an anti-inflammatory and analgesic.

The treatments don't help everybody, but, Blohm says, he has helped people with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, gout and chronic fatigue syndrome…

Ugandan President Recommends Production of Apitherapy Products

'Mint Money From Processed Honey'
By Alice Kiingi, The New Vision (Uganda), 1/29/2009

Honey producers have been urged to embrace value addition to benefit from the ready global market. President Yoweri Museveni made the call in a December 2008 ApiExpo Africa report released by the Ssemwanga Centre for Agriculture and Food, recently.

Museveni noted that bee farmers export honey to Europe poorly packaged fetching low prices, but in a supermarket like TESCO in the UK, a kilogramme of honey costs 10 pounds (about sh30,000) or more.

“With value addition the extracted bee venom would be $100 per kilogramme, brood at $74, pollen at $15 and royal jelly at $100