Thursday, April 30, 2009

Greek Firm Pioneered Apitherapy Products

Honey and Plant Extract Crèmes Keep the Skin Young
GR Reporter, 4/29/2009

The three leading cosmetic companies in Greece offer original methods for skin beautification and covering the traces from lack of sleep and time, which leaves its marks on the face and body.

The big internationally famous cosmetic companies in Greece are “Apivita,” which is famous with products made out of bee honey, “Korres,” whose first product was a honey and anise cough drop, and last – “Symmetria,” which offers products developed by French experts for facial skin problems.

Following the bees

“Apivita” was founded by the 62 year old Nikos Koutsianas, who was nominated as one of the “20 to know” in 2008 by “Global Cosmetic Industry Magazine.”

Mr. Koutsianas has been producing natural products ever since 1970 and has a long experience as a pharmacist and an apiarist. Long before the “natural products” trend came along, Mr. Koutsianas had started following the bees, which led him to his treasure – the idea of producing crèmes and cosmetics based on honey, bee glue, and royal jelly. In order for the crèmes and lotions to reveal their miraculous powers, Mr. Koutsianas used more than 5 000 plants, including Cretan sea dill and fraxinella. “Apivita’s” team had found more than 50 000 formulas, which make their products successful in more than 4 000 pharmacies in Greece and many newly opened stores worldwide…

When they founded the company in 1979, they four people all together. Now their number exceeds 220 people. The first innovative product, which they launched on the market under the name “Apivita,” was a soap made out of propolis and right now the company has over 300 new products. “Apivita” is famous as the company pioneer in the biocosmetic sector and its products are made entirely of natural products. The company is preferred by consumers and is number one in the hair care market with a share of 40%.

Just like the bees, which fly from flower to flower and are the inspiration of the “Apivita” founders, the company has spread its wings over the world…outside Greece, the products of the company can be found in more than 2 000 stores in 16 countries. Some of the cities where the miraculous bee products are sold are New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Stockholm, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Tokyo.

Of course, in order to build such a brand, a good advertising campaign was needed. The initial “push” was given by the image of Mari Sesille, which was created by the Spanish woman Carmen Garcia Bartolome and the packaging by Spiros Ornerakis. Since not too long ago, the image of the brand was entrusted to Red Design Consultants, who also made the logo for the Olympic Games in 2004.

“Apivita’s” products are following five directions – 1. The key ingredient in the Propoline products is the propolis but they also include honey and bee wax. In the apian ingredients, the creators of Propoline mix rosemary, soapworts, and marigold. 2. For Aromatherapy the company uses the strength of nature, essences and plant extracts and it is based on green tea. The use of green tea is an exclusive innovation by “Apivita,” which replaces 65% of water in a big range of products for body and facial care. 3. EXPRESS is a complete line of personal crèmes and masks, which use extracts from fruits and vegetables, which provide a complete nutritional “menu” for the face, bogy and hair. Those products are offered with modern packaging, which allows them to be mixed. This way people can try different crèmes and masks and make their own skin “diet.” 4. Apitherapy are the products, which are made out of honey, propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen…

Royal Jelly Should be Stored at Lower Temperatures

FTIR Assessment of the Secondary Structure of Proteins in Royal Jelly Under Different Storage Conditions
Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi, 2009 Jan;29(1):82-7

The quality of royal jelly has a high positive correlation with its storage periods and temperature.

In the present paper, Fourier transform infrared spectra (FTIR) of royal jelly was measured with different temperatures and storage periods, and the compositions of the secondary structure of protein were determined by curve-fitting analysis of the amide I bands in the FTIR spectra.

The results showed that the spectral differences were observed among these types of samples, the composition of the secondary structures of protein exhibited extreme difference, and the rate of alpha-helix decreased and beta-sheet increased dramatically with the increase in storage temperature and periods.

The content of beta-turn also tended to increase, and the order of their change extent was 28 degrees C > 16 degrees C > 4 degrees C > -18 degrees C.

These results met the theory that royal jelly should be kept under lower temperature…

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Royal Jelly Increases Good Cholesterol in Older People

Royal Jelly Increases High Density Lipoprotein Levels But in Older Patients Only
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, April 2009, 15(4): 329-330

The presented study shows that the addition of royal jelly to the daily diet increases the HDL cholesterol, especially in older patients.

Bee Propolis Stops Tumors from Neurofibromatosis and Cancer

By Barbara Minton, 4/29/2009

(NaturalNews) …Propolis is a natural resin found in young tree buds. Bees collect it for use as a glue to seal their homes. Propolis is an exceedingly complex product that contains substances that prevent and treat diseases ranging from cancer to the common cold. Recent research has documented the ability of propolis to suppress the growth of human tumors from neurofibromatosis and cancer…

Propolis halted neurofibromatosis tumor growth in a group of cancer patients taking part in a study by scientists at Universitaets Klinikum Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany. Dysfunction of the NF1 or NF2 gene coding is the major cause of neurofibromatosis. Researchers had previously demonstrated that the human gene PAK1 is essential for the growth of both NF1 and NF2 tumors. Although several attempts have been made to develop anti-PAK1 drugs, none have been successful.

Since bee propolis contains anticancer ingredients caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and artepillin C (ARC), both of which block the oncogenic PAK1 signaling pathways, its potential therapeutic effects on NF tumors were explored in vivo. It was demonstrated that a CAPE-rich extract of propolis mixed with water completely suppressed the growth of human NF1 and caused an almost complete regression of human NF2 (Schwannoma), that had been grafted in mice. The scientists stressed that although CAPE is not used clinically due to its poor bioavailability, it can be made soluble with the addition of lipids (fats). (Phytotherapy Resources, February)

In an earlier study, this German team identified CAPE's anti-cancer abilities. CAPE is a natural compound found in some foods, but is highly concentrated in bee propolis. Previously, propolis had been known only to have anti-cancer function through its profound ability to boost the immune system.

Clinical trials to test the compound on humans are ongoing. So far, cancer patients taking part have seen their tumor growth halted…

Propolis is effective against cancer of the larynx

Scientists in Brazil recently investigated the effects of propolis on human laryngeal epidermoid carcinoma. They incubated cells with different concentrations of bee propolis for different time periods. Then they analyzed morphology and number of viable cancerous cells. Their data showed that propolis exhibited the ability to kill cancerous cells in a dose and time dependent manner. (Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, October 22, 2007)

Propolis keeps tumors from setting up their own blood supplies

In other recent research, researchers examined the ability of propolis components to stop tumors from developing their own blood supplies. When blood supply to a tumor is cut off, it can no longer receive nutrients to fuel its growth. Acacetin, apigenin, artepillin C, CAPE, chrysin, p-coumaric acid, galangin, kaempherol, pinocembrin, and quercetin were studied for their antioxidant activity as well…

Bee propolis rejuvenates the immune system

The first double-blind study of propolis involved a team of five doctors led by Professor S. Scheller in Poland, who found that propolis had the power to prolong the prime of life by stimulating the immune system to release substances that protect against cellular deterioration. In addition, propolis boosted the destruction of potentially harmful foreign bacteria and stimulated the formation of antibodies to build immunity to many diseases. This strengthening of cellular defense helps build resistance to aging and illness…

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Apitherapy Treatments for Swine Flu

Source: "Apiterapia 101 para todos"

JOIN Apitherapy News on Facebook.


• Honey (98 g) + royal jelly (1 g) + propolis (1 g), oral.
• Bee bread + propolis, oral.
• Propolis 30% extract + vitamin C, oral.

Flu, Avian and Swine

• Royal jelly, oral.
• Honey (98 g) + royal jelly (1 g) + propolis (1 g), oral, in star anise (Illicium verum = Anisum stellatum) infusion.
• Honey + garlic extract, nasal drops.
• Honey + garlic extract, oral, with plenty of water.
• Pollen and bee bread, oral.
• Propolis tincture, inhalations.
• Propolis 50% tincture, 20 drops with honey in a water glass before meals.
• Venom sublingual tablet or mixed with honey, oral, supplemented with vitamins C and B-complex.
Also, diet supplementation with all bee products, to drink plenty of water, and to take any other medication prescribed by physician.

Viral Diseases

• Honey + propolis (1%) + royal jelly (5 - 10%), oral.
• Honey (96 g) + royal jelly (3 g) + propolis (1 g), oral.
• Honey (450 g) + royal jelly (45 g), oral.

New Propolis Antibiotic Helps Fish Farming Industry

Birds and Bees Still Have Something to Teach Mankind
By Kelvin Kemm, Engineering News (South Africa), 4/24/2009

…In South Africa, Paul Collet and Ernst Thompson have found out some interesting information about honey bee construction techniques. It has been known that bees use a black sticky stuff to build around the entrance to their hives. They also use the same stuff to patch holes in the hive’s outer walls.

This black goo is called ‘propolis’ – from the Greek ‘pro’, meaning ‘in front of’, and ‘polis’ meaning ‘city.’

The bees use it to make security gates. It turns out that this stuff has antibiotic properties. The bees find the building material by harvesting small scabs from plants. When a nibbling insect damages a plant, or when the plant gets struck by something, it forms a protective scab filled with chemicals which kill or disable organisms that could enter the plant and damage it, such as bacteria, yeasts and viruses.

So the plant produces its own antibio- tics. The bees collect these scabs, and then work them into the black tarlike stuff that they then use to build ‘security gates’ around their hive entrance. So they have an anti- biotic gate, so to speak.

Well, Collet and Thompson have been smart, and they have taken this black propolis and turned it into an antibiotic product for the fish farming industry.

While fish farming can be a lucrative business, any disease in the breeding tanks can wipe out many fish chop-chop. A number of domestic and foreign regulations concerning the use of artificial antibiotics have also placed pressure on the aquaculture folks to find alternatives.

This is where the propolis product comes in. These guys have been producing the pharmaceutical under the name of Speelmanskop Apiary Products, and the product has performed well on various fish pathogens – so much so that they are achieving better results than with the traditional aquaculture antimicrobials.

Propolis is already being found in such diverse products as toothpaste, lip balm and chewing gum. So those birds and bees still have something to teach mankind. We are not finished with them yet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bee Pollen Recommended for Hay Fever

Top Tips to Tackle Spring Hayfever Misery
Daily Record (Scotland), 4/27/2009

Hayfever and its debilitating symptoms - from itchy eyes and a runny nose to congestion and wheeziness - brings misery to millions every year.

Many people are already suffering this spring as the trees release their pollen, although the majority of sufferers (around 95 per cent) will be affected by the release of grass pollen in May.

The symptoms are caused by histamines - substances the body produces in response to allergic reactions - which is why doctors usually recommend antihistamine medication…

Natural boosters

Apibal Freeze-Cracked Bee Pollen, which contains an extract of pollen, also aims to boost immunity and counter symptoms.

Video: Bee Pollen Recommended as Antioxidant Garnish

Throw A Green Dinner Party!
Katie Lee Joel Tells How To Make The Setting Eco-Friendly And The Fare Green And Delicious
CBS News, 4/15/2009

…After making the pasta, Katie poured the soup into espresso cups and garnished the dessert with the honey and bee pollen.

Bee pollen is said to strengthen the immune system through its antioxidant properties. It's been claimed that bee pollen improves oxygen uptake and helps accelerate recovery in training. Bee pollen is a mixture of bee saliva, plant pollen, and nectar. Some people take it thinking it has special health-enhancing properties; others take it because they think it acts as a performance booster…

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Save the Honeybees with a FREE Scoop of Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream on May 12!

Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Baltimore Restaurant Examiner, 4/24/2009

Haagen-Dazs is giving out free scoops of their "Bee-Built" ice cream flavors on May 12 The honeybees of the world are disappearing and the company is trying to help the situation. Haagen-Dazs was the first foray into "super-preium" ice cream -- higher in butterfat, more luxurious ingredients, sophisticated flavors, etc.

3rd International Forum on Apitherapy to be Held 2010 in Slovenia

Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, September 28 – 30 2010

Plenary Sessions

Systems and multidisciplinary approaches to the study of honeybee products from natural sources to human nutrition and medical applications.

Apiquality Forum

• Current state and development of international standards and legislation for honeybee products.
• Practice in the introduction of quality control systems for the production and processing of honeybee products.
• Local trademarks of honeybee products and their success on the global market

Apimedica Forum

• Nutritional value of honeybee products for target age and activity population groups.
• Role of microorganisms for honeybee products with added value (case of bee bread).
• Medical use of honey, current trends, and market situation

Satellite Symposia

Maribor, October 1, 2010
Satellite Symposium on Apitherapy
Honeybee products for human health care

Bled, October 1, 2010
Satellite Symposium on Apiquality
Beekeeping technology: focus on technology for higher quality honeybee products especially for medical use.

Dolenjske Toplice, October 1, 2010
Quality of bee products - focus on organic production

Lipica, October 1, 2010
Satellite Symposium on Apitherapy
Honeybee products in human and animal nutrition and health care

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Depression

Royal Jelly Facilitates Restoration of the Cognitive Ability in Trimethyltin-Intoxicated Mice
Evid. Based Complement. Altern. Med, April 17, 2009

Trimethyltin (TMT) is a toxic organotin compound that induces acute neuronal death selectively in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) followed by cognition impairment; however the TMT-injured hippocampal DG itself is reported to regenerate the neuronal cell layer through rapid enhancement of neurogenesis.

Neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/NPCs) are present in the adult hippocampal DG, and generate neurons that can function for the cognition ability. Therefore, we investigated whether royal jelly (RJ) stimulates the regenerating processes of the TMT-injured hippocampal DG, and found that orally administered RJ significantly increased the number of DG granule cells and simultaneously improved the cognitive impairment.

Furthermore, we have already shown that RJ facilitates neurogenesis of cultured NS/NPCs. These present results, taken together with previous observations, suggest that the orally administered RJ may be a promising avenue for ameliorating neuronal function by regenerating hippocampal granule cells that function in the cognition process…


Based on the results of the present study, we propose that RJ can facilitate neurogenesis in vivo, which suggests that RJ may serve a tool for protection against and therapy for some particular neurological disorders such as depression, whose etiology is associated with reduced hippocampal DG neurogenesis. RJ has the potential of being a promising evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine.

Honey and Its Healing Touch

By Neelanjana Singh, Indian Express, 4/25/2009

The story of honey is as ancient and fascinating as human civilisation. By most accounts, honey seems to have been in vogue since ancient times in the Vedic, Egyptian, Sumerian and Babylonian civilisations. I was not surprised to learn that the tomb of Tutankhamen, when opened, contained honey that had been stored for 3,300 years and was still perfectly edible. This highlights the importance and the stability of honey as a food.

In more recent times — during the course of the two world wars — wounded soldiers were treated with honey applied through poultices on their wounds. This was an effective way to prevent the wounds from being infected. Unfortunately, after the advent of penicillin and other antibiotics, the use of honey as a natural antibiotic seemed to have fallen out of favour.

Given the gay abandon with which antibiotics have been used and abused over the last several decades, the phenomenon of bacterial resistance to man-made antibiotics has flourished. This has compelled scientists to revisit the use of honey in the fight against microbes. The use of honey as an antibiotic has been well documented now. For instance, honey acts against H. pylori, the nasty bacteria that can create havoc in the stomach, and fungal infections. Very recent evidence suggests honey works against MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus infection), a strain of bacteria commonly referred to as ‘super bugs’. The effectiveness against microbes seems to stem from the phenolic compounds in honey, which are obtained naturally from plants and their flowers.

There are several other factors that enable honey to attack microbes. Honey contains small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which kills microbes. The peroxide is present because bees — when producing honey — add an enzyme called glucose oxidase.

This helps produce hydrogen peroxide from the sugar in honey.

Besides being effective as a wound dressing, a recent review of a scientific literature suggests honey helps treating mild burns and burns with partial thickness. This happens because honey reduces the healing time, in mild to moderately superficial burns, when compared to some conventional dressings. Honey has also been found effective in treating diabetic foot ulcers against the conventional iodine dressings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Manuka Honey Producers Split on Medicinal Test Standard

Sour Words Over Honey
By Kimberley Villari, The Independent, 4/24/2009

Relations between manuka honey producers are souring, with research splitting the industry over the best test to use to determine the product's healing properties.

Waikato University research released last week uncovered the source of methylglyoxal (MGO), one component which helps give manuka honey its antibacterial activity.

The scientists found MGO was derived from dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in the nectar of the manuka flower.

The finding allows tree varieties high in DHA to be identified and propagated, enabling producers to attract premium prices.

The honey can also be tested for DHA levels as soon as it is made to determine the viability of the end product, instead of waiting three months for it to ripen as happens now.

But some industry players are concerned the study's focus on MGO could confuse consumers trying to ascertain the effectiveness of manuka honey varieties. Until now, the accepted global measurement of the antibacterial strength of manuka honey has been Unique Manuka Factor, or UMF.

This follows the discovery, in 1991, that honey from some strains of the New Zealand manuka bush had an antibacterial activity not present in any other honey. The UMF trademark can be used only by manufacturers licensed through the Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA).

A honey manufacturer who fell out with the AMHA said the university's findings backed his company's decision in 2007 to move to using methylglyoxal as the measurement of the healing properties of its honey.

Kerry Paul, chief executive of another manufacturer, Manuka Health New Zealand, said the MGO rating had been adopted in 30 countries as a testing standard for manuka honey. The UMF testing system was ''inaccurate'', he said. ''If you look at scientific evidence, methylglyoxal is exclusively, responsible for the [healing properties of manuka honey].''…

AMHA brand manager John Rawcliffe said the organisation had spent considerable time and resources over the last year ''cleaning up the industry'' with regard to product claims.

Rawcliffe said he was pleased to see further research but said the study did not demonstrate MGO alone was the healing component of manuka honey. He was concerned the findings could encourage disreputable practices, like companies heating honey to artificially raise methylglyoxal levels.

AMHA has been conducting its own research on the correlation between MGO and healing, undertaking an inter-laboratory comparison programme intended to provide an internationally recognised standard in the near future…

Honey Used to Synthesize Nanoparticles

Honey Mediated Green Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles
Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, Article in Press

Bio-directed synthesis of nanoparticles is of interest to biologists, chemists and materials scientists alike, especially in light of efforts to find greener methods of inorganic material synthesis. Though the biosynthesis of gold nanoparticles has been carried out by several groups of scientists using plants, fungi and bacteria, so far there is no report on the use of natural honey - mankind's only sweetener for centuries - for the synthesis of nanoparticles.

Here, it is a report on a greener synthesis of Au nanoparticles using honey as reducing and capping agents…

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Propolis Flavonoid Possible Alternative to Anti-Cancer Drugs

Chrysin is Natural Alternative to Toxic Breast Cancer Drugs
By Barbara Minton, Natural Health, 4/21/2009

(NaturalNews) Women receiving the standard of care for breast cancer are often prescribed one of the aromatase inhibiting drugs as follow-up treatment. Patients are told the drug will prevent a recurrence of their disease. Aromatase inhibiting drugs are usually prescribed for the long term, with some women taking them for up to ten years.

There are long lists of frightening side effects associated with these drugs, and eventually they stop working. Unfortunately, women are not told by their oncologists that nature has provided highly effective natural compounds that will also prevent disease recurrence. These compounds have no such side effects and can be used for as long as a woman desires to use them. Many research studies have demonstrated that chyrsin is the most effective of these compounds…

Chrysin is a flavonoid from Passiflora incarnate, commonly called passion flower. In a study at the University of Minnesota, published in 1993, chrysin and several other flavonoids were compared to an aromatase inhibiting drug used to treat hormone sensitive cancers. Chyrsin was found to be the most effective of all the flavonoids tested, and was found to be equal in potency to the drug.

Chrysin has additional benefits that aromatase inhibiting drugs do not have. It a potent antioxidant that possesses vitamin-like activity in the body. It is an effective anti-inflammatory through the inhibition of the Cox 2 pathway…

Chrysin and other flavonoids from flowers are found in significant amounts in bee propolis and bee pollen. Any woman with signs of estrogen dominance may benefit from adding these flavonoid containing foods to her diet

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apitherapy Workshop in Michigan April 26, 2009

Kristine Jacobson, long-time member of the American Apitherapy Society and an experienced apitherapist, will speak at the Spring Meeting of the Southeast Michigan Beekeepers Association on Sunday, April 26, 2009.

Where: Lower Waterman Center, Schoolcraft College, 18600 Haggerty Road, Livonia, MI.
Program: 1:30 pm: Potluck - Bring a dish to pass and your own table service. Coffee and tea will be provided by SEMBA. 2:30 pm: “Apitherapy, RX for Healing,” by Kristine Jacobson, Apitherapist and Bee Venom Therapist

New Anti-Aging Skin Care Line Based on Bee Products

Cosmetics Chain Opens
Herald Tribune (USA), 4/21/2009

Colby Cosmetics Inc. has opened its first skin care boutique at Westfield Southgate Mall.

Before creating his line of skin care products, Bob Colby was the owner and chief executive of the Harco Manufacturing companies which provided packaging and filling for cosmetic companies such as Chanel, Estee Lauder, Mary Kay and Halston. Colby promises to open more boutiques in the coming year.

Colby Skin Care products are made from royal jelly extract, bee pollen extract, propolis, honey and other natural and organic ingredients.

Ethiopia 4th Largest Producer of Beeswax

Ethiopia: Land of Wax And Honey - Invest in Apiculture
All Africa, 4/15/2009

Ethiopia is Africa's leading producer of honey and the 4th largest producer of beeswax in the world. Beekeeping has been practiced in the region for centuries but the sector is still underdeveloped as small scale farmers often lack access to modern hives and international markets…

The diversity of Ethiopian flora ensures an adequate supply of bee forage at different times of the year. Varied climatic and ecological conditions mean that Ethiopia can sustain large numbers of bee colonies (it reportedly already has the largest bee population in Africa). The relatively low start-up costs also make this an attractive sector in which to invest.

There are numerous opportunities to invest in apiculture in Ethiopia. These include the introduction of methods to improve production and apiary management, processing of honey and beeswax and the further development of the export market for these products. Bee by-products are used not only in food but also in pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. Internationally the main importers of honey are the European Union, USA and Japan.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Photos Gallery: Rain Forest Honey Collectors in China

Yin Shiliang's sons climb a giant tree to collect honey in Mengla County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 19, 2009. Yin Shiliang and his two sons earn their living by collecting honey in the rain forests in April and May each year. They climb on trees and drive away bees with smoke before collecting honey. In this way they can collect more than 100 kilograms of honey in one single day.(Xinhua/Li Yunsheng)

Venezuelan Bee Pollen Analyzed

Chemical Composition of Fresh Bee Pollen Collected in the Misintá Páramo from the Venezuelan Andes [Article in Spanish]
Arch Latinoam Nutr, 2008 Dec;58(4):411-5

Venezuelan bee pollen has not been characterized, and marketing is not regulated. Pollen is consumed for apitherapeutical purposes for its nutritional and medicinal properties. This product of the hive is the most popular after honey; therefore it is necessary to characterize and to value it to initiate a database to support the proposal of a norm for bee pollen quality control.

Samples of bee pollen collected by bees in the Misintá páramo of Mérida state were characterized according to the chemical composition (moisture, ash, fat, pH, proteins) of four color fractions (yellow, orange, ochre, green). Yellow pollen was the most frequent fraction, with 2.18 g ash/100 g, 5.37 g ether extract/100 g, 14.88 g moisture/100 g, and 37.32 g proteins/100 g.

Beekeeping Closer to Being Legal in Minneapolis

By Jessica Chapman, City Pages, 4/20/2009

A committee of the Minneapolis City Council last week approved a city ordinance to allow beekeeping within the city limits. Mmm ... honey! The ordinance, introduced by Ward 3 Councilwoman Diane Hofstede and passed by the council's Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee, allows anyone living on 1/2 acre or less to have up to two bee colonies, with additional colonies permitted the larger the property. St. Paul already allows the practice...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Video: Bees Attack California Couple

CBS 2/KCAL 9 Los Angeles, 4/19/2009

Canadian Apitherapy Symposium: Value-Added Beehive Products

June 26-28th, 2009, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, June 28, 2009 - Apitherapy Symposium – “Value-Added Beehive Products”
University of Guelph- Rozanski Hall 105

8:30 am - Welcome Introduction – Annie vanAlten, Annie’s Apitherapy, Carlisle, ON
8:40 am – The Wonderful things about Honey – Dr. Karol Matthews, OVC, Guelph,
9:25 am – Bee Pollen Buzz – Anne Board, ‘Northern Nectars’, Restoule, Ont.
10:15am – Refreshment Break
10:30 am – Positively, Propolis for Healing – Stephan Board, ‘Northern Nectars’, Restoule, Ont.
12:00 noon – Lunch
1:15 pm – Richness of Royal Jelly- Ed Nowek of ‘Planet Bee’, Vernon. B.C.
2:15 pm – Bee-autiful Benefits of Beeswax–Annie vanAlten, Annie’s Apitherapy
3:15 pm – Refreshment Break
3:30 pm - Applying Bee Venom Therapy Techniques - Michael Simics, ‘Apitronic Services’, Richmond B.C.+ (he will introduce for 1st time, his newly developed “Bee Box”, holding-device), assisted by Stephan Board

4:45 pm – Roundtable Discussions - with presenters
6:00 pm - Symposium concludes
6:15 pm - members invited to attend an open -1st Ont. Apitherapy Association Board meeting, - University of Guelph – “Townsend House” Honey Bee Research Centre

Discovery of Manuka Tree Link to Active Ingredient Welcomed

News Release - 20 April 2009 - The only company to certify the active ingredient in its manuka honey products has welcomed the Waikato University discovery of a compound in New Zealand manuka tree nectar which converts to the honey’s antibacterial constituent.

Manuka Health New Zealand chief executive Kerry Paul said the discovery provided further scientific backing for his company’s move last year to launch MGO™ manuka honey which is certified to contain a specified level of the active ingredient.

“MGO™ manuka honey is fast becoming a global brand synonymous with the measurement of antibacterial effectiveness,” he said. “The research at Waikato University provides additional proof.”

Mr Paul said his company remained the only manuka honey producer to market its products on the basis of the active ingredient.

“The rest of the industry either markets untested products or continues to rely on a 15-year-old testing system which is known to be inaccurate.”

Manuka Health’s launch last year of MGO™ manuka honey followed the discovery by a German scientist that the natural compound methylglyoxal is responsible for manuka honey’s unique health-giving properties. The company’s MGO™ manuka honey ranges from MGO™100 (100 mg methyglyoxal per kg) to MGO™550…

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bee Pollen Components Exert Anti-Allergic Action

Lipid-Soluble Components of Honeybee-Collected Pollen Exert Antiallergic Effect by Inhibiting IgE-Mediated Mast Cell Activation In Vivo
Phytotherapy Research, 2009 Apr 15

It was shown previously that bee-collected pollen (bee pollen, BP), inhibited in vitro murine mast cell activation. This study further analysed the antiallergic effect of BP in vivo by measuring cutaneous mast cell activation using a passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction.

Daily oral administration of BP to mice, dose-dependently reduced the cutaneous mast cell activation elicited by IgE and specific antigens. Administration of BP also reduced the plasma concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA), an indicator of lipid peroxidation. The inhibitory effect of BP was mostly in a lipid- but not in water-soluble fraction…

These results first reveal that lipid-soluble components of BP exert an antiallergic action by inhibiting the FcåRI-mediated cutaneous mast cell activation.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Zealand Manuka Honey Producer Gets Help from U.S. Students

Students Work with Foreign Company
Mariela Contreras, The Daily Aztec, 4/16/2009

Students in the International Business Opportunity Development Project are working with the New Zealand company Watson and Son. The company is a main producer of Manuka honey in the U.S.

San Diego State international entrepreneurship students are working on an International Business Opportunities Development Project in which the students’ main goal is to manage a plan for a specific company’s entry into the United State’s Market.

With the guidance of Martina Musteen, Ph.D., assistant professor at SDSU and winner of the 2008 Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award, entrepreneur students have been given the choice to work with companies from New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Slovakia, Chile and Jordan.

Watson & Son “was definitely one of the most desired by the students. It is an exciting young company from New Zealand,” Musteen said.

This New Zealand company is the main producer and distributor of manuka honey in the United States. Students are working on a plan in which they must provide ways to promote Watson & Son all over the country....

Watson & Son Company primarily focuses on the production of manuka honey. This unique honey is only found in New Zealand and its properties help fight wounds including diabetic ulcers.

Bees May Drive Flowers to Produce Attractive Odors

Honeybees Don't Fall for Cheap Perfume
Buzzing pollinators could be driving flower to produce their sweet aromas
MSNBC, 4/15/2009

Fragrant spring flowers and floral perfumes are possible thanks to the discriminating scent sense of honeybees, suggests a new study that found the buzzing pollinators could be driving flowers to produce their intoxicating aromas…

Friday, April 17, 2009

Source of Active Ingredient in Manuka Honey Identified

Manuka Honey Health Benefit Found
NZPA, 4/17/2009

Waikato University researchers have discovered a compound in the nectar of manuka trees which converts to the antibacterial ingredient that active manuka honey is known for.

"We have known for some time that the unique antibacterial activity of manuka honey is associated with the presence of methylglyoxal, or MGO," Associate Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris said.

"But until now the origin of methylglyoxal was not known. It's well-known among beekeepers that the MGO increases with storage, but there was no research to underpin this belief."

A test to predict the potential for a drum of honey to develop antibacterial activity during storage has been patented by the university's commercialisation arm, WaikatoLink, and would be made available to industry…

The research from Waikato's chemistry department showed dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, is present in young honeys shortly after bees deposit it in the comb. As the honey ripens, the DHA converts to MGO, the component which gives the manuka honey its antibacterial activity.

During the research, young manuka honey was stored for 120 days and showed a strong correlation in the drop-off of DHA, and the increase in MGO over that time. Because DHA is not antibacterial like the MGO is, the antibacterial activity increases as the honey matures.

Manley-Harris said once researchers realised the DHA was the precursor to MGO they set about finding out where the DHA came from. They discovered it when they tested the nectar in manuka flowers from various trees around Hamilton and the Waikato.

By testing the nectar of the manuka flowers it was possible to identify which trees would produce highly active manuka honey when harvested by bees…

Waikato's chemistry research has recently been published in the journal Carbohydrate Research.

Source: The Origin of Methylglyoxal in New Zealand Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) Honey

U.S. City May Approve Urban Beekeeping

Buzz at Minneapolis City Hall Favors Ending 34-Year Beekeeping Ban
By Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune (USA), 4/15/2009

To bee or not to bee?

It's looking like the former, with a proposal to legalize beekeeping in Minneapolis advancing unanimously at City Hall on Wednesday.

City gardeners and hobbyists with cases of hives already showed up at a City Council committee to argue for a proposal by Council Member Diane Hofstede that would set the requirements for keeping bees in the city after a 34-year ban.

St. Paul has allowed beekeeping for decades, and the League of Minnesota Cities reports more cities are getting inquiries from residents.

"They're extremely important little creatures," University of Minnesota entomology Prof. Marla Spivak, whose research specialty is honey bees, told the council. Advocates listed benefits ranging from better pollination of gardens and fruit trees to the sweet reward of honey.

She and other supporters had to deal with a few common misconceptions to reassure the council's regulatory committee.

"They truly are docile -- beyond gentle," Nicollet Island resident Peat Willcutt said. Even swarms that occur when a colony of bees divides are relatively calm, Spivak said.

But the proposed ordinance includes a few safeguards designed to keep the neighbors calm, too. Consent from all abutting property owners would be required, plus 80 percent of owners within 100 feet of the keeper's lot. The bee area would have to be fenced, with flyways devised with barriers to get bees to altitude quickly when the hive is near a property line. Keepers would be required to get some schooling and a city permit of $100 initially and $50 annually…

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Honey Bandage Credited with Saving Leg from Amputation

Manuka Honey Pilgrim Meets His Benefactors
The New Zealand Herald, 4/15/2009

As the cruise liner Millennium pulled into port at Tauranga, the sense of anticipation built in passenger Tom Lloyd - not because he was excited to see the sights of the Bay, but because the American was finally going to meet the people who changed his life.

Mr Lloyd made a beeline for Paengaroa - and Comvita - to meet the makers of the manuka honey dressings he credits with saving his leg from amputation.

The successful treatment of a rare infection - one only 27 people are recorded as having - gained attention worldwide after New York doctors used manuka bandages when other traditional treatments failed.

The kidney-transplant recipient got the infection in his right leg just days before Christmas in 2007. With a weakened immune system and the aggressive antibiotic treatment not working, the infection spread to his spinal fluid and the situation looked grim.

Doctors were able to stop the spread of the yeast infection without the need for kidney dialysis - but a sore on his leg refused to heal…

The 68-year-old was told doctors would have to either amputate the leg or cut out the dead skin and replace it with flesh from another part of his body.

That was until a nurse suggested trying MediHoney, a manuka-soaked bandage made of seaweed that had just been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

"I thought great, let's try anything," he said.

Within two weeks, the natural remedy had done something traditional medicines had been unable to do over two months…

So, when he and wife Sally booked a two-week cruise around Australia and New Zealand, Mr Lloyd noticed that the stop in Tauranga offered a tour of Comvita.

A Russian Living at the White House?

Russians Saving U.S. from Colony Collapse Disorder
Russian bees are stationed at the White House. (That's a good thing.)
By Kim Flottum, The Daily Green, 4/14/2009

…Down in Baton Rouge, La., there's a USDA Honey Bee Research Lab. There, they've imported and refined several strains of pretty much mongrel bees from eastern Russia that have been living with varroa for over a hundred years. In that time those varroa mites have taken a terrible toll on those bees. But not all of them died. In fact, some have thrived, and it was offspring from these varroa- and tracheal mite-tolerant bees that came to America. After vigorous inspections and extended isolation time to make certain they were disease and pest free, plus a few years of controlled breeding to increase even more this tolerance to mites, they have been released to the beekeepers here that need them. The result is that beekeepers using Russian bees use far fewer (and often no) mite control chemicals to keep their bees healthy…

And now, apparently, Russians are coming to the White House. This July the White House hive is to get one of these USDA developed Russian Queens so that varroa tolerance will reside in DC, too. The White House and the Secretary of the Department Of Agriculture engineered this late last week, and come July, a Russian will be living at the White House. How sweet is that?...

Cure For Honey Bee Colony Collapse?

ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2009) — For the first time, scientists have isolated the parasite Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) from professional apiaries suffering from honey bee colony depopulation syndrome. They then went on to treat the infection with complete success.

In a study published in the new journal from the Society for Applied Microbiology: Environmental Microbiology Reports, scientists from Spain analysed two apiaries and found evidence of honey bee colony depopulation syndrome (also known as colony collapse disorder in the USA). They found no evidence of any other cause of the disease (such as the Varroa destructor, IAPV or pesticides), other than infection with Nosema ceranae. The researchers then treated the infected surviving under-populated colonies with the antibiotic drug, flumagillin and demonstrated complete recovery of all infected colonies…

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bee Pollen Recommended to Help Prevent Cancer

Take Ten Steps for a Cancer-Free Life, Part II
By Barbara Minton, 4/8/2009

(NaturalNews) …Several studies have shown that people with high vitamin D levels have lower rates of cancer. Vitamin D stifles abnormal cell growth, helps cells die when they are supposed to, and curbs formation of blood vessels that feed tumors.

One good way to make sure you get any nutrient in which you might be deficient is to use whole food supplements that contain most or all nutrients. Taking isolated nutrients crammed into a multivitamin capsule offers nowhere near the same level of nutrition. One of the best of these is bee pollen, nature's whole food supplement that provides complete nutrition. In bee pollen these nutrients exist in perfect synergy enhancing each other to the fullest and creating high bioavailability. Bee pollen has been shown in studies to prevent and treat cancer. Avoid low quality bee pollen tablets because many of the nutrients are compromised in their processing. Choose bee pollen granules, preferably locally produced, that can be eaten by the spoonful…

Honey Additives May Not Improve Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidant Properties and Phenolic Content of Different Floral Origin Honeys
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 1 (2) pp. 43 – 50, April 2009

…This is the first study reporting the results of a representative screening of Croatian honeys for antioxidant capacity, conducted on a sample set of 18 honeys and 8 special honey preparations.

On the basis of employed analytical methods, the tested honeys may be considered easily accessible natural sources of antioxidants and valuable additions to everyday diet. Taken with fruit tea, they get transformed to functional fruit drinks.

Although special honeys with the addition of various fruit/vegetable extracts and propolis were initially presumed to have the best antioxidant properties, the results have shown that heterofloral honeys are characterized by the highest mean TP content (58.75 mg GAE/100 g), the highest mean reducing capacity (57.66 mM Fe(II)) and the best mean radical scavenging properties with respect to both DPPH· (16.66 mg AAE/100 g) and ABTS·+ radicals (35.27 mg AAE/100 g) in the analyzed set of honey samples.

From the consumer’s point of view, caution should be exercised in choosing honeys, since those often advertised as containing potent antioxidants may in fact contain additives that do not improve their antioxidant properties

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brazilian Stingless Bee Propolis Shows Lower Antioxidant Activity than that of Apis Mellifera

Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Propolis from Three Species of Scaptotrigona Stingless Bees
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 1 (2) pp. 37 – 42, April 2009

Propolis is a resinous substance collected by bees from various plant sources; therefore, its composition depends on the season, the species of bee, vegetation and the area of collection.

This study compared samples of propolis collected monthly from three species of Scaptotrigona bees from two distinct regions in Brazil.

Ethanol extracts of the propolis samples were prepared and evaluated for their antioxidant activity by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging method (DPPH). The composition of the extracts was evaluated by Electrospray Ionization - Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS) fingerprinting and the results were compared by Principal Component Analysis (PCA).

Differences in the composition of samples from different species were observed as well as monthly variations within each species. Antioxidant activity also varied monthly for each species, with the highest activity (lowest ED50 results) observed in the spring.

Seasonality and geographic origin affected the composition and antioxidant activity of Scaptotrigona bee propolis…

…these samples of Scaptotrigona propolis present a much lower antioxidant activity than samples of Apis mellifera propolis from Brazil...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Honey: The Sweetest Cure for Hayfever

As the pollen count rises try honey as a natural weapon against hayfever.
By Cassandra Jardine, The Telegraph (UK), 4/10/2009

Under a microscope, pollen looks charming – little spiky balls like those used in Pilates classes. Up the nose, however, it is such a menace that a fifth of the population dreads the coming of summer. Dry, sunny days when the pollen count is high make their noses run and eyes stream.

Most of the remedies for hay fever aren't very attractive either. You can lock yourself indoors next to an air-conditioning unit, feel drowsy on anti-histamines, or worry about what steroids are doing to your body. So, swallowing a spoonful of honey a day is a delightful alternative.

Thousands of people swear by it, saying that a spoonful a day, preferably starting well before the pollen season, has transformed their lives. The principle behind it is desensitisation. The pollen that bees collect is the heavy-grained variety that doesn't cause problems.

But, honey being sticky, it may also contain small amounts of the lighter, wind-blown pollens that inflame the lining of the nose and eyes. These are chiefly from grass and trees such as birch, which normally begin to blossom around the third week of April and trigger allergies in a quarter of hay-fever sufferers.

John Howat, secretary of the Bee Farmers Association of the UK, says: "I used to suffer dreadfully myself until I had been keeping bees for a couple of years. Since then, hardly ever. I don't eat much honey, so the effect could be related to all the stings I've had, or to burying my head in beehives every week."

But is there any evidence that honey is an effective anti-allergen? It certainly appears to have some medicinal properties. Studies have shown that as an antibacterial and healing agent it is better than over-the-counter remedies for coughs, colds and sore throats.

Greater claims are made for honey derived from particular crops, such as manuka. One company, Life Mel, cites research to support its claim that bees fed on ginseng and echinacea may boost the immunities of people undergoing chemotherapy. A further study is under way…

Most supporters of honey as a remedy recommend raw, unfiltered honey, but David Bondi, chairman of the Honey Association, which represents commercial producers, says any local product should work. "Honey isn't a processed product. All we do is strain it to take out the impurities and heat it gently to 40-50C to get it into jars. Straining shouldn't matter as the strainer holes are much bigger than the pollen. Heating wouldn't kill off the pollen, which is very robust – you can still find honey in ancient Egyptian tombs. And it makes no difference whether the honey is clear or set, that's just how it crystallises."…

Brazilian Propolis Suppresses Tumor Growth

Brazilian Propolis Suppresses Angiogenesis by Inducing Apoptosis in Tube-forming Endothelial Cells through Inactivation of Survival Signal ERK1/2
Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. Medicine, Published online on April 7, 2009

We recently reported that propolis suppresses tumor-induced angiogenesis through tube formation inhibition and apoptosis induction in endothelial cells. However, molecular mechanisms underlying such angiogenesis suppression by propolis have not been fully elucidated.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of ethanol extract of Brazilian propolis (EEBP) on two major survival signals, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and Akt, and to elucidate whether changes in these signals were actually involved in antiangiogenic effects of the propolis. Detection by western blotting revealed that EEBP suppressed phosphorylation of ERK1/2, but not that of Akt. Pharmacological inhibition by U0126 demonstrated that ERK1/2 inactivation alone was enough to inhibit tube formation and induce apoptosis. It was also shown that EEBP and U0126 similarly induced activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) and lamin A/C, all of which are molecular markers of apoptosis.

These results indicate that inhibition of survival signal ERK1/2, and subsequent induction of apoptosis, is a critical mechanism of angiogenesis suppression by EEBP…

Propolis is generally used as an alcohol or water extracts in human applications and not as a single purified compound. In addition, the chemical composition of propolis is known to vary qualitatively and quantitatively depending upon their geographical and botanical origins (23,32). Due to such differences, biological activities of propolis also differ depending upon their origins (23,33–35). Hence, it is very important to evaluate biological activities of propolis in extracted form with specified geographical and botanical origins and clarified chemical composition (36).

In this study, we showed that EEBP inhibited ERK1/2 activation. We previously reported that Brazilian propolis, collected from Baccharis dracunculifolia DC. in Minas Gerais State, were composed mainly of artepillin C, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid (23,37). We also reported recently that several constituents of Brazilian and Uruguayan propolis possessed antiangiogenic activities with varying degrees (38). We would like to further investigate which constituents of the propolis are responsible for ERK1/2 inactivation in endothelial cells. Although EEBP and U0126 had very similar effects on tube formation inhibition and apoptosis induction, it should be noted that the propolis exhibited stronger antiangiogenic activities, such as inhibiting elongation of endothelial cells during tube formation, than those of U0126. Such results suggest a possibility that there might be mechanism(s) other than ERK1/2 inactivation in angiogenesis suppression by EEBP. We would like to further investigate how the propolis affects other signaling pathways involved in angiogenesis and apoptosis. We hope our findings on antiangiogenic effects of propolis will help us improve medical treatment and prevention of human cancer and other angiogenesis-related diseases.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Greek Apitherapy Conference a Success

MELIAMA 2009: 6th Panhellenic Apitherapy Congress & Workshops

The Greek Scientific Apitherapy Center announces the successful completion of the 6th Apitherapy Congress & Workshops, held over the period of March 26-29. The congress included three days seminars for various medical specialties and exhibition. It took place at the Institute of Agronomic Sciences, Ktima Syggrou, Maroussi, Athens, Greece.

The core of MELIAMA '09 was in health. More than 300 people participated to this event with impressive the presence of various medical specialties (pathologists, cardiologists, rheumatologists, homeopaths) as well as dieticians, nutritionists, pharmacists and other health related professions.

The seminars that took place at March 26, 27 and 28 attracted a lot of scientists & physicians who were interested in learning the healing properties of the honey bee products. The proved and documented effects of the beehive products now seem to convince the medical community to use them.

This year, MELIAMA congress was the fertile soil that allowed scientists, pharmacists and beekeepers to exchange knowledge and expertise bringing to the light important researches that promote human quality of life…

For more information :

GSCA, 7, Chryson , 136 71 Acharnai, Athens , Greece
Tel./ Fax : +30 210 2465021, ,


VITAL LINKS, 42, Tepeleniou Str., 166 73 Voula, Athens, Greece
Tel/Fax: +30 210 8957600,

Video: Dance of the Honeybee Holds Key to Survival

Alison Benjamin, The Observer (UK), 5 April 2009

The "waggle dance" of honeybees is one of nature's great wonders: a sophisticated communication system that conveys distances and directions from the hive to sources of nectar. Now a British scientist is hoping to read the dance in order to reverse the honeybee's critical decline.

Francis Ratnieks, the UK's only professor of apiculture, is undertaking pioneering research using observation hives and video cameras to determine the plants and flowers that honeybees visit. In the process he hopes to learn how the countryside and urban areas can be made more bee-friendly…

Video: U.S. Bee Products Supplier Promotes Hive Health

Honeybee Bonanza at GloryBee in Eugene
By Arrianee LeBeau, KVAL News, 4/10/2009

For several years beekeepers have been reporting a drop in adult honey bees called Colony Collapse Disorder. But some people at GloryBee Foods Factory are working to make sure bees survive the test of time.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bee Venom Protein May Help Fight Cancer

Dextrin-Phospholipase A(2): Synthesis and Evaluation as a Bioresponsive Anticancer Conjugate
Biomacromolecules, 2009 Apr 8

There is still an urgent need for improved treatments for metastatic cancer. Although the phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) crotoxin, an antitumor protein that appears to act by interaction with epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR), has recently shown activity in breast cancer in phase I clinical trials, it also displayed nonspecific neurotoxicity.

Therefore, the aim of this study was to apply a novel concept called polymer-masked-unmasked-protein therapy (PUMPT) to give a bioresponsive dextrin-PLA(2) conjugate that would reduce PLA(2) systemic toxicity but retain antitumor activity following alpha-amylase triggered degradation of dextrin in the tumor interstitium…

The reduced toxicity and alpha-amylase triggered activity of the dextrin-PLA(2) conjugate confirmed the potential of this approach for further development as a novel anticancer treatment.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Propolis Component Relaxes Coronary Artery Ring Segments

The Vasorelaxant Effect of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester on Porcine Coronary Artery Ring Segments
Vascular Pharmacology, Article in Press

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a naturally occurring compound isolated from honeybee propolis whose cardiovascular properties remain uncertain. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible mechanisms of CAPE-induced vasorelaxation in porcine coronary artery rings.

It was found that both the quiescent and pre-contracted coronary artery ring segments were relaxed by CAPE (10- 7 ~ 10- 4 M). Nω-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), methylene blue and removal of endothelium significantly attenuated CAPE-induced relaxation of both quiescent and pre-contracted artery rings. This relaxing effect of CAPE on coronary arteries was also significantly reduced by propranolol, and SQ22536, but not by indomethacin. In addition, the dose-response curves of KCl (2.5 ~ 100 mM) and CaCl2 (10- 5 ~ 10- 2 M) were displaced downwards in the presence of CAPE.

These results suggest that the relaxant effect of CAPE on porcine coronary artery rings might involve the action of nitric oxide (NO) and adrenergic β-receptor, together with their second messenger, cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), respectively, but not involve the synthesis of prostaglandin.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Honey May be Useful as Alternative Ulcer Treatment

An African Perspective on Helicobacter pylori: Prevalence of Human Infection, Drug Resistance, and Alternative Approaches to Treatment
Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Volume 103, Number 3, April 2009 , pp. 189-204(16)

Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative, micro-aerophilic, motile, curved rod that inhabits the gastric mucosa of the human stomach. It chronically infects thousands of millions of people world-wide, and is one of the most genetically diverse of bacterial species. Infection with the bacterium leads to chronic gastritis, peptic ulceration, gastric cancers and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid-tissue (MALT) lymphoma. The prevalence of infection appears to be partly determined by geographical and socio-demographic factors, being higher in Africa than elsewhere.

Current treatment, based on potent combinations that each consist of a proton-pump inhibitor and two antibiotics, is successful in 80%-90% of patients. Some undesirable side-effects, poor patient compliance and drug resistance are, however, associated with significant levels of treatment failure and with contra-indications for some patients.

Antibiotic resistance in H. pylori is a growing global concern that merits the urgent attention of public-health authorities. Numerous pieces of clinical evidence have revealed that eradication of the organism from a patient results in improvement of gastritis and drastically decreases the frequency of relapse of gastric and duodenal ulcers. Natural products, including medicinal plants and honey, may offer useful alternatives in the treatment of H. pylori-related infections.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

UK Official Says Pesticides Not a Threat to Honey Bees

Government Rejects Calls to Ban Neonicotinoids
By Mary Clarke, Glee Birmingham (UK), 4/7/2009

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Hilary Benn has rejected calls by the Soil Association to ban the use of Neonicotinoids, a type of insecticide that it claims kills honey bees.

The insecticide has been withdrawn from use and sale in France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia and the Soil Association is campaigning for the British Government to take the same action to stem the decline in honey bee populations…

Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett said: "While new funding and new research are welcome, it will not help if the Government ignores existing scientific evidence that has led other countries to ban chemicals known to kill bees.

"The Government prefers to blame ‘very wet weather’ and poor management by ‘less experienced beekeepers’ than to face their own responsibility to control bee-killing chemicals that have been used on up to 1.5 million acres of farmland in the UK."…

Honey Helps Weight Loss, Immune Response, Memory

Available at Your Pharmacy Now: Honey
By Julia Griffin, Miller-McCune, 4/3/2009

It's increasingly known that honey can act as a salve on the outside of the body, but tests performed on rats show honey's traditional healing properties really do work from the inside, too — aiding weight loss, immune response and even memory.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that two-thirds of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight. An Antipodean academic sees the shift toward diets high in sugar and fat, but low in actual nutrition, as a key factor in these rising rates.

Lynne Chepulis, who recently earned a Ph.D. from the University of Waikato in New Zealand (home of the highly regarded, and tasty, manuka honey), has spent the last 15 years researching the potential health benefits of honey — a natural associated with increased risks of Type II sweetener high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with a low glycemic index. And she's just published a book on her findings, Healing Honey.

Foods with a high glycemic index contain carbohydrates that are easily broken down and absorbed more quickly into the blood stream than foods with a low GI. Diets containing large amounts of high GI foods are diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hyperglycemia. Because GI carbohydrates in the American diet primarily come from sugars, refined starches and grains, high GI diets also place individuals at risk for obesity.

Chepulis believes switching the "sweetness" of diets from sugar (high GI) to honey (low GI) may improve overall health, and her extensive research of rat diets has unveiled multiple benefits of honey previously unknown to science.

On multiple occasions, Chepulis found that rats fed honey-based diets had lower body weights and 10 percent less body fat than rats fed sugar diets — an effect observed in both juvenile rats given the diets for six weeks and adult rats fed the diets for a full year. The weights of honey-fed rats were similar to but still slightly less than the weight of rats given a sugar-free diet...

Chepulis also found that rats fed a honey-based diet had 15 to 20 percent higher HDL ("good") cholesterol. More research is needed to determine what factors are responsible because neither the observed weight loss nor the low GI value of honey can fully explain this effect…

In a 2007 study, Chepulis found a 12-month honey diet induces a significant boost to an adult rat's immune system in two similar but distinct ways…

An experiment on honey's impact on behavior found that honey-fed rats had better spatial memory and lower anxiety than rats fed either a sugar-based or sugar-free diet…

Chepulis said future studies are needed to determine the optimal fructose, antioxidant and enzyme content of honey, which varies depending on region and pollen type, and how food processing affects the health benefits of the sweet substance.

While her research has only dealt with rodents, Chepulis believes her results indicate that switching human diets from sugar to honey could have numerous health and cognitive benefits — especially since the rats in her experiments were all fed diets proportional in caloric and nutritional content to those of people…

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Propolis Delays Onset of Kidney Damage Caused by Diabetes

Experimental Diabetic Nephropathy Can be Prevented by Propolis: Effect on Metabolic Disturbances and Renal Oxidative Parameters
Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 2, April 2009

Oxidative stress may play a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Propolis and its extract have antioxidant properties. The effect of ethanolic extract of propolis against experimental diabetes mellitus-associated changes was examined…

These results may suggest a strong antioxidant effect of propolis which can ameliorate oxidative stress and delay the occurrence of diabetic nephropathy in diabetes mellitus.

In conclusion, propolis has an antioxidant effect which can decrease metabolic disturbances and oxidative stress that are associated with diabetes. Consumption of food and drink containing effective antioxidant agents as propolis may delay the onset and/or progression of diabetic nephropathy and delay the occurrence of diabetes-associated renal function impairment.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Propolis May Help Prevent Diabetes

Potential Antidiabetic and Hypolipidemic Effects of Propolis Extract in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 2, April 2009

Free radicals have been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus leading to various complications including atherosclerosis. Propolis was reported to have oxygen radical scavenging activity. The present study was designed to investigate the possible antidiabetic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP)…

Oral administration of propolis extract in doses of 100,200 & 300 mg/kg bwt improved the body and kidney weights, serum glucose, lipid profile, MDA and renal function tests. Renal GSH, SOD and CAT were significantly increased while MDA was markedly reduced. These results may suggest a strong antioxidant effect of propolis which can ameliorate oxidative stress and delay the occurrence of diabetic nephropathy in diabetes mellitus…

In conclusion, EEP offers a promising therapeutic value in prevention of diabetes and dyslipidemic profile. These effects could be mainly attributed to its antioxidant properties as shown by significant quenching impact on the extent of lipid peroxidation along with, enhancement of antioxidant defense systems in pancreatic tissue. Further studies will be needed in future to determine the main active ingredient having the beneficial antidiabetic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Honey a Promising Candidate for Colon Cancer Prevention

Honey Constituents and Their Apoptotic Effect in Colon Cancer Cells
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 1 (2) pp. 29 - 36

Honey finds a vital role in various applications using its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Our objective was to study the constituents and explore the apoptotic effect of the selected crude honey samples in colon cancer cell lines namely HCT 15 and HT 29…

MTT assay revealed the honey sample containing higher phenolic content showed significant anti-proliferative effect against colon cancer cells. Propidium iodide (PI) staining of 3 % honey treated cells indicated a significant number of cells accumulating in Sub-G1 phase (indicator of apoptosis) after 24 hours. Further, in HT 29 cells, honey elevated the caspase-3 level and displayed typical ladder pattern confirming apoptosis. Most of the drugs used in the cancer are apoptotic inducers, hence apoptotic nature of honey is considered vital…

Four kinds of honey from various geographical locations were analysed. The phenolic content, functional groups and flouorophore present in the honey varied among the samples…Further research illustrated that honey-induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells depends upon the concentration of the honey and the cell line tested. Moreover apoptosis inducing ability of all honey types were different. Samples showing higher phenolic content and tryptophan residues displayed significant anti-proliferative potential. Cell cycle analysis suggested honey induces apoptosis by arresting the cells at sub-G1 phase.

Moreover, DNA ladder and activation of caspase-3 were found to be associated with honey induced apoptosis. Since most of the drugs used for cancer therapy are apoptotic inducers, apoptotic nature of honey is considered vital. Detailed investigation of mechanism behind the honey-induced apoptosis is in progress in our laboratory to further validate crude honey as a promising candidate for colon cancer prevention.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Video: Man Survives 3,000 Bee Stings

Phoenix, AZ. -- A Nevada man is recovering in a Phoenix, Arizona hospital after he was stung 3,000 times by a swarm of killer bees.

Re-Branded Latin American Honey Cough Syrup Boosts Sales

P&G's Trickle-Up Success: Sweet as Honey
Vicks Cough Syrup with Honey started out as a Latin American product, but Procter & Gamble saw an opportunity to offer it in richer markets
By Reena Jana, Business Week, 3/31/2009

A new over-the-counter medicine from Vicks that has become popular in Switzerland in the past year isn't as new as it seems. The product, Vicks Cough Syrup with Honey, is really just the latest version of an elixir that Vicks parent Procter & Gamble (PG) initially created for lower-income consumers in Mexico­ and then "trickled up" to richer lands...

Honey Cough originated in 2003 in P&G's labs in Caracas, Venezuela, which creates products for all of Latin America. Market researchers found that Latin American shoppers tended to prefer homeopathic remedies for coughs and colds. So they set out to create a medicine using natural honey rather than artificial flavors typically used. P&G introduced the syrup in Mexico first, under the label VickMiel, and then in other Latin American markets such as Brazil.

P&G wagered that the product could appeal to parts of the U.S. that have large Hispanic populations. In 2005, the company rebranded it as Vicks Casero for sale in California and Texas, at a price slightly less than Vicks' mainstay product, Vicks Formula 44. P&G won't release sales figures, but within the first year of its release the Cincinnati company boosted distribution to 27% more outlets…

Friday, April 03, 2009

Propolis a Valuable Source of New Bioactive Molecules

Chemical Diversity of Propolis Makes it a Valuable Source of New Biologically Active Compounds
Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science, 1 (2): 23 - 28 (2009)

Propolis with its diverse pharmacological activities and low toxicity has attracted the attention of modern scientists since about 50 years. However, propolis, or bee glue, has demonstrated remarkable chemical variability, which is a serious obstacle to its standardization and consequently, to its official acceptance into the main stream of our healthcare system.

On the other hand, the variation in the chemistry of propolis from different ecosystems has made it a source of new biologically active molecules, mainly antioxidative, antibacterial and anticancer agents. The most important recent findings concerning bioactive molecules isolated from propolis are reviewed and discussed here…

Research into propolis has revealed the pharmacological properties of substances previously known as plant secondary metabolites, but insufficiently evaluated. Analysis of propolis has also led to the discovery of many valuable plant substances that otherwise might not have been found. This is due to the ability of honeybees to find, in whatever environment they inhabit, sources of substances in plants that provide an efficient protection of their hives from infections and from the elements of weather.

Obviously, the study of bee glue and the search for plants used by bees for propolis collection in tropical, subtropical and even northern regions has the potential to uncover new biologically active compounds with important pharmacological effects, especially antibacterial, antioxidant and anticancer substances. For this reason, new types of propolis from unexplored regions will continue to attract growing interest among scientists searching for new bioactive molecules.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

UK Company Offers Honey Pills to Soothe Stomach Complaints

The Sun (UK), 4/2/09

AND for those too lazy to open a jar, HONEY PILLS were launched this week by the company Lifeplan.

The tablets contain half a gram of manuka honey, which studies suggest may have antibacterial properties and help to soothe stomach complaints.

According to the manufacturers, some people can’t stomach the taste of manuka honey, which is different to the normal stuff. So they’ve bunged it into a tablet...

Royal Jelly Protein Inhibits Growth of American Foulbrood Bacteria

Towards Functional Proteomics of Minority Component of Honeybee Royal Jelly: The Effect of Post-Translational Modifications on the Antimicrobial Activity of Apalbumin2
PROTEOMICS, 25 Mar 2009

This study illustrates multifunctionality of proteins of honeybee royal jelly (RJ) and how their neofunctionalization result from various PTMs of maternal proteins.

Major proteins of RJ, designated as apalbumins belong to a protein family consisting of nine members with Mr of 49-87 kDa and they are accompanied by high number of minority homologs derived from maternal apalbumins.

In spite of many data on diversity of apalbumins, the molecular study of their individual minority homologous is still missing. This work is a contribution to functional proteomics of second most abundant protein of RJ apalbumin2 (Mr 52.7 kDa).

We have purified a minority protein from RJ; named as apalbumin2a, differ from apalbumin2 in Mr (48.6 kDa), in N-terminal amino acids sequences - ENSPRN and in N-linked glycans. Characterization of apalbumin2a by LC-MALDI TOF/TOF MS revealed that it is a minority homolog of the major basic royal jelly protein, apalbumin2, carrying two fully occupied N-glycosylation sites, one with high-mannose structure, HexNAc2Hex9, and another carrying complex type antennary structures, HexNAc4Hex3 and HexNAc5Hex4.

We have found that apalbumin2a inhibit growth of Paenibacillus larvae. The obtained data call attention to functional plasticity of RJ proteins with potential impact on functional proteomics in medicine.