Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Green Propolis Has Better Antibacterial Activity Than Stingless Bee Propolis

Effects of Stingless Bee and Honey Bee Propolis on Four Species of Bacteria
Genet Mol Res, 2009;8(2):635-40

We examined the antibacterial activities of several types of propolis, including Africanized honey bee green propolis and propolis produced by meliponini bees. The antibacterial activity of green propolis against Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus was superior to that of Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona sp propolis. Only two samples of propolis (green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis) were efficient against Escherichia coli. Melipona quadrifasciata propolis was better than green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We concluded that these resins have potential for human and veterinary medicine…

Although we did no chemical analyses of the propolis extracts, propolis composition should certainly differ among these samples and would be responsible for their differing antibacterial activity. This conclusion is supported by the findings of Bankova et al. (1998), who reported differences in propolis chemical composition produced by species of Brazilian stingless bees.

We conclude that, in general, green honey bee propolis is better than stingless bee propolis; we also conclude that these resins have potential importance for human and veterinary medicine.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Video: Bees Go Sightseeing in NYC

NEW YORK (WABC) -- An urban bee-wrangler says a swarm of at least 8,000 honeybees will be getting a new home after causing a buzz of excitement on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Onlookers applauded as the New York Police Department's beekeeper, Officer Anthony Planakis, corralled the huge swarm Sunday on Lexington Avenue…

‘Electronic Tongue’ Used to Identify Honey Floral Origins

Technique Potential for Classification of Honey by Electronic Tongue
Journal of Food Engineering, Volume 94, Issues 3-4, October 2009, Pages 260-266

An electronic tongue was used to classify honey samples of different floral origins and geographical origins. Eight kinds of honeys of different floral origins and five kinds of Acacia honeys of different geographical origins were detected. The data obtained were analyzed by three-pattern recognition techniques: Principal component analysis (PCA), Cluster analysis (CA), and Artificial neural network (ANN).

It was possible to discriminate the eight kinds of honeys of different floral origins completely based on PCA, while good results were shown by CA and ANN, too; the five kinds of Acacia honey from different geographical origins could not be differentiated clearly by PCA, however, ANN was the most effective feature extraction method compared with CA and PCA, and the correction rate could reach to 95%.

The soluble sugar content and conductance of the samples were also detected in this paper and some interesting regularity is shown in the score plots with the help of PCA.

Unrefined Beeswax Key Ingredient in Skin Care Line

Di Minds Her Own Beeswax
The Daily (Australia), 6/27/2009

Imagine running a business where your primary source of production is beeswax, yet you are allergic to bees.

For Di Elliott, that's a reality she gladly lives with because the alternative is unconscionable.

The 58-year-old operates Essdale Park Australia at Kilkivan, about an hour-and-a-half north of the Sunshine Coast.

There she makes organic, naturally-derived skincare products from a combination of beeswax, lavender and essential oils that help with various skin conditions…

Soon after, Di started introducing the products she had initially only been making for herself and her family to the farm, where they proved very popular with guests.

At one stage, they had 26 products on the go - using their very own lavender and beeswax.

“We kept getting these amazing reports (about our products),” Di said.

Intrigued about the feedback, Di began to investigate her products further and found that the “miracle” ingredient was actually the beeswax, which was also produced on-farm.

What makes the beeswax even more beneficial, Di believes, is its unrefined form - something that is not available to most manufacturers.

“Our bees take their richness from our Aussie bush and botanical plants,” she said.

“We know where they obtain their pollen from and this makes our product unique - sourced directly from our own farm.

“You can smell the difference.”…

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Organic First Aid Kit Contains Manuka Honey Antiseptic Cream

Five of the Best... First Aid Kits
Daily Mail (UK), 6/27/2009

The Organic Pharmacy, £44.04

Contains homeopathic and natural remedies, including arnica cream for bruising, tea tree and manuka honey antiseptic cream and urtica and lavender burn cream.

Propolis Flavonoid Linked to Antibacterial Activity

Bioactivity of Propolis from Santiago Del Estero, Argentina, Related to Their Chemical Composition
LWT - Food Science and Technology, Volume 42, Issue 8, October 2009, Pages 1422-1427

Propolis, an extremely complex resinous material gathered by honeybees from various plant sources, exhibits valuable pharmacological and biological properties attributed to the presence of polyphenols.

This study examined the antibacterial, antiradical and antioxidant activities of propolis from different provenances and correlated the values with total levels of polyphenolic compounds and flavonoids. Besides, individual contents of those polyphenols with antioxidant ability were determined and related with their bioactivity.

Analyzed samples presented a noticeable variability in their antioxidant and antiradical activities, although, linear relationships were found between them and also between polyphenol and flavonoid total levels.

Propolis antiradical and protective abilities against lipid oxidation are related to its high levels of polyphenols, but their correlations with individual active-compound contents were not simple.

Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus of the samples presented low variability. This bioactivity is assigned to pinocembrin, present in high concentrations in all the samples studied. Good correlation was found between such activity and pinocembrin content. Linear relationships between antibacterial activity and polyphenol and flavonoid total levels were also found.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Plant Source of Brazilian Green Propolis Shows Antileishmanial Activity

In Vitro Antileishmanial, Antiplasmodial and Cytotoxic Activities of Phenolics and Triterpenoids from Baccharis dracunculifolia DC (Asteraceae)
Fitoterapia, 2009 Jun 17

Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae), the most important plant source of the Brazilian green propolis (GPE), displayed in vitro activity against Leishmania donovani, with an IC(50) value of 45 microg/mL, while GPE presented an IC(50) value of 49 microg/mL. Among the isolated compounds of B. dracunculifolia, ursolic acid, and hautriwaic acid lactone showed IC(50) values of 3.7 microg/mL and 7.0 microg/mL, respectively. Uvaol, acacetin, and ermanin displayed moderate antileishmanial activity.

Regarding the antiplasmodial assay against Plasmodium falciparum, BdE and GPE gave similar IC(50) values (about 20 microg/mL), while Hautriwaic acid lactone led to an IC(50) value of 0.8 microg/mL (D6 clone).

Fake Honey Sold to Tourists in Malaysia

KOTA KINABALU, June 26 (Bernama) -- If you have bought honey here or in Kundasang and Ranau, make sure that it is not fake honey produced by a group whose activities were uncovered yesterday…

The team from the ministry, assisted by representatives from the Health Department and police, made the raid at about 10 am after observing the place for three weeks following a public tip-off, the ministry's state enforcement chief, Rosle A. Hamid, told reporters here today.

"A check revealed that the honey produced by the group actually contained sugar which had been boiled," he said.

The fake honey produced by the group had been distributed mainly in the three districts which were popular among tourists…

Friday, June 26, 2009

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Video: Paris Rooftop Bees Produce More Honey Than Rural Counterparts

City of Lights is Nectar for the Bees
AFP, 6/25/2009

Honey Shelf Life Depends on Botanical Origin

Prediction of Honey Shelf Life
Journal of Food Quality, Volume 32 Issue 3, Pages 352 - 368

Fourteen commercial honey samples of different botanical origin (acacia, chestnut, citrus, eucalyptus, multifloral) were stored for up to 18 months at room temperature…

The results show that commercial honey shelf life depends on botanical origin as well as processing. Except chestnut, all other honeys showed shorter shelf lives than the declared one (usually 36 months). The shortest values, 15 months, were for citrus and eucalyptus honeys. The longest, 20 months, was for acacia and multifloral honeys.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Propolis May Ease Heat Stress for Cyclists

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester, an Antioxidant from Propolis, Protects Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Competitive Cyclists against Hyperthermal Stress
Journal of Food Science, Published Online: 5 Jun 2009

Hyperthermal stress and resulting free radical generation is known to impair endurance capacity and immune cell redistribution during prolonged exercise.

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a phenolic compound purified from propolis, has many biological and pharmacological activities including antioxidation. To examine whether CAPE has protective effect against hyperthermal stress in athletes, we isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNC) from competitive cyclists and assessed their response to hyperthermia with or without CAPE pretreatment.

We found that pretreatment of cyclists' MNC with CAPE (0, 1, 2, 4 μg/mL) reversed or reduced hyperthermia-induced survival inhibition, necrosis, superoxide production, glutathione depletion, and intracellular superoxide burst in a dose-dependent manner.

These results suggest that CAPE may enhance the hyperthermal tolerance in immune mononuclear cells of competitive cyclists.

Honey Helps Relieve Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Honey for the Symptomatic Relief of Cough in Children with Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Emergency Medicine Journal, 2009;26:522-523

A short-cut review was carried out to establish whether honey provides significant symptom relief of cough in children with an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). Only one paper presented a trial addressing the clinical question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of this paper are shown in table 1. The clinical bottom line is that honey does appear to be effective in relieving some of the symptoms of URTI.

City Politicians Pitch Return to Beekeeping to New York City

By Frank Lombardi, New York Daily News, 6/24/2009

As if higher taxes weren't enough of a sting, some city politicos are now trying to legalize beekeeping.

While bee fanciers consider it a honey of an idea, many New Yorkers might not want tens of thousands of bees swarming in and out of hives next door.

Not to worry, honey bees rarely sting, according to advocates calling for ending the decades-old ban on raising bees for fun and profit within the city limits.

"If done by people who know what they are doing, it's a safe enterprise," insisted Brooklyn Councilman David Yassky, the chief sponsor of a bill to license urban beekeeping here.

A dozen backers held up hand-lettered signs at a City Hall press conference with such slogans as, "All we are saying ... is give bees a chance."…

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Manuka Honey Dispute Working Group Set Up

Radio New Zealand, 6/24/2009

Representatives of the honey industry have agreed to form a working group to try to resolve a conflict that's threatening the international reputation of manuka honey and the export trade.

Manuka sells for a significantly higher price than other honeys because of unique antibacterial properties.

But a disagreement over labelling and testing standards has divided the industry.

Manuka honey producers and exporters, government officials and two cabinet ministers met on Tuesday afternoon. The working group is the outcome…

Bee Industry Standards Council chair Jim Edwards says the participants agreed that there has to be a solid scientific basis for whatever standards are used to define the active properties of manuka honey. He says that then needs to be built into a marketing strategy…

Honey Can Help Beat Killer Hospital Bugs

It Fights Infection Better Than Antibiotics
By Michelle O'Keeffe, The Mirror (Eire Edition), 6/23/2009

HONEY may be more effective than antibiotics in tackling superbugs in hospitals, a study has revealed.

As many as 800 patients die from MRSA and C.Difficle every year, but scientists believe honey is the bees knees when it comes to fighting the deadly virus.

Dr Teresa Graham, who set up Stop Infections Now group after her husband died of MRSA, said some people who have contracted a superbug are already using it to beat the killer infection.

Dr Graham added: "Honey is very effective in treating the MRSA infection in a wound. If patients who have contracted the superbug eat honey or use it in an ointment it can be very effective in treating MRSA - but only when the infection is in a wound.

"Manuka honey from New Zealand is being used but Irish beekeepers claim Irish honey is just as good at treating MRSA…

Scientists from the University jelly bush honey from Australia - successfully attacked MRSA.

They said honey may be more effective that antibiotics in providing a solution to the worldwide problem.

One of the researchers said: "Most bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one antibiotic, and there is an urgent need for a new ways to treat and control surface infections.

Our research clearly shows that honey could, in many cases, replace antibiotic creams on wounds and equipment such as catheters. Using honey as an intermediate treatment could also prolong the life on antibiotics…

Chronic Mad Honey Intoxication Syndrome: A New Form of an Old Disease?

Europace, published online on June 5, 2009

Aims: Although cases of acute mad honey intoxication have been reported earlier, chronic mad honey intoxication (CMHI) syndrome has not been described and we address this issue only in this study.

Methods and results: We prospectively evaluated the history of non-commercial honey intake in all patients referred to our institution for investigation of slow heart rate or atrioventricular (AV) conduction abnormalities. Between April 2008 and December 2008, 173 patients were referred to our institution for assessment of sinus bradycardia and various degrees of AV block and/or permanent pacemaker implantation. All patients were questioned about history of honey intake. Detailed evaluation revealed a history of daily honey intake for a long period of time in five of the patients (2.8%). This non-commercial honey was made by different amateur beekeepers in eastern Back Sea region of Turkey. Discontinuation of honey intake resulted in prompt normalization of conduction and significant symptomatic improvement. None of the patients were admitted to hospital and all were asymptomatic during 3 months follow-up. Holter monitoring for 24-h revealed no abnormality at first and third month.

Conclusions: This is the first report of CMHI. This issue should be suggested during assessment of patients with unexpected conduction abnormalities, because abandonment of honey intake results in prompt symptomatic and electrocardiographic improvement.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meeting May Help Resolve Medicinal Honey Dispute

Attempt to Settle Manuka Honey Dispute
Radio New Zealand, 6/23/2009

An attempt to resolve an increasingly bitter conflict over labelling and testing standards for manuka honey starts in Wellington on Tuesday.

The ministers of agriculture and food safety will be among those attending a meeting to explore ways of ending the row over measuring the unique antibacterial properties of the honey.

The Active Manuka Honey Association, the industry body that controls the use of the unique manuka factor, or UMF trade mark on honey products, has an on-going legal battle with a Masteron based honey company, Watson & Son.

Manuka Health New Zealand has challenged the UMF system by launching its own standard…

In a separate exercise, the bee industry is developing its first formal standard, to define 12 different varieties of New Zealand honey, including manuka…

See: Manuka Honey Industry in Bitter Dispute Over Antibacterial Standard

Starch Boosts Antibacterial Activity of Royal Jelly

Synergistic Effect of Starch and Royal Jelly Against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli
J Altern Complement Med, 2009 Jun 17

Objectives: To evaluate the synergistic action of starch on the antibacterial activity of royal jelly (RJ), a comparative method of adding RJ with and without starch to culture media was used.

Methods: Strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli have been used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of a variety of freshly reaped RJ. In a second step, lower concentrations of RJ than the MIC were incubated with a set of concentrations of starch and then were added to media to determine the minimum synergistic inhibitory concentration.

Results: The MIC of RJ without starch was 1.7% (vol/vol) and 2% (vol/vol) against S. aureus and E. coli, respectively. When starch was incubated with RJ and then added to media, a significant MIC drop has been noticed against both strains. This MIC drop was 61% and 30% against S. aureus and E. coli, respectively.

Conclusions: The effectiveness of RJ against bacteria has been extensively reviewed, but this bee product remains unaffordable in most countries. Our findings suggest that combined mixture of RJ and starch could be used to treat infections that are resistant to conventional drugs, at a lower cost.

See: Synergistic Effect of Starch on the Antibacterial Activity of Honey

Monday, June 22, 2009

Video: Local Honey Recommended to Treat Allergies

Fox 35 (Orlando), 3/2/2009

WINTER PARK, Fla. - Honey is used as an alternative treatment for allergies. It works according to those who claim to see benefits in that the bees feed off the plants that create your allergies, by eating the honey they make you are essentially immunizing yourself.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Honey Used to Soak Dressings for Cancer Patients

Cornish Manuka Bees Create a Buzz
BBC, 6/20/2009

Supplies of a honey renowned for its health benefits have sold out in the first month of production at an estate in Cornwall.

The manuka honey, which has previously only been produced in New Zealand, comes from hives at the Tregothnan estate near Truro.

It is claimed to ease sore throats, acne, sunburn, gum disease and digestive problems.

Despite a £55 price tag, the first batch has run out.

It was launched last month at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Among other uses, the honey has been used to soak dressings for cancer patients in Manchester to reduce the risk of contracting MRSA and reduce inflammation

See: Honey Could Solve MRSA Problem

Introduction to Apitherapy Course in the Dominican Republic June 27

Curso: Introducción a la Apiterapia

27 de junio 2009
Centro para el Desarrollo Agropecuario y Forestal, Inc CEDAF

Calle José Amado Soler 50, Ensanche Paraíso ,
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

Teléfono: 809-565-5603
Fax: 809-544-4727

Saturday, June 20, 2009

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Propolis May Help Treat Acute Pancreatitis

The Beneficial Effect of Propolis on Cerulein-Induced Experimental Acute Pancreatitis in Rats
The Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology, 2009, Volume 20, No 2, Page(s) 122-128

Background/Aims: Inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress have a central role in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis. Propolis is a resinous hive product collected by honeybees from various plant sources and has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. The present work aimed to investigate the therapeutic role of ethanolic extract of propolis on a cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis model in rats…

Results: In the acute pancreatitis group, serum amylase and lipase levels were found to be elevated and the histopathological evaluation of the tissue revealed massive edema and inflammation with less fatty necrosis when compared to the sham and control groups. Serum amylase and lipase levels and edema formation were significantly decreased in the ethanolic extract of propolis-treated groups. In the ethanolic extract of propolis-2 group, in particular, tissue edema was improved markedly. Tissue inflammation and fatty necrosis were decreased with ethanolic extract of propolis treatment; however, the improvement was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Treatment with ethanolic extract of propolis improved the biochemical and histopathological findings in a rat model of experimental pancreatitis. Although our findings suggest that ethanolic extract of propolis might be considered an effective agent for the treatment of acute pancreatitis, this notion should be supported with further experimental and clinical investigations.

Honeybees to be Welcomed at White House

By Rob Hotakainen, The Sacramento Bee, 6/20/2009

WASHINGTON – Official Washington is all abuzz over honeybees.

At the White House, two types of parasite-resistant honeybees developed by U.S. scientists will be delivered to the first family's new garden next month.

On Capitol Hill, California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer wants Congress to spend $20 million to research colony collapse disorder, which has caused big losses for the nation's beekeepers in recent years.

Both developments are welcome news for honeybee backers, who have found themselves getting slapped around this year.

When an early version of an economic stimulus bill contained $150 million in subsidies for honeybees and other farm products, many Republicans howled in protest.

"This is nonsense," huffed Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate's minority leader from Kentucky.

And when Congress passed a $1.7 million earmark for Texas honeybees as part of a broader appropriations bill, critics cited it as a prime example of pork-barrel spending.

Beekeepers find themselves on the defensive and say they must educate members of Congress about the importance of their industry. They're doing it with the help of lobbyists. Yes, bee lobbyists.

"Life is interesting. My inbox is rather eclectic," said Thomas Van Arsdall, a bee lobbyist or, more officially, the director of public affairs for the Pollinator Partnership.

He's busy making plans for the third annual National Pollinator Week, June 22-28, a time for schools, churches, garden clubs and others to celebrate honeybees and other pollinators. "They're important if you like to eat," explained Van Arsdall…

Urban Beekeeping Popular in New York City

Urban Beekeeping: Beekeepers Keep the Lid On
By Joshua Brustein, The New York Times, 6/19/2009

THERE were hives to inspect and honeycombs to drain, but before all that Patrick Gannon sat on a cinder block in his backyard on City Island with his 9-year-old son, Julian, and just watched the bees.

“I can’t think of anything more relaxing than sitting in front of my beehive, drinking a beer, smoking a cigar, letting the bees fly,” Mr. Gannon said on a recent Saturday afternoon. “And the smell. It’s the most beautiful smell.”

Mr. Gannon moved to City Island from Manhattan in 2003, lured by the opportunity of sailing. But after trading a sixth-story walk-up apartment for a house, Mr. Gannon decided to return to beekeeping, a hobby he had discovered as a young man in rural England.

His pastime, however, means breaking the law. His hives, like all those in New York City, are illegal, and Mr. Gannon could face thousands of dollars in fines if someone complained and the authorities took action.

Though it’s almost impossible to keep a bee colony a secret, the number of New Yorkers taking the risk is growing: beehives are popping up in various neighborhoods, and seem particularly popular in Brooklyn, say those who track beekeeping…

Friday, June 19, 2009

Buckwheat Honey Used in New Wound Dressing

The Use of MelMax(R) in the Healing of Chronic Wounds
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 18, Iss. 11 Suppl, 11 Jun 2009, pp S30 - S35

Chronic wounds can have detrimental consequences for the quality of life of patients as well as presenting a huge financial burden to the NHS. An imbalance in the level of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and the tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) in chronic wounds impedes the healing process. In addition, high levels of bacteria in the wound bed are a common feature of chronic wounds and also cited as a major cause of delayed healing.

The aim of this article is to look in more detail at the role of MMPs in wound healing as well as the antimicrobial properties of honey when combined with a dressing to combat wound infection.

The article also introduces a new dressing, MelMax(R) (distributed by CliniMed), which utilizes protease regulation and the antimicrobial properties of honey when addressing chronic wound infection. Short-term case studies are used to demonstrate how the dressing was successfully incorporated into the author's practice.

‘The Last Beekeeper’ Documentary to Air Sept. 21

Planet Green Sprouts Documentaries
Network to launch two-hour doc block in fall
By Stuart Levine, Variety, 6/16/2009

Planet Green is launching an ambitious weekly two-hour block of documentaries beginning in the fall…

Among the pics the network has acquired is "The Last Beekeeper," from producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, about three commercial beekeepers and the struggles they face in a world of shrinking bee populations.

"Beekeeper" will preem on Planet Green on Sept. 21.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

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Honey Bees Provide Products for Modern Medicine Cabinet

Feel the Buzz: How Bees Help Our Health
The busy bee provides power-packed products for the modern medicine cabinet.
By Annabel Saladino, allaboutyou.com, 6/14/2009

…as well as the rich variety of healthy foods they help create for us, bees appear to be bountiful from a medicinal point of view, too. For thousands of years, bee products have been used to treat a range of ills, and there's a growing hive of evidence as to why this apitherapy or ‘bee medicine' is still being used today.


…The big excitement stems from its apparent ability to take on the hospital superbugs. "A number of medical papers have shown it can be used to eradicate MRSA from colonised wounds," says Dr Rose Cooper, professor of microbiology at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff…

Honey is also thought to be useful in helping to ease digestive problems. A study of children admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis, published in the British Medical Journal, found that those treated with honey rather than glucose had a significant reduction in the duration of their diarrhoea. More dramatically, Professor Molan says that manuka honey has the power to kill off Helicobacter pylori - the bug that causes stomach ulcers.


Also known as ‘Russian penicillin' or ‘bee glue', propolis* is a resin-like substance that bees collect from trees and chew into a resinous substance to seal cracks in their hives. "It's strongly antiseptic, because its purpose is to stop disease getting into trees," Chris Deaves explains. Soluble in alcohol, propolis is used as a treatment for sore throats but it is also useful in dentistry. Dr Philip Wander (www.wanderdental.co.uk), chairman of the British Homeopathic Dental Association, is passionate about it. "Propolis is an anti-infective and anti-inflammatory," he says. "It was widely used in Eastern Europe when they didn't have access to antibiotics. As a dentist, I mainly use propolis for mouth ulcers and to accelerate healing after a tooth extraction."

Royal jelly

…Rich in vitamins and minerals, royal jelly is used in traditional Chinese medicines to treat a range of ills, including fatigue, depression, insomnia and a weak immune system. Research published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture showed that royal jelly also appeared to reduce the spread of cancer cells in mice. But others are sceptical as to the extent of its powers. "It's possible you might get a similar benefit from it as from taking a vitamin and mineral supplement," Chris Deaves says, "but it's not particularly concentrated for humans."

Bee venom

Hippocrates was said to use bee stings to soothe arthritic pain, and bee venom is still used by apitherapists to treat rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS). According to Dr Cherbuliez, some components of bee venom are "extremely anti-inflammatory, one hundred times more powerful than cortisone". The medical use of bee stings is contentious, however, because of the risk of severe reactions, such as anaphylactic shock­, and the lack of large-scale clinical trials.

Researchers at Georgetown University in Washington reported that three out of five patients with MS who were treated with bee venom showed signs of improvement. The results were described as "encouraging", but the therapy can't be recommended until further research has been carried out…

US Students Become Honey Entrepreneurs with Villagers in Ghana

By Brian Wagner, Voice of America, 6/16/2009

Sean Heron hopes to pursue video game design and creative writing when he finishes his education. The high school junior from South Florida did not expect that to change when his mother convinced him to enroll in a 12-week training program for young entrepreneurs.

He joined a group of 14 other teens who learned business basics and eventually developed their own product to sell.

"Our group [was] doing a social networking event," he recalls. "And we hosted that, and we did modestly well."

Well enough that Heron's teachers invited him to join a much bigger project that would have a much broader impact.

Nathan Burrell recruits student volunteers at one Agogo school to help gather and sell honey
It dealt with honey produced by villagers in Ghana.

The Honey Project's coordinator, Nathan Burrell, admits that honey seems like an unusual focus in this day and age, but says he wanted to find something that was both feasible and profitable.

"The bottom line is the farmers working with us are subsistence farmers," he explains. "Doing honey production and allowing them to do beekeeping provides them with another way to make money and have a living wage."…

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Video: Travel Channel's Encounter with Bee Venom Therapy

Honey May Hold Key to Beating Hospital Superbug

The Sydney Morning Herald, 6/17/2009

Australian researchers have identified a type of bacteria-blasting honey capable of taking on the superbugs that have infected the nation's hospitals.

It's well known that honey has anti-bacterial properties but scientists from the University of Sydney say a particular type derived from native tea tree is especially potent.

They believe it could offer a solution to the growing resistance of bacteria, such as the superbug known as MRSA, to conventional antibiotics.

"Most bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one antibiotic and there is an urgent need for new ways to treat and control surface infections," says Associate Professor Dee Carter, of the university's School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences.

"But bugs that are resistant to a huge variety of antibiotics are not resistant to honey ... we've never seen an organism that has any kind of intrinsic resistance."

Dr Carter, working alongside Dr Shona Blair, tested honey produced by bees that fed on Leptospermum, commonly known as tea tree.

She said the honey worked against bacteria in a number of ways.

It was a bad growth environment for bacteria because it was mildly acidic with high sugar levels.

It also contained a precursor chemical to hydroperoxide and the molecule methylglyoxal, both toxic to bacterial cells.

And the honey appeared to have properties, not yet understood, which prevented bacteria from developing a resistance despite tests designed to induce such a response.

In particular, staphylococcus bacteria - such as MRSA or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus - were "very sensitive" to the honey and seemed to suffer "multi-system failures," Dr Carter said.

"Our research is the first to clearly show these honey-based products could, in many cases, replace antibiotic creams on wounds and equipment such as catheters," she said...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Video: Learn About Bee Venom Therapy

Honeybees Use Calcium for Memory Storage

PARIS, June 15 (UPI) -- French scientists say they've determined calcium is involved in long-term memory formation in honeybees.

Researchers from France's National Center for Scientific Research, the French Calcium Research Network and the University of Toulouse found calcium acts as a switch between the bees' short- and long-term storage of learned information…

Monday, June 15, 2009

Honey May Help Reduce Antibiotic Resistance

The Unusual Antibacterial Activity of Medical-Grade Leptospermum Honey: Antibacterial Spectrum, Resistance and Transcriptome Analysis
Journal European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 2009 Jun 10

There is an urgent need for new, effective agents in topical wound care, and selected honeys show potential in this regard. Using a medical-grade honey, eight species of problematic wound pathogens, including those with high levels of innate or acquired antibiotic resistance, were killed by 4.0-14.8% honey, which is a concentration that can be maintained in the wound environment.

Resistance to honey could not be induced under conditions that rapidly induced resistance to antibiotics. Escherichia coli macroarrays were used to determine the response of bacterial cells to a sub-lethal dose of honey. The pattern of gene expression differed to that reported for other antimicrobial agents, indicating that honey acts in a unique and multifactorial way; 78 (2%) genes were upregulated and 46 (1%) genes were downregulated more than two-fold upon exposure to the medical-grade honey.

Most of the upregulated genes clustered into distinct functional regulatory groups, with many involved in stress responses, and the majority of downregulated genes encoded for products involved in protein synthesis.

Taken together, these data indicate that honey is an effective topical antimicrobial agent that could help reduce some of the current pressures that are promoting antibiotic resistance.

Canadian Apitherapy Association Symposium June 26-28

Ontario Apitherapy Association Symposium, June 26-28th, 2009, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1 Canada. This event being held jointly with the Ontario Beekeeper's Association.

Bee Products are Nature’s Wonder Drugs

Where Have All the Honeybees Gone? Samantha Hatfield, Martlet (Canada), 6/11/2009

…John Defayette is the man behind B’s Honey and the proud keeper of seven hives. The bees live in his backyard, near a cherry tree with some string-suspended suet hanging from a branch to lure the birds. He’s been retired for 25 years, which helped him turn his preoccupation with beekeeping into a full-time hobby…

Nature’s wonder drugs

As a retired Ottawa college professor of marketing and management, Defayette recognizes the value of his products. He sells beeswax for candles, honeycomb, pollen (which sells out quickly), raw, unpasteurized honey and propolis. Honey is not only tasty; it also works as an antiseptic for infected wounds. Bee pollen is considered a wonder food by the health food community because it is very high in protein. It contains 18 amino acids as well as a long list of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B complex and iron. But that’s not all. Defayette says if you consider pollen, wax and honey in terms of what a human needs to survive, “you’ve got three of the most important elements of life: the protein, the fat and the carbohydrate.”

Although less marketable, bee stings even have their benefits, as they produce cortisol in the lymphatic system, which treats Defayette’s arthritis. Bee venom is also a known treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Defayette holds out his right hand; his pinkie finger looks stiff and a little red.

“Doctor said it [the arthritis] was going to be worse, but it’s not,” he says. “But I need a sting for the spring.”

His favourite product is propolis. “Bee glue,” as he calls it, is made from resin collected by the bees, and is used to cement the frames together in the hive. It’s also useful for humans in ways one wouldn’t expect, such as treating colds, mouth sores, gingivitis and wounds. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties.

“There are very few products that have all four of those things,” says Defayette.

It is a bit sweet, but mostly bitter, with pure booze as its carrier. I squeeze out a drop above my open mouth. The tincture makes the tip of my tongue twitch. Alcohol tangs my mouth. The aftertaste hangs like a sharp note in my throat.

In 2007, Defayette self-published a book entitled B’s Honey — Using Bee Products for a Natural Lifestyle. In it, he provides recipes for hand cream, honey soap, lip balm and other useful household products. There are also sweet and savoury recipes like honey orange squares and roast honey pork. He mentions uses for pollen, like putting some in your shampoo or making a dandruff rinse, and gives instructions on how to make a propolis tincture…

Sunday, June 14, 2009

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Video: North Carolina Bees Produce Blue Honey

Bees' Sweet Yearnings Produce Blue Honey
By Chick Jacobs, The Fayetteville Observer, 6/13/2009

PINEHURST -- No one is quite sure when.

No one is quite sure where.

And after decades of studying, experts still disagree on why.

But almost every year, somewhere in the Sandhills of North Carolina, a few lucky beekeepers strike blue gold.

When they pry open the boxy, buzzing hives in a few weeks, their sticky sweet harvest will have a distinct azure tint: blue honey, colored by nature's whim and the bees' hunger.

"It's real surprising the first time you see it," said Sanford Toole, who owns hives that have produced blue honey in the past few years.

He is a Pinehurst resident and president of the Moore County Beekeepers Association.

"The first time, you wonder what you did wrong. But after a little research, you discover it's not something wrong: It's something special."

This week, Toole opened a small jam jar filled with the sticky sweet stuff. It smelled and poured just like honey should. But it sure looked different.

"We don't put anything in it to create that color," said Toole's son, Kevin. "And we don't do anything to the bees, either. It's all natural."

The honey's secret is unlocked in its flavor. After the overpowering sweetness of honey bum-rushes your taste buds, let it linger for just a few seconds. There, along the back of your tongue, you begin to sense something familiar. Something fruity.

Something like blueberries.

Blue honey, it seems, is the product of a bee's sweet tooth and an abundance of wild berries. In this case, it's huckleberries, a distant wild cousin of the blueberry…

Saturday, June 13, 2009

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Author Seeks Success Stories for Book on Health Benefits of Honey

My name is Kirsten Traynor. I have completed a book on the medicinal benefits of honey based on scientific research. The book is written for the general public. To give the book a personal side, I wanted to include stories of successful honey treatments for a variety of ailments. The name(s) of the patient(s) would be changed for anonymity.

If you have a story of healing a disease or ailment with honey and would like to share your story, please contact me at kirsten@mdbee.com. I am especially interested in treatments of dry eyes, cataracts, burns, pollen allergies, skin diseases, wounds, diabetic ulcers, bowel troubles, and the treatment of pets or animals.

The goal is to have a large publishing house pick up the book for widespread distribution. It is especially critical to spread information on the myriad benefits of honey amongst the general public. I greatly appreciate your help and time. If you care to share your story with me, send me an email with your telephone number and a good time to call. I am able to call anywhere in the United States, Canada, Mexico or Western Europe, so long as you provide a land line telephone number.

Thank you,
Kirsten Traynor
Humboldt Scholar

Friday, June 12, 2009

Compound Found in Honey, Propolis May Help Protect the Liver

Hepatoprotective Effect of Chrysin on Prooxidant-Antioxidant Status During Ethanol-Induced Toxicity in Female Albino Rats
J Pharm Pharmacol, 2009 Jun;61(6):809-17

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of chrysin, a natural, biologically active compound extracted from many plants, honey and propolis, on the tissue and circulatory antioxidant status, and lipid peroxidation in ethanol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.

Key findings: The results showed significantly elevated levels of tissue and circulatory thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, conjugated dienes and lipid hydroperoxides, and significantly lowered enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidant activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione-related enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase, reduced glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E in ethanol-treated rats compared with the control.

Chrysin administration to rats with ethanol-induced liver injury significantly decreased the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, lipid hydroperoxides and conjugated dienes, and significantly elevated the activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase and the levels of reduced glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E in the tissues and circulation compared with those of the unsupplemented ethanol-treated rats.

The histological changes observed in the liver and kidney correlated with the biochemical findings.

Conclusions: Chrysin offers protection against free radical-mediated oxidative stress in rats with ethanol-induced liver injury.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Researchers Examine 3,600-Year-Old Apitherapy Potion

Ancient Nigella Seeds from Boyali Höyük in North-Central Turkey
J Ethnopharmacol, 2009 Jun 5

The seeds of nigella (black cumin) (Nigella sativa L.) have been widely used as a natural remedy, either alone or in combination with bee products, for the treatment of many acute as well as chronic conditions for centuries, especially in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In consideration of potential utilization, in recent years the seeds have been extensively studied in terms of pharmacological effects.

It has been shown that the seeds have significant effects on multiple biological systems. In addition, the protective roles of the seeds with bee products (honey and wax) have been recently proved.

This study reports the palaeoethnobotanical find of nigella seeds recovered in a pilgrim flask from the Old Hittite Period level of Boyali Höyük (Mound), dating from around 1650 BC, in north-central Turkey. The study also deals with a comparison between the chemical properties of the Boyali Höyük nigella seeds (ancient seeds) and those of modern nigella seeds.

The results of chemical analysis of the debris found in the pilgrim flask to test the presence of bee product are also presented here…

The results of this study indicated that the Hittite pilgrim flask contained a pure cache of nigella seeds mixed with bee products, wax and propolis. There has been no direct archaeological evidence for medicinal use of nigella seeds with bee products by the inhabitants of Boyali Höyük or the Hittities so far.

However, in view of the folkloric use of nigella seeds in combination with bee products for treatments of disorders and promotion of health, it is thought that the Boyali Höyük material would represent a remedy used by the Hittites in Anatolia about 3600 years ago.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bee Venom May Stimulate Immune System

Effects of Bee Venom Treatment on Growth Performance of Young Pigs
The American Journal of Chinese Medicine (AJCM), Vol: 37 Issue: 2 (2009) Page: 253 - 260

This study examined the effect of whole bee venom (BV) as a potential stimulant of the piglet immune system, on growth performance, blood parameters, plasma protein and immune globulin content of serum.

Piglets (n = 97) received combinations of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 mg/kg of parenterally administered BV on 4 occasions between birth and Day 30…

Both the BV injection group and apipuncture group increased body weight and survivability by 26.6% and 21.8%, and 7.9% and 6.7% respectively compared to the controls. The numbers of leukocytes, erythrocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes were not influenced by treatments. However, a potential clinical benefit of high dose therapy was seen in increased populations of leukocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes compared with either the apipuncture or control groups.

Other blood parameters such as total protein and albumin were not affected by treatment. However, IgG levels were generally higher in treated groups than in the controls. These findings indicate that BV might be useful to stimulate immuno-competence in pig production, possibly via the primary bioactive components of melittin, phospholipase A2 and apamin.

The administration of BV, either via injection or acupuncture, did not make any differences in growth performance of young pigs. These results would be useful for further purification and characterization of immune boosting agents from BV.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Video: Health Benefits of Propolis, Royal Jelly and Honey

Many Touting Honey's Health, Beauty Benefits

By Pat Nichols, Chillicothe Gazette, 6/8/2009

Honey has been exchanged as currency, employed as an ancient embalming agent and consumed as a sweet food staple from biblical times and beyond.

Now there's increasing talk of honey's healthful influence on the human body. From warding off infections to easing sore throat pain, honey could turn out to be precisely what the doctor ordered.

According to world- famous honey purveyor Sue Bee Honey, eating a small amount of honey each day may be just the shield your body needs to put up a decent fight against infection. Not only that, the company also recommends swallowing a teaspoon of the gooey goodness to ease sore throat pain, boost antioxidant intake or power up energy levels.

Recent studies also have indicated certain types of honey - manuka honey from New Zealand's manuka bush and sidr honey from Yemen's sidr tree, to be exact - also may slay bacteria associated with chronic sinus inflammation, according to WebMD's health news writer Kelley Colihan, who cites research from the University of Ottawa.

"The two types of honey were effective in killing the bacteria," Colihan wrote…

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bee Venom Therapy Gives Hope to MS Patient

Lundquist Finds Hope Battling MS
By Tammy Compton, Wayne Independent, 6/5/2009

As she battles multiple sclerosis (MS), Peggy Lundquist, 54, of Texas Township, tells people to enjoy every moment. “Do whatever you can on your own ...because staying strong is your only defense,” she says.

A resident at Ellen Memorial Health Care Center, Peggy says she has “progressive MS. Where relapsing and remitting MS, you can have an attack that can totally put you out —you get better, you recover. I have progressive MS, which is no remission. Right from the beginning, you start getting worse, and you never get better,” she said. “But I surprised everybody, I did get better.”

“I’m still numb from the rib cage down,” she says. But where once she couldn’t move her right leg at all, she can now wiggle her toes.

And where her speech was once slurred, it’s now clear.

As she talks of MS, Peggy says she went “from first symptom to a wheelchair” in a year. “It was very fast,” she says. “I could stand for a while, but I couldn’t walk.”…

Honey bees

Years ago, Peggy underwent honey bee therapy. “My mother gave me a call and she saw it on TV where people with MS were being stung by honeybees ...And this woman she saw on TV, her eyesight got better and her hearing got better from being stung with honeybees,” she said.

“So, it took me a while, but I found a beekeeper,” she says. “So, I was being stung with bees every day,” she said, four to five bee stings at a time. As the venom pumped into her body from the stinger, Peggy says she started feeling better. “In less than a week, I could write again,” she said. “You know what it did? It gave me hope, where I had lost hope.” Prior to that, she’d been getting worse, she said.

Peggy did honey bee therapy for five months, she says. Only, they were difficult to get in winter. “You don’t know how bad you feel until you start feeling better,” she said…

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Honey Helps Treat Allergies, Promotes Oral Health

Why Honey's as Healthy as Spinach
By Althea Chang, Main Street, 6/5/2009

…The honey in your barbecue sauce is more than just delicious. It’s great for your health, with benefits including protection against allergies and better oral health. At least that’s what some clinical data (and beekeepers) suggest…

Increasing your regular dose of honey and cutting your daily dose of sugar, or switching to other types of honey, like raw or imported honey, can mean paying more, but it may pay off by boosting your health.

“The general rule is the darker the better” when it comes to health benefits, especially in terms of antioxidant levels, says Engeseth. Buckwheat honey, a dark, rich and heavy scented honey that’s great for barbecue sauce, is one of the healthiest types you can get, but you may have to go to Whole Foods (Stock Quote: WFMI) or a specialty foods store to find it.

Manuka honey from the manuka bush in New Zealand is another type of dark honey, and it’s shown to have strong healing properties. It costs about $19 for a 17.5 ounce jar.

When you're looking more locally, you'll likely find both your average processed honey, which has been heated and filtered, and raw honey, which is unfiltered and sometimes contains a little extra bee pollen...

Honey Health Benefit No. 1: Treating Colds and Allergies

When allergy season hits, locally-produced raw honey may be an effective treatment, says Dr. William G. Peterson, an allergist from Ada, Okla.

“It must be raw honey,” he says. “Because raw honey contains all the pollen, dust and molds that cause 90% of all allergies. What happens is that the patient builds up an immunity to the pollen, dust or mold that is causing his or her trouble in the first place.”

Local honey works best, according to Peterson, because it contains pollen from the same local grass and trees that are making you sneeze…

Honey Health Benefit No. 2: A Healthier Smile

Yes, honey packs a lot of sugar, but some scientists believe it can improve your oral health.

We’re not saying you should replace your tube of toothpaste with a honey bear bottle, but studies have shown that the anti-microbial properties of manuka honey, thanks to enzymes, can help clear bacteria from infected wounds and can be used to treat gum disease and gingivitis…

Honey Health Benefit No. 3: The Same Antioxidant Level as Spinach?

Honey contains the same level of antioxidants as spinach and strawberries, according to Engeseth's research.

The antioxidants in a gram of honey equal the antioxidants in a gram of fruit, Engeseth says. One person would never consume that much honey, but “if you’re going to use sugar, you might consider using honey instead,” Engeseth says…

Saturday, June 06, 2009

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Radical Scavenging Activity of Bee Pollen May Help Prevent Cancer, Diabetes

Chemical Composition, Botanical Evaluation and Screening of Radical Scavenging Activity of Collected Pollen by the Stingless Bees Melipona Rufiventris (Uruçu-amarela)
An Acad Bras Cienc, 2009 Jun;81(2):173-8

Stingless bees in Brazil are indigenous and found all over the country. Bee pollen is used for its nutritional value in the human diet. It is made up of natural flower pollen mixed with nectar and bee secretions. In order to evaluate the chemical composition, free radical scavenging activity, and botanical origin, sample of pollen loads from stingless bee, Melipona rufiventris (Uruçu amarela) was studied.

The EtOAc extract of pollen of Melipona rufiventris yielded the following compounds: p-hydroxycinnamic acid, dihydroquercetin, isorhamnetin, isorhamnetin3-O-(6'-O-E-p-coumaroyl)-beta-D-glucopyranoside, luteolin, and quercetin. This is the first report of the isolation of isorhamnetin3-O-(6'O-E-p-coumaroyl)beta-D-glucopyranoside from pollen.

The free radical scavenging activities of different solvent extracts of pollen were determined using DPPH assay. This activity decreases in the order: EtOAc>EtOH>Hexane extract. It appears that the EtOAc extract of the pollen is a good scavenger of active oxygen species.
The botanical evaluation of pollen loads showed the composition by two pollen types, with the dominant type (97.3%) being Scopariadulcis (L.) (Scrophulariaceae) and the minor one Senna obtusifolia (L.) Irwin & Barneby (Fabaceae). This suggests a specific foraging behavior in Melipona rufiventris bees, even in an environment with such a rich botanical diversity as the Northeastern Brazil...


In pollen loads of Melipona rufiventris the EtOAc mainly comprised of p-hydroxycinnamic acid, dihydroquercetin, isorhamnetin, isorhamnetin isorhamnetin-3-O-(6"O-E-p-coumaroyl)-β-D-glucopyranoside, luteolin, and quercetin.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the isolation of isorhamnetin isorhamnetin3O(6"OEpcoumaroyl) βDglucopyranoside from pollen. The botanical evaluation of bee pollen showed that it was composed by two pollen types, with the dominant type (97.3%) being Scoparia dulcis and the isolated one, Senna obtusifolia. This result suggests a specific foraging behavior in Melipona rufiventris bees, even in an environment as rich in diversity as the Northeastern Brazilian flora.

The free radical scavenging effectiveness of the extracts showed that EtOAc extract was the most active. This is the first study of pollen loads from stingless bee Melipona rufiventris, a native species of Northeastern Brazil.

The results of these trials will be helpful for the commercial production of the stingless bee pollen for pharmaceutical or nutritional use. Other bioactivity determinations are now being carried out in order to give us more information about the potentiality of these pollens.

It suggests that the extracts of the pollen are good scavengers of active oxygen species. This property of pollen seems to be important in the prevention of various diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, among others.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Honey Effective in Preventing Postoperative Adhesions

Comparison of Intraperitoneal Honey and Sodium Hyaluronate-Carboxymethylcellulose (SeprafilmTM) for the Prevention of Postoperative Intra-Abdominal Adhesions
Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009 Aug;64(4):363-8.

BACKGROUND: Abdominal surgery can lead to postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions (PIAAs) with significant morbidity and mortality. This study compares the use of honey with a standard bioresorbable membrane (Seprafilm tm) to prevent the formation of PIAAs in rats…

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that both honey and Seprafilm tm decrease the incidence of PIAAs in the rat cecal abrasion model. Although the mechanism of action is not clear, intraperitoneal administration of honey reduced PIAAs. The outcome of this study demonstrates that honey is as effective as Seprafilm tm in preventing PIAAs…

Natural honey has been used to treat burns and decubitis wounds since ancient times. Honey is becoming increasingly popular as a modern wound-dressing material, and studies have been published demonstrating its effectiveness. When honey is applied to wounds, it has been found to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain, eliminating the need for surgical removal, and induces a rapid clearance of infections. In the literature, it has been reported that honey carries no toxic effects. Honey is also considered sterile and inhibits the growth of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It has antifungal, cytostatic, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral and antimetastatic effects and promotes wound healing.8,19 However, studies regarding its effects on preventing PIAAs are limited.

The mechanisms underlying the effects of honey on wound healing are not entirely clear. However, several different characteristics of honey may have effects on various steps of the wound-healing process. Aysan, et al. suggested that one or more of the ingredients of honey, including cafeic acid, benzoic acid, phenolic acid, flavanoid glycons, inhibin and catalase, may be responsible for its effect. Inhibin and catalase have also been shown to promote the proliferation of epithelial cells. Another possible mechanism by which honey can promote wound healing is by increasing fibroblastic activity. Honey is hygroscopic, hypertonic and has a low pH. Hygroscopic substances decrease edema and constitute a fluid barrier to inhibit deepening of the wound. Hypertonicity contributes to antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thus, a hypertonic environment with a low pH and low moisture may promote the wound-healing process by degrading native collagen within the wound.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bulgarian Scientists Invent Device to Monitor Status of Bee Hives

Bulgarian Scientists Invent Unique Device Expected to Provide Explanation for Bees’ Disappearance
Radio Bulgaria, 6/3/2009

…According to a survey of British researchers from 60 to 90% of bees in USA have disappeared, and the percentage is 40% for Canada. The problem has spread to West Europe as well.

Prof. Nikolay Simeonov from the Sofia Apiculture Union, says that there are only few cases in Bulgaria, but there is no reason to neglect the problem. A team of Bulgarian scientists has developed a system for monitoring bees and their environment. For the purpose, special devices with sensors should be installed directly into beehives...

Via a remote control the beekeeper will be able to monitor data inputs from different hives. The device will report on honey making, diseases and contamination with herbicides, on temperature, humidity and noise levels. Besides, this system provides effective ways of ecological monitoring. Data will be recorded for 20 years, so as to capture relevant trends…

In this ways bees can be used to judge about environmental pollution, Prof. Simeonov adds:

A normal bee colony during the active season numbers 30 to 40,000 insects going to collect nectar, pollen and propolis from an area up to 40 sq. km. A bee carries out some 30-40 flights a day. In this way harmful substances in the air or on plants can easily get into the nectar, pollen and propolis, and even stick on bee wings...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Video: Urban Beekeeping Grows in Washington, D.C.

Propolis a Natural Antioxidant, Microbicidal Additive for Food

Chemical Composition, Antioxidant Activity and Antimicrobial Properties of Propolis Extracts from Greece and Cyprus
Food Chemistry, Volume 116, Issue 2, 15 September 2009, Pages 452-461

Chemical composition, antioxidant activity and in vitro antimicrobial activity of twelve propolis ethanolic extracts (PEE) from mainland Greece, Greek islands, and east Cyprus were determined.

The PEE studied contained significant amounts of terpenes and/or flavonoids, anthraquinones – mainly emodin and chrysophanol – and low amounts of phenolic acids and their esters, presenting differences from typical European propolis, and similarities to East Mediterranean propolis…

Despite differences in composition, the PEE samples exhibited significant antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal activities, affecting a wider spectrum of microorganisms than the food grade antibacterial nisin, and presenting lower or no activity against several Lactobacillus strains.

The presence of significant amounts of terpenoids seemed to enhance the antimicrobial activity of PEE.

The conclusion, given the non-toxic and natural origin of PEE, is that, besides their potential pharmaceutical and nutraceutical value, propolis balsams from Greece and Cyprus are attractive candidates for use as natural antioxidant and microbicidal additives in food systems, especially those containing lactic acid bacteria.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Propolis Targets Herpes Infections

Antiviral Activity and Mode of Action of Propolis Extracts and Selected Compounds
Phytotherapy Research, Published Online: 27 May 2009

Aqueous and ethanol extracts of propolis were analysed phytochemically and examined for their antiviral activity in vitro. Different polyphenols, flavonoids and phenylcarboxylic acids were identified as major constituents.

The antiviral effect of propolis extracts and selected constituents, e.g. caffeic acid (1), p-coumaric acid (2), benzoic acid (3), galangin (4), pinocembrin (5) and chrysin (6) against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) was analysed in cell culture.

The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of aqueous and ethanol propolis extracts for HSV-1 plaque formation was determined at 0.0004% and 0.000035%, respectively. Both propolis extracts exhibited high levels of antiviral activity against HSV-1 in viral suspension tests, plaque formation was significantly reduced by >98%.

In order to determine the mode of antiviral action of propolis, the extracts were added at different times during the viral infection cycle. Both propolis extracts exhibited high anti-HSV-1 activity when the viruses were pretreated with these drugs prior to infection.

Among the analysed compounds, only galangin and chrysin displayed some antiviral activity. However, the extracts containing many different components exhibited significantly higher antiherpetic effects as well as higher selectivity indices than single isolated constituents.

Propolis extracts might be suitable for topical application against herpes infection.

Healing Honey Available in Malaysia

Honey with a Punch
Sun2Surf (Malaysia), 6/2/2009

Manuka honey has long been renowned for its health-giving properties, ­especially since the early 1990s when University of Waikato ­professor Dr Peter Molan demonstrated that it had ­reliable anti-­bacterial activity.

Molan’s test measured the non-peroxide anti-bacterial activity in honey compared to a common disinfectant. A marketing term was ­developed to describe this activity – the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).

In July 2006, a research group at the University of Dresden led by Prof Thomas Henle identified a naturally occurring compound known as methylglyoxal as the ­dominant anti-­bacterial ­constituent of manuka honey.

The team also evaluated 45 commercial honey brands and found that they contained methylglyoxal concentrations from 1 to 8mg/kg whereas in manuka honey, it ranged from 30 to over 700mg/kg.

Following this discovery, Manuka Health New Zealand developed a certifiable and ­dependable standard for manuka honey based on its methylglyoxal content…

Monday, June 01, 2009

Video: Controversy Over British 'Manuka' Honey

British Estate Produces Kiwi Favourite Manuka Honey
3 News (New Zealand), 6/1/2009

Tregothnan Estate in Britain has made history by being the first company to produce Manuka Honey outside of New Zealand…

Bee Venom Used to Treat Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis

Retired Dentist Uses Bee Venom as Therapy
By Tatiana Pina, The Providence Journal, 5/30/2009

PROVIDENCE — On the second floor of his Tabor Avenue home, Dr. Edward Ziegler Jr. sits at his kitchen table concentrating on a glass jar that seems to be humming.

Lawrence Knowles, 70, a Providence man with a shock of thick white hair, sits next to him with his left arm outstretched, awaiting relief from osteoarthritis, which pains his hands and makes them stiff.

The 91-year-old retired dentist opens the jar slightly and grabs a woman’s metal hair clip off the table. With all deftness of a man half his age he dips the hair clip into jar and plucks out a honey bee.

He presses the bee’s rump to Knowles’ wrist until it digs its stinger into him.

It hurts but Knowles says the venom from the bee helps alleviate his arthritis. Knowles, an adjunct faculty member at Bryant University, says it takes about three treatments before he starts to feel better. He’s been coming to Ziegler for six years. “He wants to beat me at squash,” Ziegler teases.

“The bee sting doesn’t cure a thing,” he declares. “It enhances the activity of the immune system.”

Ziegler has been practicing bee venom therapy for 30 years. He keeps adrenaline in the refrigerator in case someone has an allergic reaction. He invites people suffering from arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other ailments to his kitchen for treatment Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 to 1 p.m. It’s free, although he doesn’t mind the kisses from grateful women who have been helped by the treatment.

The Arthritis Foundation puts out a guide on alternative treatments for arthritis that lists bee venom therapy, saying it’s used as an anti-inflammatory for conditions such tendonitis, bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The guide says a study of mice with induced arthritis showed that after eight weeks of bee venom injections the incidence of arthritis was significantly lower than in the control group…