Thursday, October 31, 2013

Virginia Beekeepers to Host Apitherapist Reyah Carlson

Saturday, November 9, 2013 Agenda
8:00 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 9:15 Opening Remarks
9:15 – 9:45 Matt Lohr, VDACS Commissioner
9:45 – 10:30 Reyah Carlson - The Medicine Chest Known as the Beehive - Part 1
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00 – 11:15 Door Prize Drawing
11:15 – 12:00 Reyah Carlson – The Medicine Chest Known as the Beehive – Part 2

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Latex-Honey Combo Boosts Wound Healing

Wound-healing and potential anti-keloidal properties of the latex of calotropis procera (aiton) asclepiadaceae in rabbits
Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2013 Apr 12;10(3):574-9.
Calotropis Procera (CP) has been used in the management of toothache, fresh skin burns, gum bleeding as well as others to make it qualify as a medicinal plant. This study was designed to assess its wound-healing property in rabbits and its potentials for anti keloidal activity.Fresh latex of Calotropis were obtained and evaluated phytochemically.
Fifteen male rabbits were used and four excisional wounds were created on each rabbit. The rabbits were divided into five groups of three each. Group 1 was the negative control and received no treatment. The wounds of group 2 animals were treated with 2mL of Calotropis latex; group 3 with 2mL honey; and group 4 with a mixture of 1ml honey and 1 mL of the latex. The animals in group 5 were given 2mg triamcinolone intramuscularly. All the groups had their wounds treated daily for 21 days. The wounds' diameters were measured on the day of wound creation, thereafter on days 7, 14 and 21 post wound creation. Biopsies of the wounds were taken on days 3 and 21 and viewed histologically. Phytochemical study of the latex revealed the presence of glycosides, tannins and alkaloids.
The wounds were found to be significantly (p < 0.05) reduced in groups treated with 50% latex in honey and triamcinolone, respectively, on day 7 post wound creation while there was a significant (p < 0.05) reduction in wound surface area in all treated groups on days 14 and 21 post wound creation. Histological findings in untreated group showed thick bundle of collagen fibres some of which had broad based configurations, reminiscent of keloid. The group treated with 2mL of Calotropis latex revealed the presence of florid granulation tissues on day 3 while there was a marked reduction in quantity and size of collagen fibres on day 21 post wound creation which was comparable with what was seen for the triamcinolone-treated group.
The general effect of Calotropis latex on wound-healing was noted. Likewise it's similarity to that of triamcinolone, an anti-keloidal agent; this makes it a probable candidate for future anti-keloidal study using a suitable model.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Propolis Component May Protect Brain from Damage by Epilepsy

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester prevents apoptotic cell death in the developing rat brain after pentylenetetrazole-induced status epilepticus
Epilepsy Behav, 2013 Nov;29(2):275-80
Population-based studies suggest that seizure incidence is highest during the first year of life, and early-life seizures frequently result in the development of epilepsy and behavioral alterations later in life. The early-life insults like status epilepticus often lead to epileptogenesis, a process in which initial brain injury triggers cascades of molecular, cellular, and network changes and eventually spontaneous seizures.
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester is an active component of propolis obtained from honeybees and has neuroprotective properties. The aim of this study was to investigate whether caffeic acid phenethyl ester exerts neuroprotective effects on the developing rat brain after status epilepticus. Twenty-one dams reared Wistar male rats, and 21-day-old rats were divided into three groups: control group, pentylenetetrazole-induced status epilepticus group, and caffeic acid phenethyl ester-treated group. Status epilepticus was induced on the first day of experiment. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester injections (30mg/kg intraperitoneally) started 40min after the tonic phase of status epilepticus was reached, and the injections of caffeic acid phenethyl ester were repeated over 5days. Rats were sacrificed, and brain tissues were collected on the 5th day of experiment after the last injection of caffeic acid phenethyl ester. Apoptotic cell death was evaluated.
Histopathological examination showed that caffeic acid phenethyl ester significantly preserved the number of neurons in the CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus regions of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. It also diminished apoptosis in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.
In conclusion, this experimental study suggests that caffeic acid phenethyl ester administration may be neuroprotective in status epilepticus in the developing rat brain.

Monday, October 28, 2013

New Zealand Prof’s Website Outlines Research on Medicinal Manuka Honey

University of Waikato, Biological Sciences, Faculty Member
Since discovering in 1982 that manuka honey has an exceptional type of antibacterial activity, my research has been mostly on aspects of the use of honey as a medicine. I teach Biochemistry at the University of Waikato, and have been doing so since 1973. My research prior to becoming interested in honey was mostly on characterising other natural antibacterial substances.
I have put on articles I have written to share with the general public and with other researchers the knowledge I have gained about honey in the three decades I have been studying it. I have included in this a list of papers I have published on honey. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Honey Bees Make Choices Among Propolis Plant Species

Metabolomics Reveals the Origins of Antimicrobial Plant Resins Collected by Honey Bees
PLoS One, 10/18/2013
The deposition of antimicrobial plant resins in honey bee, Apis mellifera, nests has important physiological benefits. Resin foraging is difficult to approach experimentally because resin composition is highly variable among and between plant families, the environmental and plant-genotypic effects on resins are unknown, and resin foragers are relatively rare and often forage in unobservable tree canopies. Subsequently, little is known about the botanical origins of resins in many regions or the benefits of specific resins to bees.
We used metabolomic methods as a type of environmental forensics to track individual resin forager behavior through comparisons of global resin metabolite patterns. The resin from the corbiculae of a single bee was sufficient to identify that resin's botanical source without prior knowledge of resin composition. Bees from our apiary discriminately foraged for resin from eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), and balsam poplar (P. balsamifera) among many available, even closely related, resinous plants. Cottonwood and balsam poplar resin composition did not show significant seasonal or regional changes in composition.
Metabolomic analysis of resin from 6 North American Populus spp. and 5 hybrids revealed peaks characteristic to taxonomic nodes within Populus, while antimicrobial analysis revealed that resin from different species varied in inhibition of the bee bacterial pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae.
We conclude that honey bees make discrete choices among many resinous plant species, even among closely related species. Bees also maintained fidelity to a single source during a foraging trip. Furthermore, the differential inhibition of P. larvae by Populus spp., thought to be preferential for resin collection in temperate regions, suggests that resins from closely related plant species many have different benefits to bees.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ethiopian Honeys Can Be Used to Treat Drug Resistant Bacteria

Antibacterial effects of Apis mellifera and stingless bees honeys on susceptible and resistant strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae in Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia
Honey is a natural substance produced by honeybees and has nutritional and therapeutic uses. In Ethiopia, honeys are used traditionally to treat wounds, respiratory infections and diarrhoea. Recent increase of drug resistant bacteria against the existing antibiotics forced investigators to search for alternative natural remedies and evaluate their potential use on scientific bases. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial effects of different types of honeys in Ethiopia which are used traditionally to treat different types of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.
Mueller Hinton agar (70191) diffusion and nutrient broth culture medium assays were performed to determine susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) and resistant clinical isolates (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA), Escherichia coli(R) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (R), using honeys of Apis mellifera and stingless bees in northern and north western Ethiopia.
Honey of the stingless bees produced the highest mean inhibition (22.27 +/- 3.79 mm) compared to white honey (21.0 +/- 2.7 mm) and yellow honey (18.0 +/- 2.3 mm) at 50% (v/v) concentration on all the standard and resistant strains. Stingless bees honey was found to have Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of 6.25% (6.25 mg/ml) for 80% of the test organisms compared to 40% for white and yellow Apis mellifera honeys. All the honeys were found to have minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 12.5% (12.5 mg/ml) against all the test organisms. Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) was susceptible to amoxicillin, methicillin, kanamycine, tetracycline, and vancomycine standard antibiotic discs used for susceptibility tests. Similarly, Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) was found susceptible for kanamycine, tetracycline and vancomycine. Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) has not been tested for amoxicillin ampicillin and methicillin. The susceptibility tests performed against Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli (R) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (R) using three of methicillin, erythromycin, ampicillin, Penicillin and amoxicillin discs were resistant. But, these drug resistant strains were susceptible to antibacterial agents found in the honeys and inhibited from 16 mm to 20.33 mm.
Honeys in Ethiopia can be used as therapeutic agents for drug resistant bacteria after pharmaceutical standardization and clinical trials.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bee Venom May Help Treat Deadly Allergies

Bee Sting Allergy Might Actually Be Useful
Forbes, 10/24/2013
The adaptive immune response is the branch of our immune system that most people are familiar with. It’s the reason vaccines work. When exposed to a molecule that triggers an immune reaction (known as an “antigen”), the body produces antibodies that specifically bind to that molecule, eventually leading to its destruction. The most common class of antibody produced is called immunoglobulin G (IgG).
Our bodies can also produce a less common type of antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Notably, IgE helps fight off parasitic infections, but other than that, its role is largely unknown. In the developed world, parasites are no longer a major concern, so immunologists believe that IgE occupies its time by causing trouble, instead.
If you have allergies, blame IgE. For some reason, benign substances such as peanuts and cat hair can incite our immune system, which kicks out gobs of IgE. These antibodies then bind to an immune cell called a mast cell, triggering it to release a bunch of chemicals which produce all the symptoms we commonly associate with allergies — sneezing, coughing, itchiness and overall misery. In worst case scenarios, an out-of-control allergic response called anaphylatic shock occurs. This can be deadly.
Does IgE have any modern-day redemptive qualities? According to new research in the journal Immunity, the answer is yes.
Immunologists first primed mice with various doses of bee venom, but we will restrict our discussion to the 100- and 200-ug doses. (100 ug is roughly the amount of venom a bee carries around in its stinger.) These doses were sublethal for most of the mice, but a few unlucky ones didn’t make it past this stage. Of the ones that survived, the researchers nailed them again three weeks later with a massive, lethal dose of bee venom, i.e., four “stings” of 200 ug venom each. (See figure.)…

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Video: Bee Venom Facial Beauty Treatment in Dubai

Dubai's Beauty Scene Buzzing With Stinging New Secret
Emirates 24/7, 10/21/2013
The beauty treatment is actually billed as “calming” and a “soothing facial” – with, believe it or not – “a touch of heaven”. The treatment in question is a bee sting.
Bee venom is said to increase blood flow, collagen and the elasticity of the skin.
The treatment also uses Manuka Honey. Celebrities and Royalty including Camilla Parker-Bowles, Kate Middleton, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer are said to be fans of the treatment…

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Correlation Observed Between Phenolic Content, Radical-Scavenging Activity of Serbian Honeys

Phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of Serbian polyfloral honeys
Food Chem, 2014 Feb 15;145C:599-607
A total of 58 polyfloral honey samples from different regions in Serbia were studied to determine their phenolic profile, total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. UHPLC-LTQ OrbiTrap MS made possible the identification of 36 compounds: 24 flavonoids, two abscisic acids, and 10 phenolic acids and their derivatives.
Quantification was done using 14 available standards. Data on phenolics and abscisic acids allowed the discrimination and classification of honeys in accordance to their geographical origin, using pattern recognition techniques, principal component analysis and partial least squares discriminant analysis. Samples originated from Vojvodina and Zlatibor region were clearly distinguished from those from the rest of Serbia because of the presence of dicaffeoylquinic acid, ellagic acid, caffeic acid phenethyl ester, and chlorogenic acid, among others. 
A good correlation (r=0.865) was observed between total phenolic content and radical-scavenging activity. Total phenolic content ranged from 0.03 to 1.39mg GAE/g and radical scavenging activity ranged from 1.31% to 25.61%.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Live Bee Acupuncture (Bong-Chim) Dermatitis

Dermatitis Due to Live Bee Acupuncture Therapy in Korea
Int J Dermatol, 2013 Oct 18

Live bee acupuncture (Bong-Chim) dermatitis is an iatrogenic disease induced by so-called live bee acupuncture therapy, which applies the honeybee (Apis cerana) stinger directly into the lesion to treat various diseases in Korea.

We present two cases of live bee acupuncture dermatitis and review previously published articles about this disease. We classify this entity into three stages: acute, subacute, and chronic. The acute stage is an inflammatory reaction, such as anaphylaxis or urticaria. In the chronic stage, a foreign body granuloma may develop from the remaining stingers, similar to that of a bee sting reaction. However, in the subacute stage, unlike bee stings, we see the characteristic histological "flame" figures resulting from eosinophilic stimulation induced by excessive bee venom exposure.

We consider this stage to be different from the adverse skin reaction of accidental bee sting.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bee Venom Therapy a Potential Treatment for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Why Bee Stings Relieve Painful Joints
Written by Sade Oguntola, Nigerian Tribune, 10/17/2013 
For centuries, honey, bee pollen, and bee venom have been used to treat a number of ailments that vary between chronic pains to skin conditions. Apitherapy, or the medical use of honeybee products that range from royal jelly to bee venom, was used by the ancient Egyptians as a homeopathic remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), dissolving scar tissue  such as keloids, Herpes zoster, reducing the reaction to bee stings in people who are allergic, swollen tendons (tendonitis), and muscle conditions such as fibromyositis.
A bee sting is an unpleasant experience that undoubtedly everyone would choose to avoid if given the choice. However a growing number of people are choosing to be stung by bees in an alternative form of illness treatment called apitherapy.
Today, bee venom therapy, or bee sting therapy, has captured the attention of medical science as a potential homeopathic remedy for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Bee venom is made by bees. This is the poison that makes bee stings painful. Bee venom is used to make medicine.
ALS, often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neuro degenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Its early symptoms often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing…
Scientists in a 2103 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine that looked at the effect of bee venom on ALS found that bee stings could soothe the neuro inflammatory events that occur in a symptomatic ALS in laboratory animals.
In the study, which came to conclusion that bee venom, in fact could prevent the impairment that is caused by ALS, the researchers found that bee venom treatment may be able to eliminate the cell toxicity induced in cells of the brain and the spinal cord by ALS…

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beeswax Used in UV-Blocking Sunscreen

An Investigation of Optimum NLC-Sunscreen Formulation Using Taguchi Analysis
Journal of Nanomaterials
Journal of Nanomaterials, Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 463732, 10 pages
This study used three kinds of wax and three kinds of oil, with fixed mixture ratio including UV-blocking materials of ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, oxybenzone, and avobenzone, and applied hot high-pressure homogenization process to prepare nanolipid sunscreen formulations. The measured particle size of the sunscreen formulations was 100~300 nm around PDI of 0.2 having a moderate polydisperse system. The distribution of zeta potential was −50 mV to −35 mV, showing a stable system. The UV light-absorbing range of 9 groups of sunscreen formulations was 275 nm~380 nm ranging within UVA and UVB. The rheological analysis found that the viscosity change is shear, thinning exhibiting colloid behavior.
Taguchi analysis found that the optimum combinations are the carnauba wax and the blackcurrant oil combination for crystallinity and the beeswax and CPG oil for UV absorption. In addition, UV-blocking ability shows that the SPF was 51.5 and PFA was three stars for SU9 formulation. Finally, the effect of temperature on the properties of sunscreen formulations was also explored.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Brazilian Red Propolis May Help Prevent Cavities

Effect of neovestitol–vestitol containing Brazilian red propolis on accumulation of biofilm in vitro and development of dental caries in vivo
The present study examined the influences of the neovestitol–vestitol (NV) containing fraction isolated from Brazilian red propolis on the development of biofilm and expression of virulence factors by Streptococcus mutans using saliva-coated surfaces of hydroxyapatite. In addition, NV was tested in a rodent model of dental caries to assess its potential effectiveness in vivo.
Topical applications of NV (800 μg ml−1) significantly impaired the accumulation of biofilms of S. mutans by largely disrupting the synthesis of glucosyltransferase-derived exopolysaccharides and the expression of genes associated with the adaptive stress response, such as copYAZ and sloA. Of even greater impact, NV was as effective as fluoride (positive control) in reducing the development of carious lesions in vivo.
NV is a promising natural anti-biofilm agent that targets essential virulence traits in S. mutans, which are associated with the formation of cariogenic biofilm and the subsequent onset of dental caries disease.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mechanism for Thyme Honey Wound Healing Studied

Honey-induced macrophage stimulation: AP-1 and NF-κB activation and cytokine production are unrelated to LPS content of honey
Int Immunopharmacol, 2013 Oct 11. pii: S1567-5769(13)00359-7
Honey is well known for its wound healing properties although the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying honey-stimulated healing process are still poorly understood. The present study was intended to characterize the stimulation of Raw 264.7 murine macrophages in response to thyme honey.
Honey induces significant increase in PGE2 production, and overexpression of both COX-2 and TNF-α (p < 0.001). This increase was concomitant with overexpression and activation of the AP-1 and NF-κB transcription factor subunits. The small LPS content of honey could not, by itself, account for the reported observations.
These results suggest that other thyme honey components participate in the stimulation of cytokine production required for effective wound healing process.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Eight Natural Bee Sting Treatment Options

By Jami Cooley, R.N., Mother Earth News, 10/15/2013
Bee stings can be deadly if a person is allergic to the venom. If you or a family member is allergic to bee stings and gets stung, remove the stinger and seek emergency medical attention right away. Do not rely on a natural bee sting treatment alone. Use an EpiPen (epinephrine auto-injector) if you have one.
Any person who is stung by a bee, needs to be monitored for signs of anaphylaxis (life-threatening reaction). About 3 percent of people stung by bees quickly develop this condition. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
Shortness of breath
Feelings of faintness or dizziness
If there is any concern that a person is developing anaphylaxis, call 911 right away. You can also take over-the-counter Benadryl, but this will not stop the anaphylaxis; it will only slow it. You must seek emergency medical attention immediately for bee allergy.
Non-Allergic Bee Sting Treatment Options
For a quick recovery from non-allergic bee stings, you have three things to do to begin the healing process:
1. Extract the stinger.
2. Clean the wound.
3. Get pain relief.
The first and most important treatment for a bee sting is to remove the stinger as quickly as possible and by any means. The bee's hind end contains a sac that holds venom, and it may continue pumping more venom into the skin if not extracted. So, don’t be slow about – get the stinger out. You can use your fingernails, a pair of tweezers, or even a credit card to scrape out the stinger. But, be careful not to break the stinger and leave it buried in the skin.
Second, before using a home remedy for bee sting treatment, clean the wound with soap and cool water. This will help remove any bacteria that can cause infection.
After the stinger has been removed and the wound cleaned, you can use one of these 8 bee sting remedies:
1. Ice. Apply ice for 20 minutes. Ice will numb the pain and slow blood flow to the area, which reduces swelling.
2. Honey. A degree of irony resides in this bee sting remedy since honey comes from bees, but honey is excellent for healing wounds. Apply a small dab of honey to the wound and cover with gauze or a small rag for 30 minutes to one hour. (If a person is allergic to bees or honey, do not use this remedy.)...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Propolis: A Gift from Nature

By Susanna Raeven, Mother Earth News, 10/14/2013
As the colder months are approaching and hats and scarfs are hung back onto the coat rack, immune boosting herbs and cold remedies find their place back onto the shelves of our green medicine cabinets as well.
Even though technically speaking propolis is not an herb, it holds a dear spot on the top of my list of herbal winter remedies. Not only do I keep it close at hand during the cough and flu season but, as one of the most versatile alternative medicines, it would also accompany me on my Robinson Crusoe island to which I could only bring five medicinal herbs to keep me healthy. And it takes a lot for a remedy to be invited on that trip with me… 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Royal Jelly From Western China Has Significantly Higher 10-HDA Level

Geographical Influences on Content of 10-Hydroxy-trans-2-Decenoic Acid in Royal Jelly in China
Journal of Economic Entomology   /  Oct 2013   /  pg(s) 1958-1963 
The content of 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), a marker compound in royal jelly (RJ), is the most important criterion in grading RJ for commercial trade and varies with its origin. To identify the effect of geographical origin on 10-HDA content in RJ, 138 samples were collected from 19 provinces of China (divided into three groups) produced by either Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, 1806 or a hybrid of A. m. ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica Pollman, 1879 and analyzed for moisture, sugar, crude protein, ash, acid, and 10-HDA concentration.
The results show that RJ from western China has a significantly higher 10-HDA level (2.01 ± 0.05%) than those from northeastern (1.87 ± 0.05%) and eastern (1.75 ± 0.03%) China. RJ secreted by hybrid bees contained more 10-HDA (1.89 ± 0.03%) than that secreted by A. m. ligustica (1.78 ± 0.03%). The 10-HDA content of RJ produced during flowering of rape (Brassica campestris L.), lime (Tilia amurensis Ruprecht), and vitex (Vitex negundo L. variety heterophylla (Franch.) Rehder) was 1.92,1.80, and 1.68%, respectively. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Antioxidant, Antimicrobial Activities of Amazonian Stingless Bee Honey Analyzed

Phenolic profile, antioxidant activity and palynological analysis of stingless bee honey from Amazonas, Northern Brazil
Food Chem, 2013 Dec 15;141(4):3552-8
In this study honey samples produced by Melipona (Michmelia) seminigra merrillae, collected in seven counties distributed in the central and southern region of Amazonas state in Brazil, were analysed for their botanical origin, content and profile of phenolic compounds, and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.
Twenty-two pollen types were identified. The total phenolic content ranged from 17 to 66mgGAE/g of extract; the highest contents were found in honeys produced from pollen types such as Clidemia and Myrcia. The antioxidant activity was higher in the samples that contained higher quantities of phenolic compounds. In relation to the antibacterial activity, samples CAD3, CAD4 and SAD3 presented the best results. Fourteen phenolic compounds were determined. Among them, we identified the flavonoid taxifolin, which has not previously been described in honeys from stingless bees, and we report the identification of catechol in Brazilian honey samples for the first time.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bee Venom May Help Treat Pain of Shingles

Bee Venom Treatment for Refractory Postherpetic Neuralgia: A Case Report
Objective: Bee venom has been reported to have antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects in experimental studies. However, questions still remain regarding the clinical use of bee venom. This report describes the successful outcome of bee venom treatment for refractory postherpetic neuralgia.
Patient: A 72-year-old Korean man had severe pain and hypersensitivity in the region where he had developed a herpes zoster rash 2 years earlier. He was treated with antivirals, painkillers, steroids, and analgesic patches, all to no effect.
Intervention: The patient visited the East-West Pain Clinic, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, to receive collaborative treatment. After being evaluated for bee venom compatibility, he was treated with bee venom injections. A 1:30,000 diluted solution of bee venom was injected subcutaneously along the margins of the rash once per week for 4 weeks.
Results: Pain levels were evaluated before every treatment, and by his fifth visit, his pain had decreased from 8 to 2 on a 10-point numerical rating scale. He experienced no adverse effects, and this improvement was maintained at the 3-month, 6-month, and 1-year phone follow-up evaluations.
Conclusion: Bee venom treatment demonstrates the potential to become an effective treatment for postherpetic neuralgia. Further large-sample clinical trials should be conducted to evaluate the overall safety and efficacy of this treatment.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bee Products Reverse Oxidative Damage

Bee Products Prevent Agrichemical-Induced Oxidative Damage in Fish
PLoS One, 2013 Oct 3;8(10):e74499
In southern South America and other parts of the world, aquaculture is an activity that complements agriculture. Small amounts of agrichemicals can reach aquaculture ponds, which results in numerous problems caused by oxidative stress in non-target organisms. Substances that can prevent or reverse agrichemical-induced oxidative damage may be used to combat these effects. This study includes four experiments.
In each experiment, 96 mixed-sex, 6-month-old Rhamdia quelen (118±15 g) were distributed into eight experimental groups: a control group that was not exposed to contaminated water, three groups that were exposed to various concentrations of bee products, three groups that were exposed to various concentrations of bee products plus tebuconazole (TEB; Folicur 200 CE™) and a group that was exposed to 0.88 mg L-1 of TEB alone (corresponding to 16.6% of the 96-h LC50).
We show that waterborne bee products, including royal jelly (RJ), honey (H), bee pollen (BP) and propolis (P), reversed the oxidative damage caused by exposure to TEB. These effects were likely caused by the high polyphenol contents of these bee-derived compounds. The most likely mechanism of action for the protective effects of bee products against tissue oxidation and the resultant damage is that the enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) are increased.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pakistani Honeys Have Excellent Antioxidant, Antitumour Potential

Antitumour and antioxidant potential of some selected Pakistani honeys
Food Chem, 2014 Jan 15;143:362-6
Antitumour potential of honey is attributed to its excellent antioxidant activity which in turn depends on the geographical origin. The present study focuses on exploration of antioxidant and antitumour potential as well as total phenolic contents (TPC) of 58 Pakistani honeys involving spectrochemical techniques and potato disk assay. Agrobacterium tumefaciens was used to induce tumours in potato disks.
All analysed honey samples exhibited 1.33±0.00-155.16±0.98mg/100g of TPC, 50% 2,2-diphenyl picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) inhibition, 7.36±0.43-39.86±2.34mg/100g qurecitin equivalent antioxidant contents, 13.69±0.91-65.50±1.37mg/100g ascorbic acid equivalent antioxidant contents, 64.65±0.43-1780.74±11.79mM ferric reducing antioxidant power and 60% peroxide inhibition. Antitumour activity observed for 43 natural and 10 commercial samples was 20%. Two samples from Faisalabad region showed 87.50±5.50% and 79.00±5.56% antitumour activity which were reference standard. It was concluded that Pakistani honeys possessed excellent antioxidant and antitumour potential overall.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

American Bee Products Working Group Being Seeks Participants

Dear bee friends:
I am from Brazil and as a co-chair of the International Honey Commission (IHC).  I was invited to create an American IHC branch (IHC AMERICA) to keep all scientists involved in bee products analysis to work together in the American continent. This will be a sub group of the IHC. We have a meeting every year and we just had the IHC meeting last week in Kiev.
I am writing to the persons who were at the International Honey Commission List and also to the ones I think could be part of this group.
Please reply to me saying that if you want to participate and in which subject.
We have the following working groups:
1. Apimedical Science
2. Authenticity
3. EU Honey Directive
4. Geographical and botanical origion
5. Honey Analysis Methods
6. Non Apis Mellifera  honey (this group used to be  Melipona  honey)
7. Pollen
8. Propolis
9. Residues
10. Sensory Analysis

Sincerely yours,
Ligia Muradian
Dra. Ligia Bicudo de  Almeida Muradian
Associate Professor  from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Vice-head of the International Honey Commission (
Home page (


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Bee Venom May Help Treat Leukemia

Potentiation of a novel palladium (II) complex lethality with bee venom on the human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line (MOLT-4)
J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis, 2013 Oct 3;19(1):25
Although honeybee venom (BV) has been reported to induce apoptosis in different types of cancerous cells, its synergistic effects with customary anti-cancer drugs remain largely unknown. In the present study, we evaluated the cytotoxic effect of BV alone (as a natural product) and the synergistic cytological effects of this component in combination with [Pd (bpy) (Pi-Pydtc)]NO3 -- a novel palladium complex on human T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia cells. To investigate the cytotoxic effect of the BV alone and in combination with palladium complex on MOLT-4 cells MTT assay was performed. In order to determine the apoptotic effects of BV separately and in combination with Pd (II) complex on these cells and its ability to induce apoptosis, morphological examination, flowcytometric analysis and caspase-3 colorimetric assay were done.
We found that BV induced morphological changes, namely nuclear shrinkage, and inhibited MOLT-4 cell proliferation; both effects were dose- and time-dependent. Flow cytometry by Annexin-V antibody demonstrated that BV induced apoptosis in MOLT-4 cells. Furthermore, BV induced apoptosis independently of caspase-3 in these cells. In addition, we proved a clear synergistic effect of BV on [Pd (bpy) (Pi-Pydtc)]NO3. The apoptotic pathway activated by BV in combination with Pd complex was caspase-3-dependent.
These observations provide an explanation for the anti-proliferative properties of BV, and suggest that this agent may be useful for treating lymphoblastic leukemia alone or in combination with chemotherapy drugs pending further investigations on animal models as preclinical tests

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Propolis Compoenent May Help Treat Pulmonary Fibrosis

Regulatory effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester on type I collagen and interferon-gamma in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rat
Res Pharm Sci, 2013 Oct;8(4):243-252
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic lung disease of unknown etiology. Recent investigations have demonstrated that the impaired immune response is a common characteristic feature of IPF. Unfortunately, no definitive and effective drug treatment is available that could improve or at least inhibit the progressive course of this fatal disease. That is why one of the main priorities of pulmonary fibrosis investigations is to identify novel and effective molecular targets for preventive and therapeutic interventions. caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is one of the most interesting bioactive compounds extracted from bee propolis. It has been shown that CAPE has an antioxidant activity and modulatory impact on immune system. Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to investigate the regulatory effects of CAPE on the levels of type I collagen (COL-1) and Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Immunohistochemistry procedure was employed to assess the effects of CAPE on lung tissue.
In this study, male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 5 groups (n=8) included 1: Positive control group: bleomycin (BLM). 2: Negative (saline) control group. 3, 4: Treatment groups of 1 and 2: BLM+CAPE (5 and 10 μmol/kg/day, respectively). (5: Sham group: CAPE (10 μmol/kg/day). BLM application resulted in significant changes in the level of studied parameters as compared to the controls. CAPE could decrease type I collagen concentration, modulate IFN-γ level, increase the animals' body weight and decrease the lung index dose-dependently, compared with model group.
In conclusion, CAPE may provide a novel therapeutic target for treating pulmonary fibrosis.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Curcuma Starch Boosts Antifungal Activity of Honey

In vitro activity of natural honey alone and in combination with curcuma starch against Rhodotorula mucilaginosa in correlation with bioactive compounds and diastase activity
Asian Pac J Trop Biomed, 2013 Oct;3(10):816-21
To evaluate the in vitro activity and synergism of the combinations of natural honey and curcuma starch against Rhodotorula mucilaginosa in correlation with total phenolic, flavonoid contents, and diastase activity.
The Folin-Ciocalteu test was used to determine the total polyphenols content and the flavonoid content was analyzed using by the aluminum chloride method. The antifungal activity of the natural honey, determined by an agar well diffusion assay and agar incorporation method.
Total phenolic content varied from (63.930.11) to (95.366.08) mg GAE/100 g honey as gallic acid equivalent. Total flavonoids content varied from (5.41±0.04) to (9.94±0.54) mg CE/100 g. Diastase activity values were between (7.3±2.8) and (26±2.8). The zone inhibition diameter for the six honey samples without starch ranged between 6 and 20 mm. When starch was mixed with honey and then added to well, a zone inhibition increase diameter 7 and 21 mm. The percentage increase was noticed with each variety and it ranged between 5% and 62.5%. The minimal inhibitory concentrations for the six varieties of honey without starch against Rhodotorula mucilaginosa ranged between 28% and 36% (v/v). When starch was incubated with honey and then added to media, a minimal inhibitory concentration drop has been noticed with each variety. It ranged between 6.66 % and 20% (w/v). No significant correlation was established between diastase activity and bioactive compounds.
The mixture of curcuma starch and honey could lead to the development of new combination antibiotics against Rhodotorula infections.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Manuka Honey Export Industry Under Threat

Otago Daily Times, 3 Oct 2013
New Zealand's lucrative manuka honey export industry is under threat from a cheaper Scottish alternative that scientists say boasts even greater medicinal powers.
Heather honey, cultivated by bees buzzing around the Scottish Highlands, is even more effective than manuka honey when it comes to battling bacteria, a new UK study has found.
Researchers conclude that importing manuka from the other side of the world is "unnecessary" when local sources are available.
The thoroughly-researched manuka is the world's only medical grade honey.
Its anti-bacterial properties are widely used in veterinary medicine as a wound dressing.
But a Scottish researcher and equine surgeon, has just released findings of a study he launched to find out what other honey could be used as anti-bacterial wound dressings.
"Honey helps to promote healing, cleaning the wound and keeping it infection free," said Dr Patrick Pollock of University of Glasgow.
"Although Manuka has been the most studied honey source to date, other honey sources may have valuable antimicrobial properties too.
"If vets were able to use locally-sourced, cheaper honey as a wound dressing, it would be very beneficial, particularly in poorer countries."…

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Scottish Heather Honey Shows Potential for Horse Wound Treatment

By Horsetalk, Oct 01, 2013
Horse owners have long used honey to promote wound healing in horses, with New Zealand’s manuka honey considered the world leader, but it could soon have a Scottish rival.
A new study has shown that Scottish heather honey proved especially effective in fighting bacteria in a trial.
The study, published in The Veterinary Journal, was carried out by equine surgeon Dr Patrick Pollock and colleagues at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow.
A keen bee-keeper, Dr Pollock was interested to know if honeys other than manuka might make effective anti-bacterial wound dressings.
Pollock said: “Although manuka has been the most studied honey source to date, other honey sources may have valuable antimicrobial properties, too.
“Honey is useful in equine medicine, particularly on wounds to legs. There is not much fat on the lower half of horses’ legs, so can take a long time to heal, or even never fully heal at all.
“Honey helps to promote healing, cleaning the wound and keeping it infection-free. If vets were able to use locally sourced, cheaper honey as a wound dressing, it would be very beneficial particularly in poorer countries.”…

Friday, October 04, 2013

Bee Venom Helps Treat Neuropathy

Effect of bee venom acupuncture on oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia in rats
Oxaliplatin, a chemotherapy drug, often leads to neuropathic cold allodynia after a single administration. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA) has been used in Korea to relieve various pain symptoms and is shown to have a potent antiallodynic effect in nerve-injured rats.
We examined whether BVA relieves oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia and which endogenous analgesic system is implicated. The cold allodynia induced by an oxaliplatin injection (6 mg/kg, i.p.) was evaluated by immersing the rat's tail into cold water (4°C) and measuring the withdrawal latency. BVA (1.0 mg/kg, s.c.) at Yaoyangguan (GV3), Quchi (LI11), or Zusanli (ST36) acupoints significantly reduced cold allodynia with the longest effect being shown in the GV3 group. Conversely, a high dose of BVA (2.5 mg/kg) at GV3 did not show a significant antiallodynic effect. Phentolamine ( α -adrenergic antagonist, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) partially blocked the relieving effect of BVA on allodynia, whereas naloxone (opioid antagonist, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) did not. We further confirmed that an intrathecal administration of idazoxan ( α 2-adrenergic antagonist, 50  μ g) blocked the BVA-induced anti-allodynic effect.
These results indicate that BVA alleviates oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia in rats, at least partly, through activation of the noradrenergic system. Thus, BVA might be a potential therapeutic option in oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Bee Venom Helps Treat Acne

Effects of cosmetics containing purified honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) venom on acne vulgaris
J Integr Med, 2013 Sep;11(5):320-6
Acne vulgaris is a chronic dermatologic problem with multiple factors involved in its pathogenesis. Alternative solutions to acne treatment were instigated by antibiotic resistance despite of its extensive use. Purified bee venom (PBV) has been proposed as a promising candidate for that purpose. The present study was designed to confirm the antibacterial effect of PBV and access the efficacy of cosmetics containing PBV in subjects with acne vulgaris.
The skin bacterium Propionibacterium acnes was incubated with PBV at various concentrations and bacterial growth was evaluated using the colony forming unit (CFU) assay. The mechanism of PBV employed in killing P. acnes was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, a total of 12 subjects were randomized in a double-blind, controlled trial to receive either cosmetics containing PBV or cosmetics without PBV for two weeks. Evaluations included lesion counts and skin microorganism.
PBV exhibited antimicrobial activity in a concentration-dependent manner, reducing the number of P. acnes CFU by approximately 6 logs at a concentration of 0.5 mg. When PBV concentration was higher than 1.0 mg, no P. acnes colonies were spotted on an agar. TEM and SEM of untreated P. acnes illustrated the normal pleomorphic structure, whereas the PBV-treated bacterium lost the integrity of surface architecture. Significant difference (P=0.027) in the grading levels based on numbers of lesion counts for inflammatory and noninflammatory was observed in favour of the PBV group compared with the control group. In terms of average decrement of skin microorganism, subjects receiving cosmetics containing PBV experienced a significant 57.5% decrease of adenosine triphosphate levels, whereas participants receiving cosmetics without PBV experienced a nonsignificant decrease of 4.7%.
These results show that the in vitro actions of antimicrobial activity of PBV were translated in vivo. Cosmetics containing PBV provided a certain degree of efficacy in terms of lesion counts and skin microorganism concentration compared with cosmetics without PBV in subjects with acne vulgaris. PBV may be a good candidate compound for developing therapeutic drug for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Chestnut Honey Shows High Antimicrobial Activity

Antioxidant, antibacterial and ACE-inhibitory activity of four monofloral honeys in relation to their chemical composition
Food Funct, 2013 Sep 20
Different monofloral honeys from Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) have been studied in order to determine their main functional and biological properties. Thyme honey and chestnut honey possess the highest antioxidant capacity, which is due to their high vitamin C (in thyme honey) and total polyphenolic content (in chestnut honey). On the other hand, chestnut honey showed high antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, whilst others had no activity against S. aureus and showed very small activity against E. coli.
Moreover it was found that the antimicrobial activity measured in chestnut honey was partly due to its lysozyme content. In addition the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity was measured, and the ACE inhibition is one mechanism by which antihypertensive activity is exerted in vivo. All the types of honey showed some activity but chestnut honey had the highest ACE inhibitory activity.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Propolis Component Boosts Bone Healing

Influence of caffeic acid phenethyl ester on bone healing in a rat model
J Int Med Res, 2013 Sep 24
To examine the effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE; a component of honey bee-hive propolis with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer properties) on bone regeneration and fibrotic healing in a rat model.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 63; mean age 7 weeks; weight 280-490 g) were randomly divided into three groups: A, cranial defect with no bone healing treatment (n = 21); B, cranial defect treated with CAPE (n = 21); C, cranial defect treated with CAPE and β-tricalcium phosphate/hydroxyl apatite (n = 21). Rats were anaesthetized with ketamine (8 mg/100 g) by intraperitoneal injection and a cranial critical size bone defect was created. Following surgery, CAPE (10 µmol/kg) was administered by daily intraperitoneal injection. Seven rats in each group were killed at days 7, 15 and 30 following surgery. Bone regeneration, fibrotic healing and osteoblast activity were evaluated by histopathology.
Statistically significant differences in healing were found between all groups. There were no statistically significant within-group differences between day 7 and 15. At day 30, bone healing scores were significantly higher in groups B and C compared with group A.
CAPE significantly improved bone-defect healing in a rat model, suggesting that CAPE has beneficial effects on bone healing.