Bee Venom (Apitoxin)

Did you know that bee venom (apitoxin) is a miraculous healing substance? The clear, colorless liquid contains proteins that cause a localized inflammation in most people. However, in rare cases it can lead to severe allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock and even death.

Only female worker honey bees have a stinger, which is a modified egg-laying device. Honey bees are not aggressive. They only sting to defend their nest or when provoked or feel threatened.

Collecting Bee Venom

Are bee venom products cruel? Bee venom has been used for centuries to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions. To collect the venom, the beekeeper uses a smoker to calm the bees and prevent them from becoming agitated. He then places a special glass plate over the hive that allows the bees to crawl onto. Once a bee is on the glass, the beekeeper uses a small brush to carefully stroke the bees’ abdomens. This causes them to release a drop of venom onto the glass without harming the bee. The venom is transferred from the glass to a vial for storage.

Another way of collecting bee venom involves using special equipment. The bee is placed in a glass tube known as an extractor, and a tiny metal plate is placed against its abdomen. A small amount of electricity is then passed through the plate, causing the bee to sting. The venom is then collected on the plate and can be used for various medicinal purposes. It is said that the bees are not harmed during this process.

It can be administered directly via injections, accupuncture, direct bee stings (this does harm the bees!), or as topical uses in creams, gels, and wound dressings.


Bee venom contains over 100 healing compounds, including enzymes, peptides, and minerals. It is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial. One of the most important compounds is melittin, which is responsible for the painful sensation of a bee sting. It accounts for approx. 50% of the apitoxin, and is made of 26 different amino acids. Various studies have proven that the melittin in bee venom has antibacterial, anti‐cancer activities, anti‐inflammatory, antiviral and radioprotective properties.

Bee venom also contains apamin, a neurotoxin that has been shown to have positive effects on the nervous system.  Another component is adolapin, an analgesic that can help to relieve pain, and phospholipase A, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Been Venom in Cosmetics

The cosmetics industry uses bee venom as an antiwrinkle agent. The serum has proven to be especially efficient in reducing the number and depth of wrinkles in people with sun-damaged skin. The venom is applied in form of creams, face-masks or gels. Studies found significant skin improvements after just 12 weeks of application!

Use of Bee Venom in Medicine

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Research into Apitoxing shows very promising results. Apitoxin is effectively used in treating atherosclerosis ( build-up of of plaques consisting of fatty material on the inner walls of arteries), some types of cancer,  rheumatoid arthritis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes mellitus, liver fibrosis, HIV, pain and other conditions.

According to recent laboratory tests, bee venom and in particular melittin is highly toxic to various tumors, such as ovarian, lung, pancreatic and melanoma tumors.

Research conducted at the University of Western Australia and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, both in Perth, discovered that melittin and the bee venom kill two aggressive types of breast cancer rapidly with hardly any effects on normal cells. How the cancer cells are killed is not yet fully understood. However, research leader Dr. Ciara Duffy said, “The venom was extremely potent. We found that melittin can completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes.” The research in this field is still in its infancy and ongoing.

Bee venom can help to reduce swelling and pain and has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of other conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and acne.

What is Bee Venom Therapy?

Some people can have severe allergic reactions to bees including death. Can you become immune to bee venom? There is a treatment called Immunotherapy that can cure allergic reactions and other medical conditions, which can be seen in this short National Geographic Video.

The bee venom therapy involves injecting patients with tiny amounts of the venom to create an immune response. The amount is gradually increased over time. The therapy can be done by using actual bees to sting or by injectables. To numb the skin and reduce pain ice is used. The stings cause inflammation, which leads to an anti-inflammatory response by the immune system.

Quick Remedy for Bee Stings

According to the Mayo Clinic you should remove the stinger and wash the area with soap and water, apply calamine lotion or a hydrocortisone cream, and use a cold compress. You can also use an anti-histamine to reduce itching and swelling. Severe symptoms always require medical attention!

If you had a treatment with bee venom, please share your experiences in the comments below!

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