August 3, 2013 | Posted in Muscles / Bones

Apitherapy includes using all the products of the honey bee for healing, and they are many, and powerful. Honey, propolis, bee venom, and the homeopathic remedy Apis are some examples. is the best practical resource for collected information on these types of treatment.


Should bee stings be considered as treatment, their use must be treated with the greatest respect and caution, since an anaphylactic bee sting allergic reaction can be life threatening. No bee stings should be used without having Epi-Pen or Ana-Kit available (check the expiration date!), and another person present who is not allergic to bees. (Also, please familiarize yourself with how to use the Epi-pen / Ana Kit BEFORE you find yourself needing to use it!)

There is cross reactivity with other venomous insects, so history in the individual or family of serious reaction to wasp or bee requires total avoidance or serious precautions.

Fair-complected individuals (blondes and redheads) are more reactive than darker-complected individuals. The fair complexion reflects a sulfuric, more inflammatory, constitution. The darker complexion shows more iron forces are present to direct inflammation. Homeopathic iron in low potency can be used with sulfuric constitution persons during bee sting therapy, if reactions are large. The bee sting itself is sulfuric, fiery, by its nature.

Vitamin C, bee pollen, and raw honey are often taken simultaneous with bee stings to provide substances which support their action in the body. Vitamin C itself is an anti-histamine which offers relief from itching. Alcohol and nicotine undo the bee sting effect, and apitherapists often refuse stings to persons who use alcohol and nicotine, because the bee is sacrificing its life for little value.

That said, the use of bee stings as therapy is ancient, and brings a level of pain relief for inflammatory conditions (tendinitis, back pain) comparable to cortisone injections and just as quickly. It does not carry the risk of tissue necrosis which very occasionally accompanies steroid injections.

Observations of resolved arthritis when a person fell into a wasp nest, or resolved cancer when a person went through erysipelas in the days before antibiotics, have given rise to the conclusion that irritants waken the immune system, and can be applied clinically.

In anthroposophic terms, a bee sting causes the human ego organization– the active principle of the “I” or “Self'” in the physical organization — to enter the physical body more fully.  See Ego, Self, I.  See Picture of the human being.

The honeybee is unique among stinging insects in its connection to both earth and heaven — its hive is not on the ground, like a mudwasp, for instance. The inside of the hive is approximately 98 degrees year round, an unusual similarity to human warmth. All the products of the bee are of value to humans: the honey for food, the wax for candles, the propolis and bee bread and royal jelly for healing, the venom for healing, and the whole body of the bee for the homeopathic remedy Apis. Nature serves humans generously with parts of this or that plant, animal, mineral; but the bee, almost uniquely, gives us its entirety.

Bee stings must be done with commitment to regular use (at least once a week) or not at all. To start and stop stings randomly is to create potential for becoming allergic to them.

The first sting should be a mini-sting, which means the bee is allowed to sting, and the stinger immediately removed with a tick remover such as Ticked Off, a slotted plastic measuring spoon (a tweezers could squeeze the venom bag and deliver the entire sting without a person realizing it).

Based on the size and duration of reaction to the mini-sting, one can see how responsive the individual’s immune system is, and can use fewer or more stings, by gradually increasing. For example, a 3″ hot red spot in response to a mini-sting means this person does not need much to awaken immune reaction, and might receive one mini-sting twice a week to achieve good result. A 1/4 inch red spot reaction that lasts 1 day indicates the individual’s immune system needs more stimulation, and full stings could be given and increased gradually.

Bee stings are usually placed on or near the site of worst discomfort as first choice. Some sites are not practical for easy reach, or too sensitive, such as finger tips. The site is numbed with ice, and ice is applied again for comfort after the sting is placed. The stinging sensation is intense for a few seconds, subsides, may have a second wave of intensity or itch, and commonly resolves in approximately 60 seconds. Later discomfort is related to the immune response, and the person’s degree of reactivity, and consists of heat, redness, itchiness.

Large local reactions are not a sign of true allergy to bee stings. If the body contains the swelling to the site of the sting, the person is not truly allergic, even if the reaction is large. If a person develops hives, nausea, wheeze, collapse– symptoms away from the site of the sting — then they are considered allergic. A person who has had an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting has a 60% chance of getting another anaphylactic reaction from the next bee sting.

Some people use very large numbers of bee stings as treatment. Modest numbers of stings in conjunction with herbs, homeopathic remedies, and high quality nutrition can be just as effective. When we build a house, we are more efficient using a hammer, and a saw, drill, etc., than just using one tool.

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First do no harm is a basic Hippocratic concept in healing. This powerful tool should be addressed with respect, observing the cautions mentioned above, including Epi-pen, knowledge of family and personal insect allergy history, working with experienced practitioner / apitherapist, and consistent use to avoid developing bee sting allergy.

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