viernes, 27 de marzo de 2009

Bees are a God’s gift (Translation from the Spanish version)

Mirtha Bueno*, B.A.

Translated by Dr. Moises Asis

On the occasion that March 30th was been declared the “World Apitherapy Day” we ask ourselves why Charles Mraz, the pioneer of bee venom therapy in the United States, used to say that bees are a God’s gift? We know that God is perfect, and certainly bees are a reflection of Him. In their organization as a society, they have established a hierarchy as a society which begins with the queen, the workers, and the drones, with specific tasks to accomplish, fully assumed by them as if they were only one entity. For nature and life in this planet, bees play an important role of ecological equilibrium by pollinating fruits, vegetables, and cereals. For that reason it is said that if bees disappear from globe’s surface, mankind would only survive four years: without bees there is no pollination, no food.

Some of their products are well known, such as honey, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis; other products are not well so known to the public regarding their chemical composition and properties, such as Apilarnil (drone larvae), apitoxin (bee venom), and beeswax; even the whole bee herself is used in Apitherapy. All these products are extraordinary and amazing; for example, pollen is the protein source for hive and itself is a complete protein complex with all 22 essential amino acids plus vitamins and minerals, very valuable for health, while the beekeeper needs to take only a little amount of pollen from the colony to feed humans and animals.

Propolis is a resinous substance with a brown-reddish to yellowish-greenish color produced by bees from plant resins, has exceptional therapeutic properties as a natural antibiotic, bactericidal, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory, and other properties, over 168 different compounds have been identified in propolis, and we can affirm that it is the most medicinally active product from hive.

Although little known in our country for their therapeutic uses, I want to emphasize on the use of apitoxin or bee venom, and the other beehive products as co-adjuvant to prevent, treat, and heal health disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatism, arthritis, arthrosis, espondilytis, lumbargia, fibromyalgia, neuritis, discal hernias, etc. Immune disorders, including AIDS, have beneficial treatment with apitoxin.

On this World Apitherapy Day I want to underline and recognize the labor of four outstanding people who have dedicated their life and professional work in the United States, in different eras, to promote and apply bee venom therapy or Apitoxinotherapy: Dr. Bodog Beck, Charles Mraz, Pat Wagner, and Dr. Amber Rose.

Dr. Bodog F. Beck was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1871 and passed away in Kingston, New York, in 1942. For many years he worked at St. Mark’s Hospital, but in his private office at 116 East 58th Street, New York City he practiced his great passion in Medicine: the bee venom therapy. Dr. Beck compiled his research and experience with apitoxin in a book, “Bee Venom Therapy: Bee Venom, Its Nature, and Its Effect on Arthritic and Rheumatoid Conditions” (New York/London: D. Appleton-Century, 1935), reprinted in 1981. Despite it was first published over 70 years ago, the book continues to be the best treatise ever on the subject, and we apitherapists praise it as a Bee Venom Therapy Bible, and this is the title given to the book in a recent edition.

Charles Mraz, as his biography at the American Apitherapy Society website ( states, was an outstanding American beekeeper who became since the 1930’s a faithful preacher of the therapeutic use of bee stings, and for 60 years he dedicated to promote this. He was born on July 26, 1905, in Woodside, New York, and at 94 years old he peacefully passed away on September 13, 1999 in Middlebury, Vermont, where in 1928 he had established Champlain Valley Apiaries (which eventually became New England’s largest apiary with 1,000 beehives) He was recognized in 1992 by the American Beekeeping Federation as one of the five most distinguished beekeepers in this country for his advances in commercial beekeeping. Charlie was recognized in the United States as the pioneer of bee venom therapy: the use of bee stings to treat various disorders, primarily autoimmune diseases. In addition to initiating clinical research with scientists at the Sloan-Kettering Institute and the Walter Reed Army Institute, he established the standard for purity for dried whole venom for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and was the supplier of venom to pharmaceutical companies throughout the world. A founding member of the American Apitherapy Society, Charlie earned the gratitude of thousands of people who traveled to his home in Vermont for bee venom treatments or met him at Apitherapy conferences around the country. His 1994 book, Health and the Honey Bee recounted his experience with bee venom therapy.

Pat Wagner, “The Bee Lady”, has an amazing personal history of recovering from Multiple Sclerosis, but her story is better seen by her own words published in her webpage (

“I was diagnosed at Georgetown University Hospital in the spring of 1970 with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis. Medications given to me included ACTH, Prednisone, Dalmane, Halcion, Valium (40 mgs./day), Seconal, Meprobamate, Dantrium, Dexedrine, Ditropan, Lomotil, Erythromycin, Keflex, Percocet, Bicodin, Tylenol #3, Fiorinal, Morphine, Indomethacin, and Timoptic eye drops. The course of my MS worsened over the years until the spring of 1992 when I experienced my worst exacerbation in terms of duration and resistance to treatment. Two courses of high dose Prednisone tapering over 6 weeks (80 mg per day on down) did not help. I was prescribed Prozac for depression because I would cry ‘at the drop of a hat’. The medical records read ‘Wheelchair bound, numb woman with bladder incontinence’. Bladder surgery was done in March 1992 but did not prove beneficial. Regarding mobility, more records read ‘as if her feet were nailed to the wheelchair. No movement since October 1991’. Then, on March 24, 1992, I received my first intentional sting from a honeybee. Besides being numb, my skeletal system felt as though it was made of ice. Twenty minutes after I received a sting on my left knee, my entire leg no longer felt bone cold. This was a very positive sign to me that there may be something to this bee sting thing. I got four more stings that evening and the next day my entire body was no longer cold except for my feet and hands. A noticeable increase in energy was evidenced in two days by my ability to stay awake longer throughout the day. The hearing in my right ear was lost due to MS, but regained within two weeks of the stings. My husband Ray became so hopeful for me that he bought a beehive, took over stinging me, and I changed his name to Sting Ray! Although the treatment has not been a cakewalk, its effects have made me a new person. During a follow-up visit with my neurologist, who said there was ‘No hope’ He called out my name and I walked over to him… He did not recognize me because he was expecting a cripple in a wheelchair!”

After a significant improvement in her condition, Pat’s case jumped to press and TV media and she has been receiving requests from hundreds of MS patients form all the United States wanting to receive Apitherapy, and she and her husband have converted their home in a bee sting healing house.

The fourth apitherapist I want to mention is Dr. Amber Rose, L.Ac., LCSW, a lifetime healer. After graduating with honors from Chicago University and Iowa University, she studied acupuncture at the Traditional Acupuncture Institute in Columbia, Maryland. Her experience in psychotherapy flashed her on the value of acupuncture, and her knowledge of acupuncture led her to the bee venom therapy’s world.

In her book “Bees on Balance”, Amber describes how she discovered this world: “Bees came to my life in the moment when I most needed them, as I was surviving an abusive marriage and I felt that life had no meaning for me. Pat Wagner’s history in The Washington Post took me back to life, I received my miracle and the answer to my prayers was to give to others. Next day I drove my car to Pat’s home in Maryland, she was at her house door, but I was not a MS patient, there were some 30 or 40 people waiting to be stung, I saw her applying bee stings and I asked myself if she was stinging acupuncture points, yes and no, as she was –without knowing it- stinging on trigger points and meridians. I realized that I was an apitherapist who waited to be awakened, and immediately I offered myself to help her in her labor, as I had much to learn.

Beyond of puncture on skin, bee venom therapy and acupuncture have something very special in common, each one stimulates the body to awake its natural ways of healing. The concept is that the body awakens and heals itself. This is not a patch to cover a wound or pain or a disease symptom, it is a holistic approach: to heal the person’s body, mind, and spirit.”

The story of one of Amber’s patients, gives us an example on her vision of Apitherapy. Let.’s see Lonny Hill’s testimony:

“I had my first symptoms of multiple sclerosis in 1983. My left eye became blind but doctors had no idea on what was wrong. I was admitted in hospital. I will never forget that day when I saw an old man crying because he couldn’t see, and I remember my thoughts, ‘I am so lucky… at least I have one fine eye!’ One month later, doctors told me I had MS. I had no idea what it was, some months later I started problems on my right eye, to the point I could see only shadows. On January 11, 1985, I was ready to leave a community center when I realized I couldn’t see anything. I was too scarred to tell the receptionist that I was blind, I believed in my heart that I could handle things at home, if at least I could open my mailbox. I found my way home, sat down and cried, a profound depression invaded me and I could overcome it when I was referred to the school for the blind, Lighthouse for the Blind, which taught me some skills to keep an independent life, and also they taught me to read Braille. Some time later I began to experience difficulties to walk. Doctors gave me corticoids and made me to suffer from diabetes. In June 1987, I had another crisis, I couldn’t clean my table, I had lost strength in my hands and arms, also I had lost all strength in my legs, I feared I would never stand again. I have had ups and downs after that and finally I went to a nursing home in August 1993, at 36 years old. In September 1993, I had my first 6 bee stingings, I have felt better since then. It has been a difficult journey for me. Since then I have had no bad day, and all thanks to Pat Wagner and Amber Rose. At the nursing home where I lived it was needed that two nurses helped me to transfer from the bed to the wheelchair, and after the first weeks on bee stings I needed only one nurse to help me, then I began to move the wheelchair by myself, because I had more strength in my arms.

My arms and hands are strong now, I can eat by myself for the first time in years, I can eat Chinese food, now… with my own hands. I can hold my radio, dial stations, this makes me to feel fine with myself, I don’t like to depend on other people all the time, I like to make my own things.

On March 20, 1994, I had a miracle, I began walking again, I have been using parallel rails and walker, this is really something! I will go out of here! You will ask how I did and I tell you this, ‘A little of bees, a little of God, and a lot of me’.”

As a conclusion, I want to insert this story from Amber Rose’s book entitled “The Beekeeper’s Discovery”: “Apitherapy probably started with the first bee, but most of its official history in this country appears to happen in Middlebury, Vt., with a beekeeper named Charles Mraz. Mraz, now 88, said he has been involved with bees since he was 14, ‘all grownups used to tell me that bee stings were good for arthritis. And of course, as I was 14 I thought they were crazy’. Later, when he was 28, he was affected by rheumatic fever, which not only left his heart damaged but also so much main on his joins that ‘I couldn’t leave my chair’. After suffering for six months, I remembered what children had told me and I decided to try’, took some bees and he stung himself with bees on both sides of a knee. On next day, pain had totally disappeared. And this was a shock for me.’ 'In subsequent years, Mraz has spoken of his treatment to the doctors, and offered it free to anyone who suffered from rheumatic diseases.

Later, in 1986, a woman came to him with MS. ‘I told her I knew nothing on MS. She said, “Well, you treated my arthritis five years ago and symptoms disappeared. When they reappeared, I went to see a doctor and he told me that really it was MS. As it was a treatment for MS the last time you treated me and it worked, I want that you treat me again”. Three years later, he constituted the American Apitherapy Society altogether with Bradford Weeks, a general practitioner in North Hartford, Vermont. Weeks states that his role has been to provide scientific documentation on Charles Mraz’s extraordinary labor. People come from everywhere to be treated by him, but he keeps no records. I took care of this. As he always states, he is not a doctor but only a beekeeper. Thus I started to keep his records for him and could have in my PC a database on about 6,000 patients, and over 300 of them with MS”.

His efforts have triggered an extraordinary interest for research in such places as France and Korea where Mraz and him have flied to lecture and where the main scientific research are in progress. “But until recently there was no money from the government or from corporations for controlled research in this country, because there are no potentials for profit to corporations, simply there are not.”

According to Richert, of Georgetown Hospital, the most intriguing aspect of bee venom is a compound called apamin. Symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis are resulting from an inflammatory degeneration of nerve coat conducting electric signals from and to the brain. “When the coat of nerves degenerate, they do not conduct electricity well, thus nervous impulses are blocked. Apamin doesn’t stop degeneration, but it improves the conductivity of the degenerated nerve. This property can be the one acting in the MS cases in which bee venom has shown to be successful.”

Besides, Weeks status, venom contains two powerful anti-inflammatory agents, mellitin and adolapin, appearing in the fight against neural cortex itself.

Richert, however, states that bee venom is not more that the last of a succession of natural substances promoted as a promissory cure for MS in recent years. Cobra venom for some time was another substance.

Weeks says that he is following up four patients treated with bee venom therapy, and who have shown any improvement in a long term.

However, “There is more than a few proofs that beekeepers as a group are very healthy and long-lived, and can have unusual immune systems Bee stings perhaps have to do with this. We have applied for grants to develop a large double-blind research on bee venom where neither the patient or the doctor will know who is receiving the test drug and who is receiving the placebo. This is the only way to demonstrate a treatment efficacy.

March 30 was selected as World Apitherapy Day because it is the birthday of Dr. Philipp Terc, first scientist who researched the medical applications of bee venom or apitoxin. That day he was born in Praporište, Bohemia, Czech Republic, in 1844.

*Apitherapist, and representative in Dominican Republic of Apitherapy Consulting, Ltd.

PS: We are organizing the first introductory workshop on Apitherapy, by Moisés Asís, author of several Apitherapy books, to be held on June 27, 2009 (Saturday) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

1 comentario:

alba ramos dijo...

Hola soy alba, hace unos dias paso un joven vendienedo miel de abejas y... la verdad no queira comprar me parecia cara, ademas nunca la abia usado, pero me anime y la compre, y esta resulto ser tan buena que aora yo la estoy vendiendo, la gente se encanta y siempre me preguntan por mas o para que es buena la miel de abejas.