What is Bee Venom made of and How is Bee Venom Used by Humans

Bee venom or apitoxin is a colorless thick liquid with a characteristic strong odor and bitter taste, which bees secrete from the glands in the back of the body and serve to protect them from enemies. The bee venom begins to be secreted immediately after the bees hatch and is filled in a special bag in the back of the body. After about 20 days, the bag is full and contains a maximum amount of about 0.3 grams of bee venom. After that, the secretion stops and the bag can not be refilled.

Honey bee on flower

Bee stings contain about 50-100 micrograms of venom and the stinging device remains on human skin, after which the bee dies. Only worker bees and queens secrete bee venom. At the queen, the bag shrinks after the first year and the bee venom becomes thicker and hardens.

Compared to other animal venoms, bee venom is similar in its action to the venom of some snakes, with the difference that bee venom is present in far smaller quantities. This is why a large number of bee stings can seriously endanger human life and lead to death. A bee sting can not be a carrier of infectious diseases, because of the poison itself that effectively kills all microorganisms.

Bee venom contains anti-inflammatory and inflammatory compounds, including enzymes, sugars, minerals and amino acids. Bee venom contains about 50% of the compound Melitin, which according to some studies has antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer effects.

How does bee venom therapy work?

Apitherapy is an alternative medical practice that uses bee products - including bee venom - to treat and prevent disease and improve human health. Although bee venom has recently grown in popularity, bee venom therapy has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years.

Bee venom is used in many ways and is available in many forms. For example, it is added to products such as extracts, supplements, moisturizers, serums and the like. Bee venom injections can be administered by health professionals, and live bees are used in certain therapies.

There are scientific studies that confirm the use of bee venom for the treatment of Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammatory diseases, desensitization of bee venom, etc.

Bee venom has a complex chemical composition, ie it consists of more than 50% of different proteins, but it also includes calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. The component with the most toxic effect is melittin, which affects the blood circulation in humans and animals. Other ingredients are apamine which affects the nervous system and histamine which causes pain.

When stung, the bee injects its venom, which consists of the following substances

  • Apamine - neurotoxin.
  • Adolapine - has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects and is used in painkillers
  • Phospholipase - degrades cell membranes and inhibits blood coagulation.
  • Hyaluronidase - dilates capillaries causing inflammation to spread
  • Histamine - causes an allergic reaction and pain
  • Dopamine - increase in heart rate
  • Noradrenaline - increase in heart rate
  • Protease - Inhibitors - anti-inflammatory action and stops bleeding.
  • Tertiapine - Blocks two types of potassium channels.

Allergic reactions to bee venom

A bee sting can cause a severe allergic reaction including anaphylactic shock, which can result in death. Although today a small part of the population is allergic to bee venom, before any work with bees or treatment with apitoxin, it is important to test the person for allergies.

Apitoxin therapy must be performed by qualified medical professionals who must have appropriate training and first aid equipment.