Bee venom found to be medically useful – could this save them from extinction?

July 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Health

There has been much concern recently about the plight of the poor bumble bee as their numbers have declined so drastically the feared impact on the environment and our plant life is said to be truly serious.

However, there does not appear to have been any real concerted action to do something about it but now a new development which shows how bee venom could be effective in treating certain conditions — and therefore somebody could make some money out of it — might possibly just be the saving of them.

A collaboration between the University of Bristol and the University of Liege in Belgium believes that a toxin extracted from honey bee venom could potentially be used in the treatment of muscular dystrophy, depression and dementia.

Apamin, a natural peptide toxin found in bee venom, is known for its ability to block a type of ion channel that enables a high-speed and selective flow of potassium ions out of nerves. What the researchers have discovered is that the blocking of these channels in the brain causes nerves to become hyperexcitable and that this produces improved learning that has implications for the treatment of dementia and depression. In addition, injection of apamin improves the symptoms experienced by sufferers of myotonic muscular dystrophy (MD).

Professor Neil Marrion, from the University of Bristol’s Physiology & Pharmacology department, said: “Drug design depends on knowing the target. Our findings have provided a new approach to designing a therapeutic agent that could help with the treatment of a number of conditions.”

If you want to get ahead of the research, then can I suggest you start your own regime by using an organic high factor honey such as Manuka 15 or 30 and treat yourself to a spoonful of so every day as it has many health benefits — unless of course you are a diabetic in which case you might just have to hold on and wait for the bees to produce enough venom!

On a different note… A family business who is doing something to help bees thrive is They sell honey and other bee products. But they are offering you the chance to have your own hives in the garden for nothing! And you get to keep some of the honey – They just keep most of it as your payment to them. If you’re interested and live in South East Essex check them out.

For More info on Honey Bees – visit Essex Bees

Bees can fight tumours

September 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Health, Medical Research & Studies


The poor old bees, they are already under threat as their habitat is destroyed and now science has found a new use for them there may be even fewer. It’s down to their sting, because they pump toxic venom into their victims which has been analysed and now harnessed to kill tumour cells by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers attached the major component of bee venom to nano-sized spheres that they call nanobees. Good to know scientists have a sense of humour, bless them, and they found that in mice the bee toxin melittin stopped tumours from growing or shrank them. Hopefully this means they will have a good incentive to also start working out a way to prevent the bees from dying out altogether.

Bees need your help!

March 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

Many people are afraid of them, or rather their sting, but the humble bee brings us many benefits. Pollen to help with hayfever, delicious honey for our bread, and they are absolutely vital to the pollination of orchards and various food crops.

You may not have heard of Colony Collapse Disorder, a disease which has affected hives in the US, France, Germany and Italy, but it could see the complete wiping out of bee colonies in 10 years. It hasn’t arrived in the UK yet, but it is only a matter of time, and the British Beekeeping Association wants the Government to fund a research project into this potential disaster.

This would fall within the existing farming research budget at DEFRA, and the Government says there is no money for such research, although there is a contingency fund that they have no plans to dip into.

It would seem to make sense to research how to avoid this catastrophe before it hits us, so if you feel strongly then there is an online petition on the Downing Street website. Buzz of there and register your support for the bees at

Bees needed for ice cream production

March 7, 2008 by  
Filed under featured, Food & Nutrition

No I didn’t make it up. Apparently in order to produce ice cream you have to have a good healthy bee population. In the US, giant manufacturer Haagen-Dazs has warned that disappearing bee colonies may affect the ice cream supply. Apparently one-third of the U.S. food supply depends on pollination from bees and Haagen-Dazs said bees are responsible for a staggering 24 of its 60 flavours, including strawberry, toasted pecan and banana split. However, don’t panic if any of those are your favourites as Haagen-Dazs is donating $250,000 to two universities to fund research into the bee colony collapse disorder (CCD). Really, that is what they are calling it – there will be a lapel button or coloured ribbon to wear to show your solidarity with it next I am sure. They are also trying to raise consumer awareness of the problem by launching a new flavour called Vanilla Honey Bee, which I would have thought was a bit counterproductive, but they plan to use part of the sales from this flavour help the honeybees.

Altogether now, aaaah!