Do you know how many bee stings it takes to kill an average human being? The answer is 10 stings per pound of body weight. In other words a person who weighs 150 pounds would need 1500 stings to get enough venom for it to be lethal.
How about someone who is allergic? The answer; as little as one sting can send an allergic person into anaphalactic shock which can cause your airways to restrict and possible suffocation till death.
Still there are some who propose using a bees sting also known as apitherapy to relieve symptoms to such diseases as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, tendonitis, and fibromyalgia. Greek and South Korean researchers have determined that bee venom which contains melittin, slows interluken-1 which is a compound that when increased in the body produces pain and swelling caused by arthritis. Of course they used the unlucky lab rats for this conclusion but as far as hard facts that’s about as good as it gets. No conclusive proof or testing has been produced to show any benefit for the other diseases listed. Research as far back as 1941 came up inconclusive and even as recent as 2005 when a small scale ‘human’ test was conducted;
One very small human study was published in 2005 in the journal Neurology, but scientists concluded that bee sting therapy “did not reduce disease activity, disability, or fatigue and did not improve quality of life.” Researchers at M.C.P. Hahnemann University in Philadelphia recently started giving bee venom to mice with a disease similar to MS. The preliminary results suggest that the venom doesn’t diminish any MS symptoms in mice; in fact, some of the mice treated with bee venom displayed symptoms more severe than those of mice that got no treatment at all.
source: Healthy Me!
While some may say that apitherapy is harmless enough, after-all it’s just a self induced bee sting right? Try 80 or more self inflicted stings per day, every day. Patients using this therapy method have to inject themselves with the venom of so many bees just to achieve the hazy results and I wonder if it is worth it. I’m sure after awhile the sting seems less painful and as reported in many bee keepers the ‘stingee’ probably builds up a tolerance or even immunity. But there aren’t too many bee keepers I know who get stung 80 times per day (well there was Omaf the bee sniffing dog) and I can’t help but wonder when 80 turns into 90, 100 or even more just to get the results they used to get with less stings.
Researchers don’t seem to be convinced at this point but the patients themselves are more than enthusiastic. Is this a dangerous thing since most therapy is self administered and the bees are raised by the people being treated? With no apparent checks and balance system are some people in danger of going to far? When will their body say enough is enough? Is there such a thing as bee venom over dose? Regardless of the answer, it seems to me like ‘life on the edge.’