Does bee venom apitherapy prevent coronavirus infection?

    10-Jun-2020
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Narendra Pukhrambam
Continued from previous issue
The Composition and Properties of Bee-venom
According to experimental observations of bees, Medical apiculture and writer Mr Naum Ioyrish and his wife Mrs. Kaganova Ioyrish of the then USSR in their book - Bees and People mentioned that bee venom contains formic, hydrochloric and orthophosphoric acids, histamine, tryptophan, sulphur and other substances. It may be supposed that magnesium phosphate is of great curative value. Traces of copper and calcium have also been noted. It also contains many proteins, volatile and enzymes. Prof. G.F Guze, Head of laboratory at the Institute of Malaria and Medicinal Parasitology of the then USSR Academy of Medical Sciences considered bee venom as the strongest antibiotic substances ever known. The German research workers Naumann and Habermann published an interesting article in 1954 in which they showed that melittin (a protein extracted from bee venom) caused lowering of blood pressure, haemolysis and smooth muscles, and block nerve muscle and ganglia synapses.
Melittin is the main Bee Venom with many positive biological effects and a relatively low toxicity. The MCD peptide and Phospholipase A are the two most toxic components. (www.bachem.com)
Men’s Sensitivity to bee venom
When a bee stings it injects a drop of venom into the skin. There is no doubt that the sting is the bee’s weapon of defence and not of attack. When a bee inserts her sting into the body of an enemy, the odour of the poison infuriates other bees. The bigger and more dangerous the enemy the more defenders of the hive sting attracting still more bees to the spot by this soundless alarm signal. No other creatures in the world have such a strange weapon of defence which in stinging on enemy often kills the stinger so that, with bees, self defence often becomes suicide. The sting of an individual became the weapon of collective defence, an organ for the protection of the community.
Bee sting can often do great harm to healthy people, especially if they are hyper sensitive to the venom. The only remedy advisable is the extraction of the sting together with its poison sac. The longer the sting remains in the skin the more poison passes into the blood. When a bee has stung a person, it instinctively attempts to fly away, but the barb of the sting catches firmly in the skin and the stinging apparatus is torn off with both poison glands and poison sac and the ganglion of the abdominal nerve chain, which ensures its automatic innervations and contraction outside the bee’s body. As a result venom continues to enter the blood. The sting should be pulled out of the skin as soon as possible, using special tweezers it is possible to remove the sting quickly, gently and carefully. Once freed of the sting, the wound should be treated with spirit or Vaseline.
When poisoning by bee venom has occurred, a glass of a honey-Vitamin-Alcohol mixture should be taken every three or four hours (50-100g of honey, 200g of vodka, 1g of ascorbic acid and one litre of boiled water). Honey has a beneficial stimulating effect on the heart, liver and other organs in all cases of poisoning.
There are people; however who are abnormally sensitive to bee Venom, in whom one sting is sufficient to cause general indisposition, severe headache, a rash similar to nettle rash, vomiting and diarrhoea. Though, very rarely were a single bee sting has been the cause of death of a completely healthy person.
Bee stings or injections of apitoxin are conducive to raising immunity not only to bee venom but also certain infectious diseases. When use correctly, bee venom is a therapeutic and prophylactic remedy affecting the organism as a whole and not just separate organs or particular illness. When bee venom enters the organism it releases all the forces of resistance which explains why beekeepers who have worked for many years in a bee-garden (Apiary) enjoy good health and live to ripe old ages. They develop immunity to various illnesses. People who have worked with bees for a long time can endure stings with no harm to the organism. Some beekeepers who have worked many years with bees have tolerated being stung by as many as hundreds of bees without symptoms of poisoning of any kind.
The data from questionnaire circulated to apiaries in the then Soviet Union indicates that 28.2 % of bee-keepers became immune to bee venom within a year of starting work, 34.6 % became immune within two years and 10 % within three years. It has been shown experimentally that specific antibodies counteracting the effect of bee venom developed in the blood of bee keepers who have worked with bees for a long time and consequently have often been stung. The serum of the beekeeper counteracted the action of the venom, whereas ordinary serum did not have the property. Through frequent stinging, it would seem, specific antibodies developed in bee-keepers, giving rise to local and general humoral immunity. The saliva of a person accustomed to bee stings act as an antidote to bee Venom. It must be mentioned, however, that the incorrect use of bee Venom can cause irremediable harm. Apitoxin therapy should only be carried out by a qualified and experienced doctor.
For many years apitoxin therapy has been widely used in the then Soviet Union and other Socialist countries. Preparations made with bee venom and Apisarthron are extremely popular. But clinical observations in Romania, the USA (Beck Broadman) and the then USSR (Bredikhin and Ioyrish Okhotskaya) indicate that bee venom is most effective when injected intravenously by means of a natural sting.
Comments and Conclusion
With reference - Does Bee Venom Apitherapy prevent COVID-19/Coronavirus infection - from the website of Jons Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre and 20 th May being the International Bees Day, I have written this article to focus in the online platform Facebook because I wish to share my observation through the knowledge of Russian Book “Bees and People” of Naum Ioyrish base on medical apiculture and my view on the important role they play on the life of man and to demonstrate the tremendous benefits they bring. I hope that it will help not only to inculcate a love for these little winged friends and assistant of mankind but also to obtain better crop yields both in Agriculture &  Horticulture and mainly broader use for therapeutic and prophylactic purpose with proper use of Bee Venom which links in a chain of factors for man’s health and prolongation of life. It is high time to study and research by the Scientists and researchers of SARS-COV 2 the prophylactic properties of the series of laboratory and domestic animals that have been artificially immunized with bee venom. This measure will undoubtedly enrich the arsenal of effective biological remedies. In the absence of Vaccine of COVID-19, if the measure works, then it could offer our hope towards victory over COVID-19. Let us start Bee-Keeping having one or two bee hive in the kitchen garden of the city area and for the Rural it may be a compulsion for a Bee-Farm and thereby increases food production. It is known that the bee is like a living brush with the help of which flowers are naturally pollinated. Cross pollinated plants yield more and bigger seeds and fruits than self pollinated plants. So, we can beat this virus, let’s all just be co-operative with the governmental institutions. May God protect the entire Nations and keep us safe. We need to win more than ever. Together there is no mountain we can’t climb.
(Views expressed are personal. The writer is president, Radha Apiary Bee-Keeping Development Organisation, Imphal