Does bee venom apitherapy prevent coronavirus infection?

Narendra Pukhrambam
Immune is the ability of the body to fight or resist a particular infection to toxin, protecting it against various diseases. A strong immune system is the key to staying healthy. This is now assured in the current situation whereby immune is a key to play in combating COVID-19. Therefore, ensuring health and wellness by strengthening immunity to protect ourselves from falling ill is crucial especially during this critical hour. So we must boost our immune system with Bee Sting.
Papers published in Nature Medicine journal at the Peter Doherty Institute, Melbourne, for infection and immune was based on blood samples tested at four different time which shows how a patient’s immune system responds to the virus.
A 47 years old women in Melbourne with mild to moderate Corona virus disease or COVID-19, produced antibodies that fought the infection and recovered in about 10 days without any medicine. The women had travelled from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the Global epidemic. To be sure, the patient was otherwise healthy, the disease was mild to moderate and she was a non smoker. She was administered intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration but not given any antibodies.
Prof. Katherine Kedzieskn of the Institute said - “We should see that even though COVID-19 is caused by a new virus, in an otherwise healthy cell types, was associated with chemical recovery, similar to what we see in influenza”.
Bee venom and SARS-CoV-2 - Toxicon
When the Global number of confirmed COVID-19 case exceeded 2 million on the 15th April, 2020, Physicians of Johns Hopkins Corona Virus Resource Centre participated in the prevention and control of Corona Virus in China. The report of the discovery reflected of the discovery of Cowpox and the eventual victory of humans over the disease follows as in Hubei province, the epicentre of COVID-19 in China.
The local beekeepers were surveyed from February 23 to March 8, including 723 in Wuhan, the outbreak epicentre of Hubei. None of these beekeepers developed symptoms associated with COVID-19 and their health was totally normal. After that they interviewed patients in five apitherapy clinics. These patients had received apitherapy from October 2019 to December 2019 and all the five bee apitherapists have the habit of self-apitherapy for their health care (Apitherapy means making use of bee Venom from the honeybee’s sting to treat or prevent certain disease). Without any protective measures, two of the five apitherapists were exposed to suspected COVID-19 cases and others were exposed to confirmed COVID-19 case, but none of them were infected eventually.
Further, none of the 121 patients were infected by SARS- Cov-2, and three of them had close contact with immediate family members who were confirmed with SARS-Cov-2 because they live in less densely populated rural areas. But the five apitherapists and their patients are from densely populated areas in Wuhan. These people have one thing common, they developed a tolerance to bee sting further mentioned as Bee Sting can cause allergic reactions (Park and Lee, 2016), and it can even lead to death due to the excessive stress response of the immune system (Vazquez – Revuelta and Madrigal Burgaleta, 2018).
Bee-Venom can affect the body’s immune system( Cherniaek and Govorushko, 2018) and enhance the differentiation of human regulatory T Cells (Coramalhoelal, 2015) which play an important role in control of SARS-Cov infection (Chen etal 2010). Does the stimulation of the immunity system caused by bee Venom reduce susceptibility to Sars-Cov? To test this, animal experiments would be needed. Monkeys might be suitable for this study. Monkeys could be divided into experimental groups with the same breed and age. One group could be made tolerant to bee venom after a period of daily bee stings, while the other group receives no intervention. They could then be raised in the same environment contaminated by SARS-Cov-2, and multiple tests performed to see if they were infected by SARS Cov-2.
Bee Venom in human history
Whether the humans began keeping bees because of the healing effects of their stings or to get honey or for both reasons, we do not know. Already the early civilization knows about the healing found virtues in the painful bee stings. Bee stings are probably one of the first natural cures for arthritis in the ancient civilization of China, India, Egypt, Babylon and Greece. In Huangdi Neijing, an ancient Chinese medical book, around 500 BC, bee sting therapy was mentioned (Chen, 1984, Apiculture in China).
Aristotle (384-322) was the first researcher into bees, and has rightly been dubbed ‘The Sun of Ancient Apiculture’. His History of animals, his writings on the parts and reproduction of animals contain many references based on experiments with and observation of bees. He referred to the stinging apparatus of bees and powerful properties of bee. The ancient Greek Doctor Hippocrates used bee venom for therapeutic purposes. In his story of Aristoma Chus, Pliny tells how the philosopher was so enchanted by the life & work of bees and importance of bee venom to human.
It is documented that Charlemagne (742-814) preserved bee stings for therapy against goud, while Monfat (566-1634) prescribed bee stings to immediate flow of urine and against kidney stones. In 1858 the French medical doctor De Marti began to use bee stings for treatment of several diseases. In the same year, C.W. Wolf a prominent homeopathic physician of Berlin edited his book Apis Mellifira or the poison of the honey bee considered as a therapeutic agent.
In 1868 the Russians Lokumski and Lubarski published a book named “Bee Venom a Remedy”. The modern use of Bee-Venom in apitherapy was initiated through the efforts of Austrian Physician Philip Tere in his published results “Report about a Peculiar Connection between the Bee Stings and Rheumatism”. A book on Bee-Venom therapy was published in USA in the year 1935 by Bodog of Beek.
In Europe the first commercial bee venom preparations was released in 1928. Charles Mraz, a student of Beck, popularised Bee-Venom therapy in USA. In 1957 the Learned Council of the USA Ministry of Health sanctioned a temporary instruction for its use in the form of a bee sting for the treatment of certain illness. In 1864, Prof. M.I. Lukomsky of the St. Petersburg Forestry Institute published an article in which he demonstrated that bee Venom was a valuable remedy and appeal to doctors to study it. In 1936-37 M.B. Krol, Member of the Academy of Science made an experimental preparation of Bee-Venom and employed with success to treat patients with disorders of the nervous system. (to be continued)
(Views expressed are personal. The writer is president, Radha Apiary Bee-Keeping Development Organisation, Imphal)