It’s obvious that stinging is bad news for the bee as she will die as a result, but what about the beekeeper? Are bee stings good for you?

In an age when so many people are so risk averse and seem to think that even being close to a bee will result in instant death, never mind if you are stung, it’s time to look at the positive side of bee stings.

Bee Sting

It is well known that despite the fact that a bee sting can cause swelling around the sting area, bee venom contains anti-inflammatory compounds.

Approximately 50% of the dry weight of bee venom consists of a substance called Melittin which not only has antiviral and antibacterial properties but has also been shown in a number of scientific studies to have anticancer effects. Unfortunately it is also Melittin that is reason stings hurt!

Bee venom has been used over the years in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and it has always been said that beekeepers either don’t suffer from this disease or it’s effects are dramatically reduced. I know of many people who claim it has brought about major relief from this very painful illness.

Unfortunately the cosmetics industry has also got on the bee venom bandwagon and many include it in moisturisers and other similar products. There are studies that show it helps to reduce wrinkles but more importantly there is evidence that a serum containing bee venom  helps to relief acne having an anti-inflammatory effect against Propionibacterium acnes.

It’s early days but investigation is ongoing into the effect of bee venom on autoimmune diseases such as lupus and there is some evidence it increases production on T cells and I have heard delegates on courses say it has helped relatives with Lyme disease.

Whilst there are a number of substances in the sting that are not so good for you this is supposed to be a positive blog.

The answer to the question “are bee stings good for you” is, unhelpfully therefore both yes and no.

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