Bee venom therapy

Bee venom therapy

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This image is part of the feature Biotherapy

Credit: LOUISE MURRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bee venom therapy. Patient undergoing bee venom therapy (BVT) by allowing a live honeybee ( Apis mellifera) to sting his hand. It is thought that BVT can help alleviate the symptoms caused by rheumatism, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other diseases. Live bees are ordered from bee breeding centres. After testing for potential allergies, patients are able to self-administer the venom, by holding the bee in a pair of tweezers. The bee dies after it has stung the patient, leaving behind the sting and venom sac. The medicinal use of honeybee products, such as venom, honey, royal jelly and beeswax, is known as apitherapy.

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