Beekeeper holding honeybees

Beekeeper holding honeybees

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This image is part of the feature Biotherapy

Credit: LOUISE MURRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Beekeeper holding honeybees. These honeybees (Apis mellifera) are being bred for shipment to patients undergoing bee venom therapy (BVT). 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 and allowing themselves to be stung at specific points on the body. The medicinal use of honeybee products, such as venom, honey, royal jelly and beeswax, is known as apitherapy. Photographed in Pebadale apiary, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, UK.

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