Monday, July 22, 2013

Trifecta of stings

This week there is a full moon which could explain why unusual occurrences are happening, such as royal baby births and the like (which, by the way, occur in beehives daily, with no fanfare whatsoever, boy or girl!)

Anyway, last Monday evening, I was stung by a bumble bee on my ear while feeding my cats near the cone flowers planted by my porch.  I was slightly offended, as I like bumble bees and promote their well-being. To be fair, it wasn't entirely her fault.  I swatted at what I thought was a fly. And, she retaliated.

Saturday afternoon, while mowing the lawn, I ran over a nest of German yellow jackets and was stung on the ankle by a very upset guard that was upset at the smoke, noise and vibrations; that nest no longer exists. I feel no love for yellow jackets, even as an entomologist, even though they are good predators.  People get killed every year at this time by simply mowing their lawns and having these nasty beasts attack. How I got by with only one sting I do not know!

Then, yesterday, while going through my hives, it was very hot and humid and my bee veil clung to my neck where I was sweating; darned if one of my girls didn't sting me there!  Maybe it's time for a new stiffer veil! Geeze.

In each case, I took two benadryl pills (maybe I should buy stock in benadryl?!) and held ice to the wound after removing the stinger with the edge of a credit card, so as not to pump more venom from the venom sack into the wound.  I also told someone (Walt) to watch me for any breathing irregularities and call 911, if need be.  I wasn't sure how I'd react to bumble bee or yellow jacket venom, since I've not been stung by these in a long time. I am stung by honey bees all the time.

I was fine, with little swelling, and great drowsiness, in each case. But, I figure I've been really challenging my immune system and adrenal cortex quite a lot of late! Which got me to thinking about the fact that beekeepers tend not to get cancer.  I found this little tidbit, a little bit dated now, but I thought I'd share. Enjoy. But, stay healthy and safe out there, and remember, just because you don't react this time to a sting does NOT mean you won't next time.

From Apitherapy News

Sunday, January 01, 2012


Beekeepers Have Low Incidence of Cancer

Honeybees Health Benefits and Cancer
Inform Africa, December 25, 2011

…Beekeepers have the lowest incidence of cancer of all the occupations worldwide. This fact was acknowledged in the annual report of the New York Cancer Research Institute in 1965. Almost half a century ago, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 9(2), Oct., 1948, published a report by William Robinson, M.D., et al., in which it was claimed that bee pollen added to food (in the ratio of 1 part to 10,000) prevented or delayed the appearance of malignant mammary tumour.

L.J. Hayes, M.D had the courage to announce, “Bees sterilise pollen by means of a glandular secretion antagonistic to tumours.” Other doctors, including Sigmund Schmidt, M.D., and Ernesto Contreras, M.D., seem to agree that something in pollen works against cancer.

Dr W. Schweisheimer also said that scientists at the Berlin Cancer Institute in Germany had never encountered a beekeeper with cancer. A French study concerning the cause of death of 1,000 beekeepers included only case of a beekeeper that died of cancer. The incidence of cancer-caused deaths in a group of French farmers was 100 times higher than the group of beekeepers.

Till date, no study has faulted the fact that beekeepers have very low, almost negligible incidence of cancer worldwide. Due to the weight of this fact and coupled with his experience, John Anderson, Professor of beekeeping, University of Aberdeen, unequivocally declared: “Keep bees and eat honey if you want to live long. Beekeepers live longer than anyone else”.

But why and how do bee stings prevent or heal cancer? First, the major component of bee sting venom is mellitin, which has powerful bacterial and cytotoxic properties. The mellitin in bee venom activates two main glands – adrenal cortex and the hypophysis, which in turn begin to secrete hormones that have strong anti-inflammatory effect. Cancer and many other degenerative diseases are often preceded by inflammation. Bee venom also stimulates the immune system and cancer is less likely to gain a foothold in those with strong immune system.

Nothing promotes blood circulation better than the bee venom, which dissolves plaque in blood vessels and flush it out to ensure free flow of blood. Bee venom contains proteins and amino acids (18 of the 20 obligatory amino acids). When small doses of bee venom gets into the blood they compensate for the deficit of amino acids, make active hormones and vitamins, lower the level of cholesterol and have a positive effect on fat metabolism.

The article goes on from here, but I would have had to subscribe to the journal to get more....

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