Photo: Getty Images
A couple of weeks ago, my 76-year-old mother frantically called me to say that she had been stung by several bees while she was trying to get in her home. She did not see a huge swarm of bees hovering nearby, and evidently, she disturbed them. In her mad dash to get away, those bees sensed her fear and were undoubtedly angered by her presence, so they went to work on her. She escaped with roughly 15 bee stings, a few of which were around her ankle and resulted in a very swollen foot. I did not know this at the time, but there are some benefits to bee venom, and my mom, an arthritis sufferer, may have been injected with a certain form of pain relief.
Her birthday was a couple of days later and needless to say, I got to see her badges of honor all over her body and around her ankle. I am not so sure if she really got a kick out of the birthday cake I made for her. It was decorated with a brightly-colored bee and simply read, “Happy Bee-Day!” I thought it was clever! Perhaps the humor was delivered too soon. We all enjoyed the cake, however, so I guess when you do get stung by a bee, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
Enough with the bad jokes. I recently ran across some information about bee venom therapy and thought it might be of interest to those suffering from joint pain. While I myself will run like the wind if I am around snakes, unidentifiable insects, mad and barking dogs with big teeth, and bees, I had to slow down to digest the information on this topic. So, sit down and enjoy the education. If you have to leave for a moment, promise me you will “bee” right back. I’m as busy as a bee, too, so let’s cut to the chase!
The therapeutic benefits of bee venom have been known for centuries. Even Hippocrates and Confucius were familiar with its healing properties. (So why didn’t I know about this?) Bee sting therapy, in fact, has been used to treat arthritis as far back as 130 AD. Many European countries and China still widely support this form of treatment.