On March 30, we usually celebrate World Apitherapy Day at our house by eating fried drone brood seasoned with dandelion pollen and buckwheat honey, while receiving a few intentional bee stings on our finger tips. What a fun day! World Apitherapy Day is celebrated on March 30 because that’s my birthday. And, coincidentally, Filip Terc, considered the Father of Modern Apitherapy, shares my birth date. But he was born in 1844, and I was not, so we are not the twins most people think we are. And my sporadically produced blog is more current than his. Terc spent much of his scientific career in Maribor, Slovenia, exploring the benefits of bee-sting therapy on patients of rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders. He was mostly successful with his sting therapies. He published his results in 1888 in a Vienna medical journal. The first modern scientific account of apitherapy.
A lot of people take the apitherapy concept very seriously. Mostly because it can be successful treating ailments that conventional medicine has failed to cure. Normally, we think apitherapy means bee stings. (Or “bee bites”, among people who don’t know much about bees.) But in addition, apitherapy also includes beehive goodies such as royal jelly, pollen, beeswax, propolis, brood, and (of course) honey. All of which have some real health benefits, albeit perhaps exaggerated benefits.
One of the nice things about apitherapy – it is almost universal. Unlike odd seed pods from the Himalayas or poison from Amazonian red-eyed tree frogs, the honey bee and her medicines can be found nearly everywhere. A person can usually find someone to apply bee stings to swollen joints or propolis tinctures to open sores. And just as discoveries are yet to be made in exotic locales, the full potential of bee products has not yet been uncovered. If you are lucky enough to live in my beautiful home town of Calgary, you could visit our friends, Art and Cherie. They operate a beekeeping business just south of the city which includes many apitherapy products among their honeys and honey wines.
One apitherapy product which is under-rated as a health food is comb honey. Delicious, of course, but healthy, too. Natural, unprocessed, unfiltered – untouched by humans or machines. Eat comb honey. Regularly. It will reward you. With regularity.