Products of the Hive: Bee Venom

Bee venom is a bitter, clear, odourless liquid that is injected by bees when they sting you.  A honeybee can inject 0.1 mg of venom via its stinger. 

How is Bee Venom Collected?

As the sting lodges into the victim’s skin it tears loose from the bee’s abdomen and the bee dies within minutes.  Because of this I have always wondered how producers of bee venom actually collect the venom without the bees dying.  In the past unfortunately bees were killed in the process of collected venom but nowadays they insert glass plates with electrodes stretched across them.  Bees that touch the wires are delivered a mild shock that agitates the bee and makes it sting.  the venom is dropped onto the plate and the bee's stinger stays intact, allowing the bee to fly away seemingly unhurt.  When a bee stings it also releases an ‘alarm pheromone’ to signal to other bees in the hive to attack, so when the first bee stings other bees in the hive do the same and more venom is collected.   

​Reported Benefits of Bee Venom

Bee venom is known for it's anti-inflammatory affects and research suggests it may be helpful for arthritis suffers.  Bee venom therapy is becoming a popular treatment to relieve chronic and autoimmune conditions. They say beekeepers never get arthritis because they are always getting stung.  We do not recommend you try and get stung to relief your arthritis.  Have a chat to your doctor!

Bee venom creams and masks have become renowned for anti-aging properties and it's known as 'nature's botox'.  There are a raft of famous women using it including Kate Middleton!  Bee venom skincare reported benefits include:

  • improved texture of skinreduced lines and wrinkles
  • improved skin firmness
  • reduction of pores
  • reduced pigmentation and sun damage 

Here are some interesting facts about bees and their stings

  • Bees are the only insect with a strongly barbed sting
  • As the sting lodges into the victim’s skin it tears loose from the bee’s abdomen and the bee die within minutes
  • The female bees (the queen and the worker bees) are the only ones that sting
  • The queen’s stinger is smooth so can therefore sting over and over (but don’t worry she never leaves the hive unless she is swarming to find a new home)
  • A swarm of bees is not aggressive, they are just looking for a new home and have no honey or young to defend
  • The large drone bees do not have stingers
  • A bee sting consists of three parts – a stylus and two barbed sides


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