Bee venom cure for HIV rallies scientists, student beekeepers

| News Editor

A recent study conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine discovered that a compound found in bee venom has the capability of protecting cells against HIV. Using these results, the researchers hope ultimately to create a gel in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

  Melittin, a toxin found in the venom of bees, is the targeted compound of the study and the one that has been found to help protect cells against HIV. The compound affects only infected cells and leaves healthy cells alone.

However, the drug is still years away from being ready for the market.

“We discovered it in cells and cultures, but we still have to package it up as some kind of gel,” research professor Joshua Hood said. “Now that we’ve done this study, we need to do preclinical testing on humans, and then after that we can move towards making the gel, so there are still a number of years left to go.”

“There’s a hope that this gel would serve as an extra augmentation—an extra drug out there that would be useful,” he added.

According to Hood, extraction of the compound will not harm bees.

“Bee venom has got a lot of different molecules, and the one we’re using is just one compound of it,” he said. “The compound is synthesized, so you’re not hurting any bees by obtaining it. This is just one of the membranes we tested, and there are many different ones in nature, but it just happened that this one did a good job.”

The uses of bee venom are well-known in beekeeping society, and the results of the study are likely not surprising to those who know of the healing advantages bees can provide, according to freshman Shannon Welsh, founder and president of the Bee School, the University’s beekeeping association.

“Bees have amazing medicinal uses, and they have for thousands of years,” she said. “Some doctors will go so far as saying that if all else fails, try bees. I know melittin has been used for arthritis and [multiple sclerosis], and it’s a unique protein because it basically gets rid of injured cell tissue.”

Welsh hopes that attention brought about by the study will help raise public awareness on the endangered state of bees.     

“Bees are facing a large threat right now, and it’s not being heard the way it should be,” she said. “Bees are incredibly useful, and they have multiple advantages that can help to save human lives. They’re dying out, and if we don’t protect them, we won’t have any of their honey or melittin to use.”

Welsh added that the discovery of this additional use of bee venom will hopefully inspire more commercial beekeeping in order to protect the species.

The compound found in bee venom can not only be used to attack HIV-infected cells but also, potentially, cells infected with different viruses, such as hepatitis.

“It’s nice because the results of this study serve as a good concept that can be applied and used in a number of different studies, depending on what perspective you’re looking at it from,” Hood said.

Students have expressed optimism at the results of the study.

“I think it’s actually really cool and that this just shows there’s hope that with further research we could potentially cure and prevent such a harmful disease,” sophomore Sydney Kapp said.

  • Urban Backman

    Just wanted to inform that you can find bee venom or apitoxin as it is also called here: http://www.apitoxin.se

  • ssempebwa sarah

    am a ugandan aged 35 i had skin cancer and it cured i would like to try beevonom because am positive

  • Urban Fuentes Backman

    Very interesting article!
    It is already know that bee venom can help and cure several medical conditions for example:

    For example:
    Tumors
    Arthritis
    Osteoarthritis
    Multiple Sclerosis
    ALS
    Temporal Arteritis and Polymyalgia Rheumatic.
    Lyme Disease
    Parkinson

    Read more here: http://www.apitoxin.se/research.html

  • I am interested in knowing the hospital in Egypt that can administer the bee venom therepy.

    I will be grateful for this information to be passed to me. I wish the resesrchers more success. .

  • Ben

    I’ve found a bee venom brand that is great – Kalon Skincare, Anna’s Pocket Bee Venom Vitality Cream Mask, made with PURE New Zealand bee venom. This product comes in a small jar that last forever!

  • Kea

    I would like to have. More information about how to get Bee Vemon treatment (where in egypt, how much, etc).

    Thanks

    Kea

  • Nasreen

    I totally agree that bee venom does cure diseases. I went to egypt last year to have bee venom therapy for five weeks and next months will be 1 yr since i had the treatment. Im not on any medication and im keeping very well, thank God. I did do a top up seven months ago in the uk itself.
    God says in the Quran, chapter 16 An Nahl which means The Bee, verse 68,69, that there is cure for mankind in the drink that comes out from the belly of the bees. I wish people will read more about bee venom therapy that just taking lots of medications which will creates lots of other problems.
    Nasreen

    • Nasreen

      forgot to mention i was diagnose with rheumatoid arthritis last year. This is why i chose to go to egypt to have the bee venom therapy