Bee Venom Therapy


I’ve always been Interested in natural remedies, just never even dreamed that would mean being stung by 20 bees 3 times a week!


Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) is something that I heard about in 2001.  I always joked saying “I’ll try that remedy when they can make bee venom in pill form.”


In 2005, a friend of mine introduced me to Mardene.  Mardene, a wonderful European woman is a beekeeper and also has MS. She was experiencing symptoms that I’ve never felt.  It felt to her like worms were crawling under her skin.  Mardene stung herself with bees and the crawling sensation was gone.  


She offered to sting me to see if it might have the same results for me. I was scared thinking of a bunch of bee stings- who wouldn’t be? (no pun intended)


When I went to Mardene’s home one summer afternoon, there was another man with MS in her living room.  He was sitting on a stool with his shirt off, chin tucked toward his chest.  On a table next to him were live honeybees caught by tweezers lined up in a row.  Mardene took a set of the tweezers, placed the bee on his back and allowed the sting.  She quickly set that first one down and picked up the next bee for the sting.  All 20 stings took about 2 minutes.


I later learned that the bees were caught from the hive with the six inch tweezers, then placed on the body where the bee would sting.  It was important to catch all the bees before any of the stings were administered because the pain that was inflicted was so great – it’s all about pain management.  If all of the stings are given at the same time, the pain will be over at the same time.  If I remember correctly, after about 10 minutes, the worst of the pain was past.     


I’d heard that Mardene wasn’t the only one that BVT was helping.  I Googled it to find out more information.  I learned that because there isn’t a lot of research being done to back it up, only about 50 US physicians use BVT to treat their patients.  Thousands of patients are said to use bee venom as an alternative approach to the interferon, corticosteroids, and other drugs typically used for MS.


The American Apitherapy Society  says there are about 10,000 people providing this therapy – apitherapists, beekeepers, and acupuncturists.  Some patients even treat themselves like Mardene did.


As much as I love bees I didn’t have it in me to sting myself.  I tried.  Mardene was willing to have me come to her home whenever I wanted and she’d sting me. Unfortunately, she lived almost 45 minutes away. 


It took some doing, but I found a friend (that wasn’t afraid of bees) who lived only 5 minutes from my house.  Suzanne Belka, had the guts to capture the bees and  set them on me to provide the sting!  She came over to my home three times a week for almost six months!


Because Honey Bees don’t live in Alaska, I had to import them.  This was new information to me!  All the ‘Alaskan Honey’ is made from imported honeybees!  Mardene imported her bees every spring.  I was able to buy a weeks supply of bees at a time.


I found the brother-in-law of a good friend of mine who is a bee keeper here in Alaska.  He was willing to bring me a little hive that I could winter-over in my home.


My kids were freaked out!  I kept the hive in my bedroom and Suzy would come over, we’d grab 20 bees out of the hive and she’d sting me.


I know Bee venom helps some people, all it did for me was give me a two hour adrenalin boost. That was definitely not worth the pain!