I got stung today. That hurts.
For years I had wanted a few bee hives. My hubby, even though he has a fear of bees (actually wasps, but that's another story), surprised me one Valentine's Day about six years ago with a double date to a bee keeping class and my first hive. It was probably one of the best things he has ever given me. A hive against his own fears. It is probably my favorite thing that I work with on our homestead. Yes, I love my goats, garden and all that, but there is something special about honey bees.
Cracking into a hive and looking into their world, because that is exactly what it is, is amazing. They all have a job and do it dutifully or there are consequences. The inter-workings of a hive can leave you with no doubt there is a Creator for there is no way evolution in all its millions of years, could pull this off. Anyway, talking about my hives is not what I'm writing about today.
People seek out the honey bee for various reasons. The obvious is their honey, which if sourced very local to you and is raw (not pasteurized) is known to help with certain allergies. It's better than an allergy shot since it contains all the local pollen that one my be allergic to. Plus it tastes amazing.
But there is one practice I will never understand. Well, I understand it, but I sure can't seem to wrap my head around it and that is bee venom therapy.
Bee venom therapy uses live local bees to inject the beneficial compounds directly into the skin. The stinger is just the right length to penetrate many layers of skin without going too deeply. The bees stings are applied to acupuncture points and areas of chronic pain. It is not known exactly why this therapy has success for many people, but the venom seems to reduce inflammation. Patients with auto immune issues such as gout, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis have experience relief from their symptoms that prescription medicine has not been able to achieve. Keep in mind, bee venom therapy is not a cure. It only may help with chronic pain symptoms.
So when I got stung today, I thought about the people that intentionally have this done to them. It makes me wonder the level of pain they must be in to subject themselves to such a treatment. Bee stings hurt. They hurt for a time and may leave a large swollen, painful area. The person's pain is so great, that the pain of a bee sting is a good alternative to their current condition.
I do hope it provides real relief because every time a bee stings, it dies. It has a tiny barb on the end of its stinger that will attach itself to the stingee and it will literally rip out of the bee and kill it. I'm very sensitive to the health of bees and try to do my part to raise healthy hives. But, if someone needs bees for relief from a debilitating disease, then so be it.
Of course, if you are allergic to bee stings, then bee venom therapy is not for you. More info on apitherapy can be found at www.apitherapy.org