What other names is Bee Venom known by?
Apis mellifera, Apis Venenum Purum, Apitoxin, Apitoxine, Bald-faced Hornet, Bee Sting
Venom, Bombus terrestis, Bumblebee Venom, Frelon à Face Blanche, Frelon Jaune, Guêpe à Taches Blanches, Honeybee Venom, Mixed Vespids, Pure Bee Venom, Veneno de Abeja, Venin d'Abeille, Venin d'Abeille Mellifère, Venin d'Abeille Pure, Venin de Bourdon, Venin de Guêpe, Vespula maculata, Wasp Venom, White-Faced Hornet, Yellow Hornet, Yellow-Jacket Venom.
What is Bee Venom?
Bee venom is made by bees. This is the poison that makes bee stings painful. Bee venom is used to make medicine. Don't confuse bee venom with bee pollen
, honey, or royal jelly. Other venoms are derived from related members of the insect order Hymenoptera.
Bee venom is given as a shot for rheumatoid arthritis
, nerve pain
(neuralgia), multiple sclerosis
), reducing the reaction to bee stings in people who are allergic
(desensitization) to them (venom immunotherapy
), swollen tendons (tendonitis), and muscle conditions such as fibromyositis and enthesitis.
Likely Effective for...
- Reducing the severity of allergic reactions to bee stings. A series of bee venom shots under the skin (bee venom immunotherapy) seems to be effective for reducing reactions to bee stings in people with severe allergy to bee stings. Bee venom immunotherapy provides 98% to 99% protection from reactions to bee stings. Once immunotherapy is stopped, the risk of reaction over the next 5 to 10 years is about 5% to 15%. Purified bee venom for under-the-skin injection is an FDA approved product.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Arthritis. People used to think that bee venom might be a useful treatment for arthritis. This theory was largely due to supposed swelling-reducing (anti-inflammatory) effects of bee venom and the observation that many beekeepers don't develop arthritis. However, research results have not supported this.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS). Administering live bee stings in gradually increasing doses up to 20 stings given three times weekly does not seem to improve multiples sclerosis. Treatment for 24 weeks does not seem to improve fatigue, disability, or quality of life.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Nerve pain.
- Painful, swollen tendons (tendonitis).
- Muscle swelling (inflammation).
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bee venom for these uses.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).