Bee Venom

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Bee Venom


(also apitoxin), the secretion produced by the filamentous gland of the stinging apparatus of a worker bee.

Bee venom is a viscous colorless fluid with a characteristic odor and bitter taste. Its chemical composition has not been precisely determined. It contains a biologically active protein (melittin), enzymes (hyaluronidase and lecithinase A), free amino acids, histamine, formic and other acids, fats, steroidlike substances, essential oils, and certain trace elements. The glycoside of histamine, lipids, and substances closely related to saponins of animal origin are among the active substances of bee venom. The density of the venom is 1.131. Bee venom hardens rapidly in the air and dissolves readily in water and less readily in formic acid and a 60 percent alcohol solution. It is heat stable—freezing it or heating it up to 115°C does not change its properties. A bee secretes 0.2 to 0.3 mg of poison per sting; a lethal dose is 500 to 1,000 stings, or about 0.2 g.

Bee venom is anti-inflammatory and cholinolytic. Preparations of bee venom, such as Venapiolin, Toxapin, Apizartron, and Virapin, are applied in solutions and ointments or by means of electrophoresis to treat diseases of the joints, myosites, radiculites, neuralgias, hives, migraine, trophic ulcers, and thrombophlebitis. The use of bee venom is contraindicated with infectious diseases; diseases of the liver, kidneys, and blood; diabetes; cardiovascular diseases; and mental illnesses. Its use is to be avoided especially in cases where the individual is allergic to the venom.

References in periodicals archive ?
The apitoxin in this study was denominated as type 1 apitoxin.
Apitoxin was analyzed for its moisture content using a moisture-determining scale (MARTE brand) at a temperature of 105[degrees]C until constant weight of the sample (in triplicate).
0mL of saline water with the apitoxin concentrations varying from 0 to 500gg [mL.
The apitoxin accumulated and removed from the collector equipment's protective material (type 2) has a brown color, and it becomes white after the beneficiation process with visible diminution of impurities.
Regarding the moisture content, type 1 and type 2 apitoxin presented values of 2.
Apitoxin processed using the analyzed methods showed different results regarding protein content; however, it was within the recommended legislation with protein contents between 50 and 85% (BRAZIL, 2001).
Low molecular weight peptides such as melittin, considered a quality marker of apitoxin (SOBRAL et al.
Thus, type 1 apitoxin had greater bioactivity than type 2 apitoxin, possibly due to its higher protein content.
From the proposed processing technique, the material previously discarded by beekeepers leads to an increase in apitoxin yield from collection of around 40%, which in practice represents a substantial financial gain for beekeepers.