Bee Venom

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Apitoxin is one of the most important substances that is produced by honey bee.
(13.) Leandro LF, Mendes CA, Casemiro LA, Vinholis AH, Cunha WR, de Almeida R, Martins CH.Antimicrobial activity of apitoxin, melittin and phospholipase A2 of honey bee (Apismellifera) venom against oral pathogens.
Antimicrobial activity of apitoxin, melittin and phospholipase A2 of honey bee (Apis mellifera) venom against oral pathogens.
Melittin is the main constituent of apitoxin (SOBRAL et al., 2016).
Volatile phase of the venom evaporates onto the glass plate, from where the apitoxin is then collected by scraping.
Technical regulation for identity and quality of apitoxin determines requirements of 3% maximum moisture of the product and protein content ranging from 50 to 85%.
The main active constituent of BV (apitoxin) is melittin, which has a relatively low toxicity [4].
Urtubey, Apitoxin, from bee venom to apitoxinformedical use, Termas de Rio Grande Santiago del Estero, Argentina, 2005.
Assuming you don't have a severe allergy to apitoxin, the venom in honey-bee stings, the worst you'll have to endure is some local pain, itching and swelling that's treatable with over-the-counter medicine.
Bee venom, also known as apitoxin, contains at least 18 active substances and is made up mainly of peptides.
'Apitoxins and bee-venom are used in the treatment of many nerve-borne illnesses; flower pollen and royal jelly are used by men as aphrodisiacs; beeswax is used a lot by cosmetologists.