Common ColdHoney (incl Medihoney)Prostate

Apitherapy: Experience of German Beekeepers

 Apitherapy is the use of bee products such as honey to prevent or treat illness and promote healing.

Researchers at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany conducted a survey of beekeepers.

First, the details.

  • Approximately 35,000 beekeepers were surveyed; 1059 completed questionnaires were returned.
  • The questionnaire included questions on the use of apitherapy.

And, the results.

  • The beekeepers reported the most effective and favorable therapeutic effects with honey, followed by propolis, pollen, and royal jelly.
    • Propolis: reddish resinous cement collected by bees from the buds of trees
    • Pollen: fertilizing element of flowering plants
    • Royal jelly: substance secreted from the glands of worker honeybees, fed to all larvae during their first few days and then only to those larvae selected to be queens
  • Propolis was most frequently to treat colds, wounds and burns, sore throats, gum disorders, and as a general prophylactic.
  • Pollen was most commonly used as a general prophylactic and, less frequently to treat prostate diseases.
  • No adverse experiences were reported.
  • Factors associated with successful experiences:
    • Age of the beekeeper
    • Number of hives tended
    • Health consciousness of the beekeeper
    • Positive experiences with 1 product
    • Self-administration of treatment

The bottom line?
This appears to be the first study on therapeutic experiences with bee products among beekeepers.

A Cochrane review and others have published favorable reviews of honey to treat wounds.

1/20/09 21:33 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.