Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Recent Research in Bee Venom

I sit here typing with a slightly swollen middle finger wondering what makes bee venom work the way it does. Come to find out that it is the melittin that destroys the cell walls around the site of stinging. If it hits a blood stream it will destroy the red blood cells and release the hemoglobin which mimics the condition of a bruise and thus the inflammation as the body tries to wash it out. Well as I was reading these articles I came across a recent research paper from the Washington University in Saint Louis about using melittin to treat viral infections including HIV. Apparently they can place the melittin into a small particle (nanoparticle) that acts like a cage to keep the melittin from contacting the normal cell walls yet since viruses are small they come through the mesh and get sliced to bits. So yet another reason for us to do all that we can to help the honey bees so that we can find even more amazing properties.

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