Thursday, July 30, 2015

University of Hawaii Maui College to Offer 'Products of the Hive' Class

Opportunities to learn about bees, fruit trees

July 26, 2015, The Maui News

The University of Hawaii Maui College EdVenture program and the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui are offering a series of bee-related classes next month.

An Intermediate Beekeeping class will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 7 at the college. The class is designed for current beekeepers and those ready to increase their knowledge and skills. Instructor Danielle Downey, an apiculture specialist, will cover bee health issues, including diseases and parasites, how to increase your apiary size, bee identification and honey production. The cost is $89.

A class on Products of the Hive will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8, with instructor Noelani Waters, also an apiculture specialist. Participants will learn how to make various products using beeswax, propolis, pollen, royal jelly and honey. Potential products include soap, massage oil, body butter, lotion, salve and candles, and participants will be able to take home a sample of their work. The cost is $95...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Brazilian Stingless Bees Propolis Shows Therapeutic Activity

Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Cytotoxic Activities of Propolis from the Stingless Bee Tetragonisca fiebrigi (Jataí)

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:296186

Propolis from stingless bees Tetragonisca fiebrigi found in Brazil is used in folk medicine by their nutritional and therapeutic properties. However, there are no scientific records evidencing such properties.

The present study was designed to investigate the chemical composition and the biological properties of propolis from T. fiebrigi. For this, the chemical composition of the ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) was determined by GC-MS and presented phenolic compounds, alcohol, and terpenes as its major class compounds. The antimicrobial activity was accessed in gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and in fungi, isolated from different biological fluids and reference strains. The EEP was active against all microorganisms and showed antioxidant activity by scavenging free radicals, inhibiting hemolysis and lipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes incubated with an oxidizing agent. The anti-inflammatory potential of the EEP was confirmed by inhibition of the hyaluronidase enzyme. The cytotoxic activity was concentration-dependent against K562 cells, with a predominance of death by necrosis.

Taken together, these results show that propolis from T. fiebrigi has important therapeutic activities, which suggest its potential application in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as in health foods, beverages, and nutritional supplements.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bee Venom May Help Treat Pain Caused by Spinal Cord Injuries

Repetitive Treatment with Diluted Bee Venom Attenuates the Induction of Below-Level Neuropathic Pain Behaviors in a Rat Spinal Cord Injury Model

Toxins (Basel). 2015 Jul 10;7(7):2571-85

The administration of diluted bee venom (DBV) into an acupuncture point has been utilized traditionally in Eastern medicine to treat chronic pain. We demonstrated previously that DBV has a potent anti-nociceptive efficacy in several rodent pain models. The present study was designed to examine the potential anti-nociceptive effect of repetitive DBV treatment in the development of below-level neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury (SCI) rats. DBV was applied into the Joksamli acupoint during the induction and maintenance phase following thoracic 13 (T13) spinal hemisection.

We examined the effect of repetitive DBV stimulation on SCI-induced bilateral pain behaviors, glia expression and motor function recovery. Repetitive DBV stimulation during the induction period, but not the maintenance, suppressed pain behavior in the ipsilateral hind paw. Moreover, SCI-induced increase in spinal glia expression was also suppressed by repetitive DBV treatment in the ipsilateral dorsal spinal cord. Finally, DBV injection facilitated motor function recovery as indicated by the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan rating score.

These results indicate that the repetitive application of DBV during the induction phase not only decreased neuropathic pain behavior and glia expression, but also enhanced locomotor functional recovery after SCI. This study suggests that DBV acupuncture can be a potential clinical therapy for SCI management.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bee Venom Component May Help Treat Liver Cancer

Melittin induces PTCH1 expression by down-regulating MeCP2 in human hepatocellular carcinoma SMMC-7721 cells

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015 Jul 16

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has a high mortality rate worldwide and still remains to be a noticeable public health problem. Therefore, new remedies are urgently needed. Melittin, a major component of bee venom, is known to suppress cell growth in various cancers including HCC. However, the mechanism of the anticancer effect of melittin on HCC has not been fully elucidated. It has been reported that Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) plays a key role in tumor proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion.

In the present study, we found the high expression of MeCP2 in human HCC tissues and in SMMC-7721 cell line. MeCP2 silencing inhibited cell proliferation, while over-expression of MeCP2 promoted cell growth in SMMC-7721 cells. It indicates that MeCP2 may be an attractive target for human HCC. We further found that melittin could inhibit cell proliferation by reducing MeCP2 expression in vitro. Interestingly, the inhibitory effect of melittin on cell proliferation was due to a delay in G0/G1 cell cycle progression, without influencing cell apoptosis. Next, we investigated the potential molecular mechanisms and found that MeCP2 could modulate Shh signaling in SMMC-7721 cells. Further study indicates that melittin may induce the demethylation of PTCH1 promoter, resulting in the increased expression of PTCH1. Furthermore, the expression of Shh and GLI1 was significantly lowered upon treatment of melittin.

These results suggest that melittin can block Shh signaling in vitro. In short, these results indicate that melittin inhibits cell proliferation by down-regulating MeCP2 through Shh signaling in SMMC-7721 cells.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Brazilian Stingless Bee Pollen Has Good Nutritional Quality

Microbiological Assessment, Nutritional Characterization and Phenolic Compounds of Bee Pollen from Mellipona mandacaia Smith, 1983

Molecules. 2015 Jul 9;20(7):12525-12544

This study aims to assess the microbiological parameters and the chemical composition of 21 samples of stingless bee pollen (Melipona mandacaia) from two regions of Bahia, Brazil (João Dourado and Uibaí), with particular emphasis on the nutritional value, total phenols and flavonoids and fatty acids composition. Regarding the microbiological quality, the studied microorganisms (moulds and yeasts, coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella sp., psychrotrophic and sulfite-reducing Clostridia) were absent in all samples. On the other hand, the values obtained for the aerobic mesophilic microorganism ranged from 11.0 ± 1.0 to 1.32 ± 1.2 cfu∙g-1 (JD samples) and from 282 ± 3.82 to 688 ± 10.1 cfu∙g-1 (U samples).

The nutritional parameters (moisture, ash, water activity, pH, total acidity, protein, fiber, total phenolic, flavonoids and reducing sugars) were within the stipulated by law, except for pH and moisture content, which presented superior and inferior values, respectively. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (54.1%) were significantly higher than saturated (42.18%) and monounsaturated (3.71%).

It was found that the bee pollen is safe from the microbiological point of view and has a good nutritional quality. The influence of the geographical origin on the assessed parameters was evident, especially concerning the fatty acid profile.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ian McKellen's 'Mr. Holmes' Takes Royal Jelly to Slow Memory Loss

Mr Holmes review: Ian McKellen magnificent as Sherlock in close to perfect story

SMH, 7/22/2015

It is 1947 and Holmes (Ian McKellen​) is 93, living in obscurity on the Sussex coast. Dr Watson has long since left to marry. The stout housekeeper, Mrs Munro (Laura Linney​) takes cares of his daily needs, while nursing her own bereavement. Two wars have left their marks. Her 10-year-old son Roger (Milo Parker) is all she has – and he thinks she's a bit thick.

Part of the film is the love story between man and boy, but it is not steeped in treacle. Roger is clever and fascinated by the fame and secrets of Mr Holmes, whose attic study is off-limits. The gruff Holmes likes his boldness, and his hard edge of intellect. He reminds Sherlock of himself. Both he and the boy are capable of being beastly towards "Mrs M". She worries about their friendship, which forms around Sherlock's beehives. Roger helps him to make royal jelly, from the secretions that worker bees use to create queens.

The second layer is about the great man's attempt to write the true story of his last case, before he loses his faculties. The royal jelly is supposed to slow  the loss of memory...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bee Venom May Help Treat Enlarged Prostate (BHP)

A month of injections suppressed symptoms of enlarged prostate, a benign condition

Wall Street Journal, 7/20/2015

Honey-bee venom may be as effective as standard drug therapy for treating enlarged prostate, a common, but benign, condition in older men, suggests an animal study published online in Experimental Biology and Medicine.

A month of bee-venom injections significantly suppressed symptoms of enlarged prostate, termed benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), in rats compared with untreated rats.

Bee venom appeared to reduce inflammation and correct the imbalance between prostate-cell growth and cell death, which is associated with the development of BPH, the researchers said...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Propolis: a new frontier for wound healing?

Burns & Trauma
Published: 22 July 2015

Propolis is a resin produced by honeybees by mixing wax, pollen, salivary secretions, and collected natural resins.

The precise composition of propolis varies with the source, and over 300 chemical components belonging to the flavonoids, terpenes, and phenolic acids have been identified in propolis. Moreover, its chemical composition is subjected to the geographical location, botanical origin, and bee species.

Propolis and its compounds have been the focus of many works due to their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity; however, it is now recognized that propolis also possesses regenerative properties.

There is an increasing interest in the healing potential of natural products, considering the availability and low cost of these products. Propolis contains a huge number of compounds that explicate some biological effects that speeds up the healing process and is widely used in folk remedies.

This review aims to condense the results on the mechanism of activity of propolis and its compounds.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Turmeric Powder with Honey Helps Treat Oral Mucositis

Effectiveness of Indian Turmeric Powder with Honey as Complementary Therapy on Oral Mucositis: A Nursing Perspective among Cancer Patients in Mysore

Nurs J India. 7/17/2015

Oral mucositis is a common, debilitating complication of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, occurring in about 40 percent cases. Mucositis may limit the patient's ability to tolerate chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and nutrition status is compromised. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of Indian turmeric powder with honey as a complementary therapy on treatment induced oral mucositis.

In the study, quasi experimental non-equivalent control group pre test post-test design was used and non-probability purposive sampling technique was adopted to select 60 cancer patients with treatment induced oral mucositis, 30 each in experimental and control group. The independent 't' value for post-test 2 and 3 (post-test 2: 2.86 for WHO OMAS and 4.58 for MPJ OMAS, post test 2: 5.42 for WHO OMAS and 7.2 for MPJ OMAS; p < 0.05) were significant between experimental and control group.

It is inferred that the application of Indian turmeric and honey on treatment-induced oral mucositis is effective.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Brazilian Propolis Now Available in U.S.

NBTY's Vitamin World to Carry NaturaNectar's Exclusive Bee Propolis Products
Company is pioneer and only provider of exotic Brazilian Red Propolis

SUNRISE, Fla., July 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- NaturaNectar LLC, a world leader in bee propolis products, announced today that its innovative and exclusive line of premium Brazilian Bee Propolis products is now available at all 400 Vitamin World outlets throughout the continental USA, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.  "We are so excited to have our products, especially our exclusive Red Bee Propolis from Brazil available to consumers in many cities where Vitamin World has a strong presence," said J.L. Paes-Leme, Founder and CEO of NaturaNectar LLC...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Natural "Designer Honey" and Adjuvant Pesticides Being Readied for US and International Markets

PRLog - July 12, 2015 - BANNER ELK, N.C. -- ~ Joy Mann, CEO of RMANNCO, Inc. has announced the filing of multiple international patent applications regarding new products planned to be introduced in early 2016.  Mann said that a new way that enables chemical transport of selected chemicals that can be metabolized by honeybees (both mellifera and meliponines) to create new kinds of honey and to help control hive pests has been developed by RMANNCO's Chief Scientist, Dr. Joseph A. Resnick.  Based in Lenoir, NC, RMANNCO has offices in Las Vegas, NV, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Guizhou, China.

Using RMANNCO’s proprietary microencapsulation instrument/process, developed in collaboration with NASA, Dr. Resnick creates “pollen-sized” microcapsules that contain encapsulated substances, such as, Erythritol, a chemical compound containing Rebaudioside A-E and X, found in the Stevia plant, which is fed to honeybees to produce new kinds of 'Designer Honey'. Beneficial compounds, e.g., Reb A-E and X, extracted from the Stevia plant, have been shown beneficial for use by humans and are natural sweetener compounds that do not cause rises in the insulin levels in humans...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chemical Composition of Propolis Depends on the Year of Collection

Antibiofilm Activity of Chilean Propolis on Streptococcus mutans Is Influenced by the Year of Collection

BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 291351, 6 pages

The chemical composition of propolis varies according to factors that could have an influence on its biological properties. Polyphenols from propolis have demonstrated an inhibitory effect on Streptococcus mutans growth. However, it is not known if different years of propolis collection may affect its activity.

We aimed to elucidate if the year of collection of propolis influences its activity on Streptococcus mutans. Polyphenol-rich extracts were prepared from propolis collected in three different years, characterized by LC-MS and quantified the content of total polyphenols and flavonoids groups. Finally, was evaluated the antibacterial effect on Streptococcus mutans and the biofilm formation. Qualitative differences were observed in total polyphenols, flavones, and flavonols and the chemical composition between the extracts, affecting the strength of inhibition of biofilm formation but not the antimicrobial assays.

In conclusion, chemical composition of propolis depends on the year of collection and influences the strength of the inhibition of biofilm formation.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Honey and Bee Pollen Help Alleviate Menopausal Complaints, Hot Flashes

Bee pollen and honey for the alleviation of hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms in breast cancer patients

Mol Clin Oncol. 2015 Jul;3(4):869-874

Hot flushes, night sweats, pain during sexual intercourse, hair loss, forgetfulness, depression and sleeping disturbances are common problems among breast cancer patients undergoing antihormonal treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate whether bee pollen can alleviate menopausal symptoms in patients receiving tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors/inactivators.

We compared a pollen-honey mixture with pure honey (placebo) in a prospective, randomized crossover trial in breast cancer patients receiving antihormonal treatment. The menopausal complaints were assessed using the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). A total of 46 patients were recruited; 68.3% (28/41) of the patients reported an improvement in their symptoms while taking honey, compared with 70.9% (22/31) who reported an improvement with pollen (the difference was non-significant).

The results were confirmed by significant improvements in the postmenopausal complaints in the two groups in a pre-post analysis in the MRS and its 3 subscales. This study provided evidence that honey and bee pollen may improve the menopausal symptoms of breast cancer patients on antihormonal treatment. Of note, honey, which was intended to be used as a placebo, produced similar effects as pollen and they both exceeded the extent of a placebo effect in this setting (~25%).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Honey Supplementation Boosts Bone Density

Bone Mechanical Properties and Mineral Density in Response to Cessation of Jumping Exercise and Honey Supplementation in Young Female Rats

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:938782

This study investigated effects of cessation of exercise and honey supplementation on bone properties in young female rats.

Eighty-four 12-week-old Sprague-Dawley female rats were divided into 7 groups: 16S, 16J, 16H, 16JH, 8J8S, 8H8S, and 8JH8S (8 = 8 weeks, 16 = 16 weeks, S = sedentary without honey supplementation, H = honey supplementation, and J = jumping exercise). Jumping exercise consisted of 40 jumps/day for 5 days/week. Honey was given to the rats at a dosage of 1 g/kg body weight/rat/day via force feeding for 7 days/week. Jumping exercise and honey supplementation were terminated for 8 weeks in 8J8S, 8H8S, and 8JH8S groups.

After 8 weeks of cessation of exercise and honey supplementation, tibial energy, proximal total bone density, midshaft cortical moment of inertia, and cortical area were significantly higher in 8JH8S as compared to 16S. Continuous sixteen weeks of combined jumping and honey resulted in significant greater tibial maximum force, energy, proximal total bone density, proximal trabecular bone density, midshaft cortical bone density, cortical area, and midshaft cortical moment of inertia in 16JH as compared to 16S.

These findings showed that the beneficial effects of 8 weeks of combined exercise and honey supplementation still can be observed after 8 weeks of the cessation and exercise and supplementation.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nigerian Honey Does Not Affect Quinine administration

Influence of a Nigerian honey on CYP3A4 biotransformation of quinine in healthy volunteers

Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)


What is known and objectives

Some studies, howbeit with conflicting reports, have suggested that consumption of honey has a potential to modulate drug metabolizing enzymes which may result in a honey–drug interaction. Numerous studies have established that honey varies in composition, influenced by the dominant floral, processing and environmental factors. Thus, variation in honey composition may be a contributing factor to the controversial results obtained. No previous drug interaction study has been carried out with any honey from Africa. CYP 3A4 is an important enzyme in drug metabolism studies as it is involved in the metabolism of over 50% of drugs in clinical use and quinine remains very relevant in malaria treatment in the tropics, and we therefore determined whether there is potential drug interaction between a Nigerian honey and quinine, a drug whose metabolism to 3-hydroxyquinine is mediated majorly by CYP3A4.


In a three-phase randomized crossover study with a washout period of 2 weeks between each treatment phase, ten (10) healthy volunteers received quinine sulphate tablet (600 mg single dose) alone (phase 1) or after administration of 10 ml of honey (Phase 2) and 20 mL of honey (Phase 3) twice daily for seven (7) days. Blood samples were collected at the 16th hour post-quinine administration in each phase, and quinine and its major metabolite, 3-hydroxyquinine, were analysed using a validated HPLC method.


After scheduled doses of honey, the mean metabolic ratios of quinine (3-hydroxyquinine/quinine) increased by 24·4% (with 10 mL of honey) and reduced by 23·9% (with 20 mL of honey) when compared to baseline. These magnitudes of alteration in the mean metabolic ratios were not significant (P > 0·05; Friedman test). The geometric mean (95% CI) for the metabolic ratio of quinine before and after honey intake at the two dose levels studied was 0·82 (0·54, 1·23) and 1·29 (0·96, 1·72), respectively, and were also not significant (P = 0·296 and 0·081 respectively; Student's t-test).

What is new and conclusion

This is a pioneer study on the effect of Nigerian/African honey on quinine metabolism. The findings indicated that low and high doses of honey did not significantly affect metabolism of quinine to 3-hydroxyquinine. This suggests that CYP3A4 activity is not significantly altered following low or high dose of honey, as CYP3A4 has been reported to be responsible for the conversion of quinine to 3-hydroxyquinine. In conclusion, the outcome of this study suggests that there may be no potential significant metabolic interaction between Nigerian honey and quinine administration.