A new form of apitherapy will soon be found throughout the St. Francois County area. Divine Api-Logics, LLC co-owners Compounding Specialist Amanda Hutchings and Harold Gallaher have had a new product line in the works for a couple of years now.
“Harold came to me about two years ago and told me he had an idea,” said Hutchings. “He said the bee stings help with his nausea so we went through several different trials of putting the bee venom in different carriers to see if it would do the same thing and have the same reaction as his body did.”
Apitherapy is a few thousand years old. Sometime in history it was discovered that while a bee sting may hurt, it will make arthritis pain go away. They later found that gout and other pains would subside with the bee sting use, but you still had to live with the painful bee sting and you had to have access to the bees. Using this method kills the bees, because once a bee stings it will die.
To this day people still use these methods and now there is another way to get the same effect without killing the bees or enduring the painful bee sting. Gallaher said they went through several different application methods and they had to guess at the venom strength.
“Once we harvested venom, we had to guess at the strength and the best way to do it,” said Gallaher. “We harvest the venom from the bees by inducing the bees to sting a glass plate placed at the hive entrance.”
Gallaher said he would induce the stings with an electrical micro-shock of a very low voltage. Once the first bee stings the glass, she releases a pheromone that tells the other bees in the area that there is “something here that must be stung.” A large number will then cluster on the glass and continue stinging it. Each of them deposits venom, but are not harmed as their barbed stinger does not become embedded in the glass. They simply fly away to make more venom and honey.
“When a female bee -- only they have stingers -- stings a person, her barbed stinger gets embedded into the skin and she must pull herself apart to get away,” said Gallaher. “The stinger remains in the skin and continues to inject venom for a few minutes. The bee will die within a few minutes. In our process of harvesting the venom no bees are harmed.”
Hutchings said their whole goal was to make this product completely all natural. Everything they use is plant derived. It’s in plant-derived oils that have clinical studies proving that they do what they want them to do, in order to get the venom into the deeper tissue that they need it to get into.
“I have a friend who was visiting a local lady three days a week for the apitherapy and he was being stung 20 times each trip,” said Hutchings. “It was helping him, but the problem is that you can’t do it in the winter time because you can’t open the hives. The bees are very temperature sensitive and that can create a problem. Now he is using our new product, 'Bee Well Cream' and it has the same results as the bee sting therapy.”
There is a topical lotion and a transdermal lotion. Transdermal carries it through the skin and topical stays on top of the skin or in the skin. Their goal was to reach the musculature so it penetrates the skin like a bee sting would.
Gallaher has his own personal testimony to apitherapy and the benefits he received from it. He is a cancer survivor.
“The days I was on chemo I was down, I was sick, throwing up and lethargic,” said Gallaher. “I am a Christian and I prayed about it. God told me to sting myself once a day and I am a beekeeper so I knew about apitherapy. No one had ever connected it to nausea, it had only been connected to pain.”
He went on to say that he went down to his hives, pulled out a bee and stung himself right there.
“I started doing it every day and it brought me out of it,” said Gallaher. “I was able to eat and I am probably the only cancer survivor that has to worry about weight gain. The nausea is not a problem anymore and I still take a mild amount of chemo, so I keep bee venom handy.”
Since then he and Hutchings have done extensive research, worked on a formula, and have finally formulated a product they are happy with.
“We have developed this lotion that we rub on the skin in a very small amount,” said Hutchings. “We formulated it so that one pearl sized amount of the cream is equivalent to one bee sting. We have learned since that if you have arthritis or gout, you put the lotion where the pain is and it goes away within minutes.”
Gallaher said if you can’t identify the source of the pain, such as nausea, then they go to the acupuncture sires, which are the ankles and the feet. If you rub the lotion onto the ankle it works for the nausea.
“We have done samples for the last two years and I gave a sample to one woman who was experiencing foot pain,” said Gallaher. “A week later she came back to me and said that it solved her hot flashes. Since then we have tested others and they are very happy now. Another use for the lotion is that skin abrasions, insect bites or poison ivy can be cleared up pretty quickly with it.”
They have a provisional patent to cover the process and they are looking at trademarks, names and have been working with an attorney on patenting.
The product will come in two ounce bottles which are in the process of being made. Gallaher and Hutchings are waiting for the delivery of their product and can’t wait.
Hutchings added that the manufacturer they are using is one the leading homeopathic manufacturers in the country and have a great reputation.
“I was able to go visit their manufacturing facilities to make sure they were clean and reputable,” said Hutchings. “It was a really big deal for us to sign that manufacturing contract and get it going. We have been in the pre-ordering stage for people to secure their purchase, since our first order is 5,000 units. We hope to get it in the next couple of weeks.”
The two-ounce bottles are being sold for $15.99 plus tax and shipping. Gallaher said it rounds up to about $20 for the total purchase. The “Bee Well Cream” is the first product in the Philanthr-api line and they hope to more products in the future.
There are no known side effects, but there will be a warning label about bee sting allergies.
They hope to have their product line in local stores throughout the area in the future. For more information or to order a bottle go to www.divineapilogics.com and online orders are being taken at this time.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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