Live bee sting therapy woman, 55, dies in Spain

STING: Honey bee (File photograph)

A WOMAN has died in Spain after undergoing a bizarre stinging bee venom therapy at a clinic in Spain.

The unnamed patient had attended a session of apitherapy every four weeks for two years to improve muscular contractures and stress without any allergic reactions.

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Apitherapy is the use of substances from honeybees, including honey, propolis and royal jelly and even bee venom.

Bee venom therapy involves a therapist holding a bee by its head and pinching it until the bee’s stinger emerges and punctures the patient’s skin.

After a live bee sting during a session, the patient suffered an anaphylactic shock to the venom and she developed wheezing and a sudden loss of consciousness.

The clinic staff called an ambulance, although it took 30 minutes to arrive, and administered a steroid. No adrenaline was available.

Tests later revealed that an anaphylactic shock to the bee venom had triggered a stroke and left her in a ‘permanent coma’.  

The patient died some weeks later of multi-organ failure.

Medics, writing in a research paper said, “To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of death by bee venom apitherapy due to complications of severe anaphylaxis in a confirmed sensitized patient.” 

Proponents of apitherapy make claims for its health benefits which remain unsupported by evidence-based medicine.


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