Some of the patients may have allergic reaction to bee venom; hence an allergy testing should be done prior to administration of bee venom. This treatment should be undertaken only under the care of a trained apitherapy practitioner. Once the safety of bee venom is established for an individual, the treatment may be done at home. The venom is administered through injection or through bee sting. If the bee sting is used the apitherapy practitioner will place bees on the skin, typically close to the joints, muscle or other body parts that are having problems. Apitherapy using bee sting may be painful, but these are not very painful as wasp or hornet stings. The treatment may be followed by local discomfort, inflammation, stiffness, and soreness or itching. Usually an icepack treatment is given after the bee stings to reduce these side effects. Usually a short duration apitherapy is all that is required to treat simple conditions like tendonitis, which may last for two or three sessions. In each session anywhere from two to ten bee stings may be involved. If the treatment is for a more serious condition like rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, long duration treatment may be required. This may require up to three sessions per week, with two to three stings per session, for six months or more.
Therapy with other type of bee products usually does not require the supervision of a trained apitherapist. Bee pollen and royal jelly are available over-the-counter in many forms including capsules, powders, cream and lotions for internal and external uses. Raw honey and propolis are available in many health-food stores. Any of the honeybee precuts may cause allergic reaction, hence care must be taken when initiating treatment with these group of compounds.
There is no official body in the US has recognized Apitherapy as a standard treatment modality. FDA has approved use of bee venom for the purpose of de-sensitization only. From the legal and medical view point apitherapy is considered to be an experimental approach.
Since apitherapy may involve serious risk of allergic reactions and may even cause death. Apitherapy should only be undertaken after careful thought, and discussion with a qualified apitherapist and your own family doctor. The therapy should be carefully monitored for any adverse events. Do not attempt to collect bees and start stinging as this may prove catastrophic.