Feature Story: Bee Venom Therapy for Lyme

Naples Daily News May 12, 2003

Local residents receive bee sting therapy for lyme disease By STEVE SCHMADEKE

There was a time in Tami Smith’s life when she didn’t invite people over to sting her and her husband with honeybees.   But that was before the Naples resident and her spouse Jack were diagnosed with Lyme disease, before the days when the accompanying fatigue and joint pain became so severe she had trouble getting out of the bathtub.

“You feel like you’re 70 years old,” said Smith, who worked as a nurse before contracting the disease. “You feel like you have a hangover every day.” The couple recently joined the thousands of people across the country who view bee venom as an effective treatment for ailments ranging from tennis elbow to arthritis to multiple sclerosis. Patients are stung with as many as 30 bees a session.  On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Jack Smith straddles a piano bench and removes his shirt as apitherapist Amber Rose lays out the tools of her trade; a half dozen pairs of tweezers, an epinephrine injector (used in the rare cases if patients go into anaphylactic shock), two spray bottles containing water and an empty plastic bath salts container buzzing with honeybees.      “Do you have any pain today?” Rose asks. “No, no pain but I’m feeling terrible fatigue and the bees gave me so much energy the last time.” replies Smith, who, as an amateur beekeeper, is supplying the bees, “Well, my gut tells me we should do an adrenal splurge,” Rose says, picking up some acupuncture needles that she will insert before stinging Smith. Since she started practicing what she calls Bee Acupuncture Therapy a decade ago, Rose estimates that she has done more than 40,000 treatments. She favors silk robes and shiny gold slippers.  Rose is the ultimate crusader for bee venom.  “It’s really a mission for me,” she says. “But it’s not about me, it’s about the honeybees. What the bee stings do is wake up the body’s inner physician.  It may not be approved by the F.D.A, ” she continues, “but it is approved by the G.O.D and that’s good enough for me.  We’re all Dorothys and Totos, just trying to find our way home again. Our ruby red slippers are the bees; they help us to find our way home.”      However, University of Florida pharmacy professor Dr. Paul Doering says components of bee venom do have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains melittin, which has 100 times the potency of hydrocortisone, he said. “I think you would agree that this a strange way to deliver medicine,” he said. “But we (the medical profession) are the ultimate snobs when it comes to that type of thing.”


Acupuncturist, Rose does not charge patients for bee venom therapy itself but for counseling, acupuncture and advice. Rose teaches people how to administer the bee stings themselves. Bee sting therapy is fatal to the honeybees. The stinger is attached to the female bees’ intestines and the bee dies within a few days after they have stung a patient. “I don’t feel happy about the fact that bees die,” says Rose, bees in an empty cream cheese container after they sting patients. “I always thank the bee. It’s a very sacred act.” Bee sting therapy involves holding a live bee in tweezers next to the skin. The bee’s stinger comes out and stays in the skin, pumping bee venom. The stinger is removed later. Of course the therapy is rather painful for patients, at least at first.  Tami Smith describes the feeling as an acid burn, similar to the pain of a fire ant bite. Amber Rose collects the bees in empty plastic jars with a bit of honeycomb inside, along with some water and part of the cardboard core of a bathroom tissue roll. The bees normally become docile after sating themselves on the honey.  If not, Rose will spray them with a bit of water before lifting them out with a pair of tweezers..  “Are you ready, Jack?” she asks, holding a bee an inch away from Smith’s back on a recent Tuesday afternoon. “Yep,” he replies, “Hmmm, this one might be a dud,” she says, while rubbing the end of the bee against Smith’s exposed back. “Oh, there we go.” Once the stinger, which looks like a small sliver, is embedded in Smith’s skin, a tiny sac at the top pulsates, injecting about 90 percent of its venom within 20 seconds. Rose stings people at acupuncture points with mystical names like “The Gate of Life”and “The Mother within us that Never Dies.” For the Smiths, who have not found antibiotics to be as effective in combating the symptoms of Lyme disease, bee sting therapy seems a godsend. “When you finally have a good day, it feels like you’re high on drugs,” says Jack Smith, who runs his own window blind business. “You’re high on life.” “These types of treatments are really helpful for people like us,” his wife says, “You could go into a pain clinic and they’d probably give you some Oxycontin, but if I do that I might as well quit.” Rose says, “If I could wave a magic wand there’d be a beehive on every block.”

Amber Rose is an acupuncturist, apitherapist, psychotherapist, alchemist, and author of  four outstanding books about Classical Acupuncture and Bee – Acupuncture


Our first Pioneers Introductory book (“Pioneers: Healing Lyme with Bee Venom Therapy”) is out of print!!

             Dr. Rose has just come out with a NEW book. It is a workbook that covers Bee-Acupuncture Treatment Plans and Pathways.To order this workbook click on the cover below:51gDxiE+fHL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_

Some other books by Amber Rose are:

Penetrating Heaven:Treating by the Spirit of the Points – is an amazing window into the alchemical secrets of turning suffering into gold!This book  can only bee bought on Amber Rose’s website:



Plus Bee in Balance – the magic of bee venom therapy & bee-acupuncture! Click on the link below to buy Bee in Balance on Amazon now:


Bee in balance – a unique form of healing, unlike anything else you have ever seen before!  An ancient folk remedy that can easily be done at home!

Amber Rose is available for podcasts, radio shows, interviews,workshops, consultations, classes, and treatments. Feel free to contact her at forever_amber_rose@yahoo.com










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