Frankly, we have been puzzled lately by more frequent requests by people that offer to buy live bees for the purpose of practicing Apitherapy. Usually, they want to purchase just five or six live worker bees to follow the practice of stinging themselves for the possible health benefits they can derive from the stings. Most beekeepers would think, ok, sure, why not? That is until you start thinking about the liability.
Although I have no argument about the practice, I always ask if they have consulted a medical doctor and if they know what they are doing. Bee venom can be very dangerous to people who are not guided by a registered Allergists or Apitherapists.
The good news is that they do not have to buy bees. Bees are abundant and available, if you know how to work with their behaviors. If you want to gather worker bees, simply put out a Petri sized dish, with a wash cloth liner, and pour in a mixture of honey and water. Honey will ferment quickly on its own if you don’t add water – experiment with the mixture considering evaporation and heat.
Using the maxim from the movie “Field of Dreams: if you build it they will come,” in several hours, you should have bees at your mini feeding station. Next, simply put a wide mouthed jar over the station and, as the bees rise, simply remove the jar and cap it. Provide ventilation holes in the cap.
If you are having trouble attracting bees to your station, consider changing the mixture of honey and water, then, if it still does not work, use an old beekeeper’s trick to attract them quickly to a new commercial feeding station. Burn a little honeycomb in a 10oz can nearby.
Please remember, also, that dead bees can sting as long as they are wet and not dried out.
I hope this helps our apitherapy friends, please, just be careful.