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Woman Dies After Being Treated With Live Bee Sting Acupuncture—And Twitter Is Outraged
2 months ago

"Apitherapy" might be the latest alternative-health craze you've probably never heard of - but you're about to.

An apitherapy session replaces the hair-thin needles used in acupuncture with the stings of live bees. Apitherapists use older honey bees who are nearing the end of their month-long life cycle since the act of stinging causes the bees death. Using older bees who are already about to pass away allows younger bees to continue pollinating, and there doesn't seem to be a difference in the potency of their venom. The practitioner presses the bee against the skin, encouraging it to sting. Some treatments call for just a few stings, while others call for more over repeated sessions. 

A 55-year-old woman has become the first known person to die as a result of an apitherapy session.

Bee stings have been shown to show anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects in some people. Bee venom is used in medical treatments, but not like this. The practice of "live bee acupuncture"/"bee string acupuncture" doesn't sit well with a lot of people. 

It wasn't just the practice that people had questions about. The woman was not allergic to bees when treatments began, but coroners believe that after repeated treatments, she developed a lethal allergy to bee venom. What was the practitioner doing? 

A fair number of people mocked the woman, saying she must have been incredibly stupid to undergo the therapy or that she somehow deserved to die.

We weren't the only ones horrified by those kinds of comments. Eventually a more compassionate side to Twitter emerged.

Our condolences to the victim's friends and family. It's unknown if there will be charges or fines for the practitioner. We will keep you updated as the story develops. 


H/T: Twitter