What in the world is an Apiary?

“Apiary : a place that provides Apiterapy.” Ha ha, no worries if you do not know what it means,  I did not know either. But, as the magic woman I just met explained in her Russian accent, an ancient idea with medicinal uses, the pieces of the puzzle began to fit. My friend Mario brought her to me. They explained how they had combined their passions and were in the process of “building the necessary equipment” to expand on a new discovery with origins in her home country.

I knew I was in the middle of a synchronistic moment, I mean, just the idea that these two Nature loving enthusiasts, Nadia from Russia and and Mario from Costa Rica met, I was intrigued by the story and eager to hear the rest.

The name “apiterapie”,  is a compound of two words. “Apis” and “Terapie”, which most of us know the meaning of “therapy” is healing, but few would guess, apart from biologists, what is meant by “apis”. Apis mellifica, the full scientific term, for those of us not passionately trying to save them, the way Mario has, Apis mellifica is a honey bee.

I try wrapping my brain around what they are both telling me. I am a therapist, I do biofeedback for stress, depression and anxiety. My work is in mental/heart health, how can this therapy they are “constructing” be of use to me? Mario speaks mainly Spanish, I still struggle to understand, especially when someone is as passionate as Mario about his work upon this earth.  His words speed and his face lights up to remind me why I used to call him “Bee Boy”. Having just turned 17, when we met years ago, this young super hero was on a mission to save the bees.

It has long been noted that simply being around bees, in the vicinity, has a positive effect on people. In the apiary atmosphere, these creatures create a natural oasis of positive energy. “Energia”,  I hear them say, and now they are speaking my language. Her thick Russian accent switches from Spanish to English, and Mario’s Spanish energetically mixes emitting so much passion, I can now understand every word because they are speaking Vibration.

Their passion for the bees continues to build, to the point I hear my thoughts think “wow, their love of nature borders on worshiping. Lightning strike me now because the Shaman in me is even more intrigued. I delve right in with them, and we go to church on the subject of the bee and it’s healing abilities.

Perhaps the effects of bee products have been known since the beginning of humanity. And as evidenced by some of the oldest archaeological findings, bees actually have been worshiped! So now maybe you are thinking about all the bee products: honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, wax and perhaps you’ve gone out on a limb to think this new therapy we are bringing to Bare Feet Retreats has something to do with bee venom.

Well, it is none of the above, all though all of these bee products have therapeutic benefits, either alone or in combination with other therapies used in Apiterapy. And many of these treatments are recognized not only among the general public, but also in conventional medicine.

But this, this is something even more advanced and now to me makes perfect sense. Because it involves the sense that goes straight to the brain. The sense with strong connection to memory and the amygdala, our emotional storage space.

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Bees communicate with each other using “dance”, as Von Frisch discovered at the beginning of last century, but they also use hormonal substances, pheromones, which are natural and volatile chemicals. Volatile chemicals vaporize. The social functioning of the hive depends on more than 50 pheromones. The one of particular interest to researchers is methyl palmitate which has been found comparable to cortisone.

Bees have not finished surprising us. In Europe beekeepers practice apitherapy for people with asthma and various respiratory conditions. According to Beekeeper, Patrice Percie du Sert , these pheromones inhibit the over-expression of the genes that cause the pathologies of asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and even migraine.  Further more the benefits show promise in the mental health field with reports of it lifting depression and relieving anxiety.

According to its followers, the benefits are amazing. Proponents of this practice claim to feel immediate astonishing effects. The first sensation is appeasement and then a gentle calm washes over. After treatment clients report they breathe better. The results are felt immediately and last for days or even weeks.

So how do you take these pheromones? These volatile chemicals that vaporize? You vape them of course. 🙂 haha, you inhale the warm beehive air. It is as easy as the HRV Heart math biofeedback I teach that begins with conscious breathing, you sit back, relax and you breathe. And no worries, Costa Rica’s magic Mariola Bee is stingless!

By inhaling the warm beehive air, through a special breathing mask, you can consume these precious substances, which many claim remarkable results in 15-20 minutes of bee vaping. (I just made that up, it is not called bee vaping, not that I know anyway 😉 )

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“Nature is a good mother, who gives medicine for every malady, but only needs to know it, get it and use it appropriately.” (HANDL, 1991, p. 1).

The research, like with all things natural, does not have the funding to “prove” which used to make me turn my cheek on natural remedies too. Not much made by nature’s

bee ancienthand gets the respect it deserves. It takes tons of money to fund proper studies so we are taking the word of 1000s of years of farmers and beekeepers with only case studies to tell us the truth. We understand the studies are often funded by pharmaceutical companies that do not support natural remedies and so we take great honor in giving PachaMama back her worth by giving the finger to the research and taking the word of the people and the ancient drawings on the walls.

Bare Feet believes in Mother Nature and we love her so much, we worship her magic remedies. We love anything that raises the vibration naturally and the Bees have been a natural pharmacy for many, many centuries.

In Munich Physicians have confirmed many of the claims, reporting it has beneficial effects on the human psycho and physical condition. These clinics use bee inhalation for the following conditions:

  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Allergy
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary inflammation)
  • Susceptibility to infection
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Immune system weakening
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Chronic headaches, migrainebees chance
  • Stress
  • Depression

The best way to thank bees for so many benefits is to experiment yourself and to make known around you what classical medicine does not know yet.