Bee venom is another of Nature’s wonders, perfectly adapted/made for its functions: to defend the bee and its colony.
However, the active compounds present in bee venom, in small amounts (equivalent of less than 10-30 bee stings per adult) can be very beneficial to human health, if administered by specialized people, in an individualized manner.
Besides water (65-70%), bee venom is a combination of many useful components.
Modem biochemical analytical procedures have been used to identify 18 different components. The major components of bee venom include the following:
- melittin (family)
- melittin F
- mast-cell degranulation peptide 401 (MCD)
- protease inhibitor
- procamine A, B
- phospholipase A2
- acid phosphomonoesterase 
- 6 phospholipids
- r-aminobutyric acid
- B-aminoisobutyric acid
A mature bee “guard” or forager contains in her bee venom sack about 100-150 µg of venom (Schumacher et al., 1989), and young queens about 700 µg (Schmidt, unpublished).
Bee venom can be found under two major forms:
- liquid, as it is immediately after extraction or when it is injected by the bee through her stinger; “Bee venom is a colourless, sharp-bitter tasting liquid with an aromatic odour that is similar to ripe bananas. It is slightly acidic
- dried, after collection with special devices (bee venom collectors). The pure whole dried venom has a yellowish brown colour.