bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The short history of “apitherapy” as a word

How long has the word “apitherapy” been in use? Certainly the concept of bee products and bee stings being used to promote health has been around for a very long time, but I was amazed to read that the earliest citations may be as late as 1986:
The Beekeepers of Western Connecticut, an association formed in 1984, will offer a free lecture by Charles Mraz, a beekeeper from Middlebury, Vt., at its meeting Thursday At 8 P.M. Mr. Mraz, who suffered from arthritis, will relate his experience with bee-venom therapy, a controversial method of treating the disease. The founder of the North American Apitherapy Society, Mr. Mraz has worked with Dr. Bodog Beck, an early researcher in the therapy, and with Dr. Joseph Brodman, an advocate.
—Eleanor Charles, “Connecticut guide,” The New York Times, January 12, 1986
Can this really be true? Can anyone find an earlier reference? Even my 1993 New Shorter Oxford Dictionary does not include the word.


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