CAIRO (Reuters) - On his rooftop in the outskirts of Cairo, Omar Abulhassan raises thousands of bees — not for the honey, but their venom.
After reading about the benefits of bees in the Koran, Abulhassan, 30, decided five years ago to raise the insects and use the venom in alternative therapy. He believes bee stings can relieve pain and cure illnesses such as rheumatism.
“These are not the only benefits,” said Abulhassan, who has no medical background. “It helps with having a better mood.”
He now treats about five people a month. In a typical session, he’ll use six bees to sting his patient in different parts of the body.
Mohamed Abdelfattah, 29, a regular patient, said the therapy improves his mood and makes him feel healthy.
“I constantly receive treatment using bees to increase my immunity and body strength,” said Abdelfattah.
The benefits of bee-sting therapy have not been scientifically proven, said Mahmoud Abdullatif, an experienced beekeeper and member of the Arab Federation of Beekeepers.
“This needs studies and scientific equipment and research so that we can understand what the bee venom contains and how we can benefit,” he said.
Reporting by Amr Dalsh and Sayed Sheasha; Writing by Lena Masri; Editing by William Maclean