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July 25, 2022

Apitherapy with Deb Klughers (S5, E6)

Apitherapy with Deb Klughers (S5, E6)

This week we talk with EAS Master Beekeeper, Deborah Klughers. Deb lives out on the eastern end of Long Island where she keeps her own bees and manages colonies for other people in the area. Deb is leading the EAS Conference track on Apitherapy,...

This week we talk with EAS Master Beekeeper, Deborah Klughers. Deb lives out on the eastern end of Long Island where she keeps her own bees and manages colonies for other people in the area. Deb is leading the EAS Conference track on Apitherapy, August first through the fifth. 

Apitherapy is the use of hive products to improve a one’s health. Everything from propolis, honey, pollen, royal jelly and well… everything including as you will hear, drone and worker larvae!

However, what probably gets the most press, is the use of bee venom commonly called, “Sting Therapy”. It’s a bit controversial, but quietly common. It is a fascinating discussion and one we hope you enjoy, whether you proactively like sting therapy or it is just an unintentional fringe benefit of keeping bees!

We hope you enjoy the episode. Leave comments and questions in the Comments Section of the episode's website.

Thank you for listening!

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast: 

Honey Bee Obscura


We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. Betterbee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer BetterBeeservice, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, Betterbee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help Global Pattiesensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode! 

Thanks for Northern Bee Books for their sponsorship of Bee Books: Old & New with Kim Flottum. Northern Bee Books is the publisher of bee books available worldwide from their website or from Amazon and bookstores everywhere. They are also the publishers of The Beekeepers Quarterly and Natural Bee Husbandry. Check them out today!

Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping TodayStrong Microbials Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a regular podcast featuring interviews with leading bee and insect researchers in the world of pollination, hosted by Dr. Kirsten Traynor.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments in the show notes of this episode or:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

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Thank you for listening! 

Podcast music: Be Strong by Young Presidents; Epilogue by Musicalman; Walking in Paris by Studio Le Bus; Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC

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S5, E06 – Apitherapy With Deb Klughers


Jeff Ott: Welcome to Beekeeping Today Podcast presented by Bee Culture. Beekeeping Today Podcast is your source for beekeeping news, information and entertainment. I'm Jeff Ott.

Kim Flottum: I'm Kim Flottum.

Global Patties: Hey Jeff and Kim, today's sponsor is Global Patties. They're a family-operated business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. It's a good time to think about honeybee nutrition. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will ensure that they produce strong and healthy colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Now is a great time to consider what type of patty is right for your area and your honey bees.

Global offers a variety of standard patties as well as custom patties to meet your needs. No matter where you are, Global is ready to serve you out of their manufacturing plants in Airdrie, Alberta, and in Butte, Montana, or from distribution depots across the continent. Visit them today at

Jeff: Thanks, Cherry, and thank you Global Patties. Each week we get to talk about how much we appreciate our sponsor support, and we know you'd rather we get right to talking about beekeeping. However, our great sponsors are critical to help making all of this happen. From the transcripts, the hosting fees, the software, the hardware, the microphones, the subscriptions, the recorders, they enable each episode.

With that, thanks to Bee Culture Magazine for continuing their presenting sponsorship of this podcast. Bee Culture's been the magazine for American Beekeeping since 1873. Subscribe to Bee Culture today. Hey everybody, thanks for joining us. We're really happy you're here. Before we get started, just a quick reminder to subscribe or follow Beekeeping Today Podcast and give us a five star rating. It really does help.

Also, we are now adding complete transcripts of each episode on the website after the show notes, check them out. You can also leave questions and comments online under each show. You can leave a comment, ask a question, reply to a question, ours or our listeners, click on leave a comment at the top of the episode's show notes to join the discussion. Have you listened to an episode and thought, "That person sounds really interesting and I'd like to know more about them." Well, now you can. Each episode links to a guest profile. Each profile has a guest photo, bio, contact information including Instagram and Twitter details if they have them.

Check it out and finally share the podcast with your beekeeping friends, email them links, or mention it at your next beekeeper meeting. Hey everybody, thanks again for joining the show. Kim will be along in just a moment. When we speak to our guest, Deborah Klughers, an EAS Master Beekeeper who works her bees way out on the Eastern End of Long Island. We've invited Deb today to talk about the EAS Conference Track she's leading up this year in Ithaca, New York from August 1st through the 5th. Deb's track and the speaker she has lined up are on apitherapy.

Apitherapy is the use of hive products to improve one's health. Everything from propolis, to honey, pollen, royal jelly and well, including as you will hear, drone and worker larvae. However, what probably gets the most press is the use of bee venom, commonly called sting therapy. It's a bit controversial, but quietly common. It is a fascinating discussion and one we hope you enjoy. Just a quick note though, we did experience some audio troubles, you may notice. I apologize in advance if you do. It is mid to late summer and the colonies have grown large in population. Hopefully, you have a honey flow or two yet to come.

However, in some parts of the country, you're experiencing nectar dusts, and you are feeding your bees just to see them through. It's been an extremely hot and difficult summer in many parts of the country. It is this time of year you may see something very unusual going on in a colony. It may seem different than the other hives in your bee yard. Fewer bees come in and go to the front entrance. They sound a little bit different. You open it up and note the population is down. There are more and smaller drones than the last time you did an inspection.

You look at a frame, hit a spotty brood and what brood you see is capped with rounded tops. You notice the eggs. That's when you notice you have problems. There are multiple eggs laid haphazardly in cells on both sides of the frame. That's when you realize for sure you have laying workers. Last week, I joined Jim too, as a guest cohost on Honeybee Obscure Podcast. We discussed laying workers and the management challenge they pose. I hope you check it out wherever you listen to your podcast. Let's get on with today's episode and our talk with Deb Klughers, but first a quick word from Strong Microbials.


Strong Microbials: Hey beekeepers, many times during the year, honey bees encounter scarcity of floral sources. As good beekeepers, we feed our bees artificial diets of protein and carbohydrates, to keep them going during those stressful times. What is missing though, are key components, the good microbes necessary for a bee to digest the food and convert it into metabolic energy.

Only SuperDFM-HoneyBee by Strong Microbials can provide the necessary microbes to optimally convert the artificial diet into energy necessary for improving longevity, reproduction, immunity, and much more. Super DFM honeybee is an all-natural probiotic supplement for your honey bees. Find it at or at fine bee supply stores everywhere.

Jeff: While you're at the Strong Microbial site, make sure you click on and subscribe to The Hive, the regular newsletter full of interesting beekeeping facts and product updates. Hey, everybody, welcome back. Sitting across the virtual Zoom table right now is Deborah Klughers. She is a EAS Master Beekeeper and a commercial beekeeper in Long Island, and also heading up part of the EAS Conference this year. Deborah, welcome to Beekeeping Today Podcast.

Deborah Klughers: Thank you so much for having me, appreciate it.

Jeff: It's nice to meet you, Deborah.

Deborah: Nice to meet you as well. Thank you.

Jeff: I probably really messed up your background. Why don't you just introduce our listeners to who you are and your background in bees. Basically your beginning, if you will, of your life with honey bees.

Deborah: Well, it's kind of an interesting beginning, I think. I was a student at Stony Brook University, studying environmental studies, where I graduated as valedictorian. I did take in a lot of the information, but what was lacking was anything having to do with food systems. Anything at all having to do with foods. We learned a lot about sustainability studies and you would think that to be sustainable, we should be learning about our food production. With that, I knew that there was a lot of things that I was totally unaware of so I felt like other people might be unaware of as well.

I was lucky enough to have a public access television station, basically in my backyard. I felt like wow, I could make a production, I could make a television show about environmental issues. I created a program called Keeping It Green and it dealt solely with environmental issues, mostly local, some regional, national things like that. One day a farmer called me. It was a friend and he said, "Would you like to come over and spin some honey and make some sauerkraut?" I was like, "Okay." Never really did much of either. Didn't know what spinning honey meant.

I went over and I asked him, "Could I film the process?" This was a generational farmer who had been farming this land for a couple hundred years on the North Fork of Long Island. I'm on the South Fork. He was on the North Fork. During the fun times that we were having, I was interviewing him and I asked him if he noticed a difference in the production of the yield of the crops. He said that his production increased by a third. I was skeptical. I said, "It must have been weather or what farming practices did you use? What could it have been?" It couldn't have been the bees. He said he did nothing different besides bringing bees.

It's interesting that they've been farming that land for decades and generations and bees were never introduced. He introduced the bees and found that the crop yield increased. That intrigued me greatly because I had been growing vegetables and plants my whole life and never really gave a thought about pollination and what was it? Having not learned anything about it at school, I decided to get a beehive. That's where it all started. Back then it was about a bit over 10 years ago, it was newer than it is now. People weren't so into it as they are today. Neighbors, or where I live is called the Hamptons.

There's a lot of beautiful estates, multimillion-dollar properties with extensive gardens and they want an orchard, they get an orchard, it's instantaneous. It's not like, you have to grow the tree. A lot of very high-end folks wanted to learn more about bees and have these on their property. I started with one client. My business has evolved from that one client over a decade ago to now I have over 30 clients.

I manage over a hundred colonies, about a third of them on my own that I lease farmland and have my own colonies on there. My business has just with very little, if no advertising, just word of mouth. I keep bees for the rich and famous basically here on the East End of Long Island. In my beekeeping journey, I realized how little I knew. [chuckles] I started really delving into studying and learning, and that's how I came across EAS. This master beekeeper certification program where you come prepared to test, they do not teach you anything except for, if you fail the test, you're going to get a very lengthy explanation of what you did right and what you did wrong so that you could learn and grow and come back and try again. That's how I got into beekeeping and it just has grown and evolved. Here I am today. [laughs]

Jeff: Well, that's definitely a great background in getting started with bees.

Kim: Being familiar with the EAS Master Beekeeper Program, I appreciate what you went through to get there. It is not a cakewalk because they might say it's both exams. You take a written exam and a field exam, correct?

Deborah: You actually take four exams. You take a written, a laboratory, a field, and an oral exam. The passing grades are above 85. If you're being, for instance, with the verbal exam, the oral exam, two of the three examiners must give you over an 85 to pass. Same thing with the lab and the written exam. You need a grade 85 and over as a passing grade. You've got five years to complete it, so if you fail any component, you can come back. You don't have to repeat the same exam again.

Kim: Sounds like it's evolved a little bit since I was running EAS, but that's [crosstalk]- -

Jeff: I was going to say you're being a little modest about your background with EAS, Kim.

Kim: [laughs]

Jeff: For our listeners who don't know your background with EAS, how long were you running EAS?

Kim: I was representing Connecticut on the board for a year, and then I represented Ohio for a couple of years, and then I was elected chairman of the board. I was that for four years and then past chairman of the board for four years and then an early retirement.


Deborah: Well deserved. [laughs]

Jeff: That's on the record now. Very good. Thanks, Kim. What caught my interest was that you were heading up the discussion or the track at EAS this year. We'll talk about EAS, but you were heading up the track on apitherapy. Introduce to our listeners, what is apitherapy? Then we'll delve into the different components. Just give us the high level. What is apitherapy?

Deborah: Sure. Apitherapy is the use of the products of the hive for health and healing in humans and animals. We take the different products of the hive and they work better in synergy. Meaning the more products of the hive that you can incorporate into your healing journey, the better. It's anything from honey, pollen, propolis to bee venom, and something called drone brood homogenate, which is some things that people might not even be aware of.

Jeff: Drone brood homogenate. It sounds like a smoothie made with drone brood?

Deborah: Yes.

Jeff: Oh, come on.

Deborah: Pretty good.

Jeff: No, come on.

Deborah: Yes, drone brood homogenate is taking the basically unborn drone brood prior to emergence at any time from 3 to 14 days after the egg hatches. It's actually taking that larvae and ingesting it and making it into different types of concoctions. You could cure it in alcohol, you could cure it in honey, you could freeze dry it, but it's a very perishable product. It has to be very much taken care of after harvest. I see you've got a face on there that the listeners can't see. You're like, "I don't think so." [laughs]

Jeff: [laughs] Well, I was thinking about the worm in a tequila glass, and now-

Deborah: There you go.

Jeff: -it's going to be replaced by a drone larvae. I get past my personal ew factor.

Deborah: It actually has more protein than beef per ounce. It's a very highly nutritious substance or product, and it's got a lot of effects. Has to deal with sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen, things like that. It helps with erectile dysfunction, it helps with menopause. Those are just some of the things that-- ovarian dysfunction, male infertility, also thyroid function, and malnutrition in children.

All of this information is not anecdotal. There's ongoing studies being performed all over the world. What I find interesting is that in other countries, it's just a normal thing. Whether it's bee venom or honey propolis, pollen, whatever the case may be. In other countries, it's just thousands of years ago, it was written about in ancient Egyptian texts, and there was many, many prescriptions that were used way back then, and Hippocrates used bee venom for arthritis and things like that.

That stuff seemed to have gotten lost. That information seemed to have gotten lost when America became America. We didn't bring that generational knowledge with us, and it wasn't something handed down to us from the Native Americans, because honey bees are not native to North America. It wasn't something that they could give us that look what we've been doing all this time. It was I think left in Europe and Asia and now full circle. Hopefully, it's going to make its way back here to North America where it's illegal to practice apitherapy, other than the use of bee venom in immunology to desensitize people that are allergic to the honey bee venom in particular.

That's really the only legal use of bee venom here in America. In apitherapy, a lot of doctors will prescribe to children with a lot of allergies. They'll advise the mom to get local raw honey to help children with allergies and it works. You're getting a low dose of what you're allergic to, to help build up your immune system, to desensitize you against these things that you're allergic to. It is used in different ways here, but overall, it's nothing like it is in other countries.

Jeff: Medicinal use of honey is well known and well studied as well for diabetic ulcers and burn treatments and everything else. Those papers are coming out weekly it seems. That's really good. That would be considered apitherapy?

Deborah: Absolutely. The interesting thing about-- People have heard of medihoney or medical grade honey, and then they think Manuka honey. A lot of the studies or any studies really are showing that our local honey from our local beekeepers on your backyard are just as medicinal as that medical grade Manuka honey. It's just that that's the only honey that's been certified. It's in bandages, things like that.

The FDA, imagine if all of our honey was certified, the price would go through the roof, which wouldn't be a bad thing for our American beekeepers actually, but that kind of regulation could also cause other issues.

Jeff: Don't start talking about honey prices because you'll get Kim up in riles. [laughs]

Deborah: Yes. We need to increase our honey prices for sure.

Kim: Jeff, I have to interrupt you here for a moment. When I was an undergrad, I took a course called insect is food and-

Jeff: [laughs] I thought we were past this.


Kim: -one of the things that you had to do to pass the course was to prepare a meal using insect as a food and I chose bee larvae and made a dessert that you wouldn't believe. Even just out of the hive, bee larvae are quite tasty. They're sweet-

Deborah: I agree.

Kim: -and just a little bit crunchy. They make good food. All of the things that Deborah mentioned there about the proteins and the lipids and all of that fall into it, but it tastes good.

Jeff: I know my mom is laughing in her grave saying, "I couldn't get that boy to eat Lima beans. No way you're going to get him to eat a bee larvae."


Deborah: Well, it's the Jerome brood in particular that imparts these medical benefits, so it's very interesting.

Jeff: Apitherapy covers the use of propolis, covers the use of honey as a medicinal product, it covers sting therapy. Let's talk about sting therapy a little bit because that was my first introduction to apitherapy, reading a book by Fred Malone about Bees Don't Get Arthritis and Charlie Mraz. That gets a lot of press both good and bad. What can you share about that?

Deborah: Well, I have a lot of firsthand knowledge or firsthand experiences with bee venom, and it's not just about bee venom for Lyme disease. It's not just about bee venom for osteoarthritis, bee venom itself, it's about 100 times more potent as a anti-inflammatory/painkiller as cortisone. Now, a cortisone shot is poison, bee venom is also poison, but it doesn't have that negative health effects that you could get from cortisone injections.

I could just tell you some firsthand experiences that I've had, and one is that I had swollen knee, very swollen, very painful, hard to bend. I'm a beekeeper, I need to be up and down. I can't be messing around with having an injury, but I waited a while. Thought it would get better, it didn't. I finally was able to get an MRI. The MRI showed six cysts. A large cyst in the back of all this stuff, and they advised all these different treatments. I said, "I'm going to just do bee venom." Which I did.

Over some time, which was just a period of weeks or a few months, the pain and swelling was gone. I just forgot about it. That was just by myself, applying bee stings around the knee area. Another time I had what turned out to be a slap tear on my left shoulder, which is the sub-lateral anterior, the posterior tear, confirmed with an MRI. I said, "What does that mean?" They said, "You need surgery." "I'm not getting that surgery because I had that surgery on my right shoulder and I would never want to do that again."

I started with the bee venom therapy and I was just stinging the heck out of my shoulder and it went from where I couldn't sleep, I had very low mobility to I would say 100% healing. I would love to get another MRI to see the difference, but I have had no very little issues with it since I did this drastic stinging. Besides now and again I might get a little pain, I'll sting myself again.

Another time I had-- now I must get 3 to 10 to 15 ticks in me every single day that I'm removing. I'm working in the fields. I wear the large boots. I'm all clothed up. Nonetheless, the ticks find their way. I get tested yearly for every tick-borne disease there is because I'm kind of doing a self-experiment here. I keep track of the type of tick that's bit me, where it's bit me on the body, the date. I'm telling you I've had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of tick bites through the years.

One time I did get Rocky Mountain spotted tick fever, and that was another issue, but very little tick-borne disease. I believe that it's due to the effects on the viruses and the bacteria that the bee venom imparts. Here's another little story. I had a tick in my back area that I didn't really see, and then one day I noticed it and it had been in there for a while. I was like, "Oh shoot, I'm going to get Lyme disease." I just thought that immediately. My daughter is a doctor. I called her up and I was like, "I don't want to go on the antibiotics." That's like the protocol here where I live is like the epicenter of Lyme disease and you get a bite, they don't even wait. They just put you on a couple of days of some pretty harsh antibiotics.

I really didn't want to do that, but I saw this rash developing. I am going to show this video at EAS during my talk. I started looking quickly through the internet for some information about it. I found a study that said that they feel that the spread in the body of Lyme disease is comparable to the rash that you see. Now, not everyone gets this rash, but they did say that they felt that the spread inside the body is comparable to the rash that you see.

Some people get rashes all over their bodies after the sting. Some people get a localized bull's-eye rash. This rash on me was about the size of a quarter. I went outside, I grabbed five bees, and I stung myself. I didn't really expect anything. I was just like, "I don't want to go on antibiotics, but I don't know what to do. Let me just go sting myself." Before my eyes, this rash started to disappear. I was just so amazed. I kept calling my daughter and she's like, "Document it." I was telling her, "I was astonished before my eyes this rash was disappearing."

I have time-lapse photography and video of this happening. I took the next day off. The following day you could see a faint sign of this rash. I did it again. I stung around this area and it was gone a 100% within a number of days. I then waited about six weeks, got the Lyme test, came up negative. Maybe it's in my mind that's so powerful that I'm just healing my body or maybe it's the bee venom. I don't know what it is, but I do know that it works. There are studies that show-- some people say, "Well, Deb, the bee venom is just alleviating the symptoms of the Lyme disease."

No, that's not true because there's studies that show that the Lyme disease is gone, they cannot find it in the body. I understand how it hides in the brain. It hides in organs, it hides here and there, but there are studies that are showing that people are having a complete recovery. Anything from the osteoarthritis in the knees, to localized pain and swelling. I help a lot of people out that they're complaining, oh, they have the shoulder, shoulder, shoulder. I'm like, "Let's do a sting." People are a little hesitant, but they call me up days or weeks later and they like, "The pain is gone." It's gone. Again, it's a miracle.

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Jeff: I understand that you're going to be running one of the modules at the EAS meeting this summer. First, where is the meeting going to be and where can I find out more information about getting registered for it. Then tell us about your module and the people you'll have speaking and demonstrations and all of that. Can you do that?

Deborah: Of course, so EAS is held in different states each year, and this year it will be held in Ithaca, New York, next year it will be held in Massachusetts. If you don't get to this year's conference, there's plenty more down the road. You can go to online, and you can find out all of the information about registering. Registration is open until July 25th or 22nd. I'm not exactly positive, but that information is online. There will be no walk-in registration.

Please do register beforehand. There's a lot of opportunities for volunteering. If the cost is a little bit much for some people, EAS offers a discount to those who volunteer to help out. It's a great way to get involved as well. They asked me to get together an apitherapy track, and I was delighted because I don't think that they've ever really done that. We've got tracks and beekeeping, and tracks in the apiary and learning in the apiary, and tracks in different types of product management.

We're doing wax processing, and candle making, and things like that. One of the tracks that you'll be able to choose from each hour is apitherapy. You could go into the apiary, learn about bees. You can go to the apitherapy session, learn about apitherapy. Go to the beekeeping techniques and products. You have a wide choice and you can run from room to room. I did get four esteemed physicians to come and speak about their knowledge and their practice with apitherapy.

Each of the doctors will be given two talks. I will also be given two talks and will also have Q&A. I think it's entitled What's up Doc. they'll be asking the physicians any questions that they would like. There's two different aspects of the conference, there's a short course and then the main conference. The short course runs Monday through Wednesday. The main conference runs Wednesday through Friday. The apitherapy track will be during the main conference which will be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday afternoon.

I'll just tell you a little bit about the doctors. The first one I'll mention she's actually my daughter, her name is Dr. Nicole Klughers. She's a licensed naturopathic physician. She practices in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. She's also a public speaker. She is a former pharmacist, as well as the Vice President of the Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association. She's been very involved in honey bees and beekeeping for as long as I have been. She's not a beekeeper per se, but she has helped me to install hundreds of packages of honey bees.

This was a kid that was deathly afraid of insects-- all insects, and she's not anymore so that's a wonderful thing. She will be giving two talks. One is on apitherapeutical approaches to gut health. If you're involved in any kind of naturopathic ideals or ideas it all starts in the gut. She'll be talking about that. The other talk she'll be giving is immune function. How apitherapy relates to immune system functioning and healing. Then we have Dr. Dennison and he is an internist with 40 years experience in primary care and urgent care located in Rhode Island.

He is a beekeeper as well. He's a professor trained in internal medicine at Brown University. He has presented at EAS in the past. His talk will be on honey and wound dressing and healing with honey-- different therapeutic approaches. In addition, he will be having a demonstration on making the actual products that the participants can take with them a little kit that they're going to make together on wound dressing and the honey ointment and such. Those are his two talks.

We've got Dr. Joshua Jakum and he has been be keeping basically his whole life. He is a physician practicing in Rhode Island. Actually, I think he's in Virginia now. He's giving talks on infant botulism and honey labeling. I don't know the exact title of his talk, but that's the focus, and his other talk is on bee venom. The different aspects, microbials aspects, and such like that. We've got last but not least is Dr. Vetaley-- he's from the Ukraine-- Stashenko. It's a little hard for me to say he is also an MD. He is a professor at numerous colleges down in Florida. He has a PhD in MS.

I chose these folks because of their high level of learning in the medical field. In addition to their practical uses of apitherapy either in their own practice or in their own world. Right now I'm just looking at the Thursday afternoon, they're 50-minute workshops. Just to give you an idea, we also have a children's program by the way, in case people are bringing children. We have a wonderful children's program running one of the days, but just as an example one of the talks you could choose would be the history of beekeeping from prehistoric to modern by Dr. David Tarpy, then we've got the bee skills tracked. That day would be single deep brood management.

We have a hive products and advanced hive products. Would be candle-making with one of our folks from Betterbee. Then we've got a microscope and dissection topic which you would learn all about bee dissection to learn about Nosema sampling and things of that nature.

Deborah: Then during this period, we've got Dr. Vetaley Stashenko talking about the biological properties of honey bee products in relation to apitherapy and it's effect on human beings. Then you've also got the apiary tracked, which at that time it's assessing hive traits for selection. I would think that has to do with queen production. So, you know, one, two, three, four, you've got six different classes. I wish that I could turn myself into six people because I want to attend all of them, [laugh] but yes, so you would just choose one or you can jump inbetween the rooms if there's space for seating.

Kim: I can just go to one apitherapy class, and then I can go to one of the microscopy courses, then I can choose one from each of those tracks during the afternoon.

Deborah: Yes. Mix and match. Anyway you'd like.

Jeff: I'm looking at the schedule or at the calendar and I'm looking at the date this episode will come out and we're going to only have maybe a week or less between the time this episode comes out and EAS. Are walk-ins permitted at EAS?

Deborah: It actually states that no walk-ins are being admitted. In the past, they did allow walk-ins and I'm not suren why or when that changed, but it does say no walk-ins

Jeff: Good to know.

Kim: I guess the minute you hear this, if you want to go, you better register as soon as this show is over. I don't know, when does registration end, Jeff? Does it say there?

Deborah: July 27.

Jeff: When this comes out, you have, [chuckles] I think-

Deborah: Minutes.

Jeff: -seconds if not longer. We're looking at this coming out on the 25th.

Kim: You've got a couple days and you can do it online. You've got time. If you don't [crosstalk]- -

Deborah: In any event, the listeners will at the least learn that there's a different type of way to promote health and healing and alleviate pain, and help not only enhance health, but to help treat illnesses in a different manner. Complimentary or alternative ways of healing yourself and your animals.

Kim: Deborah, are you a member of the American Apitherapy Society?

Deborah: I was, I'm not any longer. I actually was their editor of the journal for a number of years. I have since left that position, but they are a good resource. They haven't had a conference in a number of years. There are other organizations international. There's Dr Stefan Stangaciu runs the Romanian Apitherapy Clinic, and I'm actually enrolled in his class. He does an online-- it's like a 10 to 20-month kind of self-guided learning environment.

Then there's a lot of other, not a lot, but there's some things here and there you really have to try to look into it and being that EAS has brought this to their conference, I think will open the door to a lot of people that may never even heard the term or even know.

Kim: Well, I guess that's where I was going was if I can't make it to EAS, where can I go to get this kind of information? I'm not going to say hit or miss, but it sounds like I'm going to have to dig a little to find this. If I was looking, where would I start?

Deborah: I would say to go to, which is Dr Stefan Stangaciu's website and he's in Romania. He is, I would say, one of the most foremost experts in the world on this topic. He gives conferences free of charge. Unfortunately, the time difference is great. When he's starting a conference at 9:00 AM, it's like, 3:00 in the morning here or something. I would definitely follow him because he is very, very active in teaching. He brings in speakers from all over the world. He's had a number of conferences on Facebook.

Kim: Jeff and I have to balance those time zone issues every once in a while, so I can understand that, but Jeff, you will have that webpage on--

Jeff: We'll have the webpage for EAS up. We'll have the website for Dr. S and then for Apilogical Society. Deb's contact information, of course, will be in the guest profiles.

Kim: Okay. Then I can get it at EAS or I can go visit one of the web pages. If I miss EAS, I've got someplace to start digging. Good. Well, that wraps up EAS for you then/ You're going to be having something all afternoon, every afternoon. If I can make it there, I could get my fill of everything I ever wanted to know about apitherapy, both in theory and practice and get to meet the people who are putting all of this together. I'm impressed with the depth of the information that you guys are going to provide.

Jeff: Sounds like a great conference. Did they hold it last year because of COVID?

Deborah: We did. We held it down in Kentucky and it was great, actually. We didn't have the honey show, which we will be bringing back this year. There wasn't a children's program. It wasn't like it usually is with the various tracks that you can attend. We all were in one room together. There was a bunch of vendors, we all got together. We played Yahtzee at night, the Secret Yahtzee games.

Jeff: [laughs]

Deborah: It was a lot of fun and everyone got to see each other and it was in a beautiful area in Kentucky. It was last minute, a few hundred attended, but I was glad that I went.

Jeff: Well. I'm glad to see the big national meetings and regional meetings. Start back up and take place. I like the big honey shows. Those are always just fascinating. The big honey displays.

Deborah: You mentioned COVID, so I'll just pull a little plug here again on the bee venom. Bee venom has been shown, forgot to mention this earlier to kill one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer cells. There's an August 2020 study that came out, it was an Australian study, and it showed that the bee venom completely eradicated the breast cancer while leaving the surrounding tissue intact.

Bee venom also has the same type of effect on the HIV virus. It basically punctures the biofilm of the virus and desiccates it, viruses aren't really alive. It just kind of desiccates it. It can't replicate. If you think about the coronavirus, and if you look at these two viruses, the HIV and coronavirus, they look pretty darn similar, and it's the same mechanism as puncture in the biofilm and stopping its ability to replicate.

There's a lot-- it's antiviral, it's antibacterial, it's antimicrobial, it kills pain, so there's a lot more to it. I'd also like to mention that there's a lot of beekeepers, especially maybe new beekeepers, I don't know, maybe all beekeepers or some beekeepers that don't like to get stung. They get their gloves on and they ducttape their pants. That's well and good, except for the fact that you are getting low dose of bee venom, you're getting a constant low dose exposure.

If you get stung once in a year, you're setting yourself up for creating a bee venom allergy within yourself by getting those constant low-dose exposures. Then when you do get hit with a few stings, you could have some severe medical issues.

In addition, they're finding studies that show that beekeepers, pets, and children are also getting this low dose exposure. I come in and there's B venom on my body, bee venom on my pants, whatever. They're finding that the pets and children are also developing, these bee venom allergies from the constant low dose exposure. The reason for me saying all this is, "Hey, beekeepers, get yourself stung because you can be avoiding problems down the road." Beekeepers that don't get stung, I think, are asking for trouble. Take that pain. It gets better. It goes away and it's better than ending up in an ambulance going to the emergency room. Get your sting on.

Jeff: Get your sting on. There you go. Good advice. That's a bumper sticker. Isn't it? It's a bumper sticker. Get you sting on

Deborah: There you go. Hey, good idea or a t-shirt,


Jeff: All right, Deborah. Well, there's so much to cover under this topic and we've only touched the surface of it. I think it's great to have you on, want to introduce our listeners to apitherapy and the broad field that it is, and to introduce again, the wonderful tracks that EAS is putting on and have an apitherapy as one of them. I've not heard of that before at a regional conference. I think that's really good. You've just destroyed my whole concept of smoothies now. [laugh] I think it's been a wonderful talking to you.

Deborah: Thank you.

Kim: Well, as a veteran EAS member, it's good to see that the organization is heading back to where it was before all of this craziness happened. Good luck with your meeting and good luck with your part of the conference. Like Jeff said, it was good to chat.

Deborah: Thank you. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Good work that you guys are doing as well.

Jeff: Thanks for joining us. We'll look forward to having you back. Hey Kim, hold on just one minute while I start up my blender, I think I have that frozen drone brood in my freezer that I took out for the varroa control. Now I have a new use for it. Not only will it [crosstalk] be nutritious, but it'll make my drink cold. Forget the ice cubes.

Kim: You can eat drone brood that way. You can throw in some ice cream. I'll tell you how I've eaten drone brood. A fair amount of is I put a lot of butter on a hot plate grill and just dump them on there. You fry them in butter and they're sweet. They're crunchy. They're quite good. Let me tell you. If you live in a place, one of the things you mentioned was the amount of protein in these things. She's exactly right. The amount of food concentrated in that little-

Jeff: Sack. [laughs]

Kim: -drone brood is significant. You could live off them. Then for a change, you could have some worker brood. That's not quite as sweet. [laughs]

Jeff: I'll take your word for it, Kim. I trust you implicitly and there's no need for me to experiment.

Kim: Well, this was interesting for two reasons. I think one is that you got apitherapy back on the table again, people talking about it. I go way back to Charlie Mraz and some of those people when it first hit the fan. I've watched it over the years and it has really dropped down. It's good that it's coming back and it's good that EAS is coming back. That's what I really like to hear. That was my baby for 12 years and I enjoyed the meeting and I enjoyed the people. I know I can't make it this year, but I'm going to try Massachusetts next year.

Jeff: I would like to attend EAS at some point. Before we end up, though, I do want to state that Beekeeping Today Podcast does not recommend you go out and self-administer your own apitherapy, sting therapy. That's not the purpose of this segment, but it is an option that you can talk with those professionals who have more information about it and can help guide you make the right decisions that are proper for you and for your current health conditions.

Kim: If you want to learn more, go to the EAS meeting and I'll bet that there's somebody in your state, or maybe even a local association who is doing this and not making a lot of noise about it. Ask around, you'll probably find somebody that can tell you a lot more.

Jeff: Well, that about wraps it up for this episode. Before we go, I want to encourage our listeners to rate us five stars on the Apple podcast or wherever you download and stream the show. Your vote helps other beekeepers find us quicker. Even better, write a review and let other beekeepers looking for a new podcast know what you like. You can get there directly from our website by clicking on reviews along the top of any webpage.

As always we thank Bee Culture, the magazine for American beekeeping for their continued support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. We want to thank our regular episode sponsor, Global Patties. Check them out at Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of this podcast. Check out their probiotic line at We want to thank Betterbee for their long-time support. Check out all their great beekeeping supplies at

Thanks to Northern Bee Books for their support of bee books, old and new, with Kim Flottum. Check out all of their books at Finally, and most importantly, we want to thank you, the Beekeeping Today Podcast listener for joining us on this show. Feel free to leave us comments and questions at leave a comment section under each episode on the website. We'd love to hear from you. Thanks a lot, everybody.

[00:43:28] [END OF AUDIO]

Deborah KlughersProfile Photo

Deborah Klughers

Master Beekeeper / Proprietor Bonac Bees

Deborah Klughers is an Eastern Apicultural Society Master Beekeeper and the proprietor of Bonac Bees, a full service apiculture and apitherapy company based in East Hampton, New York. She manages over honey bee colonies at numerous locations for both her own honey and hive product production, and for private clients who would like to have honey bees on their property for both ecological servicing and hive products, without any of the work.

Deborah offers lectures and classes, and mentors beekeepers of all levels: she especially enjoys working with children. A strong advocate for honey bees, Deborah is an avid swarm catcher and remover of honey bee colonies from structures, with her favorite removal being from the top of a 60' tall church steeple.

She holds a master's degree in Marine Conservation and Policy from Stony Brook University and is a PADI Certified Rescue Diver. She earned her bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and graduated as valedictorian, earning a degree in Environmental Studies with minors in both marine science and sustainability studies.

Deborah enjoys nature, animals, art, plants, traveling, making stuff, and honey bees. She is also a very proud parent of four amazing and fully grown humans, two frisky cats, and one old dog.