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Creating a buzz over bee sting therapy...

A BAHRAIN-BASED bee lover is going against the grain by using the power of stings to bring relief to others.

Frank Ryde keeps more than 50,000 bees in the garden of his home in Sehla.

This one hive, together with the hundreds more he has back home on his estate in the heartlands of Sri Lanka, provide all Mr Ryde needs for his "apitherapy" - the name given to the use of honey bee products for medicinal purposes.

"Bee sting treatment is the best natural medicine and I don't charge people who come to me seeking for cures using bee stings, as I believe this is a God-gifted talent," he said.

"I apply an ice cube on the area where there is pain for a minute so that it becomes numb and then apply the sting.

"The bee venom spreads and the body creates antibodies, which is actually the medication for such ailments."

The 56-year-old businessman, who is an avid nature lover and amateur photographer, is also the founder of Alpha Fire Services - a company he strives to run "as a beehive", he told the GDN.

"I believe that there is much that man can learn from bees," he said.

"The way they work and their intelligent existence, the way they multi-task and the division of labour amongst the bee colony."

Mr Ryde's fascination with bees began at an early age.

"I was 14 when I accidently came across a beehive on a rooftop in Colombo while searching for my cricket ball," he said.

"My mother's father Calud Crozier is well-known back home for beekeeping and I remember my mother calling my uncle, who had followed in his father's footsteps, and he removed that beehive and kept it in a box.

"This incident drove me to this passion."

The trick to successfully and safely keeping bees is catching a queen, the bee lover said.

"Once you have the queen in your hand, the other bees don't sting you and instead they will gather and cover you," he said.

"The queen sends out pheromones that keep the bees from stinging and then you can slowly dust the bees into a box and close it once the queen is in. Just leave a small guarded entrance and you have the hive."

Mr Ryde, who has two boys - chemical engineer Darren settled in the US and architecture student Farrell here in Bahrain - with his wife Deanne, regularly gives speeches on the use of bee therapy, which he claims can cure ailments as varied as rheumatism, arthritis and skin ulcers.

The GDN reported in September that an increasing number of people were turning to the alternative therapy for help with a variety of health complaints including aching joints, bad eyesight and even cancer.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Nov 4, 2014
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