Record number of honey bees perished in Scotland last winter (Reuters)
In a desperate bid to find a cure for many grave ailments, a growing number of Chinese residents are turning to another panacea - bee sting - the latest quack miracle cure which is attracting crowds to acupuncture clinics that offer the treatment.
The Straits Times reported that in one clinic alone in Beijing, over 27,000 people have gone through the technique that actually has no known western medical evidence that the insect's venom could cure various ailments. The only known medical fact is the venom prevents allergic reaction to the bee's sting.
An acupuncturist said the treatment involves holding the bee and pinching its head until the needle comes out. But after the sting, the bee often dies.
Though new in China, bee therapy has actually created a buzz in other places three years ago.
In Malaysia, the alternative treatment was introduced to the Southeast Asian country in early 2012 by Shaiful Hizam Harman, a bee farm operator. Mr Harman, who charges Malaysians RM19 for a bee, said the insect he uses were sourced from Italy and belongs to the Apis mellifera species.
He said his rates are cheaper compared in Indonesia where a bee sting costs RM35. Mr Harman also earns another RM350 by holding different courses on the secret of bees and honey, and that charge is per head.
The danger of the treatment prompted the American Cancer society to issue a statement on its Web site which reads: "There have been no clinical studies in humans showing that bee venom or other honeybee products are effective in preventing or treating cancer."