Dr Mkabwa Manoko of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Wednesday said that bees’ venom could be used to kill deadly viruses in the body.
Manoko, also Head of Department of Crop Sciences and Bee-Keeping Technology at the university, expressed the viewpoint in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the 6th ApiExpo Africa in Abuja.
He noted that honey also had a medicinal value that could be used for wound management without side effects.
The university lecturer said that more studies and research implementation were required to tap into other potentialities of bees.
He said: “Bees produce a lot of products that have industrial use in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries.
“Honey has medicinal property; it can be used for wound management, it is cheap, it takes short time to heal, has no side effect like other chemicals.
“Bees produce propolis, venom, pollen and all these are all valuable.”
According to the lecturer, it is clearly established in research that bee venom has the ability to kill HIV, but not the human cells; so, it is something that research can explore to see how it can be used in the cure of HIV/AIDS.
Manoko said: “More research and the application of the researches on bee-keeping are needed. We normally carry out research, but we do not develop them.”
Manoko appealed to African governments to train scientists, citizens on bee-keeping, adding that the pollination services of bees were yet to be explored adequately.
He said: “We need scientists in bee-keeping so that its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product can be realised.”
Manoko, who noted that Tanzania had up to two million bee-keepers, said the country had research institutes on bees and universities, which offered degree courses in bee-keeping.