Homemade Remedies to Support the Immune System

Trailer: (Un)Well a Netflix Documentary (feat. Frederique Keller)

Released August 12, 2020 this Netflix documentary features past President Frederique Keller.

How I Keep Bees Inside My Home for Bee Venom Therapy: By Maria Gussak, ND

When I started Bee Venom Therapy on myself, over four years ago, I had great troubles figuring out a nice way to keep the bees at home.  Living in an apartment, and then later in an Home Owners Association townhouse, I was unable to keep a bee hive.  I tried bee condos, bee houses, nucs (a smaller hive box) on my balcony or small outdoor space but did not find it sustainable.  This article is about the tips and tricks I have found to continue BVT at home, without a hive in the backyard.  I plan to use a similar set-up for office stings when I start my future Naturopathic Medicine Clinic, as well.

I order my bees online and have them shipped to me. The bees will naturally die in 2-4 weeks and I wanted to offer the bees a good life while they were with me (note: winter bees tend to last 1.5 weeks for me).  The way I keep them in my home today was the result of many mistakes and tragic bee loss.

Here are my practical pearls for keeping live bees for Bee Venom Therapy  (BVT) that I would like to share with our Apitherapy community to prolong the vitality and lifespan of at home bees for BVT:

  • I purchased two mini mesh terrariums for about $12 each: I purchased two small butterfly terrariums (they look like mini laundry hampers). They have a zipper enclosure for easy bee retrieval and feeding.  I place the plastic side down to protect the area below. I have two so that I can have a clean one handy for the next shipment of bees.  I clean them with hot water from the sink spray nozzle, and a little soap of Hydrogen Peroxide for breaking down bee excrement, if needed. Next, allow it to fully dry before placing newly arrived bees. I do not mix new bees with old bees that I receive.
  • With each new box of bees, I place a small plate on the plastic side down with a wetted paper towel (folded in half a few times to fit well on the small plate) and about a teaspoon of honey spread on another piece of wetted paper towel.  Bees drown in water and get stuck in honey so I make sure to keep this in mind by keeping the honey layer thin so that the bees can walk on the ridges in the paper towel pattern and not drown. I replace the watered paper towel every 3 days or so for fresh water and add honey as needed.
  • I cover the mini terrarium in a tea towel and keep them in a cool, darker place (where there is little temperature variation) such as a closet or shelf away from sunlight.  I used to think I was being nice by placing the temporary home by a window and giving them sunlight but I noticed they died quickly thereafter.  I had to remember that bees live in a hive and prefer to be cooler (otherwise they form a beard outside the hive) and in the dark.

A recent trick was using comb honey or raw hive materials from the farmer’s market for the bees as a thank you for their service. I got the raw hie materials from a hive I kept that was abandoned and needed cleaning.  I scraped all the wax, honey, propolis, etcetera into jars (after extracting a little honey for my family) and I take about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of this mixture and place it on the damp paper towel.  It lasts well by adding a fresh paper towel dampened in water nearby to loosen any dried honey for them.  I notice that feeding them materials from a real hive has increased their vitality and life span to about 3-3.5 weeks. They also do not drown and are not wet from wet honey like in my previous feeding regimen.


I hope my experience can help any of you that are doing BVT and don’t have a backyard or ability to keep your own bees.  I take an empty terrarium with me to place bees in from a local hive one at a time using tweezers (with permission).  I modified this bee house trick from a Charles Mraz’s suggestion on how he transported bees using a mason jar, a lid with hole (like a feeding lid), a toilet paper tube, a Kleenex with honey and water on it.



Maria Gossak, ND.

American Apitherapy Society Inc.

Board Member


Maria is may be reached for questions at: mgussak@gmail.com



There is a Medicine in Every Bee-Hive; By Annette van der Knaap

We all know the benefits of honey, but did you know that propolis has anti-viral properties? A combination of honey and propolis gives your immune system a boost.

How to make propolis honey?

  • Take propolis tincture and add it to a good quality raw (biological, cold swing) honey. Ratio 1 gram pure raw crude propolis from the hive to 99 gram honey.
    With tincture concentration of 20% propolis → 5 grams tincture to 99 grams of honey. Click here for a gram / ounce conversion table.

How to make propolis tincture?

  • Take raw crude propolis from a bee hive or buy it (from a beekeeper or health food store) dissolve the crude propolis in the same amount (weight) of alcohol (preferred > 80% grain alcohol). Highest proof alcohol such as Everclear or a high proof vodka. 


Ethanol rubbing alcohol should NEVER be used, it is intended for topical applications only.

Weigh the crude propolis on a scale

Weigh the crude propolis on a scale

Add the same weight of ethanol (or alcohol)

Add the same weight of grain alcohol (or Everclear alcohol)

Top: propolis tincture | Middle: fine bee wax particles | Bottom: pollen

Top: propolis tincture | Middle: fine bee wax particles | Bottom: pollen














While in the graduated cylinder, shake every day for a minimum of 30 days. Let it settle and you yield: Propolis Tincture (top of carafe) bee wax particles (middle of carafe) pollen (bottom of carafe).

Do not try to filter, just pour the dark clear liquid carefully from the top, or siphon it out with a pipette.


This coffee carafe makes it easy to poor only the tincture and leaves the debris behind.

This coffee carafe makes it easy to pour only the tincture and leaves the debris behind.


Mix honey with tincture in a bowl if not using carafe.

Final Propolis Tincture mixed with raw honey



If using the coffee carafe, you must have a minimum of 150 grams of crude propolis tincture.

Recommended dose:

Two (2) level teaspoons per day of the final honey propolis tincture mixture that you’ve made.

If you are seriously ill you may increase dosage by 1/2 -1 gram.

*Propolis enhances the effect of other medicines, and may have slight blood-thinning properties.  Always consult your primary care provider  if you intend to combine prescription medicines with propolis. Ask an apitherapist for advice on the dosage.

More information on propolis:

Propolis may look very different in appearance due to its age and variation in the amount of beeswax it contains. When the propolis is dissolved in alcohol, the same ingredients always end up in the tincture because the wax and pollen do not dissolve but settle at the bottom of your jar.

TIP: Use a tall, narrow cylinder (jar) not a wide one, to obtain a nice column of clean tincture on top.

If you have questions or comments please leave them below. We’d love to hear from you and also see your examples of propolis tincture!

Click here for a gram / ounce conversion table.

BEE healthy!


2020 Reading Recommendations

Dr. Oz – Healing Honey with AAS Reference

AAS Past President, Frederique Keller & Dr. Oz