The Heal Hive Q & A
Brooke Geahan, founder of The Heal Hive, talks to us about how she healed herself from debilitating chronic illness and Lyme disease, using bee venom therapy. She answers all of bee venom therapy related questions; explaining how it works, how effective it is at healing chronic illness, its science backed benefits, how long it takes to heal and even its incredible anti-aging benefits.
Brooke, can you tell us a bit about The Heal Hive?
The Heal Hive is an online educational platform that teaches those with tick-borne diseases and chronic fatigue, how to heal using bee venom therapy through online courses, comprehensive lab testing, whilst being taught by experienced health and wellness professionals.
The Heal Hive practitioners include a Lyme-literate M.D., a nurse, a psychologist, social worker, physical therapist and Apitherapists (those who know how to apply acupuncture using bee venom stingers).
We combine western medicine with the traditional healing method of bee venom therapy.
How did you get into bee venom therapy?
In 2013 I became severely ill from Lyme disease and two other tick-borne diseases, Babesia and Bartonella. Prior to being bit by the tick, I was an active New Yorker, working hard and playing hard. The weekend I got bit by the tick I was in Shelter Island, New York and got bit on a Friday evening. I woke up that Saturday morning with a bulls-eye rash and knew I needed antibiotics as I was Lyme-educated. I got antibiotics and thought I would be fine in a few days. What I didn’t know at the time is how severely ill I could become in such a short time. I was expected back to work that Monday morning after the weekend; I never went back to the office, never cleaned out my desk. My life forever changed with that tick bite.
It took over three months to become properly diagnosed with both late stage as well as a new infection of Lyme disease, Babesia and Bartonella. The doctors at first dismissed Lyme disease as I had gotten on antibiotics immediately after the bite. Firstly, Babesia is a parasitical infection and can be very dangerous, it doesn’t go away from antibiotics. Secondly, what I didn’t know at first is that I became so very sick so quickly, despite antibiotics as I had already been exposed to Lyme disease.
When my blood tests finally came back, they showed titers for both late-stage Lyme disease, alongside a new infection. That is how I became so very sick and debilitated so fast. And this happens often.
After my diagnosis I embarked on seeking out the best NYC-based Lyme literate doctors. After first being misdiagnosed as clinically depressed, I was finally properly diagnosed and immediately put on oral and intravenous antibiotics, anti-virals, anti-parasitics, modalities, anti-fungal prescriptions, countless herbs and supplement treatments, I.V. vitamins, and so much more. I only became sicker and more disabled. Within 5 months of the summer Hamptons tick bite, I was unable to walk and barely able to speak. My diseases had become so severe, and the treatment had made me even sicker. I was getting to a point where I was fully compromised physically and neurologically. There were weeks I didn’t have energy to shower or even stand on my own. I couldn’t remember my own birthday. They were very dark days.
I also found out that I was exposed to toxic black mold at my home in Shelter Island. I had one of the worst cases of mycotoxin poisoning recorded. So, on top of the tick-borne disease, I was also battling sickness from toxic mold exposure.
After that, I embarked on finding Lyme literate doctors elsewhere and tried everything under the sun from muscle testing, dark field microscopy, auto-hemotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, ultraviolet irradiation of the blood, Intravenous Immunoglobulins, colonics, etc. I improved about 30% but was still unable to function normally, was unable to return to any type of work, and exhausted my life savings. I was down to my last $3,000.
At that point I learn that a nurse in the clinic I was visiting had fully recovered from severe Lyme disease. When I learned how she did so, stinging herself with live bees, I didn’t think it could hurt to try. At the point I embraced bee venom therapy, no allopathic or alternative modality had worked so far. I had nothing to lose.
Within three weeks of learning the basics about bee venom therapy I became free of the wheelchair I used so often. Within three months I had my “brain back” and could think clearly. And on top of that, I felt well enough to begin walking and hiking again.
Up until the bees, nothing had worked, and I had gone broke trying. I was even more emotionally broken from losing hope that I would ever get better. In fact, most doctors at the time told me whilst I may regain some functionality, I should expect to be forever disabled and sick as “Lyme disease has no cure”.
I proved them all wrong. Today I am 5 years free of late-stage Lyme disease, free of the other infections, and am healthy and thriving. All due to the magical insect, the honeybee, and the medicinal benefits within bee venom.
How does bee venom therapy work?
Bee venom therapy is really bee venom immunotherapy. All Apitherapists (experts who use live bee venom medicinally) have different techniques and Apitherapy is a traditional medicine embraced by nearly every culture and dates back 5,000 years.
I have my own technique I teach at The Heal Hive where we begin bee venom therapy in small amounts and gradually increase the dosage to where our Heal Hive students are stinging themselves with live bees three times a week.
We use live bees in this practice, as the bee venom contains peptides that are sensitive to light and oxygen and break down easily. Using dried bee venom doesn’t have the same medicinal value nor the same biologically active properties.
What does the protocol entail?
At The Heal Hive we understand that chronic illness and fatigue is many faceted. Whilst the root cause of the physical illness may have begun from a tick bite, many factors intercede to create a body wrecked by disease. These include both old and new autoimmune issues, food sensitivities, mold exposure, chronic stress, poor sleep hygiene, nutrient deficiencies, and detox issues.
At The Heal Hive our students go through incredible comprehensive testing using CDC-recognized national labs, working with our M.D. partner and nurse to uncover preexisting conditions and potential mold exposure that can impede success with bee venom therapy. Once those issues are found and addressed, our students are ready to take healing into their own hands. We empower them to understand the science of bee venom therapy and the science of how pathogenic diseases destroy the body. From that knowledge base, our students are able to better understand how to manage their own unique bee venom therapy protocols.
Everybody is unique, everybody that becomes chronically ill presents with different complexities. We understand this at The Heal Hive and although our courses are group learning education, I have created a fool-proof system where anybody can feel confident to begin this therapy and sting themselves with live bees!
Is it painful?
A sting from a bee can be painful for the first few seconds, but we have techniques to lessen the pain that include diet changes to stress reduction. Yes, what you eat and how well you sleep, and how you manage your stress absolutely effects the pain from a bee sting.
But what is remarkable is most of The Heal Hive students report barely feeling the sting with their first sting! Compared to endless poking of needles from IV therapy and worse the chronic pain from long term, tick borne diseases, most of our students can’t believe how relatively painless and easy bee venom therapy can be.
What are the benefits of bee venom therapy?
Bee venom (BV) therapy helps regulates the immune system rather than suppressing the immune system.
Bee venom contains more than 70 biological active properties. The most abundant is a peptide called Melittin, but bee venom also contains beneficial Mast Cell Degranulating Peptide 401, Hyaluronidaase, Apamin, Norepinephrine, Acetylcholine, Dopamine, and Phospholipase A2, among others.
Melittin works by creating microscopic pores in the outer membrane of bacteria, this pore penetration leads to the inner mass of the bacterial cell leaking out its contents and dying. Another fascinating aspect to Melittin is its ability to decrease bacterial biofilms, these biofilms encapsulate bacteria leading to antibiotic resistance and chronic disease. By being able to break through bacterial biofilms whilst breaking down bacteria, the melittin helps destroy both early onset Lyme disease and late stage.
Bee Venom is also one of nature's most powerful anti-inflammatories and helps regulate histamine intolerance, mast cell disorders, hyperactive immune states, and depressed immunity.
In terms of becoming allergic to bee venom, few people have a true bee allergy. Many who think they got stung by a bee, mistake it for a wasp. You have a far greater risk of going into anaphylaxis from antibiotics than a bee sting.
Also, with increased bee stings, your immune response to bee stings decreases. A fascinating study showed that the body’s immune response actively responds to more stings creating an environment of better allergy response and lowered inflammation.
“This decrease in the immune response to bee stings correlated with a marked increase in the number of interleukin-10 (IL-10)-producing T cells and a decrease in the number of interferon-γ (IFNγ)- and IL-4- producing T cells in the peripheral blood. These data support previous findings that T regulatory type 1 (Tr1) cells, which characteristically produce high levels of IL-10, are associated with decreased allergic responses.” https://www.nature.com/articles/nri2466.pdf?origin=ppub
What chronic illnesses has bee venom therapy been proven to heal?
The starting cost of a large-scale clinical study on a pharmaceutical application of a compound begins around $250 million and by the end of the study the cost usually comes to at least a billion.
Lyme disease is severely underfunded on its own, right now federal funding for Lyme disease is capped at $55 million for all aspects of studying Lyme disease. That is a mere drop in the bucket for any significant scientific study apply bee venom in a clinical laboratory to human subjects.
But what we do know is that bee venom is being studied the world over for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating, and pain-relieving properties.
It is also being widely studied for its ability to decrease cancer metastasis alongside eradicate cancer cells.
Australia is leading the way in these studies, investing money behind bee venom’s ability to eradicate aggressive HER-2 enriched breast cancer along with investing behind exploring the myriads of applications of bee venom medicinally.
Are there scientific studies?
Lyme Disease & Bee Venom
The most significant study on bee venom versus antibiotics against the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, was studied at the University of New Haven in 2017. The research scientists concluded that bee venom, and the essential Melittin it contains, outperformed by a large measure both antibiotic therapies and herbal therapies.
HIV & Bee Venom
Anti-arthritic & Anti-inflammatory Benefits of Bee Venom
How long does it take to start feeling better once starting bee venom therapy?
Everyone with tick-borne disease is unique. Some of the “lucky” ones may have only contracted Lyme disease and live in a mold free environment and be free of autoimmune complications. Others may present with nearly 8 different severe infections from the same tick and may have other immune issues such as undiagnosed autoimmune diseases or mycotoxin exposure that can impact the length of the bee venom therapy protocol.
On average our members begin feeling 50% better before even stinging, using The Heal Hive system. We take most of our members to feeling 100% better after around a year to two years of stinging 3 x a week.
How long does it typically take to heal with bee venom?
1 - 2 years, but you begin feeling better upon starting the treatment if you are applying it properly.
What is your biggest success story?
That is a hard on as there are so many! I encourage everyone to spend some time on The Heal Hive IG account to watch our members testimonials, they are truly astounding. You can find it here @thehealhive.
Can you tell us about bee venom’s anti-aging benefits?
When bee venom is applied topically, it has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefit to the skin, as it surpasses pro-inflammatory cytokines that lead to skin aging. Applied topically, it also suppresses melanin production by inhibiting tyrosinase-related proteins. Bee venom also can also increase collagen protein synthesis and rebuild collagen. All these aspects can reverse superficial aging of the skin.
When bee venom is applied as bee venom immunotherapy through bee stings, we see both its anti-inflammatory properties create an anti-aging benefit in the body but also increase telomere length! Our genetic telomere length decreases progressively with advancing age and is considered as a biomarker of chronological aging. Beekeepers’ telomere length was studied, and it was found that beekeepers have significantly longer telomere length compared to non-beekeepers.