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Not all products used in alternative healing come from plants. Apis mellifica is the venom of the common honeybee or a tincture made from the whole bee. Various species of honeybees found throughout the world are used for this remedy in homeopathic medicine. The remedy made from them is usually called apis. Other folk medicine traditions use additional bee-related substances in healing such as honey, beeswax, pollen, royal jelly , and propolis.

General use

Homeopathic medicine operates on the principle that "like heals like." This means that a disease can be cured by treating it with products that produce the same symptoms as the disease. These products follow another homeopathic law, the Law of Infinitesimals. In opposition to traditional medicine, the Law of Infinitesimals states that the lower a dose of curative, the more effective it is. To make a homeopathic remedy, the curative is diluted many, many times until only a tiny amount remains in a huge amount of the diluting liquid.

In homeopathic terminology, the effectiveness of remedies is "proved" by experimentation and reports by famous homeopathic practitioners. About 1900, both bee venom and tincture from the entire insect were proved as a remedy by the Central New York State Homeopathic Society.

In homeopathic medicine, apis is used as a remedy for many symptoms similar to those of bee stings. These include:

  • inflammation with a burning sensation
  • stinging pain
  • itchy skin
  • swollen and sensitive skin
  • red, flushed, hot face
  • hive-like welts on the skin

Homeopathic practitioners use apis when stinging or burning inflammations appear in all parts of the body, not just on the skin. A homeopath could use apis for sore throats, mumps , urinary tract infections , and other conditions where there is a stinging or burning sensation.

Symptoms treated by apis usually appear quite rapidly. There is usually some swelling or edema along with the stinging sensation. Many people who need apis complain of swollen eyelids, as if they had an eye infection. In keeping with the symptom of edema, often little urine is produced although there may be a strong urge to urinate. Despite this, the patient has little thirst or desire to drink.

Often the patient who will be given apis appears flushed or has a rough rash. The rash may appear, then disappear. The skin will be sensitive to the touch and alternatively hot and dry, then sweaty. Patients may also feel nauseated, suffer from heartburn , or have tightness throughout their chest or abdomen that feels like they will burst if they cough or strain.

Certain mental and emotional symptoms also appear in the patient that needs apis. Sadness, weeping, and depression can occur. Apis is often used after a person experiences a strong emotional reaction such as jealousy, fear, rage, or anger.

In homeopathic medicine, the fact that certain symptoms get better or worse under different conditions is used as a diagnostic tool to indicate what remedy will be most effective. Symptoms that benefit from treatment with apis get worse by applying warmth or drinking warm liquids. They also get worse from touch or pressure, or when the person is in a closed, heated room. The symptoms are often worse on the right side, after sleeping, and in the late afternoon. Symptoms improve with the application of cold and exposure to open air.

Homeopathy also ascribes certain personality types to certain remedies. The apis personality is said to be fidgety, restless, and unpredictable. People with the apis personality may have wildly inappropriate reactions to emotional situations. They want company, but reject affection, and sometimes insist that they don't need medical attention when they are clearly unwell. People who need apis often have bouts of unprovoked jealousy and unprovoked tears. They may fear ill health and death greatly.


There are two homeopathic dilution scales, the decimal (x) scale with a dilution of 1:10 and the centesimal (c) scale with a dilution factor of 1:100. Once the mixture is diluted, shaken, strained, then rediluted many times to reach the desired degree of potency, the final mixture is added to lactose (a type of sugar) tablets or pellets. These are then stored away from light. Homeopathic apis venom is available commercially in tablets in many different strengths. Dosage depends on the symptoms being treated. Homeopathic tincture of whole honeybee is also available in a variety of strengths.

Homeopathic and orthodox medical practitioners agree that by the time the initial remedy solution is diluted to strengths used in homeopathic healing, it is likely that very few molecules of the original remedy remain. Homeopaths, however, believe that these remedies continue to work through an effect called "potentization" that has not yet been explained by mainstream scientists.


No particular precautions have been noted for using apis. However, people who are allergic or sensitive to bee venom should be cautious. They may react adversely to certain potencies of homeopathic apis.

Side effects

When taken in the recommended dilute form, no side effects from apis have been reported. However, concentrated quantities of the bee venom can cause allergic reactions in susceptible people.


Studies on interactions between apis and conventional pharmaceuticals are nonexistent.



Cummings, Stephen, and Dana Ullman. Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines. 3rd ed. New York: Putnam, 1997.

Hammond, Christopher. The Complete Family Guide to Homeopathy. London: Penguin Studio, 1995.

Lockie, Andrew, and Nicola Geddes. The Complete Guide to Homeopathy. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1995.


Foundation for Homeopathic Education and Research. 21 Kittredge St., Berkeley, CA 94704. (510) 649-8930.

International Foundation for Homeopathy. P.O. Box 7, Edmonds, WA 98020. (206) 776-4147.

National Center for Homeopathy. 801 N. Fairfax St., Suite 306, Alexandria, VA 22314. (703) 548-7790.


Homeopathic Internet Resources. <http://www.holisticmed.com/> and <www/homeopathy.html>

Tish Davidson

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APIS (Advance Passenger Information System)

The Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) is an electronic database system that stores information about airline travelers. The system, operated by the United States Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provides searchable biographical and security information on air travelers entering the United States from a foreign location.

As of March 1, 2003, the newly created United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) absorbed the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). All INS border patrol agents and investigatorsalong with agents from the U.S. Customs Service and Transportation Security Administrationwere placed under the direction of the DHS Directorate of Border and Transportation Security (BTS). Responsibility for U.S. border security and the enforcement of immigration laws was transferred to BTS.

BTS is scheduled to incorporate the United States Customs Service (previously part of the Department of Treasury), the enforcement division of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (previously part of the Department of Justice), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (previously part of the Department of Agriculture), the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (previously part of the Department of Treasury), Transportation Security Administration (previously part of the Department of Transportation) and the Federal Protective Service (previously part of the General Services Administration).

Former INS immigration service functions are scheduled to be placed under the direction of the DHS Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Under the reorganization the INS formally ceases to exist on the date the last of its functions are transferred.

Although the description of the technologies involved in the APIS entry security program remained stable, in an effort to facilitate border security BTS plans envision higher levels of coordination between formerly separate agencies and databases. As of April 2003, the specific coordination and future of the APIS dtaabase was uncertain with regard to name changes, database administration, and user policy changes.

Common APIS data includes information that that is routinely found on a passport or visa and airline boarding card, such as an individual's name, birth date, country of residence, country of origin and final destination. Records also note if the passenger has been issued a United States visa. In some locations, optical scanners are used to obtain digital records of passports, visas, and other documents.

Although initiated as a voluntary program for air carriers in 1988, anti-terrorism and security legislation passed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks mandated participation in the APIS. Prior to departure of every international flight bound for the United States, APIS information is checked against the Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) database. IBIS is a combined Federal law enforcement database consisting of records from the Department of State, INS, Customs Service, and other agencies. IBIS, when used in conjunction with APIS, prevents entry into the United States by illegal aliens, and persons wanted on visa or customs violations. APIS information is also cross-checked with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and State Department wanted persons files.

A new voluntary programs encourages air carriers to submit APIS manifests for flights departing from the United States for international destinations. The INS is developing and testing various database systems to monitor more closely foreign nationals with U.S. visas. The outbound APIS program allows authorities to confirm when foreign nationals with visas leave the United States when their documents expire. Voluntary APIS is also being used on limited domestic flights.

Since its inception, over 200 million passengers have been processed through the APIS system.



Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. INSPASS. March 1, 2003. <http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/howdoi/inspassloc.htm> (April 14, 2003).

Department of Homeland Security. April 2, 2003. <http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/index.jsp> (April 11, 2003).

United States Department of Homeland Security. Immigration Information, INSPASS. March 4, 2003. <http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/shared/howdoi/inspass.htm> (April 9, 2003).

United States Department of Homeland Security. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, PORTPASS. March 11, 2003. <http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/howdoi/portpass.htm> (April 9, 2003).


IBIS (Interagency Border Inspection System)
IDENT (Automated Biometric Identification System)
INSPASS (Immigration and Naturalization Service Passenger Accelerated Service System)
NAILS (National Automated Immigration Lookout System)
PORTPASS (Port Passenger Accelerated Service System)
SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers' Rapid Inspection)

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Apis in Egyptian mythology, a god depicted as a bull, symbolizing fertility and strength in war.

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APIS Army Photographic Intelligence Service

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