Dr Mkabwa Manoko of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, said bee venom could be used to kill deadly viruses in the body.
Dr. Manoko, also Head of the Department of Crop Sciences and Beekeeping Technology in the university, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the just concluded ApiExpo Africa in Abuja.
He noted that honey also had a medicinal value that could be used for wound management without side effect.
The don said more studies and research implementation were required to tap into other potentialities of bees.
“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 a short time to heal and has no side effect like other chemicals.
“Bees produce propolis, venom, pollen, and all these are valuable,” Manoko said.
He added that it was clearly established in research that bee venom had the ability to kill HIV, but not human cells. So it is something that research can explore to see how it can be used in the cure of HIV/AIDS.
“More research and the application of the researches on beekeeping are needed. We normally carry out research, but we do not develop them,” he said.
Manoko, therefore, appealed to African governments to train scientists and citizens on beekeeping, adding that the pollination services of bees are yet to be explored adequately.
“We need scientists in bee-keeping so that its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can be realised,” he also said.
Manoko, who noted that Tanzania had up to two million beekeepers, said the country had research institutes on bees and universities which offered degree courses in beekeeping.