Beekeeper' arthropathy (2022)


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Reumatología Clínica (English Edition)

Volume 16, Issue 2, Part 2,

March–April 2020

, Pages 177-179

(Video) Bees. Bee Venom Therapy. Apitherapy. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Polish Beekeeper. Beekeeping. Florida.USA


An acute inflammatory arthritis of unknown cause has been described in beekeepers in relation to their work with the hives. We present the case of a beekeeper who, after a bee sting, developed arthritis of the interphalangeal joint of the first finger of his left hand. Although the subacute clinical course and the magnetic resonance imaging findings required the differential diagnosis with an infectious process, the rest of the laboratory tests. Other imaging studies and the course, together with a history of a similar episode a few years earlier on a finger of the other hand after a bee sting, enabled us to diagnosis this condition.


En los apicultores se ha descrito una artropatía inflamatoria de etiología desconocida pero relacionada con su actividad profesional. Se expone el caso de un apicultor que tras la picadura de abeja presentó una artritis de la articulación interfalángica del primer dedo de la mano izquierda. Aunque el curso clínico subagudo y los hallazgos de la RMN obligaban a plantear el diagnóstico diferencial con un proceso infeccioso, el resto de pruebas analíticas, de imagen y la evolución, junto al antecedente de episodio similar unos años antes en un dedo de otra mano tras la picadura de abeja, permitió el diagnóstico de esta entidad.


A joint syndrome has been described in beekeepers which consists of a recurrent, non infectious arthritis, of the small joints of the hand after exposure to bee stings. We present the case of a beekeeper who was referred to us for examination and treatment for acute arthritis in the interphalangeal joint of the thumb of his left hand.

Section snippets

Clinical case

A 58-year-old beekeeper, with no history of interest presented at the surgery after a bee sting due to swelling and erythema in the interphalangeal joint (IP) of the thumb of his left hand, of 3-week onset (Fig. 1A). He did not present with a fever at any time. During anamnesis he also referred to the fact that after an insect (bee) sting 4 years ago he had also suffered from a similar previous inflammation of one finger of his right hand, for a month. In the plain X-ray the increases of soft


In beekeepers the appearance of episodes of arthritis in their work in hives has been described. The first case of the so-called “beekeeper's arthropathy” was published in Spain in 1989,1 after which broader series have been published like, for example, a descriptive clinical study in beekeepers in “The Siberian Extremadura”.2 It has been estimated that this condition may affect up to 32%–43% of them.3 The episodes consist of acute or subacute asymmetrical arthropathy, which affect one or


When faced with an acute or subacute episode of arthritis which affects the hands of a patient who works as a beekeeper we should bear in mind that this entity during differential diagnosis and question them about the background of the bee sting and whether they have suffered from any previous similar episodes.

Conflict of interests

The authors have no conflict of interests to declare.

References (5)

  • E. Villanueva-García et al.Artropatía del apicultor

    Rev Ortop Traumatol


  • J. Peña

    Avances en el estudio del síndrome artrítico de los apicultores

    Vida Apícola


There are more references available in the full text version of this article.

(Video) Dr. Max Gomez: Bee Therapy For Arthritis

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© 2018 Elsevier España, S.L.U. and Sociedad Española de Reumatología y Colegio Mexicano de Reumatología. All rights reserved.


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