Apitherapy, in the U.S., was pioneered by a Middlebury, Conn. beekeeper named Charles Mraz. Charles started experimenting with bee venom as a therapy for autoimmune diseases back in the 1930's and over the years many people beat a path to his door for help to alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis, arthritis and other diseases. I do not know but can only assume the idea seemed reasonable, at the time, due to anecdotal evidence that beekeeper's didn't get arthritis.
The actual practice of applying Bee Venom Therapy is quite simple; however, bee stings can cause Anaphylactic Shock which can cause the death of the person stung. A licensed professional should be consulted prior to receiving or giving bee stings.
I've some personal knowledge of using honeybee venom for the relief of autoimmune disease symptoms as, for some years two or three nights a week I administered up to forty or so stings per person in their quest for help. Unfortunately I witnessed no cures; however, the recipients of the bee stings often reported symptomatic relief and I couldn't refuse helping those who had given up hope after having tried all the conventional therapies.
A nurse friend who has M.S. attended each session to be available in the event of any problem and to also receive her allotment of stings. We never encountered a problem. Quite the contrary, except for the sense of pain upon being stung (which only a few complained of), almost all exhibited no reaction or only slight swelling in the immediate area of the sting. We encouraged those getting stings to acquire a bee sting kit though, just in case. However, after thousands of stings no adverse reaction had ever occurred.
After a while I decided to stop and found others who would administer the bee stings. During my search I became aware of the American Apitherapy Society of which Charles Mraz was a founding member, and I joined just to see what it was about. Members of the medical profession have since taken hold of the reins and there's now a fee to learn to administer bee stings, and as I understand it there's an effort to require licensing. I've no doubt I'll someday be told how lucky I was no one died when I gave them stings. I think I'm in good company though as Charles Mraz, the father of bee venom therapy, was also lucky.