The therapy is rooted in ancient traditional remedies, where bee stings were used to tackle a wide range of ailments. But it can be an effective tool in modern medicine, too, according to a number of studies.
An analysis of studies by University of Exeter researchers found bee venom contained compounds that may ease joint pain. Another trial, conducted by the University of North Carolina, investigated the effect of bee venom on back and leg pain.
Researchers found that it reduced pain by up to two-thirds, but because other treatments were used in the study, it was difficult to pinpoint precisely how much effect the bee venom itself had, the Daily Mail reports.
In a new trial, bee venom shots will be compared with salt-water injections for the treatment of chronic low back pain. Dried bee venom will be turned into a gel and injected into up to 10 traditional acupuncture sites in the lower back.
The new trial, at the University Hospital of Gangdong, Korea, will involve 100 patients - half will receive the real treatment, and half will receive dummy injections, and both groups will receive a total of six treatment sessions over three weeks.
A spokeswoman from the charity Arthritis Research UK said: "There is lots of anecdotal evidence that bee venom can be used to treat inflammatory arthritis and also reduce the pain associated with arthritis."