Melittin is the principal active component of bee venom, and is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance said to be 100 times more potent than hydrocortisone. Melittin is a peptide consisting of 26 amino acids.
Melittin also exhibits potent anti-microbial activity. For example, Melittin has been shown to exert "profound inhibitory effects" on Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes lyme disease (Lubke & Garon, 1997). Melittin has also been shown to kill the yeast Candida albicans ) and to suppress Mycoplasma hominis and Chlamydia trachomatis infections. 
- Klotz SA, Gaur NK, Rauceo J, Lake DF, Park Y, Hahm KS, Lipke PN. "Inhibition of adherence and killing of Candida albicans with a 23-Mer peptide (Fn/23) with dual antifungal properties." Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2004 Nov;48(11):4337-41. PMID 15504862. Accessed November 11 2007.
- Lazarev VN, Shkarupeta MM, Titova GA, Kostrjukova ES, Akopian TA, Govorun VM. "Effect of induced expression of an antimicrobial peptide melittin on Chlamydia trachomatis and Mycoplasma hominis infections in vivo." Biochemical and Biophysical Research Commununications. 2005 Dec 16;338(2):946-50. PMID 16246304
- Lazarev VN, Stipkovits L, Biro J, Miklodi D, Shkarupeta MM, Titova GA, Akopian TA, Govorun VM. "Induced expression of the antimicrobial peptide melittin inhibits experimental infection by Mycoplasma gallisepticum in chickens." Microbes and Infection. 2004 May;6(6):536-41. PMID 15158186
- Lazarev VN, Parfenova TM, Gularyan SK, Misyurina OY, Akopian TA, Govorun VM. "Induced expression of melittin, an antimicrobial peptide, inhibits infection by Chlamydia trachomatis and Mycoplasma hominis in a HeLa cell line." International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 2002 Feb;19(2):133-7. PMID 11850166