Dr.Terč Filip, beekeeper and scientist

Symbol: Bee in a Hexagram

Bee in hexagram is especially a symbol of the beekeepers profession, but also symbol with multifaceted meaning. If the bee symbolizes diligence, organization, discipline and indestructible activity, the hexagram is a symbol that represents the fuse of personal, ephemeral world of impersonal Self with imperishable world. This symbolism also applies to the here buried, a person, who shared his professional experience with the world. Dr. Filip Terč, passionate beekeeper, is considered as the father of modern Apitherapy.

The tradition of beekeeping in Slovenia is very old. Honey and wax represented important export goods already at the time of the Slavic principality of Carinthia. Beekeeping was also greatly appreciated in the Middle ages, when honey was considered as a cheap sweetener and wax as an important source of lighting. In church wax was necessary for worshiping and believers also used it for buying indulgences. Of Slovenian origin is also a famous beekeeper Anton Janša from Breznice in Žirovnica, which we Slovenes are particularly proud of. He was the first teacher of beekeeping in Vienna and became immortal with two books, with a discussion of swarms, which was released in 1771, and the complete teachings on beekeeping, published after his death in 1774. Both books have brought in then world of beekeeping a lot innovations and disproved much of the false doctrines.

Beekeeping experienced an important development in 19th century. Among the important innovators was also Dr. Filip Terč, a doctor and a big fan of bees, who later established himself as a rheumatologist and Apitherapyst. Born on 30 March 1844 in the village of Prapořištĕ in Czech Republic, he later studied in Vienna and in 1875 settled in Maribor. Three years later he became president of Maribor branch of the Styria Beekeepers Association.

He knew from practice, that bee stings in an incomprehensible way relieve his problems with rheumatism. So Terč immersed himself in exploring the relationship between the bee venom (apitoxin) to a healthy and sick organism. During the years 1878-87 he has tested 173 cases. By correctly set, planned experiments and critical clinical observation of the relationship apitoxin - rheumatoid producer, he designed bee therapy, the so-called Apitherapy.

From his professional writings it is clear, that he paved the way for later allergology and immunology, and indirectly stimulated production of apitoxic preparations in pharmaceutical industry, including Swiss doctor K. A. Forster, who around 1930 first product with apitoxin "Forapin." Terč actively participated in the cultural pulse of the city by the river Drava as lecturer in hygiene and about beekeeping praxis at the male school for teachers. He was also a member of the Mountaineering Society, Slavic Reading club and one of the founders of Narodni dom, bastion of Slovene in Maribor.

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