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Thread: Allergic?

  1. #1
    dcromwel Guest
    Opened up the hive here in Baltimore this past weekend for the 1st time since October. Temp was pushing 60F. Found loads of bees, gave them sugar water, watched them pull in lots of pollen (from where I don't know).
    Got stung on the back of my hand. The next day the whole back of the hand and slightly into the wrist was swollen, itching, and even with "pitting edema" ( when pressing a finger into the swelling leaves a temporary pit). I'm hoping this doesn't mean I'm developing an allergy to beestings. Got stung twice last summer (rookie season) with nothing but a very localized response. Maybe she just hit me with a big dose of venom. Remember reading something somewhere (on here?) about aspirin protecting against reactions compared to advil-like medicines or vice versa. Couldn't find it by searching, though.

    Anyone recall?

    Thanks,

    David in Baltimore

  2. #2
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    What I heard was that aspirin was good and Tylonol (aceteminiphin) would cause stings to be worse.

    I usually put a crushed aspirin on the sting if the platain isn't up and green. Then I use that or tobacco for a poultice to draw out the poison.

    As I understand a local reaction is just normal. A systemic recation is an allergy. If you have trouble breathing, break out in hives in other places than the sting, then you have a systemic reaction.

    Personally I don't worry about the local ones. I've had some stings that I didn't notice a few minutes later and others that swelled up and hurt for a week. It's some combination of how much venom, where, how long the stinger was in and I don't know what else, that plays into the whole thing.

  3. #3
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    HI it is not uncomon to have a large local reaction to the first sting stings of the year. Any antihistimine will help (benedryl?)as long as the reaction does not cause you any difficulty breathing or become systemic it should subside anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. I once had my whole arm swell including lymph glands from a single sting, also got stung three times on throat and had only minor swelling. good luck and good beekeeping. Stuart

  4. #4
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    I once sat in a lecture regarding beesting allergies. I do not have allergies, but from what I remember, an initial sting is required to start the allergy. Think of it as an immunization shot but in reverse. Because of this, I don't let people help me unless they have been stung at least twice before. This way, they know wheither they reacted to second shot. I don't remember all of the sequences of the development of the allergy. But I am pretty sure that if you have had two stings on differnt occassions without needing medical attention, you are probably in the clear. As was said, a local reaction is to be be expected, but it is not the same thing as anephalectic shock (allergy). Also, the more toxin you take in will effect the level of reaction.

    I take stings anywhere pretty well, except on the hands. My hands swell up pretty much and get uncomfortable.

  5. #5
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    So would you count a sting from a bumblebee and a sting from a yellow jacket?

  6. #6
    dcromwel Guest

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    Thanks for the replies, gents. The hand is much better today, not completely back to normal, but well on its way. Thus far there has been no history of systemic symptoms.

    Michael, I'm curious about a sentence you used: "I usually put a crushed aspirin on the sting if the platain isn't up and green."

    What's a platain?

    Also, do you folks (who are married) wear wedding bands, and if so, do you take them off before working the bees? I'm wondering if I'd be in trouble if I got stung on my ring finger, got all kinds of local swelling there, and the ring got to choking off the finger's blood supply....

  7. #7
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    >What is plantain?

    Here is a discussion and a link to a picture.
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000970.html

  8. #8
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    After finding myself hanging by my wedding ring and almost losing my finger, I quit wearing it 31 years ago. I know a lot of farmers without that finger because of similar experiences.

  9. #9
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    >So would you count a sting from a bumblebee and a sting from a yellow jacket?

    According to the literature, the venom of honey bees is chemically very different from that of bumblebees or yellowjackets or wasps. A person can be highly allergic to one and not the other. In general, research has shown that allergic reactions to yellow jacket and wasp venom are more common and more severe. That's not to say, however, that you might not drop dead from a honey bee sting.

    Kai

  10. #10
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    Well I thought I was going to die after the yellow jacket tagged me in the shoulder in 100 degree weather. The initial sting was excrutiating. I dont know if they can hold venom back or not but after a few minutes it quit hurting.

    [This message has been edited by Feral Bee (edited March 02, 2004).]

  11. #11
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    MB said >After finding myself hanging by my wedding ring and almost losing my finger,


    Please MB, do tell us your war story. In what crazy circumstance did you find yourself hanging from your wedding ring?

    Kai

  12. #12
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    Sad

    Please MB, do tell us your war story. In what crazy circumstance did you find yourself hanging from your wedding ring?
    I haven`t wore my sedding band for 40 years ( married 41 ) after hearing about someone hanging from his ring, and being in the plumbing industry for 37 years SOLDER will tin on glod very quickly and have seen pulmbers with scars to prove it.
    Ed

  13. #13
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    I have had many occupations in my life. I was a lithographic photographer at the time and it was a vertical camera. You put the copy on the bottom and the film on the top and take a picture of it to make a printing plate. In order to reach the top there is a step built into the camera. I put the film in, shut the back and stepped off the step and my ring caught on the edge of the camera and I was hanging by it. The worst was that I kept getting ortho film developer in the cut and it took a very long time to heal.

  14. #14
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    Oh sure, you almost lost your finger, but the really important question is this:

    Did you get the shot?!

  15. #15
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    What shot? Tetnus? I've been stepping on rusty nails as a carpenter and otherwise all my life and never got a tetnus shot. But then I suppose I had several of the orginal immunizations as a child and I just thought the rusty nails were the booster shots.

  16. #16
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    No, MB, I meant did you get the picture! You were in the middle of taking a lithograph, remember?

    Oh well, a joke is never funny when it has to be explained.

  17. #17
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    Sorry, I didn't catch that, I really don't really remember, unusual for me. Somewhow in a dark room it's a bit disorienting to find you feet not on the ground, your finger in horible pain and nothing is what you were expecting it to be. I DO remember the finger, not the picture. I would assume someone else finished it up later.

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