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Thread: Sting Reaction?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Norwalk Iowa USA
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    Hi I'm new to the site and find it very helpful alot of knowledgeable folks here. I've been keeping bees for 3 years and yesterday I was removing a pail feeder from a hive and you guessed it I was stung. Now I been stung several times and had small reactions, the common minor swelling and then the itching. Well after being stung on the top of my hand I began to itch all over this went on for about 30 min. Then my hand began to swell to the point where it is at today, about twice it's normal size. Went to the doctor since I can't bend my fingers. This has never happened to me before and the doctor believes there was some kind of infection too. Now I'm on antibiotcs and prednison, after talking to a fellow co-worker here husband who keeps bees also have the very same reaction as I did. Anybody have an idea why this would be happening..Thanks for the help and for the great site!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Beekeepers can build up immunity to bee stings and have very little reactions as bitten over time. Some commercial beekeepers can and do get stung dozens of times daily.
    But the other side to bee stings is that you can develope allergic reactions at any time. Always have a sting kit at your disposal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
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    The location of the sting, and the amount of venom also can play a part in the severity of the reaction. The epi-pen(sting-kit) is a good thing to have, but is used as a last resort. A dose of Benadryl( over the counter anti-histamine) may help, and I talked to someone the other day who is taking claritin on a regular basis in hopes of reducing sting reaction.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I think the doctor is wrong about the infection. I've never seen anyone get an infection from a bee sting. Bees are too clean for that. Sounds like a bad reaction to the venom to me. I try to put something on immediately to draw out the poison. A poltice of tobacco or aspirin has always worked the best for me. Baking soda would be next best after that.

    Now you have to decide what you want to do next. Your next reaction could be worse, or it could be better. I'd try to have a plan for what you'll do if it's worse.

    Also, as mentioned elsewhere on this site, you may want to not wear rings when working the bees. If you hand swells up like that you could lose a finger.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Norwalk Iowa USA
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    I agree Mike, I never have seen any infections either. I was stung last week on my index finger and only recieved small swelling. I'm thinking ChellesBees might be correct about the location being part of the problem. It's on the fleshy part of your hand at the base of thumb and index finger. Can't recall ever being stung on the top of my hand before. Hope it's a one time thing, like the gentlemann of 50+ years of keeping bees who taught me always says "bee keeping gets in your blood" he's right and it would be hard for me to give it up. Thanks for the response...Brian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I got stung on the knuckle the other day and it swelled up enough that it was difficult to use my finger. It seems to depend on where and how well they plant that stinger and how soon you get the stinger out etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Twig, Minnesota USA
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    IowaBrian...were you using ibuprofen. There is another posting dealing with this same subject titled; Sting reaction/ibuprofen.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    NSW,Australia
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    A Mate of mine who keeps bees for while and has been stug quite a few times before with the usual swelling got stung a while back on his arm.

    It swelled pretty bad The doctor said it was a "dirty bee".

    I dont know if he was right or wrong

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Norwalk Iowa USA
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    TAWoods, no I wasn't using ibuprofen,I'll go back and find that post and read up on it. Hand is doing much better today..Thanks to all who replied..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
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    174
    I have received stings on my hands and fingers from time to time - no problem they don't even bother me that much.

    Last evening I was down looking at my hives ( I usually walkdown and look at them every day just to watch the activity for a while) I was bending over and watching the activity around the front of the hive and I was not wearing a veil as I was just watching when a stray lady landed on my ear and stung me.....Let Me say ouch very loudly!!! I did some funny moves through the tree back to the house. Fortunatly it didn't swell it just hurt.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
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    46

    Lightbulb

    I am really starting to think the age of the bee has a effect on the strength of the venom. Anyone else have this idea?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    That is a variable I had not considered. I know there are several other variables, from experience, but that would explain the ones that don't fit the rest of the pattern.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
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    i've wondered if the venom of individual bees vairies alot and also if where you are stung on your skin matters alot(if it is near a blood vessel or nerve or lymph node?)don't know .

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Elizabethtown,KY
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    I was stung on the jaw and by day 3 was having lymph node involvement. My pharmacist said it takes a good 72 hours before any reaction from a bee sting starts dissipating.
    Denise

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    46

    Exclamation

    I think I am swelling more from the occasional sting this year than last so I am a little worried about developing an allergy.

    The good news is I have brood in all stages in both of my hives after a split and swarm.

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