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Thread: Bee Stings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Wayne, NJ USA
    Posts
    381

    Post

    This is just my second year keeping and last year I got stung a few times, this yr so far I've been stung twice. My reaction to being stung has been from just about nothing to localized pain, redness and a good bit of swelling. The worst part however has been the intense iching that follows a day or so later. My question is this, if you are the type who is not immediately allergic, roughly, how long does it take before you start to develop either immunity/allergy? (10 stings, 25 stings, 50, 100?) Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,920

    Post

    Anytime from two stings, to 60 years to never. There is no pattern that I know of. In fact most people seem to get less reactions as they go not more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

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    Sungold:
    The itching is normal. I have been stung on the hands to the point where the fingers web up like a duck's foot down where they join the hand. The itch is intense but not harmful. Just don't scratch.

    My sensitivity seems to wax and wane with the seasons. Early in spring I am somewhat sensitive and swell. Toward the end of summer I hardly notice a sting.
    Ox

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
    Posts
    150

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    I also am in my second year beekeeping. Last year I've been stung 5 or 6 times. The reaction was always the same. Last week-end I got stung twice. There is no apparent reaction on the day I get stung. The next couple days an area of about 4 inches around the sting becomes red and somewhat harder, but no swelling. The whole area is very itchy. It disappears completely after 3-4 days.

    Hugo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

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    years ago, when I was helping my commercial beekeeper friend, I got stung a bunch! The last day we took honey, I must have been stung a couple of hundred times. Those bees were mean. I got really sick and even passed out in my truck when I arrived home.
    I was a little concerned when I got my own hives last year. I've only been stung a few time. I've been applying crushed plantain weed leaves to the stings and it really takes the pain away. For the itching and swelling, I take some benadryl and/or aspirin. I know an older beekeeper who is getting more allergic the older he gets. I guess it depends on your physiology.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    54

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    Does anyone have experience with systemic reactions? While hiving packages a few weeks ago, I got 2 or 3 stings and soon had throbbing ears, and hives and itching all over. I took 3 Benadryl, but continued as red as a lobster and 'itching like a man on a fuzzy tree' for several hours.

    I've gone to see an allergist, and of course the medical perspective is that it could be very dangerous to be stung again. I'm carrying antihistamine and an epipen. I'm going to start the desensitization regimen with the allergist, which will take at least 12-16 weeks.

    But what I'm interested to hear is whether any of you have heard of beekeepers who had a mild systemic reaction like mine, and who didn't go the medical route, and did fine. I've heard of one case where the guy just toughed it out, and eventually became desensitized through getting stung.

    It would be inconvenient for me to drop dead in the beeyard, because I've got a family to support. So, I'll continue with the allergist. But I'd love to have some anecdotal evidence that I could get stung again tomorrow and not have to jab myself with the epipen and call 911.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

    Big Grin

    my bees seem to have the need to sting me symetrically. last year i was stung 9 times 4 in the face and three in arm, two on the face were on BOTH sides of my upper lip, it looked like i had gotten Botox injections to plump up my lips
    now this year, couple days ago, i had about 10 bees manage to get into my full, sip up, suite & veil and only got stung 2x but again symetrically - both sides of my collar bones
    i guess they dont want me looking goofy & lop-sided, nice of them huh
    Deanna

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