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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Temecula, CA
    Posts
    147

    Post

    I have read some interesting information in several "wilderness medical" texts through the years that I wonder if it's true or not. The authors did not really point me in any particular direction in terms of their sources. So basically, I have been unable to find credible sources of information to confirm if the following statements are true or not. If anyone has a source of information for some of these tid-bits I would be most appreciative.

    1) I have read in several of these texts that honeybees lead the way in terms of human deaths each year (of the hymenopterans) usually as a result of anaphylaxis. This number varies between 50 – 100 people.
    2) For someone who is not “allergic” it takes between 40 – 50 simultaneous stings to cause a systemic reaction.
    3) It takes between 500 – 1,400 simultaneous stings to cause death by toxicity.
    4) “It is more common to be stung by a honeybee than a yellow jacket”.

    Thanks a bunch,
    Kurt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >3) It takes between 500 – 1,400 simultaneous stings to cause death by toxicity.
    4) “It is more common to be stung by a honeybee than a yellow jacket”.


    I try not to believe anything I read in the newspaper or hear on television, but, I do remember a special on the AHB that stated that it would take about 1500 stings to kill a person and one reason that on one in the US has been killed by them. An arguable pair of facts IMHO.

    In the years pervious to the mites arriving, I can attest that I was stung many more times by wasps than bees. Growing up on a farm, I had many more encounters with wasps in the out buildings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    Here are a few things I found on the web.

    From http://www.atopix.com/About%20Us/bee...ng_allergi.htm which is a web site of Atopix pharmacuticals company, "Although only approximately 50 deaths per year have been directly attributed to bee and wasp sting allergies, recent studies at the Department of Medicine, Case Western University suggest a very much higher number." This article states that allergic reactions are likely to get worse, sting to sting. This "fact" is debated in other articles; see below. I'm not convinced that this is a particularly objective site based on the hype in the text on Africanized bee and the fact that they're selling a product.

    At http://www.avru.unimelb.edu.au/pharmwww/avruweb/ IST_Bee=Wasp_Abstract_12=5.pdf you can read information from Australia. "Results: Forty five cases were identified (7 wasp and 38 bee related). Most victims were male (40/45) and many of the bee sting victims were apiarists (6/38) or their immediate family (3/38). Only 2 deaths (bee sting related) were recorded amongst those <30 years of age." I was surprised that there were more bee-related deaths than wasp-related. I would expect a similar ratio in other parts of the world.

    At http://www.insectstings.co.uk/pdf/sandford.pdf is a discussion of "Bee Stings and 'Alergic' Reactions" which points out that fright can be an important contributing factor to the severity of a reaction. This article also debunks the notion that prior stings always enhance sensitivity to subsequent stings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Post

    I agree with Bill, but the key here might be if you do or don't include beekeepers. I had never been stung by a honey bee until I was keeping bees. But Yellow Jackets had attacked me many times. I'd bee BUZZED by a lot of wasps and bumble bees, but not stung. Yellow Jackets have the worst temprament. But then Bees get messed with a lot by humans. In particular Beekeepers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,422

    Post

    I agree that growing up I can never remember a honey bee sting, and we had a beekeeper a 1/4 mile away, but got numerous bumble bee, wasp, and yellow jacket stings. I can also believe, based on personal experience, that heart attack from fear maybe a leading cause of bee related deaths. It scared the hell out of me when I got swarmed on the tractor.

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