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  1. #1
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    The following falsehood was posted in
    the "this could be trouble" thread.

    > FYI over 2 mill. people in the US are
    > allergic to stinging insects and are at
    > risk for an anaphlyactic reaction.

    There are only 240 millon people in the US.
    2 million would be 0.8% of the total.
    Nearly 1%.
    One of every 100 people.

    This is utter nonsense. If it were true,
    the emergency rooms would be flooded
    with anaphlyactic cases every year,
    and everyone would know at least one
    person who had died (or nearly died)
    from a bee sting.

    Someone allergic to wasp, yellowjacket, and
    bee venom needs to carry an epi-pen at all
    times, and admit that they were dealt a bad
    hand in the genetic card game.

    Forcing a neighbor to move their hives does
    little or nothing to protect an allergic
    person. It takes work to get stung by a foraging honeybee.



  2. #2

    Post

    A sermon worth repeating.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Temecula, CA
    Posts
    147

    Post

    In regard to the accuracy of the information, the information would seem to be correct. I provided the medical journal citations below. Intuitively speaking, one in a hundred seems about right from the standpoint that although we don't all know someone that died of a reaction, I bet we all know someone that is allergic to stings.

    "At least 40 deaths occur annually in the United States from reactions to insect stings.(19) A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis occurs in 0.5 to 5% of the U.S. population as a result of insect stings.(20)"

    References:

    (19) Stinging Insect Hypersensitivity: A Practice Parameter." J of Allergy and Clin. Immunology (1999) 103:963-980.

    (20) Anaphylaxis and Stinging Insect Hypersensitivity." Journal of the American Medical Association. (1992) 268:2830-2833.

    "Allergy to venom of stinging insects (honeybees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants) is relatively common, with prevalence of systemic reactions in American adults of 3.3 percent.[16] Between 40 and 100 Americans have been reported to die annually from anaphylaxis to insects, although this number may be markedly underestimated.

    References:

    (7) Neugut AL, Ghatak AT and Miller RL. "Anaphylaxis in the United States: An investigation into its epidemiology." Archives of Internal Medicine 61 (1): 15-21. 2001.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

    Post

    Instead of grouping them all as "insect stings", could you break out those directly from honeybees. If possible. Insect stings could encompass alot. I also wonder how many of that number of yearly killed were from single honeybee stings versus those who stumpled upon a feral hive or found themselve stung repeatly from the like of hornets, wasps, etc. Were any of that number beekeepers in bad situations and developed reactions. I'm sure the number of people in their backyard stung once and died is a fraction of that original number.

  5. #5
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    > "At least 40 deaths occur annually in the > United States from reactions to insect
    > stings.

    OK, I'll buy the above. Several orders
    of magnitude more lottery winners than
    people killed by insects as a whole,
    with honeybees clearly only a fraction
    of the total.

    > A severe allergic reaction known as
    > anaphylaxis occurs in 0.5 to 5% of the
    > U.S. population as a result of insect
    > stings.

    I've already explained how any number
    even approaching 1% would mean that
    Epi-Pens would be about as common as
    bifocals. That's what people who
    are truly allergic must do. They must
    wear them on a wrist strap. I'll bet
    that most of you have never met anyone
    who must wear one.

    So, when someone claims that they
    are "allergic", ask to see their Epi-Pen.
    If they don't wear one, then they either
    have a death wish, or are not allergic
    enough to need any more protection than
    any other random civilian.

    So, beekeepers, of all the people that
    you have met that claim to be allergic,'
    how many have had an unusual-looking watchband sort of thing with a medic-alert
    symbol and a plastic box or a tube attached?

    ...Yeah, I thought so.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Julian, NC, USA
    Posts
    252

    Post

    Jfischer is right on target!
    I get tired of hearing about how many people are "allergic" to bee stings. What they are experiencing is a normal reaction to the venom from a stinging insect. Just because they experience swelling does not make them allergic. When stung, swelling will occur from joint to joint. This is normal. An allergic reaction would require immediate medical attention or would most likely result in death! The hospitals would not be able to handle the flood of people!
    Another case of the people needing to be educated!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Post

    If fire ant stings caused anaphylaxis in anything approaching 1% of the population in Texas, you couldn't drive for the ambulance traffic and there would be a state law mandating mound removal. If you're outside down here, you'll hit fire ants at least a few times a year.

    Localized swelling, by definition, is an allergic reaction. The severity determines the threat. Just as most of us survive hay fever, some folks die from asthma. Both can be triggered by allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction requiring immediate treatment. You can be allergic to stings and not go into anaphylaxis.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    I have read several post where people said that they never were allergic before and after getting stung they swelled up like the goodyear blimp.

    It seems to me(I know I know very little about bees) that if someone reacts all of a sudden then maybe its not the sting they were allergic to but what the bees came in contact with like pollen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,523

    Post

    <<So, when someone claims that they
    are "allergic", ask to see their Epi-Pen.
    If they don't wear one, then they either
    have a death wish, or are not allergic
    enough to need any more protection than
    any other random civilian.>>

    Jim -

    The fact is, anyone can have a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting, with or without having prior reactions. I experienced this with my son. A reaction that required hospitalization. We were given Epi-pens and kept them on hand for several years. We were told by the doctors that the next time he got stung the reaction would tend to be worse. For two years we worried about this next episode. It finally happened, one of my honeybees stung him, and the most that happened was a pimple size bump. I no longer keep the Epi-pens, but it showed me that there can be no rhythm or reason to the timing when someone reacts severely to a sting. Just because you've never had one and you've been stung many times doesn't mean you are safe from ever having a severe reaction. And vise versa. I have no death wish, I don't make my son carry an Epi-pen around, but I do know that no one is immune from a severe reaction and I go ahead and live my life accepting life's uncertainties. If only life could be so neat and orderly as you make it out to be in your comments above.

    Regards,
    Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
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    2,304

    Post

    There have been several reports of longtime beekeepers getting a bad reaction from stings while taking ibuprofen.Just a heads up.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
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    Post

    Greetings,

    My sons, when young,worked bees commercially without problems. But eventually they became very allergic to the stings. A sting would produce welts over the entire surface of their bodies within 5 minutes. Breathing difficulties would develop within 20 minutes.

    My first reaction was to ditch the bees. But that wouldn't have solved the problem as bees can be encountered anywhere. So we took some precautions. Carried the meds and always had ice available when working the bees.

    They got stung again but with immediate attention, the meds and ice, the reactions decreased over time and are no longer a threat.

    I doubt that they will ever keep bees on their own. But they aren't deathly afraid of them either.

    As I child almost everyone got stung by the bees. Our parents weren't concerned and figured we would learn our lessons for ourselves. No one called an ambulance. No one was rushed to the hospital. No one died.

    Now, I keep bees in the same area. At least 2/3rds of the people I meet are deathly allergic to bee stings. Locations are harder to get with everyone so allergic. I don't believe the genetics in the area have changed that much but perceptions have.

    As perception is everything. Stealth is the key as long as good urban beekeeping skills are practiced.

    In the long run it's probably best and much easier to cultivate good neighbors and move the bees elsewhere. I found that bees can be subjected to more kinds of insecticide in town than down on the farm.

    Regards
    Dennis

  12. #12
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    I don't keep Epi-Pens around, but I do keep
    bottles of liquid Benydril in every glove
    compartment, and in various handy locations
    near each door here on the farm. There is
    even a bottle in the barn.

    We are less than a mile from the local
    hospital, but I'd guess that a swig of
    liquid benydril will give just about anyone
    a good extra half-hour of breathing time
    if they have a worst-case reaction.

    Of course, I have done nothing about the
    threat of being hit on the head by a
    falling meteor or random hunk of the
    international space station, so there
    is clearly much work to still be done
    in making life 100% risk-free for everyone.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Doctor told me that there are two types of allergy. Anaphylaxis is the bad one. The other just exaggerates the swelling. Baby Dtr, then about 4, was helping Daddy with his bees when she got stung on the lower lip. In a few minutes she looked like a Ubangi maiden, lip falling over and swelling like nobody's business. Did not seem to hurt particularly and did not bother the Dtr but scared the dickens out of Mama.

    Nowadays, with grandchildren around we are stocked up on liquid benadryl. If worse comes to worse I have a vial of epinephrine in the fridge.
    Ox

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    A friend of a friend story here. Anyway a friend of mine has a friend who's wife died 2 years ago from a sting, probably a wasp sting. She was working in the yard and dropped dead before she made it to the door of the house.

    I will say this was definately 'allergic'. I have lots of people tell me they are allergic. When I probe a bit it usually means that stings hurt and they are afraid of any stinging insect.

    I try to educate people when they say they are allergic. That wasp stings are much more venomous than bees, that wasps can sting repeatedly and a bee stings once and dies. That bees sting only defensively and that EHB's are generally gentle and AHB's are trapped, hunted and destroyed. That beekeepers help keep AHB's out by monitoring hives, catching swarms and so on.

    Did you read Am Bee Journal this month? They said that they catch an average of 2,000 AHB swarms in Phoenix every year. Wonder what's in those genes of Dee's bees.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    >Did you read Am Bee Journal this month? They said that they catch an average of 2,000 AHB swarms in Phoenix every year. Wonder what's in those genes of Dee's bees.

    I wonder what the criteria is for identification? The FABIS will identify virtually any small cell bee as Africanized even though they are EHB and that means any feral hive that has been wild for long will be identified as AHB. Are these bee mean?

    As for Dees, all accounts from anyone who has worked them is that they are as nice and gentle as any other EHBs.
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/dick/bcjun02.htm
    http://www.beeculture.com/beeculture...an/98jan2.html

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    Today's Texas news report.
    http://www.reporter-news.com/abil/nw...840197,00.html

    I can only assume these aren't all AHB, but the AHBs are about 400% more swarmy than EHB.

    Too bad, guess that Litigous FlowerLady won't be able to move down here.

    [This message has been edited by wfarler (edited April 28, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by wfarler (edited April 28, 2004).]

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    798

    Wink

    Maybe FlowerGirl could move to Abilene if she wore a bee suit - from the newpaper article it may be the current Texas 'in thing' to wear.

    Or maybe she could just stay at home and wear the bee suit to work the garden.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    Greetings all,

    I wish I had a nickel for every patient I see who is "allergic" to something. Fact is seems most people tend to equate any adverse reaction to an allergy, but the two are different. True allergies are, by definition mediated by the immune system. Everything else is a hodge podge of effects generally irritant, toxic or chemical. WHERE you get stung also palys a big role in what happens: loose skin around the face tends to swell greatly because it can accomodate a lot of fluid. Tight skin tends to regulate it's own swelling. The area stung can also determine how quickly venom is allowed to spread, and of course, like snake bites, I'm sure there are different "degrees" of envenomation, probably related more to how ling the stinger is left in place that anything else.

    One might want to be cautious re: a sense of security from having liquid benedryl- while better that nothing, it is a competitive inhibitor of the allergic reaction, meaning it is dose related and the dose is 50-100mg for an adult. a teaspoon of benedryl has 12.5mg of benedryl. Also, in a true anaphylactic reaction, bloodflow to the gut is one of the first to go (the fight or flight response). If so, absorption of anything from the gut is eratic and unpredictable. Thus in the ER, it is usually given intramuscularly or even IV. (unless it is just an adverse reaction (bad swelling) then oral is fine, BUT if you want to be sure, as if you have decided to capture that swarm of AHB, better take a long acting antihistamine like Claritin BEFORE exposure, (and take alittle Zantac as well) and carry that epi pen. One more thing- The activity of epinephrine is very short so if you do have an allergy and get stung and need to use it. call 911 or have someone get you to the ER fast... You may not be done after that one shot. The purpose of the epinephrine is to support the blood pressure that drops like a rock as the histamine causes widespread dilation of all your blood vessels and to inhibit the release of the histamine in the first place. Hope this is of some use...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >Hope this is of some use...

    Yes. Thanks, Mister Bill!z

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    When I was about 2, I was stung. When my Mother saw it, and how quickly it was swelling, she remembered the family trait of bee allergies and rushed me to the hospital. Good thing she did: as she was explaining to the receptionist I quit breathing and they had to code me.

    Nobody thought, during the excitement, to look for a stinger.

    As an adult, I was told by my allergist that it was yellowjackets that I was allergic too, not honey bees. For this, I am gratefull.

    Allergies can be pretty deadly. If I were Flowergirls neighbor I would move my bees. If I were Flowergirl, I would learn enough to protect myself from them. (In fact, as a child I DID!). I would also try to arrange for at the least a solid fence to make the bees fly up, and if he didn't put one up then *I* would to protect my yard. I would also HOPE that I could get him to move the bees, instead.

    Flowergirl and her neighbor BOTH have many choices they could use. The BIGGEST problem that I see in Boston is lack of common sense, actually, on both sides

    [This message has been edited by Terri (edited May 01, 2004).]

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