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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Rensselaerville, New York, USA

    Default sting/allergy question

    I have 6 hives and usually get stung about 10 times a year for one reason or another - with no great problem - a welt for a little while at worst. This weekend I caught one in the face - on the cheekbone just under my eye - and the entire half of my face swelled shut, and there is still some swelling three days later. There was no problem with my breathing or my throat, no itchiness, no change in heart rate. Does this indicate the onset of an allergy to bee stings? Or is it more about where on my face I got nailed?
    V. Schrager

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Seattle, WA


    Sounds like a normal reaction rather than anything systemic. I've had a few that were little more than a bump, and a couple that have swollen up for days. Never can predict how you will react to them. The one's on the face sure do hurt though.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Greensboro, N.C.


    Each bee will give you a different reaction. Some will be subtle differences, some will be drastic differences.

    The main thing is, when you react only in the area of the sting, you can relax. When you react on other areas of your body, say a prayer on the way to the er, and hope you make it.

    This is a little exaggerated, but I think you get the gist of it.

  4. #4


    Tell your doctor you are a beekeeper and he might make you out a prescription for an Epi-Pen (?). With my insurance it cost me less than $15 to have one in my bee box. I have it for me or anyone that might be in the immediate area while working my hives or any cut-outs or trap-outs.

    I'm sure there might be some cons but something to consider.

    Bena, VA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Beestings don't even leave a bump for me, unless around the eyes area or nose. Then they are much worse. I think it's a reaction from where the sting was, not from and increase allergic reaction... Just my thoughts from personal experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Pepperell, MA.


    I always get more swelling and redness when I get nailed on the face. Under the eyes for me are the worst. I know, I know.....wear the veil......
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #7


    I think people have different levels of reactions to stings. I am allergic now after being stung over 70 times and going into Anaphylactic shock. Dr. Anna McDowell (a great doctor, now in private practice, who is one of the best, caring Immunologists in the state of NC) told me that even a single sting could cause the reaction. I carry an Epipen into the beeyard and many times take Benadryl before going out. I should carry it everywhere.

    I've been stung many times since then. Once my arm swelled halfway up the hand like a balloon. If you get reactions like that be careful and look for signs of a systemic reaction. Usually after working the bees when stung I go to the house, sit down, note the time, take a benadryl and watch for symptoms. Mostly now I get a local, itchy reaction with a little swelling. I've had several stings at the same time and haven't had the bad reaction again. That doesn't mean I won't. I carry an Epipen into the beeyard and try to limit working the bees until someone else is home. I even have a radio with which I can call my husband if need be.

    If a reaction turns systemic the signs to watch for are breaking out in hives, a red rash on the body, arms, stomach, legs, even lips. You may have a flushed appearance, feel lightheaded or dizzy; blood pressure drops, you may experience nausea. They'll be a tightening in the chest and if it's bad you'll feel like you can't get a breath. You'll feel so odd you'll know something's wrong. Don't wait- call for the ambulance. Do take Benadryl ASAP.

    Also, if you ever go into this kind of shock be prepared for the adreline rush you'll get when the rescue squad administers epinephrine (adrenaline). I shook all over, hard, uncontrolable shaking and had no idea what was happening to me. One of the kind rescue workers sang "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" to me as I was loaded into the ambulance for the ride to the hospital. Really a bizarre experience.

    Looking back on the experience, it felt as one would expect going into shock to feel, but I'd never been in shock before and so was confused as to what was happening to me. I thought it was just the adrenaline rush, the anxiety from trying to get the hive closed up, get the bees off me, out from under my veil, etc.

    The good news is that if you are allergic and can afford it, you can take treatment for a period of several years and usually the allergy can be overcome.
    Last edited by gingerbee; 07-22-2008 at 12:18 PM.
    Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.


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