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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    374

    Default hmm, I am having a "large, local reaction"

    I was stung yesterday evening on the inner part of my bicep near my armpit.

    It was a good sting, and the full amount of venom was delivered. It hurt enough to put a little ice on it.

    This morning I noticed swelling, stiffness, and redness of basically my inner bicep and starting down my forearm.

    Now it is afternoon and the swelling has increased to the point that my entire arm feels heavy and stuff, and the redness has extended most of the way down to my wrist on the inner part of arm. My elbow feels swollen, and when my arm is hanging at my side, it hurts a little.

    I took 25mg benadryl this morning.

    I currently have an ice pack on it. Realize I need some more benadryl. Any other suggestions?

    No, I have no signs of anaphylaxis. I have only been stung now about 4 times in 3 seasons. The last sting didn't do anything to me hardly. While the first sting a couple of years ago left my knee swollen and red for a couple of days.

    Should I be concerned?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default No worries

    Unless the sting itself is infected I would say no that what you are experiencing is a local reaction and the building of histamines in that area.

    Believe it or not. If you got stung more the reactions would be less severe. Also for some reason it depends on the location of the sting. The inner arm is a tender area and thus why you are experiencing a bit more of a reaction.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    374

    Default

    It didn't help that I thought I got the stinger out by scraping with my hive tool, but I didn't. So the stinger was in for a good few minutes.

    My colleagues at work have been very impressed. As in "you better do something about that."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Liberty, Maine
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Coworkers are always helpful.

    When I got hit in the ear and it was twice the size of the other one they all felt the need to make sure I knew that there was something wrong...

    Take it easy, give it a bit more time, it should start to come down.

    K

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,551

    Default

    I wouldn't be concerned unless you show symptons in a completely different part of the body than was stung, such as hives or swelling of the throat.
    Be glad it wasn't to the nose or lip.
    One of our employees got nailed between the eyes last year and both his eyes swelled almost shut. He looked pretty bad, but it lasted only a few hours then the swelling gradually reduced. He got stung several more times over the year but didn't have a reaction like that again.
    Consider this an inoculation towards reduced swelling on any future stings for the season.
    Sheri

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    what alpha6 said about numbers of stings, although you might wish to verbally discuss the issue with a doctor since I have been told by a retired vet (in regards to animals and not humans) that there is a required time for the body to build immunities after the first sting. a sting in the time lag before the body build immunities can be more dangerous than the first.

    I am sure it is quite uncomfortable. I use to notice a lot of temporary summer help who always though they would never be stung.. never happened.

    a john and sheri k snip..
    One of our employees got nailed between the eyes last year and both his eyes swelled almost shut. He looked pretty bad, but it lasted only a few hours then the swelling gradually reduced.

    tecumseh:
    mizz tecumseh got whacked last week taking pictures. the girls kissed her first on cheek and then twice on the other cheek. she looked quite cheeky. I am certain the folks at work will accuse me of wife beating at every social event for the next decade.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Washington Island, Wi
    Posts
    350

    Default

    A couple of years ago I was working the bees with gloves, veil and just a tee shirt on - I must have had some bad B.O. 'cause they nailed me just above the glove on my right arm - same area as you arthur. I got it once working the second to last hive and three more times within an inch of the first sting working the last colony. It looked like I only did bicep curls with my right arm - I should have taken a picture with a measuring tape around my arm to show my future kids, "See, daddy had 19" guns when he was 26."

    I was worried for a while - but it went away overnight - the skin got really tight and there was some pain - luckily I didn't have to buy cocoa butter for strech marks or anything

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kopeck View Post
    Coworkers are always helpful.

    When I got hit in the ear and it was twice the size of the other one they all felt the need to make sure I knew that there was something wrong...

    Take it easy, give it a bit more time, it should start to come down.

    K
    of all the places I get stung, I hate being stung on the ears

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    Unfortunately, I have similar reactions. I finally asked the Doc for some prednisone to keep on hand. It is a steroid but it does stop the progression of the swelling. With me
    it continues to grow for 72-96hrs and then takes another 72 to shrink again.

    But that was the prelude to a full blown allergy.

    Fuzzy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
    I got it once working the second to last hive and three more times within an inch of the first sting working the last colony.
    When a bee stings and pulls its guts out, it releases an alarm pheromone to alert other bees to the location they need to come sting too. Because you got stung numerous times in almost the same exact spot, my guess is the bees could smell the alarm pheromone there.

    Next time you get stung...scrape the stinger out....and then blow a puff of smoke at the beesting to mask the alarm pheromone so more bees don't come and sting you again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,656

    Default

    Not a life threatening allergic reaction in my opinion, it should go down. More of a concern would be if it is infection because of the non-steralized injection the girl gave you... sweat, dirt, etc at the puncture site. Is the redness general or is it a streaking line down the arm? If it appears to be infection, then head for the doc's office. If it is more just swelling and redness due to allergic reaction, then just continue what you are doing.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Washington Island, Wi
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    When a bee stings and pulls its guts out, it releases an alarm pheromone to alert other bees to the location they need to come sting too. Because you got stung numerous times in almost the same exact spot, my guess is the bees could smell the alarm pheromone there.

    Next time you get stung...scrape the stinger out....and then blow a puff of smoke at the beesting to mask the alarm pheromone so more bees don't come and sting you again.

    I actually did pull the stinger out and smoke myself - just not enough

    It doesn't seem make sense to go from a nice banana smell to burnt leaves and straw

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    Usually I don't have the smoaker in my hand when getting stung. It's on the ground. But as soon as I get stung I immediate scrape out the stinger and then hide that part of my hand against my body (usually behind my back). I then pick up the smoaker and smoke the crap out of where I got stung. Never have had another attack in the same spot when I do this.

    Do the same thing sometimes when I get hit through my nitrile gloves.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    638

    Default

    arthur,

    how's the arm coming along?

    Ken

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    My vet suggested using DMSO. It is available at the feed store for horses. You will taste garlic in your mouth and you don't want to put it on very thick or it will burn your skin but it does help with the swelling.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    374

    Default

    I am not 60 hours or so out from the sting, and my arm has finally started to decrease in size. I can almost straighten it all the way. I can touch my mouth with my hand. and the redness is mostly gone. The intense ache in my elbow that occurred everytime I allowed by arm to dangle at my side is mostly gone.

    But my watch still doesn't fit on my wrist.

    I have new respect for the power of just one sting. And I am going to get a script for an epi-pen or two, just to be safe.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Lynchburg, VA
    Posts
    2,530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by no1cowboy View Post
    of all the places I get stung, I hate being stung on the ears
    Yes, but there are times when you are thankful to be stung on the ear. Once a bee got in my veil and stung me on the earlobe and I was not happy. But, in a few seconds the same bee crawled into my ear canal. At that point I was happy he no longer had a stinger. I think the worst place I ever been stung is on the tip of the nose.

    Supposedly, one gains an immunity with more stings. But your immunity status can change to the negative over time. I know of a surgeon that had been keeping bees for several years with no sting reaction issues. Then he got a sting that landed him in the hospital with a severe reaction.
    From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Charles Koch

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default

    Spring stings are worse than later in the year too. Nothing like overwintered venom to really deliver a whopper of a reaction.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    727

    Default

    Galaxy wrote:"I know of a surgeon that had been keeping bees for several years with no sting reaction issues. Then he got a sting that landed him in the hospital with a severe reaction. " Very same thing happened to the Bee Club's president. Epi-pens are covered by your med. insurance but you need a doctor's prescription. Nearly lost my son and my business to one bee sting.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    727

    Default

    iwombat wrote:"Spring stings are worse than later in the year too. Nothing like overwintered venom to really deliver a whopper of a reaction. " Came to the very same conclusion some years ago, but didn't say much about it. Glad someone else corroborated it. Could it be because they are so fewer bees in the spring that they have to have a real wallop? Noticeable difference in the spring.

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