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  1. #1
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    Apr 2010
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    Default What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    I've been stung plenty of times by Carolinian bees and it would sting and then it would be a little itchy. But now I got stung by a Buckfast bee on my wrist and my hand swelled up to about 4 times the size, the swelling went all the way up my forearm and swelled all my fingers. Today I got stung again by the same bee (buckfast) and I hardely swelled up at all, but it was still worse than when I get stung by a carny. Is this just a bad reaction or am i allergic to a buckfast breed of bee?
    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    I'm not a doctor, but I think ANY reaction to a sting is an allegic reaction.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    What I've heard are that localized reactions are non-allergy based, no matter how bad the swelling but systemic reactions are usually allergy based and can be life-threatening. But very few things are "absolute".
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Based on my quick discussion with a nurse in the allergist's office (fiance' went the anaphlactic shock direction, so we get to go visit the allergist for testing), there are 5 different types of honeybees that they test for, so apparently all venom is not created the same. An localized reactions usually aren't considered allergic, even whole body reactions may or may not be considered allergic depending on where you get stung. If my fiance' got stung in a vein, it would trigger anaphlactic shock, but isn't necessarily an allergic reaction, just a direct line dose to the heart and the heart isn't very tolerate of things like that.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Onehorse View Post
    there are 5 different types of honeybees that they test for, so apparently all venom is not created the same.
    Is that what they said at the Doctors? "5 different types of honeybees"? Did they say honeybees? 'Cause here is where we can be instructive to allergists, because I think, if they didn't say it they actually meant "stinging and biting insects, including honeybees".

    I wasn't there, so I don't know. But other than honeybees(apis mellifera) and bumblebees(bumbus bumbus) there probably aren't any other bees that they would be testing for.

    Yellow jackets and other wasps are wasps, not honey bees. So, it would be nice if the Doctors knew that and didn't lump all allergic reactions to insect bites and stings on our honeybees. It gives the general public something else to fear.

    So, please learn about bees, honeybees and other bees, and about wasps and then teach the Doctors the difference. It could matter. It could make a difference.

    If nothing else, Doctor aught to know that if the stinger is still in the skin, at the sting site, then it was a honeybee. Otherwise it wasn't, most likely, unless the stinger was brushed off.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Is that what they said at the Doctors? "5 different types of honeybees"? Did they say honeybees? 'Cause here is where we can be instructive to allergists, because I think, if they didn't say it they actually meant "stinging and biting insects, including honeybees".

    I wasn't there, so I don't know. But other than honeybees(apis mellifera) and bumblebees(bumbus bumbus) there probably aren't any other bees that they would be testing for.

    Yellow jackets and other wasps are wasps, not honey bees. So, it would be nice if the Doctors knew that and didn't lump all allergic reactions to insect bites and stings on our honeybees. It gives the general public something else to fear.

    So, please learn about bees, honeybees and other bees, and about wasps and then teach the Doctors the difference. It could matter. It could make a difference.

    If nothing else, Doctor aught to know that if the stinger is still in the skin, at the sting site, then it was a honeybee. Otherwise it wasn't, most likely, unless the stinger was brushed off.

    I asked that question, did she mean honeybees or honeybees, wasps, yellow jackets, etc. She seemed to think it was 5 different types of honeybees; wasps and yellow jackets were additional, but I will clarify in the near future. We did pick this allergist because they do work with beekeepers and want to try and get him back into the hive, versus the others that I talked with that recommended staying away from the hives at all costs.

  7. #7
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    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Onehorse View Post
    Based on my quick discussion with a nurse in the allergist's office (fiance' went the anaphlactic shock direction, so we get to go visit the allergist for testing), there are 5 different types of honeybees that they test for, so apparently all venom is not created the same. An localized reactions usually aren't considered allergic, even whole body reactions may or may not be considered allergic depending on where you get stung. If my fiance' got stung in a vein, it would trigger anaphlactic shock, but isn't necessarily an allergic reaction, just a direct line dose to the heart and the heart isn't very tolerate of things like that.
    In general, bee venom is very good for the heart, the brain and the body. It is just that your fiance is allergic, and a vein sting (never heard of that before) would probably make things happen faster which for him is not good.

    Bee venom does enter the blood stream for all others also. It's not a bad thing and does have medicinal value as long as the person is not allergic. An allergic person, once over the bee venom allergy, can practice apitherapy (BVT) and benefit from that also.

    Bee venom, like honeybees, gets a bad rap! ::Bee icon goes here::

  8. #8
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    Apr 2010
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    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Thanks guys for all of the thoughtful answers. So, Sometimes I can get stung in a more sensitive area and I swell more. Or is it just that the bee released more venom that time? So how long would it take for me to get "immune" towards the bee sting?

  9. #9
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    Jul 2009
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    westchester, new york, USA
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Yesterday I got stung a handful of times doing a cutout. The reaction to the stings ranged from swelling and itchiness, to not even being able to find the sting location after 5 minutes. And these were all bee from the same colony.

    I think, as with so many things with beekeeping, there are enough variables, ie location of the sting, how long the stinger was in you, the particular bee that stung you, etc, that it is difficult to say, "I react to bee stings like...".

    As long as reactions are localized and non-systemic, you are not what I consider to be allergic. But then again, Im not a doctor.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Bliss View Post
    In general, bee venom is very good for the heart, the brain and the body. It is just that your fiance is allergic, and a vein sting (never heard of that before) would probably make things happen faster which for him is not good.

    Bee venom does enter the blood stream for all others also. It's not a bad thing and does have medicinal value as long as the person is not allergic. An allergic person, once over the bee venom allergy, can practice apitherapy (BVT) and benefit from that also.

    Bee venom, like honeybees, gets a bad rap! ::Bee icon goes here::
    We don't know if he is allergic to bee venom or not, that's for the allergist, but I would think that bee venom is similiar to antibiotics or vaccines, in that IM injections are good, IV cause shock. Both wind up in the blood stream, but the heart can't handle IV antibiotics or vaccines and probably not bee venom either. I could be wrong and waiting for August 31st for answers.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monie View Post
    I'm not a doctor, but I think ANY reaction to a sting is an allegic reaction.
    Yes and No. Yes, you aren't a Doctor. I'll take your word on that. No, any reaction to a sting is not an allergic reaction.

    A true allergic reaction is one that results in anaphylactic shock. (sorry if i spelled it wrong) The most noticable part of this shock is a swelling and closing of the throat obsructing the airway.

    Any other reaction to a bee sting is considered normal and not life threatening. Sweeling, itching, being stung here and swelling and/or itching somewhere else, all of these are normal reactions that often occur in people who don't get stung much or very often.

    It doesn't mean that they aren't uncomfortable, just that they are normal, not life threatening and not to be feared. If you are going to keep bees, unless you are truely allergic, you aught to get stung every now and then so you won't have these normal reactions. Not having them will become the new normal.

    I'm not a Doctor either. So don't take any of the above as medical advice. It isn't.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #12
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    Aug 2005
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    Boston, Georgia
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    I always tell my workers that its either going to kill them or its good for them.
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Quote Originally Posted by dbest View Post
    I always tell my workers that its either going to kill them or its good for them.
    Not good for your worker bees though, right?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
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    Feb 2009
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    Wellesley Ontario Canada
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    33

    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    A year ago when I bought my first Canadian Buckfast bees I thought the stings were more painfull than previous stings which I had received.(like having jalopena juice dabbed on a cut). The duration of the pain was no longer than that of other bee stings. Also, these bees do not sting a lot-I do not often wear protective gear to examine hives. I also have varied reactions to stings - the most prolonged seem to be those on my forearms.

  15. #15
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    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    FindlayBee

    I hope you dont get stung on the ring finger you could bee in trouble if you do, so think about removeing the ring before working the bees.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  16. #16
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    Aug 2009
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    Findlay, Ohio
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    I try to remember to take my ring off. However, after having it on 10 years, its easy to leave it on. One thing I do know is, it will be extremely hard to get it off if I got stung on my left hand. So far, its only been my right hand. I think this makes #4 for that hand this year.

  17. #17
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    Mar 2008
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    Altamont, NY USA
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    I just got back from the allergist. Any local swelling and redness is just that - a local reaction. She thinks that when my lips, tongue, and throat started tingling/slight swelling, it might have been a mild allergic reaction. She gave me a prescription for an epi-pen in the meantime, and I go back in for a venom test to see if I am actually allergic or not.

    She said that if I am, they have a 98% success rate with desensitizing patients with bee venom therapy.

    Jennifer

  18. #18
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    Mar 2008
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    Altamont, NY USA
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    Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    I got tested at the allergists today, and it turns out I am allergic to bee stings. Guess it wasn't just in my head!
    I start the desensitization shots next week. Kind of an inconvenience, but better than the alternative.

    Jennifer

  19. #19
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    Jan 2010
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    Newville, PA
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    Just curious, how do they determine that you are allergic? Fiance' just got a new job, so we are in the 90 day wait. But, was curious, if they used a skin test, how do they determine an allergy versus a reaction.

  20. #20
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    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: What would be considered an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

    They would take your blood I'm pretty sure. And then add the bee venom. or something. I'm not 100% positive, but that's what i've heard.

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