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Thread: Mrs Treebee

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    worth,missouri,usa
    Posts
    91

    Default Mrs Treebee

    The hubby has been a beek for a couple of years now and since I haven't been able to beat it out of him - might as well join him

    He is in California working and his bees and I are in Missouri. The weather was warm - by NW Missouri January standards three days last week - so I opened the hives and checked it out. He has seven hives at the farm - three from packages last spring and four ferral swarms. All were buzzing and seemed to be doing great. If I can figure out how to upload a picture I will!

    My one big problem is getting stung - should my reaction to the sting become less and less over time? I have been stung three times and the reaction gets worse.

    A quick shout out to the two Navy retirees or vets that were in the intro - I retired in 2000 and would love to go back to Rota!
    John Hargrave Northwest Missouri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,808

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Welcome to the site!

    It warms my heart to see a wife take such an interest in her hubby and his hobby.

    In regards to the stings, are you talking about the pain, or the swelling?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    worth,missouri,usa
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Thanks for the welcome - so far as the sting goes both swelling and pain. Thursday - she barely got me thru my glove and it is swollen, itchy and painful. If there was a smiley to end this post that said "Ouch" I would use it.
    John Hargrave Northwest Missouri

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,179

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Welcome too beekeeping.
    If the reaction stays local to the sting site I wouldn't worry about it. If another area on you're body is affected you might have a problem.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,808

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    I've been told by beekeepers that have kept in it for over 50 years that the pain doesn't go away. Their first sting hurt just as much as their last.

    The swelling and itchiness varies. Two summers ago I got stung on my ankle and it swelled up to the size of a grapefruit. Yesterday I got stung on the finger and right above the eye. The finger was a little sore, but I didn't notice the one above the eye until my wife asked why I had a bump there. A pimple was my guess. My guess was wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Santa Rosa, California USA
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Ah, Specialkayme, from the name I always assumed that you were female; oops.
    "Experience is that which enables us to recognize our mistakes - the next time we make them."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,808

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    It's ok. I get that alot. Last name is Kay, not first.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,055

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Welcome, and a retired Marine, not Navy! If swelling and symptoms beyond the sting site increase see your doctor ASAP. Always remove the stinger quickly and use ice packs to reduce swelling. I bring anti-histamines and Epi-pens to bee workshops. You never know if a new beekeeper will go into anaphylactic shock. This is our third year teaching new beekeepers without incident.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Treebee: I would suggest you get tested for being allergic to bee stings, including the other gritters with stingers!!! I have been keeping bees for a lot of years now, with little or no reaction to stings, last season each time I got stung the swelling keep getting worse!! Got tested and 0 - for yellow jacked & bald face hornet, a 1 for wasps and a big 3 for bees. The Dr said it is like penicillin; one day you are not allergic the next day you are. So now I am getting shots to build-up my imunity. Go see an allergist and find out for sure and forget the hear-say, the next sting could be your last! Sincerely.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,071

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Never go to the bee yard without an Epi-pen!
    Old Guy in Alabama

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    worth,missouri,usa
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Hello and welcome to my D.W.. Now don't scare her off to bad to bad in here. I really am going to enjoy the day she comes home and says says Wow! Only a couple of good stings today. I know it is not the most enjoyable part, but a nessesary evil to the beesness. And I look forward to working the bees with you. Thanks for braving the cold snow and ice to check on and care for our bees. Hope to see ya soon....
    John Hargrave Northwest Missouri

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Welcome to Beesource Mrs. Treebee As for the sting problem, my reaction to stings has worsened over the years, so I just always suit up well and try to avoid them if at all possible. I'm not allergic, I just react locally.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Denver, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    I posted on the hubby's login but then decided to create my own login. So thanks for all the info on stings - I have an epi-pen somewhere? Better track it down before spring or get a refill.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stone City, Iowa
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Hi Treebee! I'm in East Central Iowa, so not too far away (relatively speaking that is) My friends (hubby & wife team) and I got into beekeeping the same time last year, they are both in the Navy reserve - I swear I am picking up Navy speak by osmosis! I always take a bottle of Pediatric Benedryl with me when I leave my place to get a swarm or do a cut-out. That way when I get stung I take some right then and there. It does help. I also carry an epi-pen just in case. The liquid Benedryl hits your system quick. I swell locally and itch like crazy.

    JC

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Denver, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Thanks for the welcome! I will stock up on liquid benadril and track down the epi-pen, suit up and see what happens. I am looking forward to spring and getting started building up the hives!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    935

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Local reactions to stings can vary based on location, etc. If you are not allergic and the local reaction isn't too bad, try not to use the Benedryll as there is a health benefit to the bee venom. We were doing BVT for about 8 months and got the last sting in May 2010. The next sting I got was January 2011. Had no itching and almost no swelling so I guess I am still pretty built up to the venom. If a person gets stung enough or often enough, that usually happens. I took about 970 stings during that time.

    Benedryll will interfere with that building up to the venom process so we didn't use any Benedryll and did get our share of itching and swelling. After a few weeks it was a piece of cake. The areas were iced prior to stinging them which helps considerably with the pain. Some stings were painless this way.

    Allergy will show up as difficulty breathing, racing heart or hives developing away from the sting site (or a combination of those symptoms). Nothing to fool with. Don't work the bees alone if you suspect this. You could get tested for allergy.
    *

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Quapaw OK USA
    Posts
    262

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    I think the stings are a lot worse in the winter or early spring than they are in the summer.At least they feel worse on me.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Yamhill Co- Ore-gun
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    First off, thank you for your service to the country.

    One note about Epi-Pens (or any other epinephrine delivery method)- it would only be used in critical life threatening situation. I’ve heard people talking (not on the forum) about keeping Epi with them in case of a “reaction” which they have described as swelling, itching, etc. That isn’t really an appropriate use. Signs of a true emergency use would be things like dizziness, shallow/difficult breathing and/or facial swelling. Epi has fairly decent side effects (rapid heartbeat, spiked blood pressure, anxiety) and anyone who ends up using it needs to seek medical treatment afterward. Remember, epinephrine is used to “jump-start” hearts- just a different dosage and delivery method. I’m an EMT-B and, although I’ve not had to administer it to a patient (yes, Epi is in our scope of practice in Oregon), I’ve seen the side effects and it and it’s a little disconcerting.

    This being said, I used to keep an Epi-pen with me because of my own history of reaction to bald faced hornets. They are expensive and only last a couple years (don’t leave it in your glove box or any other hot areas), but can be life saving given the right situation.

    Just my $0.02 worth…
    Visit us at www.farmzee.com for everything related to small farms!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Mrs. Treebee...assuming you are not hyperallergic to the stings, like most people are not, your symptoms are normal. Pain. Swelling. Itchy.

    One important way you may minimize the effects is to get rid of the sting as soon as possible. Remember to scrape it away with your hive tool or a fingernail, don't try to grab it with your fingers. Works just like a hypodermic then. The quicker you get rid of it, the less venom you'll get and the less severe the reaction.

    Also blow smoke on the sting site, which masks the alarm pheromones and keeps bees from finding the "sting right here" sign on your body.

    I've never carried an epi-pen, but it's not a bad idea. I used to be an EMT, and I can assure you that anaphylactic shock can be life-threatening.

    One other idea. I try to be as gentle in handling our bees as possible. That's the way I learned it. I know a few beekeepers who handle their bees roughly, knocking the hive parts around and squeezing and killing bees constantly. Then they wonder why they need to suit up like they're going to war. If you get into the habit of moving slowly, gently, you may notice fewer and fewer stings. I'm not saying you are handling them roughly. I'm just saying to be aware of this factor in gentle-vs-aggressive bees.

    David

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Yamhill Co- Ore-gun
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Mrs Treebee

    Quote Originally Posted by Tappert View Post
    One other idea. I try to be as gentle in handling our bees as possible. That's the way I learned it. I know a few beekeepers who handle their bees roughly, knocking the hive parts around and squeezing and killing bees constantly. Then they wonder why they need to suit up like they're going to war. If you get into the habit of moving slowly, gently, you may notice fewer and fewer stings. I'm not saying you are handling them roughly. I'm just saying to be aware of this factor in gentle-vs-aggressive bees.

    David
    That's some of the best advice out there! Be nice to the bees and they will (usually) be nice back.
    Visit us at www.farmzee.com for everything related to small farms!

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