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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Normal sting reaction?

    Morning all... Yesterday around noon I was tagged on my thumb while working my top bar hive. I was holding a bar at the time and it took a good 30 seconds or more to put the bar back in place, so I got a pretty full load of venom. Finished up, then took a benedryl.
    At first, there was just some localized redness. After a few hours, the nearest joint became sore with some slight swelling and generalized itchiness in the immediate area. By bedtime, the sting spot became a slightly raised reddish bump.
    This morning, the sting site looks more like a blood blister.


    And the swollen, itchy area has expanded to the base of my thumb on the palm side and most of the back of my hand (enclosed in blue).


    Also my wrist and elbow seem a little sore.

    Is this within the range of a normal bee sting reaction, or should I be a bit more concerned?

    Thanks - Bruce

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    seems normal to me

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Thanks. That's what I was thinking, but my wife got really concerned this morning.

    It was interesting that when I came inside, my dog immediately zeroed in on the spot and gave it a sniff and lick.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Looks normal for one of the more worse stings. Sometimes they can leave a blister like a fire ant does. But this usually isn't the case. I think it has to do more with the exact location of the stinger penetration. Some spots don't seem to have anything beyond a minor stinging, where the same bees stinging you somewhere else might say, hit a nerve, or area where any pointed penetraton would be more injurious or sensative. Take a Benadryl.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    You will find after another dozen or so stings you will have almost no reaction any more. At least that is whata I have found.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Thanks. Makes my wife feel better. I told her that if it was going to be fatal, it would have been so already. Not sure why she suggested I go inspect them again.
    She had at least 30 seconds to give me her full dose, so this reaction isn't a big surprise. I just hope it goes down quickly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    "Not sure why she suggested I go inspect them again." Does she have life insurance n you? LOL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,241

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    At the end of my second year beekeeping I had a sting that caused my armpits to and groin to come out in hives. I got an Epipen as insurance, and suited up every time I was even near the hives. Fear takes a lot of pleasure out of beekeeping.
    Over the following winter I gave myself shots of 1/100th a sting for a few weeks weekly, and then 1/50 a sting weekly, and then 1/10th sting weekly, and then a sting weekly. What I do now is take a bee and sting myself about twice a week. This seems to have prevented any further scary reactions.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    I've had a few worse and a lot that were better...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    935

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    What you have is a normal, local reaction. Stingers can pump venom for 15 to 20 minutes, although most of the venom is delivered in the first few minutes.

    Adrian, how did you give yourself venom shots and measure it to 1/100 ? Was it from an actual sting or syringe?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,241

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    I forced a bee to sting through a vial that was capped with cling film. I added 1 ml. of Normal Saline to the vial. I injected .01 ml. into myself. I knew the venom was active as it hurt immediately.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    rowan co. NC
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Ive had stings with almost no reaction and stings worse than that..........

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    What I do now is take a bee and sting myself about twice a week. This seems to have prevented any further scary reactions.
    Where do you 'administer' the voluntary sting? Arm? Leg?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Quote Originally Posted by HiveJockey View Post
    Where do you 'administer' the voluntary sting?
    should do it wherever you want some arthritis relief or wherever you have joint pain...
    Honeydew

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,241

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    HiveJockey, HoneyDew makes a good point. However, I don't have joint pain so I administer the sting to my non-dominant hand or arm.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Funny you should mention the dog, I took a sting while checking a swarm in a nuc today and when I went in I told my wife to watch, put my hand out to our dog and she went right to the spot.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Flesherton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlinspop View Post
    Morning all... Yesterday around noon I was tagged on my thumb while working my top bar hive. I was holding a bar at the time and it took a good 30 seconds or more to put the bar back in place, so I got a pretty full load of venom. Finished up, then took a benedryl.
    At first, there was just some localized redness. After a few hours, the nearest joint became sore with some slight swelling and generalized itchiness in the immediate area. By bedtime, the sting spot became a slightly raised reddish bump.
    This morning, the sting site looks more like a blood blister.


    And the swollen, itchy area has expanded to the base of my thumb on the palm side and most of the back of my hand (enclosed in blue).


    Also my wrist and elbow seem a little sore.

    Is this within the range of a normal bee sting reaction, or should I be a bit more concerned?

    Thanks - Bruce
    Normal to mild reaction. Just don't get it on your forehead. I got one and the swelling of about 3/4" "traveled" down to my eyes and nose. I looked like a heavyweight boxer after a lost fight. Benadryl, tee bags, burdock leaves helped. Use vinegar if the site is away from your eyes. It should be gone in a week.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    my first sting this year was on the web between thumb and index finger ...almost identical reaction ...since then and 4 or 5 sttings later almost no reactions anymore...lol got poped right on top my poor bald head today and no signs it ever happend now

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Cresco Iowa
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Merlin- I had a similar thing happen to me about 2 weeks ago. I've had bees for 10 years and never had a problem with stings. I got stung on Saturday on my left hand. It swelled some. On Sunday, I got zapped three more times on the same hand in a matter of seconds. By Monday, my hand looked like the Michelin Man and I couldn't close my fingers. I went to the ER and got steroids. What he told me for future reference was to take a Benedryl and also a Pepcid or a Tagamet. Those work on tow different types of histamine cells which is what causes the swelling.
    He also suggested I see an allergist to get desensitized. Now today, I got stung in the right leg through my jeans and nothing....Who can figure. I do keep an epi pen around also. Just in case. And being a nurse, I've seen plenty of worse case scenarios so I like to be prpared.
    I hope your hand feels better.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    935

    Default Re: Normal sting reaction?

    Extreme swelling at a sting site is not an allergic reaction. It is the sign of a healthy immune system. Also, if someone is not allergic, getting a few stings here and there will help the body to desensitize.

    Just a reminder that beta blocker medications can interfere with the epi pen. The apitherapist also recommended that we eat something before we sting so that may help beekeepers also. We were also cautioned not to have alcohol in our system 24 hours before or after stinging.
    *

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