question about bee stings
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  1. #1

    Default question about bee stings

    Last Saturday while visiting a local beekeeper, I got stung about ten times. Just last night all of a sudden a couple of them itch like MAD and are spotty and bruised. Do others have experience with delayed reactions like this?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default Not me, so far

    I've been stung a number of times since starting, they turn red, a little smaller than a dime, with a white center, but no itching or other irritation later.

  4. #3
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    May 2008
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    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
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    The itching is caused by histamine released at the spot. The first couple of times I got stung the same thing happened, now it looks like a mosquito bite for about half an hour then disappears....I hardly notice when I get stung anymore.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  5. #4
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    Lebanon, Indiana, USA
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    I've had the same problem.But I swell up pretty good at the first part of the season.The more stings I get through the year, the less of a reaction they have on me.

  6. #5
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    Orting, Washington
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    The only times i itch are when i get stung on my ankles and brusing also.

  7. #6
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    Claremont, NH, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiritfreedom View Post
    Last Saturday while visiting a local beekeeper, I got stung about ten times. Just last night all of a sudden a couple of them itch like MAD and are spotty and bruised. Do others have experience with delayed reactions like this?
    Back when I used to have more of a reaction to stings, it was always worse two to three days later, but not six days. That seems a bit far out in time to me (but I am not a medical expert). However, everyone is different. Are they bruised from you scratching them, or is it something else? I would watch them in case you are getting a secondary infection.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  8. #7
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    I have had the tips of stings get broken off under the skin that later got infected. Could be that is what's happening? Much worse than the stings are for me.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Keene, NH, USA
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    I definitely get the swelling and itching. Usually within18-24 hours (just like the 3 on my right hand from yesterday...). When you get stung make sure you drag your fingernail over the spot to pull the stinger out, sort of like scraping a grill. Make sure you do not simply push straight down on the spot as that will release more of the venom and further imbed the stinger.

    BTW, forget everything I have said about nitrile gloves unless you double up on them (see the comment about 3 stings yesterday).
    11 yrs, TF 6 yrs, moved to OAV in 2014, MAQS 2016. 6 hives and 5 nucs Zone 4B
    www.nhbees.wordpress.com

  10. #9
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    Apr 2009
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    Mason County, Illinois USA
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    Default I have not been stung much this spring....but...

    I took a good hit on top of my hand while removing a swarm, that swelled up pretty good. I could not get the stinger scraped out until I was back down the ladder, so I took a good dose from the sting. Since it was on top of a vein on the bony part of my hand, I had a worse reaction then if it had been in a fatty area ( do not even say it! I am fluffy, not fat!)

    Scratching also makes the itching worse, as it is the body's responce to the stimulation of scratching. If you have tough, leathery skin it seems to itch worse....my skin is tougher than a buffalo's on my hands, etc. from years of working outside, etc.

    It sounds like an infection brewing to me. I am not a doctor, but from experience, that would be my humble guess.

    How long ago did you have a tetanus shot? Redness still there? Swelling? Any yellow/white spots?

    Brenda

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyeshooter View Post
    BTW, forget everything I have said about nitrile gloves unless you double up on them (see the comment about 3 stings yesterday).
    Did the bees sting through the nitrile on their own, or where they squeezed or pinched against it? My experience with nitrile gloves is limited, but, so far, I have only been stung through them when I have either pinched a bee against them (like between my finger and a frame), or when they got under the edge of the elastic at the wrist of my bee suit and were compressed against the glove.

    Also, there are different thicknesses of nitrile gloves, even the medical examination gloves. You might want to check and see if a thicker design would work better for you.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  12. #11
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    Mar 2008
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    Keene, NH, USA
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    Good thoughts, Bill. As all 3 stings are on my fingertips, my thought is they could have been assisted by pinching. The nitrile gloves I have are from a local hardware store and are not medical grade. I know when I double up I have never been stung. enjoy the sun while you can. Tho nice and sunny down here, sounds like rain's coming...

    John
    11 yrs, TF 6 yrs, moved to OAV in 2014, MAQS 2016. 6 hives and 5 nucs Zone 4B
    www.nhbees.wordpress.com

  13. #12
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    Algonquin, IL, USA
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    The only study I ever read about "pinchng" vs "scraping" said that it didn't matter what technique was used to get the stinger out. There was no difference between the two.

    The only factor that made a difference was time. 8 seconds or less being the best.

  14. #13
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    Bunker Hill, IL
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    my stings will swell and depending on were im stung will ich some. but nothing worse than a mosquito bite.

    My wife got stung on the foot last year when she nearly stepped on a girl working some clover in the yard in sandles. She said she was ready to claw her foot off after 2 days it iched so bad.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    My wife got stung on the foot last year when she nearly stepped on a girl working some clover in the yard in sandles. She said she was ready to claw her foot off after 2 days it iched so bad.
    On another thread I posted about a trick I learned for dealing with really bad itching after I contracted systemic poison ivy. Basically, you use a blow dryer to heat the area of the sting about as hot as you can stand it. At first, it will itch even worse, but then, after about a minute, you will feel a flood of relief at the site. This is because the body reacts to the localized heat by dilating blood vessels and flooding the area with blood. This flushes away the histamines, which cause the itching (and which is why we take antihistamines for things like colds and allergies). The effect is pretty amazing. Requires no scratching and does no damage, unless you manage to actually burn yourself. The relief can last for several hours, and, unlike with medications, you can repeat as often as needed. I did it two or three times a day. It pretty much saved my sanity (what little I have).

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyeshooter View Post
    enjoy the sun while you can. Tho nice and sunny down here, sounds like rain's coming...

    John
    Was beautiful, when I went out this morning. But, had to move a few things to the barn with the tractor. By the time I was finished, it had clouded up and gotten pretty dark. The girls definitely don't like being worked under these conditions. Just came in to take a break. Guess I'll have to go back out and weed the gardens, instead.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  17. #16
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    Apr 2009
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    Mason County, Illinois USA
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    As Bill said, heat helps get rid of the itch!

    Hot water will also help with any kind of sting...(do NOT use for a snake or spider bite though! Those can be deadly!)

    Hot water will neutralize the sting to some degree....I know that hot water made the sting from jellyfish bearable! (I am an oceanographer living in Illinois!)

    As with any stings or bites, get medical attention if you even suspect a reaction or infection!

    Brenda

  18. #17
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    I have heard that the jellyfish get pretty bad on the lake front in Chicago around Labor Day.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

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