Re: Sting Reaction
In year one ( 2013 ), I took a sting to the chest, it hurt, but not so much that I removed it, being interested in bee venom therapy at that instant ( first sting from my own honey bees). no systemic reaction.
A month or so later, trying "bare handed" bee work, another bee from the same hive got me on the index finger. ( other stings through the suit, through gloves etc in between). At the time of the finger sting, I was suffering from kidney stones & a kidney tract infection, taking anti-biotics.
I pinched the stinger to get it out ( year one, remember) & probably forced all the venom into the sting site. my hand swelled up, I had systemic reactions, I guess, muscle aches, jointaches, itchiness of the palms feet & groin. maybe some other symptoms I may have forgotten, but they lasted 2 or 3 days.
I decided to get tested "when I get around to it". Finally in late December I went to allergist , trying to get the charges on that years insurance, since kidney stones & infection had already covered my deductable.
Allergist told me I would not be tested just because I asked for it, then read my sting story which I had logged, since it was a new experience at the time. Alergist decided I should be tested.
This cost my ins company about $22-2300 in 2013. WOW. If out of pocket i might have just dumped beekeeping.
Alergist results showed me to be somewhat "sensitive" to yellow jackets ( next to last venom panel) & to a lesser degree, ( last panel) honey bees.
I had been to my family doctor a couple of weeks earlier, whom had prescrbed an epipen right up front, & offered a blood test of some sort, ( which I declined, since the allergist visit was more comprehensive & that was the route I was going anyway) & refered me to the alergist.
The alergist staff pretty much chewed me out for not taking the whole situation a lot more seriously,
( apperntly they had seen people go into shock during their tests) got an epi trainer, & showed me how to use it.
Since next years ins deductable was about to cycle, & the terms of the company ins plan were about to change, I did not start the de-sensitization shots right away, & I rationalized that at the cost projections they mentioned ( about $100 per de-sense treatment, starting weekly, then tapering down to monthly, for 5 years, then another sensitivity test) , this was probably a huge cash cow for them. I decided not to get the shots.
Later that spring ( 2014), I took a couple of stings through my sock.
I went indoors, told my wife what had happened, got out my epi & waited to go into shock.
nothing happened. not even itchy palms.
I am still pretty cautious. no working bees in tennis shoes with exposed socks. always wear nitrile gloves, usually over cotton "inner gloves". If going to a remote location for intrusive work, I take some one with me.
A month or so ago, I got a bee in the bonnet ( did not realize it), while my glasses were sliding off my nose. using my shoulder to push my glasses back up, I pinched the be to my cheek, & got stung.
I figured the bee was outside & stinger would be pulled out by the suit, so I ignored it & finished what ever it was I was doing ( 15 min ) Went inside, got my wife to check my face, she located the stingey in my cheek , started to grab it, butused a credit card to scape it out.
I was starting to have itchy palms already, I tooke recomended dose of liquid benedryl ( 1 tsp? I dont remember. I weigh 170-180lbs) symptoms went away, only slight swelling, almost no wheal.
Thats my story, for edutainment only. Your mileage may vary.
Good Luck! ... CE
Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.