I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Calgary, Alberta, CA
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    125

    Default I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    I've had hundreds of stings previously,
    and tolerated them well,
    and never any other allergy in my life.

    Yesterday, I had a moderate systemic reaction,
    and drove myself to the hospital for observation.

    Can systemic reactions be one-time things,
    or is this the new normal for me?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Stilwell, KS
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    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    You are way better off talking to your doctor than asking this type of question here.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Shelby, Missouri USA
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    526

    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nabber86 View Post
    You are way better off talking to your doctor than asking this type of question here.
    +1 on this one. This is not worth messing around with. Go see a doctor.

  5. #4
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    Feb 2012
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    Calgary, Alberta, CA
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    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    >You are way better off talking to your doctor than asking this type of question here.

    The wonderful thing is,
    I can do both!

    I'm am sure there are plenty here who have gone down this path,
    and have experiences worth learning from.

    While those who do not know may eagerly provide speculations,
    I'm more interested in the knowledge of those who know.
    Last edited by Metropropolis; 08-23-2017 at 09:32 AM.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    DuPage County Illinois
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    179

    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    I had a systemic reaction to a sting this spring. I ended up in the emergency room. The ER doctor recommended I have Benadryl on hand at all times. I went to see an allergist and had to go through a 6 week period without being stung before I could be tested. The allergist called the skin test negative although I did have a slight itching at the two highest concentrations. Shortly after seeing the allergist I was stung twice and took a Benadryl. I began to feel early symptoms of a systemic reaction and took a second Benadryl and had no more symptoms but felt lousy for a couple of days. The allergist told me that if you have never had a systemic reaction the chances of having one are less than 1% but if you have had one the chances of having one again are 60%. I'm still beekeeping but I try very hard not to be stung. I wear and ultra-breeze jacket or suit and gloves at all times and carry Benadryl.

    You often hear beekeepers say that it is important to get stung to maintain a level of immunity to the poison. When I put the question to the allergist he said it is opinion it is preferable to avoid stings if possible because it is possible to become sensitive at any time. If my test had been called positive the next step would be desensitization therapy (or quit beekeeping) but I never got that far.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Bay, Florida, USA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    You might consider keeping an epi-pen on hand. I believe epinephrine is the preferred line therapy for anaphylactic reactions.

  8. #7

    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz-kill View Post

    You often hear beekeepers say that it is important to get stung to maintain a level of immunity to the poison. When I put the question to the allergist he said it is opinion it is preferable to avoid stings if possible because it is possible to become sensitive at any time. If my test had been called positive the next step would be desensitization therapy (or quit beekeeping) but I never got that far.
    Exactly right. I work with a 20 year long beekeeper who developed reaction some years ago through too many stings and now protects himself.

    If the bee which stung was poisoned by pesticides you may have a reaction to this chemicals, so find out.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,095

    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    I've had a systemic reaction that was one time (so far). But I saw a doctor who prescribed an epipen and also predicted that it wouldn't be a life long issue. She did caution me to be careful. I'd see a doctor first and then take it from there.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,485

    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    I had a VERY bad anaphylactic episode when I was 30 or so years old throat swelled up, couldn't wear a shoe for a week (stepped on a bee)) the whole enchilada. Went thu testing and I wasn't sensitive, so I asked the doc if that type of reaction could happen again and his words were "you'll never know when it'll happen, maybe never"
    I carry a bottle children's liquid Benadryl (it gets into the system quicker than pills) in the van as I get stung regularly. Just in case, cause ya never know.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Dayton, OH USA
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    328

    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    I had a negative reaction to stings once (not anaphylactic) after having been keeping bees for several years and getting several stings each year with no reaction. I talked to my doctor afterward and got an epipen to carry with me while I was out, never needed it and have not since. The only thing I could think of was that I was taking a medication at the time for a mild illness (don't remember what the med was) and I figured that the combination of the two may have caused my reaction. Doctor thought that might have been a possibility. Certainly speak to your doctor and have an epipen ready. I understand there are now (or soon will be) cheaper alternative epinephrine delivery systems available since Epipen has seen fit to rape their customers.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Champaign, Illinois
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    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    I dunno. Ask Mr Fox.






    I always bite them back.


    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
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    817

    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    FWIW I've had bees about ten years, getting stung went with the territory. Ouch, and after about five minutes, no big deal. Year ago last fall, while getting them ready for the winter, got stung. Became a welt and was still very sore two days later, reaction was like a wasp or bumble bee or something similar. Since then, if I get stung, it's no longer the "no big deal" it was previously, going to be hurting a few days. Asked Dr. and he said "things change as you get older" (Hah!) Anyway, I already have an epipen not because I'm allergic, but the Dr. found out I kept bees and proscribed it for me just in case. HIs view was that while I'm not allergic, if an accident should happen and I didn't get stung a few times, but a whole bunch, better to have it. As it's the VA, doesn't cost me anything, every may I get a new one and toss the old. Now, if I go down to the yard, I take veil and gloves, before, if it was just a quick inspection or something didn't bother.

    Agree with previous posts, see your Dr. get tested, epipen or generic equivalent now available is a good thing to have handy.

  14. #13
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: I had a systemic reaction to a beesting - What now?

    I've been listening to beekeepers talk about their reactions for years now. One thing I know for sure is your next reaction is unpredictable. And it may be a matter of life and death. It could be less or worse. Things that seem to be related are the use of other drugs, especially NSAIDs at the time you were stung. Aspirin usually doesn't seem to contribute to a reaction but tylenol does and maybe ibupropen. There is a record of the reaction of one of the Roots in ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture where he had a systemic reaction and they desensitized him with bee stings. I am not suggesting you do or do not do this, just pointing out that sometimes it does get less and not more over time. Obviously there is a lot at stake. When it comes to medical care not all allergists are the same. Some have actual experience with bee stings and desensitizing for bee stings. Some do not. Find one that has real experience with desensitizing for bee stings.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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