Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Southern NSW Australia
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    Default Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Was doing a full inspection on some of my hives today. Must have squashed a bee between my wrist and the edge of the box when lifting a second brood box back into place. Copped a sting through the wrist mesh on the glove just where the sleeve of my bee suit ends.
    No worries, I dont get stung a lot maybe a couple of times a year and have never had any sort of reaction other than minor swelling like a mosquito bite so I finished putting the hive back together and walked over to the ute. Removed my gloves and stinger, had a drink and a rest for a few minutes. Started to feel a bit dizzy and then very dizzy, so started driving back to parents house about 1.5km away. After a few hundred metres I thought I might faint, sweeting and very faint so I called mum and said better come down. Meet her half way and I drove the rest of the way to the house removed my bee suit and had a cool drink and a sit down. Within minutes I was very itchy and developing welts. Drove the 5 minutes to the local hospital, by then I was red and had welts from my neck to upper calves. Took a few pills and the nurses observed me for about half hour before I went to see the Doc. Still itchy red and covered in welts, feeling a bit faint, nauseous and minor stomach cramps. Doc gave me a few more pills and a shot and kept me under observation for another 2 hours. Welts had improved slightly but still all the symptoms and vomiting so he sent me back to the nurses to observe. Another needle for the nausea some more pills, ECG blood pressure and temp every 30min for another 3 hours and the symptoms had finally abated enough to go home.

    At this stage I dont know where this will leave me with bee keeping. Doc wants to see me tomorrow and run a few test I guess the results might give me a bit more idea of where I stand but one sting and all the symptoms of a anaphylactic reaction bar breathing difficulty and swelling isnt good.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    charleston, wv, usa
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    187

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma. I wonder if you might have gotten an injection of venom straight into the blood stream where the veins are so shallow on the wrist, as opposed to the usual sting in tissue.
    All the best
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
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    817

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    FWIW, I've had bees for 12 years, didn't bother with veil, etc. unless I was dismantling the hive for an inspection. Got stung occasionally, "ouch," and pain was gone in five minutes or less. Couple of years ago, got stung and it HURT? Developed into a welt, similar to a yellow jacket or bumblebee sting, swelled up and was sore for days. Saw the Dr. he ran some tests and I'm still not allergic, all he could offer was a RX for a pen and said that "As we get older, things change. Really? ROFL.... Anyway, since then whenever I go to the beeyard, I wear a veil, gloves, etc. like a first year beek. Got stung last year, same result. Still have the girls, but am much more careful.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID, USA
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    1,143

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Start getting desensitization therapy...

    The moment you said sweating, i thought anaphylactic.

    Carry liquid benadryl with you. It's all they'll give you in the hospital, just intravenously...

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Southern NSW Australia
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    81

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Have another appointment with doc tomorrow to go over the blood test results. I guess there is the possibility i was stung directly in a vein which may have had some influence on the reaction but all the symptoms of anaphylaxis.

    This picture will give an idea of just how much I reacted, you can see my normal skin tone where I have run my hand across my stomach
    Last edited by 220; 03-04-2018 at 03:41 PM.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,944

    Thumbs Up Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    That generalized reaction to one sting would be scary! In the USA, an Allergist or Immunologist, (not a GP), would be where I'd get advice -I'm sure there is an equivalent in OZ. Good luck to you and keep us in the loop as far as everything you learn and experience.

    A good Michael Palmer video about stings and allergies might put some light on your situation. HTH
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Idaho Falls, ID
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    685

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    I've heard a lot of stories like this lately. I worry, because I live out of town and work my bees alone. I do have liquid Benadryl in my bee-bucket, but i'd sure hate for the wife or one of the kids to come find me laying out in the yard. So far so good for me, and best of luck to you!

    I get stung probably 20 to 30 times a year though.
    -- Joe
    "Make your own decision and embrace the consequences." -- jwcarlson

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Sandpoint, ID, USA
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    1,143

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Quote Originally Posted by lemmje View Post
    I've heard a lot of stories like this lately. I worry, because I live out of town and work my bees alone. I do have liquid Benadryl in my bee-bucket, but i'd sure hate for the wife or one of the kids to come find me laying out in the yard. So far so good for me, and best of luck to you!

    I get stung probably 20 to 30 times a year though.
    Know what your fire dept response time is to your area. For me, they won't be here any sooner than 15 minutes. Enough for me to have an obstructed airway...

    Epi is a good way to get some quick reversal of anaphylaxis going but it doesn't eliminate the histamines that benadryl will do.

    Best thing to do is always tell a person where you'll be when your working bees, because you could be at an out yard. My phone has a feature where i hit the power button 3 times in succession and it'll send a gps location, audio recording, short video clip and a generalized text message saying i need help. Then call 911 and get them on because even if you can't talk or pass out they will look up your location through gps on your phone.

    If you create a pre incident action plan with someone and this occurs, they know exactly what to do. Once they get your sos message they call 911 and give them the info that you couldn't because your unconscious.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
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    70

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Its possible being on the wrist that it may have gone right to an artery.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Wow!! That pic is crazy. I hope you can get some answers and I understand why you are questioning your future with bees. Good luck and keep us posted.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Southern NSW Australia
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    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Don’t know if it is good or bad news but my blood test came back as negative for bee venom allergy.
    Good in that I am not allergic but leaves a big question over the reaction I had last week. Doc isnt overly concerned about me continuing with bees. He has prescribed prednisolone tablets to be taken if I start to have any sort of reaction to a sting and instructions to get straight to hospital.
    I am lucky in that the my bee sites on my parents and brothers farms are both within about 3.5km of the local hospital.
    At this stage I am going to continue beekeeping and see what happens, the only change will be that I will make sure I have someone tag along whenever I am working them.

  13. #12
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    Jan 2014
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    Sandpoint, ID, USA
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    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Be aware, prednisone can make you a grumpy person and can also cause you to gain weight if taken regularly. Just in case you didn't hear about those side effects...

    You definitely had a systemic reaction. I would have pushed for another confirmation to be sure you didn't get a false result.

    I would have expected a prescription for epinephrine...

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    I kept bees for 40 years getting lots of stings every year, last year I started breaking out in hives on my arms after a few stings, went to get tested and turned out I tested positive for honey bee and yellow jacket venom. Currently getting the desensitization shots.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Robeson Co, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    You can also take Pepcid at the same time as Benadryl. They block different histamines and work well combined. Couldn't hurt to have in the tool box.

  16. #15
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    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    My brother is a physician and a couple of years ago he gave me a prescription for prednisone which I filled and put in my truck for reactions to bee stings.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Thumbs Up Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    You can carry Sublingual Benadryl with you to the bee yard. Put the quick disolve strip under your tongue and it gets into your system right now.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oklahoma City
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    8

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    I stumbled across this video from Michael Palmer which I thought was relevant:
    https://youtu.be/P0QB96RrGdM

    Michael Palmer explains why bee keepers and their family members need to get stung by a bee approximately once a month and how this helps reduce the chances of having an Anaphylaxis reaction to a bee sting. Filmed September 4, 2013 at French Hill Apiaries in St. Albans, VT.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
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    461

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    220, just a thought, but have you been taking any kind of anti imflamatory medicine, NSAIDS, like Ibuprofen, etc.

    The authors describe three lifelong beekeepers with tolerance to stings who suffered systemic allergic reactions when they were stung shortly after consuming NSAIDs.

    After the episodes, all three beekeepers demonstrated tolerance to stings and to NSAIDs when exposed to each separately.

    "Taking NSAIDs before attending the beehives may expose to the risk of systemic reactions to honeybee sting," Dr. Cristoforo Incorvaia, an allergy specialist who was involved in the research at ICP Hospital in Milan, Italy, told Reuters Health by email.

    Aspirin and ketoprofen were the drugs associated with the systemic reactions in these cases. Because these and similar drugs are commonly prescribed and often available over the counter, NSAIDs might be involved in more bee sting reactions than is known now, the researchers write.
    https://www.consultant360.com/story/...ons-bee-stings

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...th-a-Bee-Sting!!!


    also..https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ions-ibuprofen

    Also cases in the BMJ.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Southern NSW Australia
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Beekuk no medication, would probably be better if I was as it would give a explanation for my reaction.
    A false negative is possible on the IgE antibody test but not common, at this stage for me it is going to be a matter of waiting until Im stung again and see what happens.
    The fact my bees are only about 2 miles from the local hospital and I have the phone number on speed dial is some comfort. I also dont intend to work them alone until I have at least copped a few more stings.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Not a good day (Im suddenly allergic)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedneckBee View Post
    I stumbled across this video from Michael Palmer which I thought was relevant:
    https://youtu.be/P0QB96RrGdM

    Michael Palmer explains why bee keepers and their family members need to get stung by a bee approximately once a month and how this helps reduce the chances of having an Anaphylaxis reaction to a bee sting. Filmed September 4, 2013 at French Hill Apiaries in St. Albans, VT.
    Michael Palmer has a much more understanding family than I do.

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