Will keeping bees this spring kill me (before I finish my allergy shots?) - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: Will keeping bees this spring kill me (before I finish my allergy shots?)

    I do not like getting stung by bees.
    I keep about 10 hives in a feild adjoining my house, "carniolian mostly" mutts, probably incredibly gentle compared to generic "honey bees".
    I have a couple of hives in a field about 15 miles away, where the bad bees go. My original "allegedly Italian" bees ended up here. one of them after supeceduring for several years calmed down enough to swap out with one of the home hives that was a little too defensive, while one of the bad bee hives after the same three years has turned "seriously hot".
    Back on topic ... I usually wear loose work pants over jeans, plus a fencing style hooded "breeze" jacket to work bees. I also wear 9mil nitrile gloves over fabric gloves. After being stung through my thick wool socks & tennis shoes in the early days, I always wear ankle high work boots, ( my standard foot wear)
    I guess I get stung 4 or 5 times a year. once when I pinched a bee between my fingers. other than that , I have never been stung through the double glove set up.
    I have had issues with bees crawling up my sleeves from worn elastic in the cuffs, and up from below where the bottom hem elastic is loose, but have taken to wearing a couple of rubber bands hooked around the lower portion to cure that. ( my wife repaired the sleeves for me).
    I also own a "jumpsuite" style outfit with the zip on round veil, made of white cloth.
    it was pretty hot to wear in the summer in Alabama, so I would wear it over a T-shirt.
    When attempting to perform a trap out in my first or second year I got stung multple times through the suit, mostly around the wrists.
    I have had a bee in the bonnet enough times with both of these outfits til it doesn't panic me the way it first did . A sting to the head, neck, face is to be avoided, for me.
    Another comment about the jumpsuit, the leg-foot openings are not large enough for my work boots, so I have to take off my shoes to put it on or off.
    some thing to check if you are considering that route.
    I was "slightly sensitized" to bee venom when I first started, Allergy clinic proposed desensitizeing process to take a couple of years ( cost about $5k per year! ) & then re-test to see if it worked. one delay after another, & I never took the program. Currently, stings other than my face/head, 15 min later, I cannot remember where I was stung. on the other hand, if I get ants on me, I start itching with out being stung.
    From the sound of things, I would seriously question your judgment in continuing to work with bees, but then, you might as well. Non beekeepers die from bee/wasp/ant stings occaisionally. At least you get to make an informed decision. Good Luck!!! CE
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

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  3. #22

    Default Re: Will keeping bees this spring kill me (before I finish my allergy shots?)

    Greetings Capps, I am the owner of Golden Bee Products. We have been making Bee Suits for 35 years, made entirely in New Orleans, LA. US. We make a quality Suit. Please check us out. Golden Bee Products, 344 1/2 Aris Ave. Metairie, LA 70005 504-456 8805.
    Cell 504-715-7947. I can send you all our brochures.
    Don't Worry Bee Happy, Susie Lemoine

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Will keeping bees this spring kill me (before I finish my allergy shots?)

    I'm old and memory is failing sometimes, but I don't recall ever getting stung while completely suited up, even the few times I got bees stuck inside my veil.

    I do get stung, usually on the hands, because I don't like wearing gloves, but not very often. I like feeling the bees crawling on my hands. Stings really don't bother me so much, just itch a bit after the pain subsides. My wife is another story

    A couple years ago I went the entire season without a single sting...until winter wrap up (when I usually just wear a veil) when "I" accidentally squished one bee which brought several more my way....but I still only ended up with maybe three stings for the effort.

  5. #24

    Default Re: Will keeping bees this spring kill me (before I finish my allergy shots?)

    I had been keeping bees for a little over a year and a half and had been stung six or seven times. Then late last summer I was stung on my hand through a pair of garden gloves I had left on. (They have knitted backs which must have triggered a sting response from the bees.) Previous stings had all varied in intensity, so I wasn't worried that this one was particularly sharp. I pulled off my gear and resumed working elsewhere in the yard. In about fifteen minutes though, I noticed an all-over warm feeling soon followed by all-over itching. I realized that I was having an allergic reaction and quickly found some anti-histamines in the medicine cabinet and took a couple. I called the advice nurse of our health insurance provider (shout out to Kaiser Permanente) who carefully evaluated my symptoms in consultation with a doctor. As my breathing was not severely affected, they decided not to call an ambulance and my wife drove me to urgent care. My hand had swollen to a claw shaped appendage, I had hives from head to toe, and my lips and jaws were as numb as if I had been given Novocaine. After injections of steroids and anti-histamines and receiving an EpiPen, I went home.

    When my body had recovered from the allergic reaction I was able to be tested for sensitivity to various venoms. Besides honey bee venom, I was tested for the venom of yellow jackets and various wasps and hornets as each species has a different venom. My reaction to honey bee venom was 218 times higher than the expected base line reaction while my reaction to the other venoms were in the normal range.

    I explained to my doctor that as a beekeeper, I did not want to wait a year for immunotherapy to make me safe around bees. She agreed and I received "rush" immunotherapy which over the course of a day and a half provides the equivalent of therapy typically given over months. The last injection I got in this rush round is equivalent to the venom found in a full bee sting. I tolerated it well and was cleared to resume working my hives. I have been going back for monthly injections to keep my immunity up to snuff. I have been stung since having immunotherapy and I reacted probably a little more than the average person, but it wasn't life threatening. According to the doctor, I should be able to receive two simultaneous stings and not be in danger. Still, I keep my EpiPen at hand as well as a bottle of benadryl. (Tip: liquid benadryl is easier to swallow and is absorbed faster than the capsules.)

    Apparently it is not unusual for beekeepers after having kept bees for a few years and having been stung a number of times to develop hypersensitivity to bee venom. My experience was not unique.

    From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20232774 -

    We sent a questionnaire to each of the 73 beekeepers who responded to our call, and 63 (86.3%) questionnaires were returned. The vast majority of participants were hobby beekeepers who developed signs of allergy after a median of 2 years' beekeeping (mean, 4.27 years) and a median of 15 stings (mean, 51 stings). Additional allergies were reported by 35 beekeepers. Forty-three beekeepers were evaluated to determine the effectiveness of desensitization. The average number of bee stings after desensitization was 107 (median 18). All but one reported no longer having allergic responses; however, in the case of those that did, the severity of the allergic symptoms improved significantly.

    So no matter how long you've been working bees, don't dismiss any bee sting. Here's the advice from the Mayo Clinic:

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid...s/art-20056608

  6. #25

    Default Re: Will keeping bees this spring kill me (before I finish my allergy shots?)

    After keeping bees for about 18 months and getting stung a half dozen or so times with no problems, I was stung one day and had a whole body allergic reaction. A sensitivity test showed that my reaction to bee venom was over 200 times higher than the normal. Clearly, keeping bees would be life threatening to me if I didn't take some action. I did some research and found that MDs can do a "rush" immunotherapy that compresses a year's worth of injections to a day and a half. That's what I received and now get monthly booster shots. Bee venom is different from that of other insects such as yellow jackets and other wasps and hornets. Each of those requires separate immunotherapy treatment.

    From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20232774

    We sent a questionnaire to each of the 73 beekeepers who responded to our call, and 63 (86.3%) questionnaires were returned. The vast majority of participants were hobby beekeepers who developed signs of allergy after a median of 2 years' beekeeping (mean, 4.27 years) and a median of 15 stings (mean, 51 stings). Additional allergies were reported by 35 beekeepers. Forty-three beekeepers were evaluated to determine the effectiveness of desensitization. The average number of bee stings after desensitization was 107 (median 18). All but one reported no longer having allergic responses; however, in the case of those that did, the severity of the allergic symptoms improved significantly.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Massac County, Illinois
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Will keeping bees this spring kill me (before I finish my allergy shots?)

    If you intend to be a beekeeper, you will get stung. It's best to plan for getting stung ahead of the oncoming situation.

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