Can we talk about safety?
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  1. #1
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    May 2016
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    Colorado
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    228

    Default Can we talk about safety?

    I was out in my yard last night and accidently knocked a hive over, I got absolutely lit up. I don't generally have reactions to stings, but catching 30 in about 2 min had me feeling a little queezy. It occurred to me that I would have no idea what to do if I had had a serious reaction. I keep a bottle of children's anti hystamine in my truck, but other than having a phone that's about it. A few years ago a guy in the local club had a reaction and died out in his hives, it took a while to find him when he didn't show back up at home because his wife didn't even know where all his out yard were. Needless to say that's not how I want to go out.


    What do you all keep with you and what precautions do you take to keep yourself safe out in the bees? Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nhaupt2 View Post
    I was out in my yard last night and accidently knocked a hive over, I got absolutely lit up. [...]
    what precautions do you take to keep yourself safe out in the bees?
    Well first off, I make a habit of not knocking hives over, especially at night ...

    I have twice discovered hives (tall nuc stacks) which had been blown over by exceptionally strong winds - but the first thing I did both times was nothing - until I'd put on a full bee suit with veil and gloves. I don't normally wear 'full kit' - but when the bees get mad, they get really mad - and so I don't take any chances.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,729

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    I am fortunate that bee stings are nothing more than an annoyance. However, I don't how the wife and son would handle multiple stings so we keep a full bottle of children's Benadryl on hand for emergencies. Beyond that, not working the hives after a rainstorm or in the late evening are good precautions. Hives are not normally hot and we can use the riding mower right next to them without any trouble. Still, ( I am going to pay for this) they are girls and have their good days and not so good days.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,485

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Iíve often thought about it, and should have an epi pen w/ me as Iím in the same boat, nobody would come looking for me for quite some time.
    Iím a fatalist tho, always have been. It is what it is, no different than going out fishing or hunting and have something bad befall me.
    Rod

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
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    938

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    i have noticed the same nausea when i have taken 30+ stings.
    For the most part i get no reaction to stings other than they bloody hurt for a minute or so. But i moved a recently hived swarm without gloves once ( had suit and veil but no gloves) and took 30+ stings in first few seconds of opening the hive.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    22

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    I keep a couple Epipens in my truck. Not only for me but also incase anyone else has problems. I really don't have too many problems after getting stung but you never know. When I was at my doctor on the last visit I asked for a prescription for the pens. I explained I was a beekeeper and she had no issues giving me the prescription. I figure better safe than sorry...

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Hampshire County, MA USA
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    25

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nhaupt2 View Post
    What do you all keep with you and what precautions do you take to keep yourself safe out in the bees?
    I approach it like hiking and bike riding: let someone know your schedule and route so that if you don't return by a certain time someone notices and knows where to look. In general the situation is similar to the "lone worker" problem faced by some in their jobs. Most solutions come down to regular check-ins, now with phone apps to facilitate. Some even automatically call someone if you stop moving.

    Thanks for bringing up the topic!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    2,897

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Let me take the talk to a different direction a bit...
    What actually happened was not specified - did a hive fall and open up?
    I guess that what happened until I hear otherwise.

    IF you or someone/something does knock a hive over (everything is possible in this life), it must not crumble into a pile of blocks and expose you immediately to a cloud of bees pouring out of all the large open faces. I recall that crazy video of Solomon Parker in Arizona desert - that is basically the nightmare scenario.
    A terrible liability issue.

    Ideally, the hive just does not fall over or even move - large, low standing horizontal chest hive is very safe.
    Virtually impossible to move it.
    Very safe.
    I would not care much about cows around my largest chest hives (if standing very low on bricks or wood blocks) - cows will not knock them over.
    The lids are locked in places.

    Classic square Dadants with single super are also very safe, is on low, stable stands.

    If the hive is tall multi-box - it still preferably to have as wide base as possible for stability (one reason small foot print hives worry me - looking at those Warre/Delon sizing hives with this exact potential issue in mind).

    If the multi-box hive is still on hand - the boxes must be strapped securely together (dependency on the bricks/rock and propolise seals to hold it all together is a poor idea).
    The straps are so cheap not to have them used everywhere.
    The lowest possible grade straps $2-3 apiece are plenty fine I imagine.

    Also, a good idea to have an attached bottom (my way of design) - this way a box knocked over does not create a huge opening at the bottom allowing for a very fast and massive bee attack.

    Also, a good idea to have hive designs that help the boxes to stay attached.
    Like this very popular Ukrainian/Russian peg-hive design:
    Я-и-рогатый11.jpg

    At the least, a knocked over hive must stay as a single unit and not create huge openings for a massive bee attack .
    The entrances must throttle the bees down while allowing for the person/animal to escape.

    I think these are real safety and liability issues that require pre-planning.
    Noting for myself too as I also have this problem (some of my hives are not strapped at the moment as should be).

    PS: OK, I did not think of any bear-defeating ideas; bear may also create a safety/liability issue knocking the hives open; these do not apply in my area, fortunately.
    Last edited by GregV; 04-27-2019 at 07:09 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    In my opinion the best safety is, to get resistant to bee stings. I have a couple of hundred hives in my operation and get about 20 stings per day, April to October and thus I am resistant to bee stings. I can take and I did take 500 stings at a time with no reaction at all. Yes, I knocked over a hive, accidentally.

    In my and other people's experiences you need 100 stings a year to become bee venom proof. I trained for it, stinging myself once a week for a complete year. Since then I don't own any veil or gloves. I work bees almost naked, be it honey harvest, shook swarming or whatever.

    That's the best insurance, not reacting to bee stings anymore.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Somehow I don't see there being a quick adoption of Bernard and Gregs proscriptions!. I fell last summer with a 10 frame deep upper brood box on top of me but I mostly hung onto it. Thinking, man this is going to be bad. Glad I have very gentle bees.

    There are many ways of taking a flip or stumble and some of them can come out of a clear blue sky. Like stepping on plastic bag that is under an inch of snow or having a nylon banding strap flip up and capture both feet in a hoop.

    I dont have much reaction to stings but I would not pooh pooh what might happen if I took hundreds at once. In the mean time I dont worry too much about it; you take your life in your hands every time you get behind the wheel and you would go crazy if you tried to prevent all possible harm.

    From a liability angle an epi pen might be a good idea but they have become prohibitively expensive.
    Frank

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    22

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Somehow I don't see there being a quick adoption of Bernard and Gregs proscriptions!. I fell last summer with a 10 frame deep upper brood box on top of me but I mostly hung onto it. Thinking, man this is going to be bad. Glad I have very gentle bees.

    There are many ways of taking a flip or stumble and some of them can come out of a clear blue sky. Like stepping on plastic bag that is under an inch of snow or having a nylon banding strap flip up and capture both feet in a hoop.

    I dont have much reaction to stings but I would not pooh pooh what might happen if I took hundreds at once. In the mean time I dont worry too much about it; you take your life in your hands every time you get behind the wheel and you would go crazy if you tried to prevent all possible harm.

    From a liability angle an epi pen might be a good idea but they have become prohibitively expensive.
    Mine cost $7 for two with insurance...

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    4,743

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Last year I was hearing something around 300 dollars but I see now that there are other brands coming available for something like 150 dollars. Gouging!
    Frank

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Triadelphia, West Virginia
    Posts
    579

    Default

    Insurance covered our Epipens but there are many how to make your own videos. Not sure of efficacy. Here's a link to just one, https://fourthievesvinegar.org/

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Not only getting stung and having a bad reaction about a month ago I slipped on muddy ground and knocked myself out good thing there was 2 other people there, it took a couple of days before i started to feel right again. I was in no shape to drive myself out of there and get help. Having a buddy to work with may save a life.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
    Posts
    739

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    I vote for epi pens make sure your physician codes it correctly so your insurance covers it. I always have liquid benadryl on hand but never used it even when I have taken 30 plus stings
    Dad always said " Smart like tractor, strong like bull "

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    I am of the mind that if you have any significant # of hives you should keep an epi pen around for emergencies even if you're resistant. The problem with that is the cost for an epi pen was over $400 the last time I was looking… Hopefully some cheaper alternative generic ones become available soon as they seem to be jacking the price for no reason other than bigger profits. I'm all for people making what they can in a free and open market HOWEVER that's unfortunately not what our healthcare market is.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    228

    Default

    Thanks for all the input guys, I think I'm going to inquire about an epi pen/ epi pen equivalent. Im not so worried about my reactions, but you never know when your going to have an abnormal reaction. I have people come out to help on occasion, so having it on ha d in case things go sideways can't be a bad idea. Can these be kept in a hot truck and still be effective?

    On another note I also keep a 5 gallon can of water and a shovel as well, never know when that smoker is going to start a brush fire.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    "The FDA has approved a manually injected, single-dose, prefilled epinephrine syringe (Symjepi – Adamis/Sandoz) for emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. The new device is approved in 0.3- and 0.15-mg strengths for treatment of patients weighing ≥30 kg and 15 to 30 kg, respectively; only the 0.3-mg strength is currently available. According to Sandoz, Symjepi will be made available first to institutions and later to the retail market."

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    I keep mine in my truck and it gets plenty hot here. The Pharmacist said they are good unless the fluid gets milky or discolored. Mine are some sort of generic. Like I said earlier two pens for $7 with my insurance.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Can we talk about safety?

    Sorry if this question is stupid, but....
    Were you wearing a bee suit?

    Many times have I regretted visiting a hive at night, even if I wasn't opening it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nhaupt2 View Post
    I was out in my yard last night and accidently knocked a hive over, I got absolutely lit up. I don't generally have reactions to stings, but catching 30 in about 2 min had me feeling a little queezy. It occurred to me that I would have no idea what to do if I had had a serious reaction. I keep a bottle of children's anti hystamine in my truck, but other than having a phone that's about it. A few years ago a guy in the local club had a reaction and died out in his hives, it took a while to find him when he didn't show back up at home because his wife didn't even know where all his out yard were. Needless to say that's not how I want to go out.


    What do you all keep with you and what precautions do you take to keep yourself safe out in the bees? Thanks
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancťe's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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