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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I believe that this would be my 1st honey bee sting ever last week, late afternoon time.
I have been stung by Yellow jackets as a kid and even some ground wasps. Swollen and painful.

Anyway, it was on my forearm, through the bee suit. Yes, definite sting, I just pulled up on the suit so the stinger was pulled out as I was busy with the hive. I think she only stung me because the suit folded over her on my forearm. The rest were good bees, didn't care too much.

Anyway, I got NO swelling almost at all, it was smaller bump then a mosquito bite. And was flat within, I think about 1/2 hr to 45 min later when I took off my suit. A little red round area and then slight red round area the next morning. Not painful that night.

Is this normal ? I have never seen a bee sting without the swelling.
I used to work in an ER and have seen all sorts of stings, even the ones from just wimpy people wanting a band-aid :rolleyes:
EDIT: I forgot to say that I have super sensitive skin
:lookout:
 

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People react differently, and the reaction can change too. This sounds like very little venom got injected so maybe that's why.

My first time with my hive I didn't have a good bee suit and my wrists were open to air. That was bad, countless stings. Swelled up a bit for a few days then gone. I never reacted much beyond a bump no matter what kind of sting, bumble, yellow jacket, wasps of various sorts as a kid.
 

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I've had stings I barely feel and stings that really hurt. If I get multiple stings I swell by the stings.
ks
 

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Generally I don't swell. But once in a while... I got one on my index finger and it blew up like a balloon. I guess it all just depends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok I guess it's normal. She got me good but was just surprised that there was not more swelling.
I won't count my chickens yet but good to know I'm not alone 😊
 

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For me if the sting is in a fleshy part it is no biggy. If it is on a bony spot (finger, ankle, etc) it swells. Regardless, pain is minimal but itches horribly for about 3 days.
 

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You got stung through the jacket which means you just got a little scratch, not the full monte.
The stingers are not very long but long enough to penetrate many of our common fabrics (like blue jeans), so that's why, when I wear any gloves, I usually wear nitrile gloves. Just a little pin prick instead of the complete stab and venom injection and the stinger buried in my hand.
Just you wait. You will eventually get a real bee sting. When that happens, remember to simply scratch the stinger off. Don't pinch it off.
 

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Hi Linda, I get stung maybe 3-5 times a year so far. 3 yrs. I wear a vent. Jacket, and nitril gloves. Yes, they can get through either, and depends on how determined they are. Had one get through the vent. Jacket last week. It was a solid sting. I didn't stop my work, so stinger hung in there about an hr. I think the reaction is different in different sting locations. Face stings seem really worse. I say, wear some form of protection, no matter how good the bees are. They can have a bad day, at any moment of their choosing. Keep up the good work, and good luck with your honey makers. !!! ��
Oh ventilated jackets are very hot. Don't let the name fool ya. When they get wet with sweat, they seem more easily to get stung through. For me anyway..
 

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I got a large number of stings on my wrists (through my gloves) when an adverse event caused me to kill a lot of bees. My wrists turned bright red and felt like they were on fire, but there did not appear to be much swelling.
 

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This might be a good time to tell people that some allergists think you should allow yourself to be stung several times a season and to be cautious with your bee clothing. Michael Palmer has something to say about this.
As AR1 noted, your reaction can change. It would be good to know that in a controlled setting. At my first inspection I get a few bees and sting myself in the house when my wife is home just in case. I will see if I can find MP thoughts on this. If you have difficulty doing this, stick the bees in the fridge for a bit to make them easier to handle. J
 

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My first sting this year was right on a knuckle, and that did swell up for a day. Since then several stings but no reaction.
 

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I get many many stings every year. Usually just from me not wanting to don the jacket in this Texas heat and humidity, or from me just telling myself “it’ll just be a quick peak under the lid”. My reactions have changed over the years. The first time I was stung, I had zero irritation until exactly 7 days later. At that point it itched for 3 days like a mosquito bite times 20. After that it went to itching immediately after the sting. I may have just gotten used to it now, but I don’t notice any itching anymore. Just about 1 minute of “$&%# that hurt!” and then it’s over.

Funny story - I always wear jeans. I had a mad hive one day that I was working. They managed to find a bee sized hole in my old jeans right at the bottom of my zipper fly. Didn’t know it was there until that day. Managed to get two stings from bees that entered through that hole...you know where...worst spot imaginable. I was doubled over for about 5 minutes cursing the birds and the trees and everything else around me. I threw those pants away.
 

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Thick meat -vs- thin meat. You got a thick meat sting (arms, neck, chest, legs, palms side of hands). Wait and see how you react when you get a thin meat sting (back of hands, fingers, wrist over bone, forehead or face). For me a thick meat sting leaves a little welt that is completely gone in a couple of hours. A finger or face sting will swell. A wrist sting right on the joint will swell and itch like a son-of-a-bee. YMMV, you might not be affected at all, or your children might tease you for looking like Quasimodo for a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh MAN will my DD laugh if I get Welts from a sting, but I get that anyway from Mangoes or too much laundry detergent.
Not sure if my spot was Thin or thick but it is pretty Thin, not much muscle. 2 inches from wrist on upper part of forearm. Right on the Radius bone where there is only skin.

I may have gotten nailed last weekend on the back of the thigh and lower back.... if the lower back sting helps my Sciatica I am all for it ;)

Well good thing for the Bees that it will be in the 90's from Fri to Sun/Mon so I won't be playing with them this weekend
 

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Linda, you can play with them this weekend in the morning before it gets hot. During the summer I always try to open them as the foragers are leaving in the AM.
And yes, stings can help with sciatica relief, as well as an inversion table. At least in my experience. 30 years with a bad back.
 

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The two kinds of beekeepers:
  1. Beekeepers with back problems.
  2. Beekeepers that will have back problems.

Bee careful out there, the girls are not going to take a few days off while you recuperate.
 

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I agree with those who suspect you didn't get a full strength sting because of the suit.

My first 6 months I kept not getting stung, so over time I wore less and less until I was out there in shorts and t-shirt, flip-flops, and no veil. The first time I got stung beekeeping it was a wasp rather than one of the honey bees! I felt invincible.

Then finally one day it happened. A frame from the bottom box stuck to the top box as I lifted it and then fell on my bare flip-flopped foot before I realized what was happening. I don't know how many stings I got, but it was difficult to wear shoes for a few days. It actually didn't hurt much, but it was kind of embarrassing, especially given that it was captured on my bee cam, plus the way I skipped away like a frightened little girl. :)

Oh well.

In the years since then I've only gotten a few stings through jeans or nitrile gloves that haven't been as bad, but still, I've pretty much decided that flip-flops are not appropriate beekeeping footwear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Lol, i have only walked in flip flops if I was just walking by or peeking on them. I can't run in them so i know better haha.
I seem to usually be wearing sweatpants. Do you think jeans are better ? I was thinking the sweatpants were thicker .
I had to cut off from the thigh down on my full bee suit. I got them stuck on something and both legs ripped. No biggie, 8 just put them on first and then the pants over them..... my butt should be well protected 😉
I wear sneakers and still use my leather gloves. Maybe next year I'll try no gloves
 
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