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Anyone ever have an extreme abnormal reaction to a single sting?

3019 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  butch043052
Stings have never really bothered me, short of the itch afterwards. Even less so now that I have been keeping bees for a couple of years. Except for this one. A few weeks ago I took a sting to the middle knuckle of my middle finger. By the next morning my hand resembled a blow up hospital glove. A week or so later, I was back in the same hive and took three more to the same hand (irritable hive in the process of being requeened) with very little reaction at all. Anyone ever just get a really potent bee? Can there be such a thing?

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I'm sure that certain stings are worse than others based on factors such as sting depth and duration. I've noticed also that the frequency of stings plays a huge factor as well. My first sting of the season is always the worst. After that, they hardly affect me, and I get stung about every two weeks during the season. Too long without getting stung, your body is still making antibodies, and then over-reacts when the sting finally occurs.
Installing an OH this spring and a bee got in my sleeve and stung me and I was by myself so I didn't mess with the stinger for quite awhile. My arm swelled from my elbow to my knuckle joints - kinda like your hand.

Good news - I was being brave/stupid and checked my strong hive early one morning a couple weeks ago without any gear. All was calm and then a couple guard bees hit me and then I got stung on the ear and under the chin. Got the stingers out really fast and put plantain on them quickly. (Chewed a couple large bitter yucky leaves and applied.) Not much swelling and didn't itch like crazy (like usually happens a day later). That was stings 4 & 5. The first three were very swelled and very itchy for a week. So there is hope... Based on my last experience, getting the stingers out quick matter -or the plantain does. Maybe TR nailed it in that the antibodies later in the season help.
I am not a doctor on here, in real life, nor do I play one on TV but I would think that a well headed piece of advice would be to familiarize yourself with an EPIPEN and keep one close at hand. If this can happen when you are used to walking away with nearly a scratch and an itch you might be getting a forewarning that you need to be prepared for. If I had this happen to me I would purchase one for every spot I had bees.

As one who has had to use them twice I know how they were a lifesaver for both my father in law and some help who showed back up and had a bad reaction after a few years absence away from the bees. I can assure you that the results are fairly instantaneous for those who are breathing like they are about to meet their maker. Glad I was able to delay that from happening in both situations. Here's to being prepared that is. :thumbsup: IMO they are as an important tool in a beekeepers arsenal as are the hive tool and the smoker. Get SOME!
I keep an epipen at the house because I sometimes react to shrimp. And I love shrimp. LOL. Stings have never reacted like that, before or since, so I hope it was a freak occurrence. Like mentioned above, I didn't get the stinger out right away. Maybe that was it.
Every time I get stung on the hand, it's like that.
Every time I get stung on the hand, it's like that.
You're experiencing a localized reaction. It can be anything from a little raise bump to the whole area swelling up like what happened to you. This is not an allergic reaction. I find that stings to the palm of my hand at certain points hurt the most. I think it has to do with where nerves are. I rarely swell from a sting, but I still feel a wide variance in the pain.
I had 5 or 6 stings last year. No reaction at all.
This year, I've had 4 so far with no reaction. Sting #5 and #6 however, swelled my hand like yours!
When my wife saw your picture she asked "Oh - Did you post a picture of your hand last week?" :)

I got an epi pen just in case now, but we shall see.
I don't swell or have much reaction to beestings anymore, but about 2-3 weeks ago, I got stung, on purpose, on my left wrist to help with pain from elbow through wrist and into thumb. The sting was well placed and I let the stinger be for a bit them squeezed the venom sack till empty and removed stinger. That sting hit me on a nerve or something, it caused pain like I have never imagined up forearm to the elbow and down the other way into my thumb. Very excruciating pain, quite unbelievable and extremely surprising to me, I was dumbfounded over it. No swelling at all, but man oh man, that was something. My thumb went completely numb, like it was shot with novicaine. It has now reduced somewhat, but thumb is still numb, feels like it's wrapped in tape or wearing a finger-cot. And, I can not touch the wrist where I was stung without a numbing lightening bolt streaking up my thumb. This is 2-3 weeks later. In my mind, it must be the exact spot I was stung in, must have hit a nerve, is all I can reason out about it.
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Good time to say either don't wear rings or take them off as soon as you get hit in the hands.
Yeah. I always take my ring off before I get out of the car.
I got stung last week in hand did same thing. I got stung 6 times this week on a cutout and hand was good, forearm was good, and head was good , but elbow swelled up 2 times the size of course heat tends to make it worse.
I have been stung 11 times this year since May 12th the last three one on each hand and one on the elbow , Not at the same time, and they all swelled like your hand. then itched like crazy for two to three days and went away. Iced the hand and took some benadryl and that seemed to help.
Sometimes I swell up sometimes I don't, wasps seem to hurt alot more than honey bees but while working in the garden the other day I was bitten or stung by a small ant (not a army ant) but it hurt twice as bad as my bees sting, I will take a honey bee sting over an ant bite or sting any day.

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