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Thought I'd just share this for the benefit of the new beeks.

It's been either windy, cold, rainy, or frosty, for some time and with my queens laying like crazy I really didn't want to do more than just refill syrup jars.
Yesterday it was very windy but muggy and 81 degrees. I figure, "oh, what the heck, lets see how they're doing".

I grab my vail, hive tool, jug of syrup, smoker and since I couldn't find my gloves, I grabbed my wife's red gardening gloves, rubber on the palm and "breathable" nylon mess on the back side.

To make a really long, but funny story short, I got stung really good 5 times on the left hand, 4 on the middle finger, and one under the watchband. I've been stung before and basically they itched, burned and went away. Not this time! One hour after finishing, I took my watch off at it was getting "a little tight". Hand and wrist were warm. Three hours after finishing bee chores, my left hand looked like a sunburned baseball mitt. The pain was pretty intense, radiating down to the elbow. Heartbeat was normal, breathing was normal, taste buds were normal, throat was not swelling. Left arm felt like it had been run over.
I go to take benadryl and find we're out. Jumped in truck and go to the local gas-n-go for fresh meds. Keeping my baseball mitt of hand in my jacket. Cashier never takes her eyes of my left jacket pocket, probably thinks I could be a robber. I pay and go outside, downing 2 pills from the packet as I go. I can take my pulse based just on the thumping in my left hand. The allergic reaction is completely confined to left forearm and hand.
I go home scrounge up a vicadan from some dental surgery done about a decade ago and go to bed. Actually slept pretty good.
In the a.m. swellling down by 20%, hand now looks like a little kids baseball mitt.
I take the benedryl to work and off I go.

Here's a few thoughts;
It was way too windy to be breaking open hives that were filled to capacity with bees. I knew better but got rammy.:no:

Crushing bees as you carefully slide mediums back onto hive does not go over well with the remaining bees.:no:

If you're going to use a smoker, be sure to bring matches.:doh:

If your going to work agitated bees, work slowly, I repeat, s-l-o-w-l-y
Not sure what was on my wife's gloves, but it was obvious from the git-go, the bees found it offensive. I should have switched to my old propalus covered ones.:doh:

Lastly, 4 stings on middle finger...don't wait 2-3 hours befor taking antihistamine.
 

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Thank you for the info. I'm keeping a running log in my mind about what seems to set bees off to sting so I will keep your experience filed away for sure. :)
 

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I had one sting that caused an arm to swell up pretty good.

Working slow is pretty good, but I tell you, when the stinging starts, I start working faster! So I can get the heck outta dodge!
 

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I had something similar but not as bad happen to me this week. I am new and when I first picked up my bees had some veil issues 10-15 stings. Pain gone in 10 mins. No noting later. I got stung twice on weds and both were fine tell the morning. Then swelling and the worst itch ever. Does anyone have any idea why nothing one sting then so bad the next?
 

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for some rerason they like my knuckles. i don't get stung very much, but its alway's in the knuckles. right in the joint. last week one got me and the back of my hand swole up. went down the next day. that never happened before.
 

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man i needed that....at LEAST you could have sent pics...come on...LOLOL. I did that the first time too. Funny thing is now, i itch a little but no swelling.
 

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got stung this morning on my ring finger. luckily got my ring off before it swelled:rolleyes: only the finger swelled this time. last time it was my whole hand
 

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Re: Bee stings - arthritis cure

I've read that there are places where you can go to subject yourself to bee stings for arthritis... They claim that about half a dozen stings will significantly reduce arthritis pain... Anyone know any more about this phenomenon???
 

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I had something similar but not as bad happen to me this week. I am new and when I first picked up my bees had some veil issues 10-15 stings. Pain gone in 10 mins. No noting later. I got stung twice on weds and both were fine tell the morning. Then swelling and the worst itch ever. Does anyone have any idea why nothing one sting then so bad the next?
I've heard that when you're stung in some places, it can hurt much more than others -- probably closer to nerves or veins than other places.

Since it was your first sting though, I think you were probably sensitized for the second set of stings. Your immune system now recognizes the toxin as bad and the itching and swelling comes from your immune system's response, not from the toxin itself.

You probably won't go back to the total absence of itching and swelling, but with a little luck, the reaction won't get worse, and it will likely get better with successive stings. When you get stung, I'd plan to take some Benadryl to reduce the inflammation -- especially if you can take it when you go to bed to ward off a reaction over-night (it'll make you sleepy).
 

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Myself being allergic, I NEVER work bees without a bottle of liquid benedryl in my beesuit pocket. And I won't mentor new beekeepers if they are not willing to carry benedryl with them when they work bees.
 
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