Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just over 6 weeks ago, I had a pretty bad reaction to a sting just above my eyebrow. Ended up in the ER. So after getting feedback on this site and suggestions to get to an Allergist and get tested, I did just that. They have to wait 6 weeks after your last sting to test properly. So today after 27 shots testing for Honey Bee, White Hornet, Yellow Hornet, Wasp and Yellow Jacket, I came back positive for the Honey Bee. I already have had Epi pens since that last sting. I've been working the bees, but being fully suited when I go anywhere near our hives. My wife and I also successfully captured our first two swarms within the last two weeks, so beekeeping will continue. I fell in love with the hobby that we jumped into last year. We've grown from 2 to 10 hives.
After discussion with the Doc, I will follow up with the Desensitization process with shots, and the probability it may take up to 5 years to get "fixed". My insurance does no look like they'll be any help really, not surprised at that. The Doc can get me coupons so I can get more Epi pens to make them readily available during this process, and have them at work, home, the barn, and other places I frequent.
The fact is during this time of year I could get stung just about anywhere I am. The bees don't care if I'm a beek or not. The odds of getting stung increase with the sheer number of bees on our land. Also those odds increase with how frequently I work the hives, so I'll probably cut back on some activities. We did a split last weekend that got a little hairy for example. My thought is if I beekeep smart, keep covered, and go through the desensitization process there's no reason that I can't remain involved in this hobby I love. Some will probably never be affected adversely by a sting, others allergic reactions to stings can change during the course of their lives. Just be aware of how a sting affects your body, and your system so that you can take appropriate action if necessary.
Some people might think I'm a bit crazy to stay in beekeeping, I think if I gave it up it'd make me crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
BeePappy,
Good for you that you are sticking with it, just remember that you can also get stung through a full suit, especially inside your elbow when you bend your arm. It might be a good idea to get a pair of gloves with the sleeves on them for the extra protection, not too long ago I took 6 stings in this area right through a full bee suit. :)
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
Just an FYI, I've been stung three times thru the full suit this summer. Twice the same way, my suit has the fencer style hood, which sometimes lays a bit to one side, and my ears touch the screen. I got bopped in the ear twice in the same day last week, once on each side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Just out of curiosity, how many times were you stung before and no severe reaction?

I am baffled at the reports here of people who have had stings before, some of them frequently, and they suddenly out of nowhere get a severe reaction. This seems like ANY one is at risk, at any time, then, really :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
BeePappy,
Good for you that you are sticking with it, just remember that you can also get stung through a full suit, especially inside your elbow when you bend your arm. It might be a good idea to get a pair of gloves with the sleeves on them for the extra protection, not too long ago I took 6 stings in this area right through a full bee suit. :)
Thanks! I have the heavy canvas gloves with the gauntlet sleeves. Cumbersome, but they provide good protection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
Yeah mine has a fencing hood as well and last year while bending over with a box I took two stings to the face as my face touched the screen, not the best design.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Just out of curiosity, how many times were you stung before and no severe reaction?

I am baffled at the reports here of people who have had stings before, some of them frequently, and they suddenly out of nowhere get a severe reaction. This seems like ANY one is at risk, at any time, then, really :(
About a dozen times. The last 4 stings were different than all the previous. The amount of swelling increased with each sting, healing took longer, the redness seemed to linger. The last three times were above my eyes. I thought that the bees must HATE my bushy eyebrows. Two above the right, one above the left eye. They alternated. That last sting was the most severe although my breathing was not affected so much, I had many other symptoms. A person's allergic reaction to things they are exposed to can change throughout their lifetimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Just an FYI, I've been stung three times thru the full suit this summer. Twice the same way, my suit has the fencer style hood, which sometimes lays a bit to one side, and my ears touch the screen. I got bopped in the ear twice in the same day last week, once on each side.
Now that must have been some swelling. Sounds like the suit I have, jacket and pants separate. Luckily my big head keeps the hat on tight, so there's not so much slippage.
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
no swelling for me to speak of. It hurts for a few minutes, and in that situation, impossible to pull out the stinger so I got the full dose.

Michael Palmer has a good video on youtube on this subject, it's worth a watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0QB96RrGdM

I make sure that I get stung at least once a week, if not more. I wont go without a veil, because my eyes are to precious to risk losing an eye to a bee sting. I will work without gloves regularily, and promote a few stings on the hand if I haven't been hit for a week or so. I actually keep stings in my notes, particularily which hives got me. I have one in particular that will nail me any time I open it without the gloves. I wont be propogating from that one, and it's scheduled for a new queen in July.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Sorry to hear about your reaction. I think mine has gone the other way. They don't bother me as bad as they used to. You might want to try one of the ventilated suits that is out on the market like the ultra breeze suit or jacket. Just google ultrabreeze bee suit. I have the one from Rossmans Apiaries. You can wear it with just a pair of shorts on under the suit and stay a lot cooler. They also have just the jacket. They are supposed to be just about beeproof. I have not been stung through mine as of yet. I am thinking of ordering a jacket now for a quick check on a hive without having to put on a full suit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,653 Posts
I'm really sorry to hear of your becoming allergic BeePappy. It hurts me to hear your story, but is very uplifting to hear you won't give up beekeeping. It is a passionate hobby to have, for me, and seems for you too. It's good we can wear suits and protective gear and still be able to peek in at the bugs, so you can keep your passion!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
... market like the ultra breeze suit or jacket. Just google ultrabreeze bee suit...
Thanks for the tip, I hear enough about the Ultra Breeze to perhaps check it out. I have not been stung when suited up (knocking on wood). I usually have on full length jeans under bee pants, and at least a tee shirt or long sleeve under my jacket. Layers has been the ticket. I also wear tall rubber boots, with the legs elastic bands on the outside of the boot for a good seal. I don't mind the heat so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
I make sure that I get stung at least once a week, if not more.

I want to do this, frequent stings to really build up the tolerance, but I have to admit I'm scared to now.

I've only had local reactions, but what if in trying to build up an immunity I just push my luck and get that sting that goes really bad ? :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,869 Posts
I remember the original post, and am glad you went to the allergist, even though it sucks, you know what you are up against and you know what you need to do to keep enjoying your passion. Keep your chin up BP. G
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
Yeah mine has a fencing hood as well and last year while bending over with a box I took two stings to the face as my face touched the screen, not the best design.
I always wear a ball cap (front bill) under the fencing hood net. It keeps your face away from the netting, but you have watch out for your ears. That doesn't feel good either. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
Glad to read you're sticking with it. A lady in our bee club has been going through almost a year of the shots/etc., after developing a reaction after keeping bees a few years, and she is doing well and seeing it through. It can be done, good luck to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
Thanks Tim I will have to give that a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
BeePappy....Sorry...But I must admit, I, too, react VERY badly to stings, but refuse to give it up! I went for a full ventilated suit from Mann Lake...get the domed (spaceman) hood unless you plan to do tight cut out removals. Been bullet proof ever since! They aren't light (in weight), and they aren't cool to wear (though you will feel a breeze) but the weave of fabrics themselves are too thick for the bees to sting through. Those suits have NOT let me down, even doing removals of some nasty bees! Worth every, every cent! And trust me, though they are not cool, you are still MUCH cooler than in a full non-ventilated suit! Be careful...
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top