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Discussion Starter #1
I recently spoke to someone who kept bees some time ago, and she said that she and her husband quit raising bees because he developed an allergy after being stung several times (I guess over the period of time they had bees). Is this possible? I don't know if I have ever been stung by a honeybee, but I HAVE been stung by red wasps, and regular black (northern) wasps. I am reading and learning all I can before taking the plunge into beekeeping and want to know what is true and what is "urban legend"
 

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As one who has got stung by my bees I been stung about a half dozen times in 20 years. This past tusday I got stung on my forarm thought nothing of it scraped the stinger and venom sack out. Looked good little welt. The next morning my arm looked like Pop eye forarm dark red and Hot. went to my dr. he told me staff infection from the sting. a shot of antibotics and keflex for two weeks. and I am good to go some people swell up. its when you have wheezes and shortness of breath then you have to worry. But normal sting is ouch then swelling some beeks swell some don't I don't. I just wish that little girl would have used a spetic swab be for she stung me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
this person apparently developed the shortness of breath/respiratory problem type of allergy. If I got stung I would definitely wash the sting site as soon as I could to try and prevent a staph infection. I've seen staph infections (other people!) in mosquito bites, wasp stings sites, and especially brown recluse spider bites.
 

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You can develop an allergy to anything anytime. If you are not currently allergic, I don't think your odds of becoming allergic are substantially any worse as a beekeeper than as an average citizen.

Well.. That may not be entirely true. As beekeepers are more likely than the average citizen to get stung.

If you are really super worried about it, get a beesuit, full mask, and wear them every time. I don't because I really don't swell up. A mosquito net face mask is all I use on a regular basis, It is cool in the summer, and moves with me.
 

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Staff infection Wow.
I am just in my 4th year and have been stung many times by my hives and in travels to other beeks yards as well as cutouts and trapouts and usually only have local swelling, sometimes larger areas. First I have heard of staff infections. I have read here on this forum of beekeepers becoming more sensitive to bee stings over many years. But they seem to be a small percentage.
 

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Yes it was wow! I never swell up and the day after my arm was so bright red and Hot. My Dr is also a beek and he has years of beekeeping under his belt. what he told me was in the winter due to the fact bees are older they don't get out often enough for them to do their stuff they do get some bactreria on their bodies. but it could been anything I touched to it from my hive tool to what ever I am all better now.

But if your not sure if your allergic to bees get a epi pen to be on the safe side.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate all the info. I plan to get a good quality suit, gloves, and hat/veil, but i know I will be stung at some point. Getting stung by a red wasp is the WORST, but I know a honeybee sting won't be as bad. We have ground hornets here and cicade wasps that are really large. I've never been stung by those, but I heard it's like getting hit with a hammer or shot!
 

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You either have to get stung to get the answer to you're question, or go to an allergist, who can give you a mild dose, or an apetherapist.
 

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No matter if i had a known allergy or not, I would carry an epi pen and a small bottle of benadryl. It is a small price to pay for the "just in case" senario. It is part of the first aid kit we carry when beekeeping. But then we live rather rural and are a minimum of a half hour away from the hospital.
Because i have had topical allergies to bees "sometimes"...sometimes they swell and sometimes they do not...i actually carry two epi pens, just because of the shear distance from help, as well as advice from my doctor.
 
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