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I am putting two hives in my small, in-town, back yard this spring. I have two labrador retrievers. I am assuming that the dogs might stick their noses in the hives once or twice, get stung once or twice, and that would be the end of it. There would be a wary accord thereafter. Does anyone have any experience with up-close dog/bee relations? Does it usually work out that way?
 

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Yes I have had such an experience with each of our four rescue dogs. All our black dogs run freely (supervised) outside when we are out, which is most of the summer. Each had to find out the hard way that the bee hives need to be given a wide berth. Only took once for them to figure this out and no more confutation between dog and bee.
The dogs never suffered any side effects and a few minutes after the mobbing they were romping around like nothing happened, but a little wiser.
 

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In dogs , most reactions to insect venom are localized, i.e., swollen eyes, lips and ears (although I've seen some dachshunds where their entire body swelled!) On occasion, the reaction can be life threatening and involve their airway and can be a very frightening experience for the owner and pet. I would suggest (can't prescribe since I'm only licensed in NY) that all my beekeeping friends with dogs have over-the-counter(OTC) benedryl on hand. The dosage for dogs is 1 mg per pound given every 8 hours (write this on the box since human dosages don't apply to dogs) until signs subside, if you don't see a response in a few hours or conditions worsen, please see your veterinarian ASAP! Most OTC benedryl is 25 mg (check the label), so for a 70-ish pound Lab, give three capsules, three times a day. It pays to call your veterinarian to give them a heads up in case you're dog has other medical issues and should be seen. If nothing else, they can update your dogs records for future reference.

You're all right, most dogs are smart enough to avoid the bees after a sting. A few are repeat offenders - like some of us humans they are wooden-headed and never learn!

Hope this is helpful,
Steve
 

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On occasion, the reaction can be life threatening and involve their airway and can be a very frightening experience for the owner and pet.
My old Blue Tic bee dog had a close call once. She was in the bee yards with me every day for years. The fact that she got stung regularly may have saved her.

I have a new employee helping with harvest. He was so preoccupied with the possibility of getting stung that he couldn't stack full supers and make it bee proof. So...the bees went berserk with robbing. He was covered with bees and I in my T shirt the same.

Now, the dog was in the truck...not allowed out in this yard because of traffic on the state highway. Him covered with bees opens the door and the bees are on Charlotte like flies on poop. She's out of there like a shot. She's covered with stinging bees, and off into the road. A Chevy S-10 comes by with the tailgate down. Dog is down the road and onto that truck faster than you could say ouch...and gone.

After I got the yard picked up...him hiding in the truck and me a knot head..I drove to find my dog. She was a mile down the road waiting for me...sweaty and foaming at the mouth.

She did recover...he didn't. I finished harvest by myself.
 

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Mine get stung every so often without any issues but I suppose some dogs could have a reaction. I have one that loves to stick his nose right in the entrance....no matter how many bees are flying....and never gets stung. Don't know how he manages that. Just lucky I guess. For the most part, the dogs have an early interest in the hives and after that, they don't bother them much at all.
 

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I have two hives in the backyard, and a mother in law and her 2 dogs my 3 dogs and 3 cats. The daschound put her nose right in the entrance, the cats sit on top no stings. The bigger dogs don't care.

The bees come near the patio to work the camilia and my wifes new little dogs pester the bees, or the bees pester the dogs. I'm not sure which. It's funny to watch, no stings there either.

One interesting behavior. The bees were all over one of the dogs toys. The dog went to get it and the bees scattered. One time havent seen it since.
 

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Some dogs get stung and learn.
Some dogs have no interest in the hives and don't get stung much at all.
Some dogs never learn...
I have a great dane and when a bee fly's around her she bites at it. Most of the time she misses but sometimes she gets stung on the tongue. She don't care at all. I cant take her to the bee yard because she runs right up to the hives every time and I have to swat bees off her. I guess it is a case by case scenario.
 

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My dog will avoid the yard when bees are out but will wonder around the hives looking for critters after dark or in the cool mornings. I have cats that will get on top of the hives and sleep after looking for mice under the pallets. I run hive yards in pastures that have horses, cows and llamas with no problems.
 

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I’ve had three dogs, one learned to ignore bees, one would eat every buzzing insect that buzzed by:popcorn:, and one was highly allergic to stings of any kind. The one that was highly allergic had to have the Benadryl and taken to the vet for shots, very scary swelling. Also the one that would eat the buzzers learned what an electric fence was the hard way and from then on would not go out to the yard with me!:lookout:
 

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My Basenji came running around the hedge one day right into a hive. She never did that again. My current dog gets stung almost every night because there is a feral colony in the condo of the same building we are in. If they cannot fly home they crawl around the lit area. She got sick the first time, but pretty much ignores getting stung now like me. If my Rottis had been stung maybe they would not have the joint pains.
 

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My English Bulldog took his first sting to the middle of his back. If you know the breed, they don't bend and tweak well as they are built short stout and like a brick...just solid..... All he could do was twitch/turn like he was getting shocked, walk an inch or two, then twitch back again. All i could do was laugh and feel sorry for him. Went over, pulled out the stinger, and he stayed right there with me, never having gotten stung again. He doesnt care...LOL. It was FUNNY sight to see though.
 

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My red mutt doesn't get bothered at all. My cats sleep on top of a colony in the yard. But my black-and-white mutt (smooth coat) doesn't bother them, but gets stung anytime he's within 10' of the entrances.
 
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