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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a fledgeling beekeeper, i've had it in my mind that i should "try" to get stung once or twice a month during hive inspections in order to develop a tolerance. Today, i was using a push mower in the field, and must have disturbed a ground nest. As i tried to collect the cut grass with my hands, i noticed about a dozen black "bees" (wasps?) swirling over the ground in an agitated state. One got me on the finger. Since this sting is not from one of our honeybees, is it unlikely to produce the necessary antibodies (if i'm stating that correctly) that lessen the effects of honeybee stings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Drat. Thanks for your response, Harley Craig. I guess there's no "up" side to this sting at all! Bla.
 

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Antibodies are what causes the reaction, histamines are the compounds that summon the antibodies. What you need to develop is immunity, and it will take way more that twice a month to make any significant difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reply, Tenbears. So far, i've been stung by our bees three times, and each sting has been less severe than the one before it. BUT ... i realize there are a lot of variables governing the intensity of the response, so i wouldn't swear to anything at this point.

Meanwhile, i learned from someone on a regional board i participate in that i was stung by [insert menacing music here] a yellow jacket! Yup! A yellow jacket. Apparently, they come in black and white too. Tres chic, no?
 

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my first few stings of the yr swell badly and itched like crazy, I have started stinging myself once a week and so far after the 3rd week in I have almost no swelling and no itch anymore. I plan to continue this schedule throughout the yr. And next yr I will start up again when my hives start flying in late winter but when it's still really to cold to do deep inspections so I've built my immunity back up in time for the spring season.
 

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Yellowjackets are mean little buggers! I've found 4 nests (the hard way!) in the past 2 weeks in the couple acres around where I have my bees. Been stung about 10 times on the arms & legs. It seems to be a very good year for them. Question: will they attack my bees? I've seen bald-faced hornets picking up bees from the ground that are cleaned out of the hive by the house bees, so I assume yellowjackets are also aware of my honeybees. I haven't noticed any flying around the entrance, or seen any being fought off by guard bees. I'm starting to see some fire ant mounds, too. Someone told me that fire ants will attack a bee hive. True?
 
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