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I got hit yesterday in my split (as an aside, it's amazing how different they are in temperament. I'm curious to see if that changes). It was through a glove, so it wasn't probably as bad as it could have been, but it's CRAZY swollen. Itchy, too, which I know is normal, but I feel like this is more swelling than is normal. It's strictly a localized rxn, so I'm not at all worried about anaphylaxis. I have noticed, though, that each one I've gotten has swollen more than the last. I hear that goes away in time. True?
 

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cmonkey,,,,sometimes is does,,,there are others that it does not. Be careful,,a visit to an allergist would ease your mind. Any hives or welts get to an emergency room. I would caution anyone that antihistamines are to alleviate discomfort,,,,not ward off anaphylaxis. Ain't no Dr. but I wonder if someone who is going towards being allergic, isn't setting themselves up for a major crash by masking symptoms with antihistamines.

My thoughts

Rick SoMd
 

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If you try to avoid being stung by wearing a full beesuit, you get exposed to the bee venom without getting stung and you develop the wrong antitoxins. When you do get stung, your body overreacts.

I think it was Mike Palmer who said that 1 in 100 or 200 people are anaphylactic, but 1 in 10 people in a commercial beekeeping family are anaphylactic. Commercial beekeepers kids get exposed to the bee venom on their clothes, or riding in the bee truck and they develop an allergy to bee venom.

Since you know you are not anaphylactic, my advice is to get stung full strength more regularly.
 

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From my personal experiences I always swell up more on my hands. I can take stings to the face or the neck and they don't swell up nearly as bad as my hands. I started keeping bees this year and my first sting was to the back. I was wearing a jacket and when I bent over a bee landed on my belt and when I stood up the jacket squished her and she stung me. I swelled up major and got a bruise the size of a basketball. I thought oh my god I'm not going to be able to keep these bees. Now I get stung and get a little bump like a misquito bite. But I have 14 colonies now and I get stung at least once a week. But be careful I have heard other stories on here of people developing alergies.

-Dan
 

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This is our first year... my son got stung in the face (running over to see the queen w/ no hood). His cheek swelled like he had a golf ball for a wad of chew! No other symptoms of allergy - just think all the swelling was due to the site of soft tissue.

I agree with the above. I don't mask symptoms with drugs. I want to know what I'm dealing with. Baking soda paste and some ice applied topically.
 

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i agree with getting stung to check for allergies, as long as some one is standing by in-case a reaction happens, my wife an RN insisted i do this when we first got our bee's, ive been stung on the tops of my arms, fingers, hands, legs , back, and its like a small mosquito bite, and actually the venom from the bee sting makes my joints feel better for the rest of the day, but the one place that makes me swell is the under side of my arm, next to the elbow, i got stung hear for the first time and i thought the same thing, i was developing an allergy, but the swelling went down and everything was fine after a few days, i make sure i wear long sleeve shirts now, got to bold with them i guess. love them girls though!
 

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cmonkey
I think another thing that may enter in to this is the time between stings. Until you build up,( and i don't encourage you to do it on your own unless advised by Dr. or have a plan!) your system needs to rid itself of one episode before it can efficiently deal with another. How long that is you'll have to figure out. But if your system uses its' resources and you tax them with another sting,,you might just see some "more than usual" swelling.
My concern is you are posting on this forum so you must be concerned. I haven't seen any handles here that have Dr. in front of them. If you get tested,,,you will know for sure if your symptoms are normal. ;)

Rick
 

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Cmonkey,
Localized itching and swelling after you've been stung by a bee or wasp is almost universal and normal. It certainly doesn't mean you have an allergy to bee stings, although repeated exposure could result in an allergy if you're predisposed to being allergic to bee stings. I'm an emergency room nurse and would say that pretty much 100% of people we see who have been stung (and had poison injected into them!) have swelling, itching, and redness to some degree. You need not be concerned about allergy and anaphalaxis unless you also have difficulty breathing, wheezing, tightness in the chest or throat, or other respiratory symtoms.
Hands tend to have exagerated localized reaction to stings due to the fact that they have a) an excessive amount of circulation and b) not a lot of room for distribution of swelling.
The concoction we use in the ED for stings (with or without anaphalaxis) is Benadryl (an antihistamine), Zantac (also an antihistamine), and an IV steroids (to reduce inflammation). I usually replicate that at home after being stung by taking 50mg of Benedryl, 150mg of Zantac, and rubbing the area of the sting with hydrocortizone cream. I find that this works very well.
 

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It's hard to say what normal is. I've been stung through gloves and was pleased that the bulk of the sting was taken by the leather. I've also been stung through gloves and ended up worse than I would have without them. It was like the glove held the stinger and made sure that it was in my hand. Yesterday, I got hit by a bunch of wasps while I was pulling old lattice off the house. Took three in my thumb and one in my forehead. No swelling at all. Just pain and itch. Go figure. I think a lot depends on the bee, the location of the sting and how quickly (or slowly) you get the whole stinger out. And yes, I believe that some of us experience a change in tolerance, one way or the other.
 

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Well I dont swell much any more but if I get on on the face it swells more.

I have been stung through gloves, veil, socks, had them get inside my suit but I got one a couple days ago that was different, I was cutting comb honey and I killed a bee that was on my hand towel and she stung the towel so "dummy me" decided to look at the stinger and had it on the end of my finger for 10 to 15 seconds when BAM the stinger stung me with out help from the bee, I wont try that again :doh:
 

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Zantac is not an antihistamine. It reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach. I suggest obtaining script from family Dr. for a epi pin. This will give time if true allergy to sting emerges. Benadryl is best antihistamine although it is sedating. Do not exceed recommended doses of any meds. (doubling up not good). Speak to doctor,RPh, or RN to explain true anaphylactic symptoms.
 

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My guess is that it is normal. My fiance got stung on both hands once, and they swelled ALOT. I was stung on the foot a few times, and that swelled terribly - could only wear adjustable sandels on the widest adjustment for a few days. I think the reaction does depend alot on where you get stung.

Jennifer
 

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Sometimes I'm dumbfounded.

I'll get stung on my forearm and a day later find it swelled. I think on my shins too. I remember getting stung on my eyelid when one of the girls got behind my glasses and had people ask me what happened for the next week. I've been stung other places too, but since I don't recall, I guess they didn't swell.

One morning Last week I checked on my brood less hive again looking for hope. Being lazy I just wore my bee jacket and boots, but was still in PJ's. Those women were pure angry and immediately hammered through the PJ's. I high tailed it into the basement slapping all the way. Not my first hot hive, but my worst experience. I stopped counting at thirty and took a couple antihistamines for the first time for that purpose. Nothing swelled.

Two days ago I was scavenging scraped burr comb from around the hives for candle way and got nailed on the forearm. I reacted quickly and scraped before the wench did her worst. Today I noticed it swelled.

Let me know if you figure it out.
 

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Just to clarify to all of you smartypantses who correctly pointed out that Zantac is NOT an antihistamine...I used the term "antihistamine" very generically for the layperson's sake. It's true that Zantac is an antacid. More specifically, it is an H2 blocker that reduces the amount of acid excreted by the stomach. However, the "H" in H2 blocker stands for histamine. Therefore, as it is used in the treatment of an allergic reaction, Zantac is a histamine blocker, or, if you would rather (which I personally would), an antihistamine.
("PLEASE DON'T SUE ME" DISCLAIMER: The point of my reply was not to diagnose or treat a medical c:)ondition. I AM NOT a doctor. It was meant to provide some friendly [albeit probably unsolicited] advise on what one might due at home using the wonders of modern over-the-counter pharmacology to save an expensive visit to the doctor or an emergency department. The post was meant to be friendly, not contrary or adversarial.)
 

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This is my first year at bee keeping and I'm on my 4th sting. First one was on the top of my hand which didn't swell or hurt that much, second was on the side of my middle toe which hurt like hell but no swelling, the third was on my neck which was a mild sting and the last was on top of my hand which swelled enough where I almost couldn't see my knuckles, itched and hurt for 3 days. My wife removed the first 3 and I removed the last. So I guess it all depends on the bee, how you pull the stinger out and the location.
 

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Zantac is not an antihistamine. It reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach. I suggest obtaining script from family Dr. for a epi pin. This will give time if true allergy to sting emerges. Benadryl is best antihistamine although it is sedating. Do not exceed recommended doses of any meds. (doubling up not good). Speak to doctor,RPh, or RN to explain true anaphylactic symptoms.
Zantac is a A hitamine 1 blocker your stomach produces histamine1 and it leades to acid build up. Zantac is not the same as benadyl. Benadryl is used for anaphylactic shock Epi pen followed up by 50 mg beadryl.
 

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The concoction we use in the ED for stings (with or without anaphalaxis) is Benadryl (an antihistamine), Zantac (also an antihistamine), and an IV steroids (to reduce inflammation). I usually replicate that at home after being stung by taking 50mg of Benedryl, 150mg of Zantac, and rubbing the area of the sting with hydrocortizone cream. I find that this works very well.
my dad does this too for an allergic reaction. Might I also add that taking drugs does not mask symptoms. These really help to counteract reactions.
 
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