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Is there a lifetime limit to bee stings?


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hi all,

           I ran into a cattle farmer yesterday and he said he thought there was a lifetime limit to the number of bee stings a person could receive before they turn allergic or fatal to the recipient.  He threw out the number 1000 or there abouts.   I laughed, becuase I never heard that, and couldn't believe it, anyone else?  Hard to imagine ??  I assume the venom dissipates over time from periodic stings.  I know about maximum stings all at once, like 20 stings per kilogram of body weight, and not referring to people who are truly allergic.  One person I know said her father kept bees his whole life and one day he fainted in the shower shortly after inspecting his hives and his doctor told him, it was a reaction to bee venom and he stopped beekeeping....and I don't think he was taking any sort of medication.  Curious if anyone has ever heard such a thing as a lifetime limit?  Obviously there are people who keep bees over a lifetime without issue, and I'm thinking this must be false, but thought I'd post the question.  At least this  post is good for a laugh,  if in fact I'm correct, because I can't seem to find any info to validate it being either true or false..  Thanks

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You can become allergic to beestings at anytime it doesn’t matter what the numbers are.

I think this fit nicely in the category of Urban Myth or Rural myth if you want.   I know plenty of beekeepers who have been beekeeping for in excess of 40 years.  They will have had more th

A thousand stings is not that much, over a year it would only be 3 a day. Course we don't work every day of the year but on the other hand during the season I'd get more than 3 in a day, 20 would not

yes,...agreed Trevor.   Funny how some spots hurt worse than others, ..think worst places I've been stung was both sides of my neck when I was first starting out.  8 hours later, I woke up and it felt like I had a neck brace / collar on :4_joy:  Also...right in the middle of my thumbprint was more painful than I would've imagined and also, a few during a removal got me repeatedly on the ankle when my gear slipped while I was reaching up and that was plenty sore too.

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@Fast Tony Scientists still don’t fully understand allergies and what triggers them. We know that it is an immune response, but don’t fully understand why it should suddenly happen i.e. you can be exposed to something many times without problem, but then suddenly that substance is recognised as a danger which produces a histamine reaction (an allergy).

 

I developed a number of allergies literally overnight when I was about 13 years old, just woke up one morning having an asthma attack. I was allergic to cats, dogs, some fungal spores amongst others but have since grown out of all of them apart from cats.

 

Looking back on that night my suspicion is that the allergies were triggered at least in part by stress. That was the contributing factor in addition to exposure to animal dander that put me over the tipping point and resulted in allergies.

 

One thing we do know is that kids that suck their thumbs are much less likely to develop allergies later in life. It’s good to eat dirt!

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Interesting to me was our daughter who had previously been stung by our bees at home with no dramas was stung by a bee of AMM genetics and went into full on allergic reaction requiring ambulance Adrenalin and hospital, probably the scariest thing Ive ever been through. 

Since that one sting she has had a couple of others from Italian type bees with no real problems 

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It is interesting how the body copes or doesn't cope with being exposed to chemicals, and how over night the reverse will be true.

I had a minor heart issue this year and was hospitalised, they gave me intravenously a common drug to settle the heart, no problem all ok, home again.

Since that first time I was admitted twice for same reason, and when given the same drug, I had very painful bad reaction where I was swearing at them to stop the drug it was f.... painful.

It was like the base of my spine was being cut in half with a rusty blunt hivetool by someone wearing gloves that were to big for them.

No rime or reason for why the change in reaction( or at least that was the medical diagnose for why the change)

Asked my sister who has been nursing since they used leeches, and she had never heard or seen this type of reaction, but Dr Google did eventually tell us that it is a very rare reaction in their coverall of possible side affects.

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8 hours ago, Alastair said:

A thousand stings is not that much, over a year it would only be 3 a day. Course we don't work every day of the year but on the other hand during the season I'd get more than 3 in a day, 20 would not be unusual so pretty sure I'd get more than 1,000 a year, and have not developed an allergy.

 

The other myth is that bee stings are good for you, supposedly help with everything from arthritus to allergies and whatever, haven't found that to be true either, plus know 2 commercial beekeepers who retired due to arthritus, so my own belief is bee stings have no effects on health, positive, or negative.

I have to agree, 5 to 20 stings a day is not that many if you work sans gloves all day

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I think the pain can depend on the aggression level of the bee driving home the sting.

If the sting is flicked out quick with the poison sack intact there's not much swelling .

If I get stung I spray the area with the air freshener I carry in my bucket.

I spray it to mask the smell of the sting but it seems to stop it hurting. 

Do not know why that would work .

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On 06/01/2018 at 10:33 PM, kaihoka said:

 

If I get stung I spray the area with the air freshener I carry in my bucket.

I spray it to mask the smell of the sting but it seems to stop it hurting. 

Do not know why that would work .

probably it's just the cooling effect on the skin by the expanding/evaporating gas 

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On 06/01/2018 at 9:59 AM, Alastair said:

The other myth is that bee stings are good for you, supposedly help with everything from arthritus to allergies and whatever, haven't found that to be true either, plus know 2 commercial beekeepers who retired due to arthritus, so my own belief is bee stings have no effects on health, positive, or negative.

 

It quite possibly is a myth that stings help but the data isn’t all there yet. The idea of it helping relates to rheumatoid arthritis specifically and bee stings have been shown to help a bit but the studies haven’t been large enough or of sufficient quality to draw firm conclusions. I could imagine a lot of bee keepers having bad hips, knees and backs due to the nature of the work, but stings are of zero value for osteoarthritis. There is a good summary here.

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I have RA and OA and have not experienced any benefit from beestings particularly to my hands.

although someone said once on the forum that it could be that my arthritis isn’t as bad as it could have been if I wasn’t getting stung.

I guess There’s no way of knowing that so I’m going with beestings don’t make any difference. 

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That could to be very frustrating if it’s not well controlled. I was peripherally involved in a couple of drug trials and the rheumatoid treatments can be brutal. 

 

11 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 it could be that my arthritis isn’t as bad as it could have been if I wasn’t getting stung.

 

Could be, or maybe you need more?

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I've read that family members of beekeepers can become allergic due to minute amounts of venom on their clothes permeating the house.  Do any of you have family members who have become sensitive?  I work with bumble bees and get few stings, normally with no reaction but after a few years I went through a time when wherever I got stung on my body my eyes would swell up.  It stopped happening a year or two after.  We reared bumble bees in our house and my wife did get a severe reaction (not anaphylaxis, but it was a whole body effect) after a while.  In the history of bumble bee work there are several examples of people suddenly getting a dangerous reaction after years without.

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On 1/6/2018 at 9:03 AM, Fast Tony said:

hi all,

           I ran into a cattle farmer yesterday and he said he thought there was a lifetime limit to the number of bee stings a person could receive before they turn allergic or fatal to the recipient.  He threw out the number 1000 or there abouts.   I laughed, becuase I never heard that, and couldn't believe it, anyone else?  Hard to imagine ??  I assume the venom dissipates over time from periodic stings.  I know about maximum stings all at once, like 20 stings per kilogram of body weight, and not referring to people who are truly allergic.  One person I know said her father kept bees his whole life and one day he fainted in the shower shortly after inspecting his hives and his doctor told him, it was a reaction to bee venom and he stopped beekeeping....and I don't think he was taking any sort of medication.  Curious if anyone has ever heard such a thing as a lifetime limit?  Obviously there are people who keep bees over a lifetime without issue, and I'm thinking this must be false, but thought I'd post the question.  At least this  post is good for a laugh,  if in fact I'm correct, because I can't seem to find any info to validate it being either true or false..  Thanks

Bee Venom is good for something people with liver issues for one and I hear some cancers, there are lots of white papers written on the subject. From a natural medicine stance have a look at http://search.mercola.com/results.aspx?q=BeeVenom 

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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful contributions.  Very interesting to read and hear some of the personal accounts.  I haven't started harvesting propolis yet, but I am thinking of mixing it into some salves and also making some sprays with it at some point down the road.  Also, via instagram, I'm   @jaxwildhoney  ... I follow this one beekeepr who harvests bee venom and this has kind of intrigued me somewhat, as I believe there is a way to do it without harming the bees by using a type of pad that collects it.  He's found some sort of customer base.  Just struck me as interesting, as it's not a component I hear of many people actively harvesting or at  all. 

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3 hours ago, Fast Tony said:

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful contributions.  Very interesting to read and hear some of the personal accounts.  I haven't started harvesting propolis yet, but I am thinking of mixing it into some salves and also making some sprays with it at some point down the road.  Also, via instagram, I'm   @jaxwildhoney  ... I follow this one beekeepr who harvests bee venom and this has kind of intrigued me somewhat, as I believe there is a way to do it without harming the bees by using a type of pad that collects it.  He's found some sort of customer base.  Just struck me as interesting, as it's not a component I hear of many people actively harvesting or at  all. 

I have a friend who uses a bee venom face cream, anti ageing (apparently the Duchess of Cambridge does too)

I did a brief search, to be a bit more informed, and it seems they can harvest bee venom using a glass barrier.

Im not totally convinced, sounds like bee torture. IMHO

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The unit is set up at the entrance and once it's turned on and the first couple of bees get shocked the word goes around about home invasion and out they all come.. stinging the pad in unison as the tiny electric pulse hits them. .. 

the venom dries on the fabric and is harvested as dry powder.. 

again you need to do it in big numbers to make it worth while.. 

ive had a go, it's not worth the effort in my view. 

If I was a little bit brain smarter I could post pics. 

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1 hour ago, Stoney said:

The unit is set up at the entrance and once it's turned on and the first couple of bees get shocked the word goes around about home invasion and out they all come.. stinging the pad in unison as the tiny electric pulse hits them. .. 

the venom dries on the fabric and is harvested as dry powder.. 

again you need to do it in big numbers to make it worth while.. 

ive had a go, it's not worth the effort in my view. 

If I was a little bit brain smarter I could post pics. 

Is the bee venom collected without the bees dying?

 

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