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Sowannabee

A year in and loving it, but it seems Ive developed an allergy :(

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Just keep in mind people die from beestings and desensitisation can actually make you worse after each sting not more tolerant.

theres nothing more frightening than seeing someone with full blown anaphylaxis, swelling and redness all over the body, low blood pressure, vomiting, stomach cramps and most frightening of all difficulty breathing.

 

why anyone would risk there life in this way is beyond me.

Edited by frazzledfozzle

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42 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Just keep in mind people die from beestings and desensitisation can actually make you worse after each sting not more tolerant.

theres nothing more frightening than seeing someone with full blown anaphylaxis, swelling and redness all over the body, low blood pressure, vomiting, stomach cramps and most frightening of all difficulty breathing.

 

why anyone would risk there life in this way is beyond me.

I agree, anaphylaxis is frightening.  Mine was a sudden attack.  I underwent the desensitisation programme for a number of years, ceasing approx. four years ago.  I am very careful about all my beekeeping practises. 

 

Until you sustain anaphylaxis, you do not realise how many people in the industry have been through a hospital based desensitisation programme. 

However, the path of staying in the industry is not for everyone.  I had bees for a number of years before my anaphylaxis, and it happened a week post flu.  The fact I had worked commercially for a number of years without reaction, was a deciding factor for me to continue with bees if possible. 

 

If, this had happened on my first or second sting, or in my first year, I would have most likely made the assumption not to pursue beekeeping as a hobby.

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I've been beekeeping for over 20 years. Was allergic as a kid. Just bad swelling and itchiness. Grew out of it around age 20. Started beekeeping myself. Wear shorts and shirt working hives any time of year.  Best thing I've found to help reduce reaction is Vitamin C. I take 2000mg minimum per day. If I feel shagged or are around sick people I up that to as much as 8000mg. Eat them like lollies. It has an antihistamine effect. ( google it) Works better than any antihistamine I've used. I do have an epi pen in my ute as a responsible person for use on others should it be needed. Ask the pharmacy to order one in specially for you as the best before should be 18 months at least. $186. Including. Tax deductible. Worth FAR more than that if you need it. Try the Vitamin C,  you'll be surprised. 

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According to Dr Google, you're peeing most of that straight away.....

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1 hour ago, Mike Fox said:

I've been beekeeping for over 20 years. Was allergic as a kid. Just bad swelling and itchiness. Grew out of it around age 20.

 

Bad swelling and itchiness is not an allergic reaction it’s a normal reaction for most people.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

According to Dr Google, you're peeing most of that straight away.....

I’d have to wonder how good it is for the body filtration system 😳overloading it everyday 

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Frazzledfozzle, Im hearing you, studies show it is very controlled and 97% effective according to the studies. Thats pretty positive for any one with allergies in day to day life.Things have come a long way, I work in a nature kindergarten, bees everywhere. Id be silly not to give it a go. With a hive out there, or no hive. Had a few more than one sting over the years too. 

 

https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/public/allergy-and-immunology/auckland-dhb-clinical-immunology-and-allergy/immunotherapy-for-insect-venoms-and-environmental/

Edited by Sowannabee

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10 hours ago, Mike Fox said:

. I do have an epi pen in my ute as a responsible person for use on others should it be needed. Ask the pharmacy to order one in specially for you as the best before should be 18 months at least. $186. Including. Tax deductible. Worth FAR more than that if you need it. Try the Vitamin C,  you'll be surprised. 

Allergy NZ are about $120, so way cheaper, and still tax deductible.

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7 hours ago, Sowannabee said:

Frazzledfozzle, Im hearing you, studies show it is very controlled and 97% effective according to the studies. Thats pretty positive for any one with allergies in day to day life.Things have come a long way, I work in a nature kindergarten, bees everywhere. Id be silly not to give it a go. With a hive out there, or no hive. Had a few more than one sting over the years too. 

 

https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/public/allergy-and-immunology/auckland-dhb-clinical-immunology-and-allergy/immunotherapy-for-insect-venoms-and-environmental/

 

im Sure you will be fine but there will be others reading this thread both now and in the future who won’t be.

I feel it’s good to put up a warning to balance those that talk of allergic reaction being swelling and itchiness and the impression that desensitisation works every time. 

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Thanks for posting this question Sowannabee. I have had the same question and am very interested in the topic. I have nothing more to add except thanks for the replies that are evidence based (as John Berry mentioned, not a lot is known about it) informative and constructive.  

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I am aware of the problem of allergic reaction to bee stings, and the ingestion of pollen and other bee products. I have seen first hand a severe reaction to eating one small lump of pollen from a bee's leg, resulting in an ambulance being called. All ambulances carry epi pens, therefore the patient receiving medication more promptly, resulting in less admittances to hospital unless patient has a severe reaction. 

 

I personally think that the best reduction of bee stings to the keeper is all down to breeding. I have been keeping bees for 40 years. When I started the bees around Dunedin were dark  and aggressive. Over time beekeepers have shown greater interest in breeding queens for their good attributes and applying these strains for the betterment of the beekeeping industry. For the past 10 or so years most of my hives have been gentle to the beekeeper (me), low swarming rate, low winter feed usage, clean inside the hive, great propolis producers, wonderful honey producers etc. For me, most importantly VERY gentle working with them. During summer and the months of good warmth I don't usually wear any protective gear when working the hives or taking off honey. My hat and veil sits in the cab of the truck for 'just in case', and I'm only wearing shorts and jandals. That is the norm for me, the bees don't bother me as I go about my business. I bought a pair of deer skin bee gloves about 30 years ago when I had to remove six colonies from the walls of an old building, they've been gathering dust ever since. 

 

I'm sure you can see the point I'm making - nice bees = less stings.

 

On my escapades around the north island I have encountered bees in various locations, they all have a couple of things in common. 1/  They are dark. 2/  They are somewhat aggressive, not vicious but they don't like your presence in the beeyard. 3/  The stings seem to have more 'bite' than their southern counterparts. 

If we see a dark bee down here we would guess it is a bush bee or the queen has mated with a bush bee. Some of you would say that there are no bush bees anymore due to varroa mite, but I disagree, we still have bush bees that seem to be varroa resistant. ####e... I'm way off topic!

 

 Over the years, maintaining the the strain of bee that I like to work with, has resulted in a decrease of stings inflicted upon myself. I find this beneficial in some ways but it has a downside as well, I've found that my arthritic knees are more painful that when I was receiving heavier doses of venom, and now when stung in a more 'tender' place I tend to swell, as before I didn't. I have been stung twice on the nuts over the past two weeks, remarkably with no swelling! 

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4 hours ago, Old Timer said:

That is the norm for me, the bees don't bother me as I go about my business.

 

4 hours ago, Old Timer said:

I have been stung twice on the nuts over the past two weeks

 

Heavens, what were you doing then?

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