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Allergic Reaction to Bee Sting?- Advice Please


Simon Brackstone
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Hello all, Recently a bee got under my glasses when not wearing my veil. The sting lodged under my eye which I got my wife to scrape out. I then had a rather severe reaction almost immediately breathing got tighter, numbness of lips and I had itchy skin all over my body. I also had pale and puffy hands and feet and face was red. The wife got some antihistamines into me and I took Ventolin as I am an Asthmatic my situation did not worsen. But it too about an hour and a half to feel normal and my face is still swollen the next day. My wife wanted me to check that my reaction was not showing too much severity, worrying as wives do. I have been stung many times on the hands and feet but never had a reaction like this, so I suppose its sensible to ask the question. Thanks.

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Listen to Stephen and frazz. What you are describing is anaphylaxis and it can kill. Take it seriously.

 

My 3yo is allergic and got stung on Monday night on her foot.

 

Five hours in the hospital er. Same symptoms as you.

1-2 hours to settle the acute symptoms... the rest of the time to watch for rebound.

 

Ventolin.

Antihistamine 3x

Adrenaline 2x

Steroids

 

We call that getting off lightly

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Not trying to be a scaremonger here but in my opinion it would be really silly to work bees without proper testing to see just how allergic you are.

Anaphalaxis can and does kill even an epipen may not save you.

If it was me I wouldn't be working bees until I knew for sure just how allergic I was.

 

I don't want to put you off and I know your wife will be very anti you doing bees but it is potentially very serious and how much is having bees worth the risk?

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I had a reaction like this a few years back, scared the hel outta me. Next day I had more urgent jobs to do but didn't know if the next sting would be my last.

Solution* filled up a jar of Bees and drove to the hospital and parked close to ED. Wound the Windows up, shook the hell out of the jar, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and opened the lid..... Twenty or thirty stings all over, ouch.

Waited half an hour, no reaction, off to work.

In hinsight was not too smart but I got the result I needed. Now I carry an epipen in the truck.

*don't try this at home.

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To be frank, and I don't think I've ever been 'brave' enough to say this publicly before, I can see no good enough reason or excuse for anyone with an anaphylaxis level allergy to bees to continue beekeeping as a hobby.. or a career for that matter.

 

I wear full gear, and still took six stings to my upper arms and one to my knee as dusk came on yesterday.

 

The 'getting off lightly' I referred to with Emma refers to no rebound, no cardiac arrest, no brain damage from oxygen starvation, etc.

 

FTR, because of Emma's allergy, we keep no bees at home

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No need for me to reply to this post this morning then:

First Inspection was memorable for me. I have become more confident now after 4 months and dont use gloves or a veil.

Besides the allergy, stings on the eyeball are extremely serious and have to be dealt by a specialist in hospital. If it turns out you are allergic I'd give bees a miss, it's a hobby isn't it?

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story from another beek......

they had a guy come work for them. he got stung, then collapsed in the field. rushed him off to hospital and fortunately he survived. but then the crazy ###### came back wanting to go out working again ! ! ! :eek:

 

i do know one hobbyist, who is one of the few i know that have a very good attitude and approach to beekeeping. he would have made a GREAT beekeeper. but each time he got stung he reacted worse and eventually ended up in hospital. so sadly he had to give it up.

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Any sting on the face or neck is dangerous. Even if you don't "react" on the arms you really do but the swelling can go in all directions so is not very noticeable. On the face its a different matter, the skull makes sure all swelling goes in one directions so its really noticeable. Also, the eyes and mouth are VERY sensitive and will react no matter who you are. The real danger is to your airway which is really a quite small diameter. It is surrounded by cartilage so it does not collapse. When it reacts from a neck sting the swelling can only go in which reduces your ability to breath.

 

I don't care how "tough" you are or how little you react you should ALWAYS wear a veil at least when working bees.

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...........................you should ALWAYS wear a veil at least when working bees.
I totally agree, from experience. Veils are cheap and easy to throw on, just on top of a tee shirt if need bee. Stings on the face are unnecessary, unpleasant and usually preventable
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I had a reaction like this a few years back, scared the hel outta me. Next day I had more urgent jobs to do but didn't know if the next sting would be my last.

Solution* filled up a jar of Bees and drove to the hospital and parked close to ED. Wound the Windows up, shook the hell out of the jar, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and opened the lid..... Twenty or thirty stings all over, ouch.

Waited half an hour, no reaction, off to work.

In hinsight was not too smart but I got the result I needed. Now I carry an epipen in the truck.

*don't try this at home.

A truely GIZZY way to do things.... PMSL.

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Also, just to be a pain in the rump.

Sometimes you just can't tell what is going to happen. My one daughter is anaphylatic to SOOOOOO many things that if we stopped her doing things she would have to live in a bubble. It all comes down to awareness, precaution, being sensible and being prepared.

Every beek should have an Epipen or equivalent and also a subscription to the Ambulance service is CHEAP compared to not having it.

As for testing for alergic reaction to bees, we were told by 4 specialists, the tests can give you an idea, but even if it says you are low in reaction, the first sting could bring on full anaphylaxis, or vice versa.

 

Being AWARE and careful is everyone's responsibility. We don't want more injuries or even deaths, and the politicians, media and public panic due to careless beeks.

 

OK, rant over.

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Each person has to make their own choices.

 

Death from anaphalaxis is very rare and I always thought that if you had an epipen and it was administered immediately then you would survive.

 

It wasn't until the death of a local beekeepers daughter through anaphalaxis that I realised you could in fact die even after 2 immediate adrenalin injections.

 

if I'm allergic to peanuts I dont work in a peanut factory.

 

But thats me and my risk tolerance others I'm sure are different

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Thats an interesting statistic Dave - is it measure or casual observation?

It would be interesting to see how many newbees are still here after 3 years.

2 more years to go for me...:bee:

 

Probably casual, but certainly common. Matches what we see here.

 

I would suggest though that you and other active forum members are much more likely to be in the persistent category, for a few reasons... not least that you have the sense to study up and ask for input, and that through your participation here and with clubs and such the bees are becoming part of your social life as well, not just an isolated thing in the backyard.

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