Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.  (Read 929 times)

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 837
  • Gender: Male
Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« on: November 02, 2017, 11:48:50 am »
I received one bee sting this AM and I am reacting to the venom.  A local reaction, NOT anaphylactic shock.  I was stung on my middle finger, after a minute, I removed the stinger being careful not to squeeze the venom sack.  I have been stung throughout my entire life, many times, not just honey bees but also wasp, hornets, Scorpions, asp, catapillers, even a jelly fish and I showed only minor reaction to all stings except the jelly fish.  Jelly fish produces an encridible pain, beware.

Typically a bee sting hurts a few minutes, then after 45 minutes the sting is unremarkable, that is: no redness or swelling.  However, now I am in my 60's and for reasons unknown I am reacting to honey bee venom.  In detail NOW;
     My finger is swollen, hot, numb, hard to bend, my entire palm itches and I can feel the venom as it spreads threw my hand.  The back of my hand is turning red, itching while the redness and itch is beginning to radiate up my arm.  Keep in mind, a year ago this sting would be a very minor thing.

I took prednisone as prescribed and this is helping, limiting the redness and itch is now limited to my entire hand, not my arm. I did not take predisone immediately because some stings are only minor.  I never know if I will react or not.  When the redness started to go up my arm, that's when I took the med.

I remember, just last year, 2016, I received 3 stings from a yellow jacket there were no issues.  However, I also received 5 stings at the same time from honey bees last year.  Four stings were unremarkable, the fifth sting, on my ankle reacted horribly.  My entire foot swelled with unbelievable pain,  I could barely walk and that was my first reaction to a bee sting.  So I talked with my doctor who prescribed the prednisone.  The doctor informed me that there are reactor areas, hands, feet and face that are more likely to react than other parts of the body.

The question of "why now do I react" is not known.  What is known is sometimes I violently react and other times there are no issues with bee stings.  What I do know, I am not giving up my bees and my hand has an insane itch at the moment.

I would like to know if other beeks have a similar experience with sudden reaction to bee stings after over half a century of no issues.
Blessings


Offline Dallasbeek

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2245
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 01:06:55 pm »
It seems to me that when I'm stung on a bony area, the reaction is BAD, but when the sting is in a fleshy area, not so bad.  I think it's because the venom has no place to go except along the bone -- forehead (oh, my-- stay home 3 or 4 days), fingers, etc.  Just my thought on it.
"Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no laws, no court can save it." - Judge Learned Hand, 1944

Offline little john

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1483
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 01:48:37 pm »
The doctor informed me that there are reactor areas, hands, feet and face that are more likely to react than other parts of the body.

What is known is sometimes I violently react and other times there are no issues with bee stings. 

... my hand has an insane itch at the moment.

Hi Van - I've clipped your post to focus on just the above ...

Your doctor is spot-on.  I wish somebody had told me about 'reactor areas', as I've been thinking I'm a tad weird in this regard - 'cause I can take a sting on the legs or torso - with no reaction worth speaking of.  Face, ears etc react moderately - but my hands really swell like crazy, even after all these years.  The swelling just never seems to get any better.

But luckily, the itching which used to drive me nuts, is no longer a problem.  It used to drive me crazy, and even prevent me from sleeping - but thankfully those days are long gone.

What I used to do to tackle the itching was use an ice cold compress - bags of frozen peas straight from the freezer - but the relief was always very short-lived.  Then someone advised me to do completely the opposite: to take a face flannel and dip it in hot water - as hot as possible, short of scalding oneself - and apply that as a hot compress. 

Magic !  One or two applications and I could get 4 or 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep without any itching.  30 seconds in the microwave, and the wet flannel was good to go again.  That was a great tip.  Totally counter-intuitive.  I guess it works by flooding the area with a fresh blood supply to help wash the venom away from the localised area.  Certainly NOT to be recommended if there's even a hint of respiratory distress of course - only to alleviate the itching from an otherwise modest reaction.

'best
LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com

Online Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4616
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 03:47:25 pm »
Chemistry is such a complex subject.  Are you menstruating?

Just trying to get you to laugh about it. :-)
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 837
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 05:36:59 pm »
Acebird, you are funny, yes I laughed.  That's a good one!

You could have made fun of me for messing with my bees without faceveil or even gloves.  I had no protection.  Ok, I know better, I deserved a sting to remind me to be more respectful of the bees.
Blessings

Offline kathyp

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 16543
  • Gender: Female
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 05:44:22 pm »
Prednisone has its uses, but in this case an antihistamine should be the first choice unless you can't take one for some reason.  I keep multiple bottles of liquid Benedryl around and take a swig when I get stung because I have huge reactions no matter what. Because it's low dose you don't have to worry about measuring it out.    The stuff is cheap and often found in the dollar store.  Claritin or the generic = can be taken before removals, etc. when you know you are probably going to get stung and don't want to drive home sleepy.   :grin:

They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Online Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4616
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 09:45:25 pm »
Kathy, my wife use to take antihistamines all the time for her allergies and then she found out they cause dementia and alzheimer's.  Every time she forgets something I ask her if she wants another benadryl.  Every pill you take gets absorbed in the blood stream and passes through the brain.  No way to avoid that.  Modern medicine is all good except for the last 4-6 years in the nursing home babbling like a loon.
The problem with Van's reaction is that he didn't know he would have such a reaction not having one before.  The other thing he didn't or doesn't know is if the reaction was a bacterial infection which means he should have put an antibiotic on the sting site.
Van said the stinger was in for a minute.  In three seconds the venom sac is empty no need to be dainty about getting the stinger out.  The longer it stays in the more apt to get bacteria under the skin.  Get it out as fast as you can.  Suck on it and squeeze it to get any fluid to come to the surface and if you start to swell put an antibiotic on it.  Some will chew up plantain and rub that on the sting.  It has been known to relieve the itch.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline tjc1

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 739
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 10:25:37 pm »
Your reaction describes mine to a T. The second time, I thought I was going to have to give up beekeeping - then I decided I just needed to reduce the chance of getting stung - SO I got a full suit and force myself to always put it on if I am going into a hive. I often feel stupid and cowardly, but mostly I make myself do it! The other thing is that I keep a bottle of the liquid benedryl handy and take a dose if I do get stung (rare) and I have avoided the big swell and itch routine as a result - though it really does knock me out for the rest of the day... Hearing about the dementia connection is greater incentive to always suit up!

Offline kathyp

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 16543
  • Gender: Female
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 11:54:39 pm »
Quote
Kathy, my wife use to take antihistamines all the time for her allergies and then she found out they cause dementia and alzheimer's.  Every time she forgets something I ask her if she wants another benadryl.  Every pill you take gets absorbed in the blood stream and passes through the brain.  No way to avoid that.  Modern medicine is all good except for the last 4-6 years in the nursing home babbling like a loon.

Quote
. Hearing about the dementia connection is greater incentive to always suit up!

The dementia connection is somewhat tenuous and had to do with the frequent and long-term use.  When you are stung and you begin to have a reaction, take the stuff.  You never know when a reaction will stop.  I know I will have a reaction if I am stung so I take it as soon as I am stung or if I know I am doing something that ups the odds of getting stung.
Of course, not getting stung in the first place is good!   :grin:

They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline UrbisAgricola

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 01:23:48 pm »
My general understanding is that you can develop allergies and you can get over them.  But, just my experience: I can get stung all over the place and it is no problem, but if I get stung in the hands or feet it basically is going to be an ordeal.  Most of the time a sting in the foot it will swell and get painful until it gets to the point I won't be walking for a day.  I just avoid getting stung there and am careful about protecting myself.  Hope that helps.
We all do better when we all do better.

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 8755
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 11:41:17 pm »
It seems to me that when you get stung in a part of the body that you haven't been stung before or not in a long time, you get more of a reaction than you do in other areas that receive lots of stings.
Maybe it has something to do with the glands that protect the different parts of the body.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 16644
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 11:12:30 am »
It's hard to find a pattern in venom reactions.  I've been stung on the leg many times and twice my leg swelled up.  I've been stung on the hands many times and they have never swelled up.  I got stung behind the ear once and it left a knot there for a year or more...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 837
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2018, 06:04:02 pm »
Today, 01/28/18, another sting right on the nose, conditions: sunny, calm, 60F, all hives flying.

VERY LITTLE REACTION this time.  I was just observing all my hives, standing or sitting inches from each bee entrance and this one bee decided I was a threat.

Being stung for over 60 years,,,,,, now a days, sometimes, not often, I react seriously and most other times, like today I have little reaction.  I would figure the nose, right above the lip, to be a sensitive reactive area, however I am delighted to text, very little reaction.

Stinger was in for a good minute or two,,,, YOU try to remove a stinger from your nose without a mirror.  My neighbors probably are still laughing. 

Anyway, I have no explanation as to why I occasionally react while most other times I do not react.
Blessings

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 8755
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2018, 10:17:15 pm »
Van,
You didn't ask your buddy to pick it out. 😳
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Online Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4616
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2018, 08:52:27 am »
Anyway, I have no explanation as to why I occasionally react while most other times I do not react.

That darn bio-chemistry ... you just can't trust that science. :cheesy:
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline tjc1

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 739
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2018, 09:40:25 am »
Van,
You didn't ask your buddy to pick it out. 😳

Now Sawdustmkr, you well know that "You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose"!

Offline JackM

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 686
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2018, 09:54:23 am »
This is because you are developing a 'sensitivity' to bee venom.  You may want to talk to your doctor before you have a full anaphylactic reaction.
Jack of all trades
Master of none.

Offline bwallace23350

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1593
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2018, 10:02:08 am »
My reactions are pretty consistent. After about 15 minutes I struggle to find the spot and this is even on my hands. You say you are over 60 now. I wonder if age has something to do with it.

I am like you with wasps though. If I get hit on the hands or face I swell anywhere else not so much. But I don't get stung by them every year more like every other year and probably only one that year I get stung. On a big year maybe twice but still it is not every  year.

Offline Hops Brewster

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 473
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2018, 10:28:16 am »
I have had hive sessions where I was stung several times in fleshy parts and the worst part of the reaction was over in a matter of minutes.  Then there are the times I've been stung only once on a wrist or back of the hand and my hand swells up all the way to the elbow, similar to  Van's experience.  I can follow the flow  of the venom up through my arm, following what I believe to be the blood veins.  Then a day or so later, the itching is horrendous.

Location, location, location.

Winter is coming.

I can't say I hate the government, but I am proudly distrustful of them.

Offline bwallace23350

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1593
  • Gender: Male
Re: Experience bee keeper reacts to bee sting.
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2018, 11:42:37 am »
My stings react better 3 years in than they did the first year though. Not sure why maybe I am becoming accustomed to it? I also always suit up though when going in the hives. I spend a lot of time around my hives though. They sit in the middle of my orchard and 15 feet from the mid point of my garden. Lots of work uncovered near the hive at all times of the year.