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MathJ 

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Was stung on the ankle two days ago and got stung again today in the same area (obviously didn't learn from the first experience). The first sting caused swelling of my calf, ankle and foot and was very itchy but was starting to go down until today. After this sting I noticed my ears starting to burn and a rash on my arms when I had taken my gloves off. On arriving home 5 minutes later I had huge rashes (hives) under both arms, my nether regions and my head was extremely itchy. I took an antihistimine which reduced the hives but am now worried that it is game over for my bee keeping.
Has anyone else suffered such a reaction and got any advice?
 

admin 

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I have had the same thing twice in the last 2 weeks and have only been stung once this year,that was by another beekeepers bees on my bottom eyelid.
I think its just the heat causing it,I get it on my arms down to my wrists and across my chest.
 

plumberman 

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The only correct advice in this case is to seek advice from your Doctor. FWIW it does not sound like acute anaphylaxis (a very sudden and serious reaction within minutes of being stung) but more a severe inflammatory reaction.
 

MathJ 

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Good advice Plumberman and I know what he will say as I went a couple of weeks ago to get an epipen. He said then that he would prescribe one but if I did get any allergic reactions to stings then he would advise stopping beekeeping!
 

davethegas 

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Think I read on this forum (or somewhere) that if you take Piriton tablets or linctus before a hive visit then a sting has a lesser reaction due to the fact that its an antihisthamine and is already in your system. If you visit Dave Cushmans site, section bee stings, he lists about 6 things to steer clear of in relation to bee sting reactions.
 
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Poly Hive 

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To a point yes.

this needs a specialist consultation, mine is in the pipe line.

PH
 

MathJ 

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Was with a very experienced beek at the time (30 years+) and he took about a dozen stings without any adverse reaction apart from the odd expletive. The bees aren't an aggressive lot (carnolians) however, I did get a b*llocking off him for having a queen excluder under the brood box for a few days after I had done an AS (I thought it was ok). He said that was the reason they were so aggitated.

I am getting a full suit and wellies and will have a shop around for them but has anyone got any recommendations for a decent quality suit that won't break the bank?
I am using a smock and veil at the moment with trousers tucked into socks. Had a bad experience last year when a bee got up my trouser leg so never go near them without them well tucked in!
 

jetta 

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anaphylaxis

Dear MathJ,
Next time it could be full blown anaphylaxis. This reaction should be considered as a very serious warning, it is not a heat reaction.Did you feel sick/diarrhoea/odd feeling in mouth/tongue? Please get an epipen, I assure you that if you tell your GP about the progression in symptoms, they will treat this most seriously.
 

MathJ 

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Jetta. I thought I felt a bit dizzy but put it down to the pain from the sting., ears were on fire. No sickness or diarrhea. Took some fexofenadine that my wife uses for a heat allergy when I got home and that seemed to calm things down although foot is huge as I type!
 
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wannaBkeeper 

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Dear MathJ,
Next time it could be full blown anaphylaxis. This reaction should be considered as a very serious warning, it is not a heat reaction.Did you feel sick/diarrhoea/odd feeling in mouth/tongue? Please get an epipen, I assure you that if you tell your GP about the progression in symptoms, they will treat this most seriously.
I have just got an epipen this week, i am not allergic to anything i know of but having read a couple of posts about bad reactions on the forum i rang my GP and asked for one, he said he would think about it.

I got a call on Monday from my GP saying he thought it would be prudent to prescribe a pen for me as long as i had a 20 minute lesson with the practice nurse on the use of the epeipen. My wife and daughter know how and more importantly when to administor the pen.

This is one tool in my bee box i hope never to use.:ack2:


Dave
 
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susbees 

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I have just got an epipen this week, i am not allergic to anything i know of but having read a couple of posts about bad reactions on the forum i rang my GP and asked for one, he said he would think about it.

Dave
One set of stats (US) states that 3% of bee stings cause allergic reaction and 0.8% anaphylaxis. An epipen seems excessive unless you get an allergic reaction like Math's...and hives IS an allergic response.

Certainly it seems sensible to take sensible precautions to avoid stings where possible. And an ordinary antihistamine under the tongue will act quickly (liquid or powder capsule). I wouldn't be happy with taking preventative antihistamines just in case.
 

merylvingien 

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Personally i think preventative measures are better than trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

I never "go in" without having an idea of what to expect. My livelyhood depends on it...

Always expect the unexpected and more importantly be prepared for it.

Thick sting free rubber gloves springs to mind!

Maybe my dealings with things that will definatley sting have forged my thinking on this matter, and i suppose i will never completley trust any insect! Cause that is what we are dealing with here. They are NOT some cute furry creatures that will snuggle up to you!

When you have this firmly fixed into your mind, you will be much safer and more prepared mentally for when it kicks off, for it surley will do at some point!
 

gavin 

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Jetta. I thought I felt a bit dizzy but put it down to the pain from the sting., ears were on fire. No sickness or diarrhea. Took some fexofenadine that my wife uses for a heat allergy when I got home and that seemed to calm things down although foot is huge as I type!
I've been down this road. Hives *is* a sign of anaphyllaxis, feeling dizzy *is* a sign that you are in grave danger. Next time it could be less, the same, or much worse. You need to be assessed for an allergy to bee stings and any competent hospital allergy unit should be able to do that for you. If you are allergic to bee venom (and I'm pretty sure that you are) then you can be desensitised but it takes time and you can't work bees while this is going on.

Gavin
 

Midland Beek 

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Has anyone else suffered such a reaction and got any advice?
Yep. When I have been stung on my ankles multiple times.

I am not with Gavin here, I think the reaction you speak of is in the normal range.
 
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keithgrimes 

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You must take this seriously. I had anaphalactic shock 8 years ago (penicillin allergy). I collapsed within twenty minutes of taking the tablet, and according to the hospital, another 15 minutes without medical attention I would have been a goner. My pulse rate was 35 when they lifted me in to the ambulance. I had never suffered an allergic reaction to penicillin before. The doctors explained to me that our body chemistry changes subtly all the time and allergies can appear (and presumably disappear). Talk tou your doctor please.
 

MathJ 

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Thanks for your replies I am not taking any risks and have made an appointment with my doc. Don't want to even think of having to give up beekeeping.:(
 

Friar Tuck 

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Will a doctor / NHS prescribe an epipen to a bee keeper that is not allergic ? yet :) for safety reasons? and also other peoples safety?
 

MathJ 

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Mine did, I said that I was working alone sometimes away from populated areas. He was a bit reluctant and as the pens have expiry dates you will need to go back to get further prescriptions.
 

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