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How do you react to bee stings? do you take any medication when stung?

I seem to be reacting less and less(touch wood) with hand stings not reacting at all,not even any itching.

I do still take an anti histamine when stung just incase of a reaction though.
 

Polyanwood 

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I got stung a lot last season and so did all my family. One trip to A+E when eyes, ears and throat swelled up. Now take anti-histamine before I work the bees and keep epipen in the fridge. The Dr's theory was that I was being stung so frequently and so much that the toxin levels in my blood were continuously raised, so everytime I got stung again it was just topping up the level and therefore the reaction got bigger... I love my sherrif with the star and APIARIST written on it... they can't get me as much anymore.
 

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Glad you said "sherrif" on this forum because you have to pay to advertise on some sites(That was my poor attempt at being funny).

Do you buy the non drowsey anti histamines? The chemist always says to me "non-drowsey" I always look so offended that they just give me the sleepy medicine ones:svengo:
 

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What I do? I take a sting away with knife tip.

If the hive gives to me 20 stings per day, I change the queen.
 

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Finman how long do you find it takes to calm the hive down?
I know the beebooks always say a certain time but its nice to know from experience.
 

Bcrazy 

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This reminds me of my first year beekeeping. I was a member of a small association who had two hives in a big park. They were not well maintained.

So I volunteered to check them one Sunday because no else was available.
That Sunday was a real hottie, so I thought no need for wellies its too hot.
Because of my deafness I do not hear any noise from the bees.

Right, smoker in hand and off I go. Smoked them and left it a min or so then I proceeded to take off the roof. So fa so good. As I lifted off the crown board I was attacked by thousands of bees, they just swarmed all over me, and especially round my ankles. I was being stung to high hell around my ankles. I just put everything back as it should be and got the hell out of the apiary.
That evening both my lower legs became extremely swollen and I could hardly walk due to the pain. I eventually got to Accident & Emergency and explained what happened, and I was immediately taken to see the doctor.
He started to pull out the barbs from both legs and gave up after 200. They kept me in overnight as by now I couldn't walk. Eventually the swelling went down and I came home.

So now if I ever get stung it does not bother me as there is no swelling or itchiness.

Needless to say I had certain words which are not printable to the apiary manager when I saw him.

Regards;
 

Finman 

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Finman how long do you find it takes to calm the hive down?
I know the beebooks always say a certain time but its nice to know from experience.
Hives are so different. I don't care if I must nurse them.

If I nurse the hive in the evening, it may give me 20-30 stings.
Next morning it may be totally calm and no sting.

Some hive try to attack all the ime and I need push it back with smoke.

When I know angry hives. I try to keep my fingers out of them as much as possible.

The lowest box have oldest bees and they are earger to attack.

.
 

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The lowest box have oldest bees and they are earger to attack.

Great tip Finman,I also took on a hive this summer that was a little hot.

No matter how much smoke I gave them and how long I left them after as soon as I started to lift the crownboard they would spill out like a waterfall and attack.

After a feed and a couple of weeks they calmed down real good,I was going to find and mark the Queen but did not want to push them as they seemed fine with fresh eggs and brood.
 

Finman 

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No matter how much smoke I gave them and how long I left them after as soon as I started to lift the crownboard they would spill out like a waterfall and attack.
.


That boiling is quite bad sign.
 

Finman 

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No matter how much smoke I gave them and how long I left them after as soon as I started to lift the crownboard they would spill out like a waterfall and attack.
.


That boiling is quite bad style.
 

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A bad sign of aggression?
 

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I think taking the stings out ASAP is good idea.

Some of the non drowsy anti-histamines are not fast acting. If you get stung and you have not taken one before, then you need to take a fast acting one.

Some of the anti-histamines are quicker acting than others and if people are getting the bad reactions then it is worth quickly taking the faster acting ones... I was told cetirizine is fast acting... and apparently that is the one you should take if you get stung.. but it can does make you drowsy.

Once I have a reaction, I carry on taking them until swelling and itchiness is gone.
 

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A bad sign of aggression?

Aggression and boiling is different things. It is difficult to set boxes back if the edge is full of bees.

Boiling may be too that bees are very affraid.

At its worst bees attack into smoker. They just become mad if you give smoke.

I have seen many mad hives. When varroa killed German Blacks (mongrels) life has been easier.

The record is about 600 stings during 24 hours. It was over 40 years ago.

3 years ago I had bad bees. They gived me more stings than during last 20 years. They were Elgon x Italian crossings.

The best way to find angry hives is to open inner cover before sunset.

.

-
 

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Thanks for explaining that Finman.
Is the Elgon bee an Italian-Buckfast cross?
 

Polyanwood 

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I got some of my worst stings close to sunset... all the mean bees were home. On hot days it was better at midday, then many of them were out foraging.
 

Polyanwood 

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Finman, did you not get sick when you got so many stings in one day?
 

trinderinc 

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Sorry for stating the obvious but strength of reaction is directly proportional to the time the sting is left in.
Even after the sting has detached from the bee the venom sac continues to pump venom and the two barbed parts of the sting continue to work it in deeper. I always tell newbees/spectators to SCRAPE the sting out as quickly as possible with a finger nail or hive tool. Never pinch a sting out, you just squeeze more venom in as you get hold of it.
Mike
 

iombeeman 

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thats one of the things with bees,you never quite know what they will be like when you take off the roof,could be weather ,robbing,etc
when they come at you the best thing to do is shut them down.
i sometimes carry a water spray for really bad girls,but you can`t fight them.
:boxing_smiley:
 

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