Bee stings

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I'm 43 and been beekeeping six years. My tolerance has improved although I don't like being stung because it hurts. If I get stung on the hand or arm I'm fine it doesn't swell but I used to swell badly. It itches sometimes but others it doesn't. Seems to be depending on the location of the sting. If I get stung near the eye it swells bad. If I get stung on the head no swelling at all. For me it depends on the location and amount of stings. I wouldnt worry its not a problem. likely your giving yourself an anxiety attack thinking about it
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Are they generally easy to get from your GP?

How long do they last?

And what do they cost?
I wouldn’t say easy. You’re supposed to have minimum 2 in case one doesn’t work, but GP at the hospital when I was first prescribed told me she could only give me 1 because she was genuinely afraid for her job if she prescribed 2. She told me to get the second from my GP, who seeing as 1 was been given has to commit to the 2nd on their bill (and ad finitum).

They last, unused, 1 year, after which you need them replaced. If used, you need it replaced. It’s a 1-shot thing. I got the impression that it’s the rolling nature of having to commit to giving you annual replacements that the GP surgery wasn’t very happy about, this being the time of treatment budgets for surgeries and all that.

They cost nothing other than your prescription fee if you have to pay that, in the UK, thanks to the marvellous service of the NHS.

I should add that I got stung yesterday, by a very pre-dead bee, whilst handling frames during extraction. Whilst I now have an index finger that looks and is as useful as a large carrot stapled to my hand, I didn’t get a systemic reaction, so I’m very happy about that. Might have been the venom had dried up inthe bee though, judging by the look of it, it has been dead some time and was stuck to the lugs of a frame.
A quote from a properly qualified's in the stickies
I am fed up of ill informed comments about epipens and anaphylaxis. As B+ has unfortunately experienced anaphylaxis can kill, and quickly.
It is ghastly to watch. As a doctor for 40 years, I have had to administer emergency adrenalin three times for anaphylaxis. Even being "trained" with adequate resources on hand it was still hairy, but all survived. Mercifully anaphylaxis does not happen that commonly.
Epipens are prescription only. If you have concerns talk to a medical practitioner.
PS. If I needed to have an epipen administered to me I would not care who did it, trained or not.
I have been beekeeping for nearly 50 years now. In my first year I got about 50 stings on my ankles and legs one night ( don't ask) but very little reaction. Over the following years I could always take a few stings without much of a reaction. But then 12 yrs ago I got stung on my face about a dozen stings when veil blew against my face while helping a friend in France with some very grumpy bees. My head turned purple, I was itching all over specially soles of feet and palms of hand, wheezy and feeling faint. Since that time I wear an impenetrable suit and double gloves and have adjusted my beekeeeping techniques because I now can only take a couple of stings and I will start to get a strong reaction. Sometimes a cold shower helps to clear the red rash and the itch, I have an epipen but have never used it
After talking to my GP yesterday they have prescribed me 2 EpiPens, just in case !

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