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First sting of the year

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beeno 

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Reminds me of a sting on my chin whilst up a plumb tree collecting a swarm so like you couldn’t get it out immediately. Ended up in A & E as my throat swelled up and I was struggling to swallow, they gave me 8 of those little steroid tablets which worked wonders almost immediately. Now like you have an epi pen, a supply of the little miracle tablets and also the instruction to immediately if possible chew 2 antihistamines to get that quickly into your system.

The swarm were a feisty little number but very productive and are now living happily(or their offspring are) with an elderly gentleman on the Yorkshire moors who is well pleased that they seem to get on very well with the local climate there.

The lesson to be learnt is to watch your veil against your face!
Thank you Rowena. I shall remember the chewing bit.
 

beeno 

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It’s a pity that you have to have an ”episode” before being “allowed“ to have an epipen or other remedial medicines.
NHS is very tight with this sort of thing but so lax with cost control in other respects.
I am sure you can buy one. They are if I remember correct £125-150 and have a sell by date!
 

beeno 

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Why were you told not to get stung by a bee after being stung by a wasp? I thought that both stings were sort of opposites, one alkaline, the other acid? If you react to one, will you always react to the other?
Well, I did ask on the forum what the venom of a wasp was in comparison to a bee, but no one had an answer. The consultant probably played safe as I think they had someone die from anaphylaxis that came in after me. Well, my reaction to my face was the same as always just localised.
 

beeno 

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I find every sting is different. Some have no or little effect and some give me muscles in odd places. I have no idea why!
Bees are most venomous at guard bee stage 19-20 days and then the venom deteriorates.
 

beeno 

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Epipens are never prescribed without good reason and specific instructions for use.... they are not to be messed with and should only be used on the individual prescribed for and then only after a sting has resulted in shock following and anaphalatic episode.

THE USE OF THE EPPIPEN IS TO GIVE THE PARAMEDICS TIME TO ARRIVE AND TAKE CARE OF THE CASUALTY ON TRANSFER TO HOSPITAL
This may have been a glyb throwaway comment, BUT FOLLOWING A COUPLE OF OCCASIONS WHEN I HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH SHOCK, FOLLOWING AN ANAPHALATIC EPISODE FOLLOWING STINGS* GET A BIT UPPERTY WHEN BEEKEEPERING FOLK BELIEVE EPPIPENS ARE A CURE ALL FOR A BEE STING!!

Rant over!

* and one occasion in Jordan when a diver was stung by a lion fish ( Pteris vollitans) nasty... helicopter evac to Eilat State Hospital!
Good rant. It is all about winning time. You need to get to hospital within 30 minutes and you must not administer it to yourself unless your throat starts to swell and you have breathing difficulties I was told. I was very pleased that my reaction was localised this time, but I knew that pretty quickly.
 
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Epipens are never prescribed without good reason and specific instructions for use.... they are not to be messed with and should only be used on the individual prescribed for and then only after a sting has resulted in shock following and anaphalatic episode.

THE USE OF THE EPPIPEN IS TO GIVE THE PARAMEDICS TIME TO ARRIVE AND TAKE CARE OF THE CASUALTY ON TRANSFER TO HOSPITAL
This may have been a glyb throwaway comment, BUT FOLLOWING A COUPLE OF OCCASIONS WHEN I HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH SHOCK, FOLLOWING AN ANAPHALATIC EPISODE FOLLOWING STINGS* GET A BIT UPPERTY WHEN BEEKEEPERING FOLK BELIEVE EPPIPENS ARE A CURE ALL FOR A BEE STING!!

Rant over!

* and one occasion in Jordan when a diver was stung by a lion fish ( Pteris vollitans) nasty... helicopter evac to Eilat State Hospital!
I think The Poot is saying he would rather not have to nearly die before being issued with an EpiPen. Imagine if someone has a remote apiary, poor phone signal there, working alone, a couple of locked farm gates between him/her and the main road... what if then something serious went wrong (maybe like dropping a brood box and being stung many times)? I could imagine a problem in that situation that could only be solved by administering an EpiPen on oneself.

I’m talking about lots of stings, the sort of thing that could cause an anaphylactic reaction even in someone who normally tolerates bee stings.
 

Apple 

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Good rant. It is all about winning time. You need to get to hospital within 30 minutes and you must not administer it to yourself unless your throat starts to swell and you have breathing difficulties I was told. I was very pleased that my reaction was localised this time, but I knew that pretty quickly.
A SEARCH on this forum would give you loads of advice on bee stings and Epipens.
 

beeno 

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But in no way am I endorsing your obsession with ripping brood nests apart every whipped stitch midwinter
I am not asking you to and as well as my own safety I don't approve of gassing the bees with oxalic and formic at regular 5 day intervals for up to 12 times or in the honey season as oxalic acid dissolves in honey and can lead to kidney failure if ingested in quantities.
 

beeno 

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I think The Poot is saying he would rather not have to nearly die before being issued with an EpiPen. Imagine if someone has a remote apiary, poor phone signal there, working alone, a couple of locked farm gates between him/her and the main road... what if then something serious went wrong (maybe like dropping a brood box and being stung many times)? I could imagine a problem in that situation that could only be solved by administering an EpiPen on oneself.

I’m talking about lots of stings, the sort of thing that could cause an anaphylactic reaction even in someone who normally tolerates bee stings.
Well, if I worked in those circumstances I would consider buying one, but it only wins you a bit of time it does not save your life. That's why you should not work on your own. You have to make your own risk assessment including carrying antihistamines and steroids, wearing a full beesuit, wearing gloves and carrying a lit smoker. You are not seriously asking NHS to issue every beekeeper in the country with an Epipen. I shall not renew my prescription for a replacement, but I live 20 minutes from A&E.
 
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Well, if I worked in those circumstances I would consider buying one,
I don't think you can BUY one - maybe pay for a private GP to issue a prescription.

That's why you should not work on your own.
That's simply not always possible.
You are not seriously asking NHS to issue every beekeeper in the country with an Epipen.
You're right, I'm not suggesting that at all. I was suggesting that beekeepers working in potentially dangerous situations like that might be eligible for an NHS prescription - even without any previous history of serious allergy.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
I don't think you can BUY one - maybe pay for a private GP to issue a prescription.
same thing - when you pay for a private prescription, you pay for just that, a piece of paper from the doctor authorising the pharmacist to sell you whatever item that's written on it. You have to pay for the item on top.
 

Antipodes 

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It’s a pity that you have to have an ”episode” before being “allowed“ to have an epipen or other remedial medicines.
NHS is very tight with this sort of thing but so lax with cost control in other respects.
Agree. I just walk into a pharmacy here in Australia and buy an epipen. No issue. No prescription needed. About $80 or 44 pounds.
 

Antipodes 

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I think The Poot is saying he would rather not have to nearly die before being issued with an EpiPen. Imagine if someone has a remote apiary, poor phone signal there, working alone, a couple of locked farm gates between him/her and the main road... what if then something serious went wrong (maybe like dropping a brood box and being stung many times)? I could imagine a problem in that situation that could only be solved by administering an EpiPen on oneself.

I’m talking about lots of stings, the sort of thing that could cause an anaphylactic reaction even in someone who normally tolerates bee stings.
One reason why I have one on hand. No phones where I sometimes go.
 

beeno 

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What were the steroids you took? A double dose of antihistamines has done the trick for my (so far) one “bad reaction” - which was first sting of the 2020 season.
Prednisolone
 

Apple 

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I am not asking you to and as well as my own safety I don't approve of gassing the bees with oxalic and formic at regular 5 day intervals for up to 12 times or in the honey season as oxalic acid dissolves in honey and can lead to kidney failure if ingested in quantities.
Better stay off the rhubarb and custard then! :icon_204-2: :icon_204-2: :icon_204-2: :icon_204-2: :icon_204-2: :icon_204-2: :icon_204-2: :icon_204-2:
 

understanding_bees 

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The lesson to be learnt is to watch your veil against your face!
It is so important to make sure that the veil is kept clear of a beekeeper's face. In my experience there have been occasions when bees have been feisty, even though they have been placid on other occasions.
Perhaps this discussion thread should include comments about experiences and/or recommendations about different styles of beekeeping veils.
The bee-suit which I bought has a round hat with gauze/net which extends downwards from the rim of the hat, and connects with a wire loop of the same diameter at shoulder level. When I first started to use this suit, I found that it was possible for the veil to touch the skin of my face in some situations - and the bees discovered this too!
There were also a couple of occasions when bees managed to get inside the veil as well. On one occasion I actually had two bees walking on the inside of my veil, but thankfully I was not stung, and was able to get away from the hives to be able to get the bees safely removed.
The reason why I am telling this story is that after these experiences I did some thinking about how to prevent these kinds of problems.
I made an additional wire hoop from thin spring-steel wire, and stitched it to the inside of the veil, about half-way between the hat-rim level and shoulder-level (around about the level of the tip of my nose). This has been entirely successful in keeping the veil well away from the skin of my face - in fact it is now difficult to even deliberately press the veil against my face.
The other problem, of bees being able to find a way to get inside of the veil, has also been solved (at least it has up till now!). There is a flap which covers the spot where the zips meet up (near the throat, under the chin). This flap is held down by velcro fastening strips, but I found that these strips were only on the sides of the flap on my bee suit. There was no similar velcro along the bottom of the flap, and it was possible for bees to crawl through this small space. I have sewn in additional velcro to completely close the bottom of the flap against the suit, and have not had any further problem.
On a recent occasion, when I had hundreds of bees flying around my head, it was rather comforting to have the confidence that bees could not get to my face.
 

beebopper 

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Why were you told not to get stung by a bee after being stung by a wasp? I thought that both stings were sort of opposites, one alkaline, the other acid? If you react to one, will you always react to the other?
That is just a myth. The venom is a complex mix with substances and the pH is pretty irrelevant.
 

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