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Get yourself stung. it's good for you?

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jenkinsbrynmair 

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Yet a while ago I was helping a friend move some hives and didn't realise I'd stupidly not done up my veil properly after grabbing a drink.
You need to learn to drink through the veil, I always carry my Stanley vaccuum flask filled with water around with me so the mouth is wider than a bottle and you can slurp through the veil easily.

I've found the only place that hurts if I get stung is on the bony part of my ankle, pretty painful for 24 hours although no swelling.
 

Swarm 

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Local reactions can be very variable.
I've had single stings on the hand which have blown up overnight so that my arm is swollen with pins and needles up to the elbow. Severe enough not to be able to drive the next day. On other occasions the sting barely registers.
I once got stung on the eyebrow and for the best part of the week had a huge blister under my eye which kept popping every time I went near it. I felt sick and light-headed for several days.
Yet a while ago I was helping a friend move some hives and didn't realise I'd stupidly not done up my veil properly after grabbing a drink. Suddenly I had a face full of bees. After a quick sprint across the field, unzipping as i went, they all decided they'd seen me off. I had a dozen stings on my face and scalp and thought I'd be in for it the next day. Surprisingly I hardly had a reaction, just a slight tingling.

Just goes to show you never know how you are going to react. It can change by the day or may suddenly change a few years down the road.
Absolutely. Years ago I took a few stings while with the SBI and noticed I had a rash later on armpits and groin, it can vary considerably.
People are still misunderstanding though. You will not have an allergic reaction to a first sting, you become allergic to something your system recognises. Family members can develop an allergy via contact with beekeeping clothing and equipment so that a first sting can bring on a reaction, I believe Murray Macgregor had this exact thing with a family member.
 

Little_bees 

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You need to learn to drink through the veil, I always carry my Stanley vaccuum flask filled with water around with me so the mouth is wider than a bottle and you can slurp through the veil easily.
I need to practise a bit more! Whenever I've tried to drink through the veil I've ended up with water all down my front!
 

Michael Palmer 

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Some have suggested that I contact an allergist. I did that. What he told us about honey bee venom allergy...in the general population, bee venom allergy is about 1 in 1-200. In commercial beekeeping families 1 in 10. Does that not raise concern? Have you all ever listened to what Murray McGregor has to say on the subject? Is he not a credible source of information?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Family members can develop an allergy via contact with beekeeping clothing and equipment so that a first sting can bring on a reaction, I believe Murray Macgregor had this exact thing with a family member.
I’ll agree with that.
I know three beekeepers who have had children develop anaphylaxis on a first sting. Sadly one of a former forum member died.
 

Little_bees 

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Have you all ever listened to what Murray McGregor has to say on the subject? Is he not a credible source of information?
Could you post a link to the article by Murray McGregor?
I've tried to Google it but all I've come up with is a page of links to the McGregor anaphylaxis scene in the Peter Rabbit film. 😣
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Could you post a link to the article by Murray McGregor?
I've tried to Google it but all I've come up with is a page of links to the McGregor anaphylaxis scene in the Peter Rabbit film. 😣
try searching for posts by into the lions den on here
 

bingevader 

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Some have suggested that I contact an allergist. I did that. What he told us about honey bee venom allergy...in the general population, bee venom allergy is about 1 in 1-200. In commercial beekeeping families 1 in 10. Does that not raise concern? Have you all ever listened to what Murray McGregor has to say on the subject? Is he not a credible source of information?
With 700 hives, I'm sure it is a concern to you and to other commercial beekeepers.
However, the risk to many of us and our families is considerably less.
I know ours is an exceptional case, but having every child in school stung once a month would be more of a concern and more likely to trigger an allergic reaction, the school population being greater than 200! :D
I've not heard of Murray McGregor, a link would be useful, please.
 

Antipodes 

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Yes, I have heard that too. I guess there are a lot of dried in sting and alarm pheromones on the bee suit and over the years...
I'm not sure now what it is that is being breathed in that is the problem, and hope someone can explain. I thought it was just the "powder" or "dust" of the dried venom (such as on gloves and suits). Now I'm wondering if it is additionally a dust of some sort that comes from the bees themselves as they move about, groom themselves and move their wings? Is it a combination of all those dusts on the clothing and bee equipment?
 
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Swarm 

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When you smell alarm/sting pheromone, you've breathed it in, same when they are on your veil having a go. I'd imagine it accumulates and is readily transferred via contact or inhaling if for example, someone picks up the suit to throw it in the washer.
 

Little_bees 

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With 700 hives, I'm sure it is a concern to you and to other commercial beekeepers.
However, the risk to many of us and our families is considerably less.
This report in Bee Craft by a consultant allergist says:

Beekeepers who have about 15–25 stings per year are at higher risk for systemic reactions after bee stings compared with those receiving over 200 stings who appear to be protected.

The full report makes interesting reading about sting anaphylaxis but unfortunately doesn't cover allergy induced by exposure to bee proteins without the sting itself.

However it does seem that the more stings, the more protection.
 

bingevader 

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I've only been stung twice this year, so I'm stuffed! ;)
It still strikes me as rather masochistic though, 200 stings a year! o_O
Well, masochistic, or careless! :D
Especially when you think that we're only really beekeeping for 6 months of the year.
26 weeks, visiting each week, that's getting sung over 7 times each visit! Bonkers! :D
 

Antipodes 

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This report in Bee Craft by a consultant allergist says:

Beekeepers who have about 15–25 stings per year are at higher risk for systemic reactions after bee stings compared with those receiving over 200 stings who appear to be protected.

The full report makes interesting reading about sting anaphylaxis but unfortunately doesn't cover allergy induced by exposure to bee proteins without the sting itself.

However it does seem that the more stings, the more protection.
I've found the double gloves as recommended in the article you linked does help to reduce stings.

We are lucky here in Aus as you can just waltz into a pharmacy and buy an epipen. $80. The places here I end up going sometimes with the bees are a long way from any human habitation, let alone a hospital of any sort. There is no mobile phone reception either of course!
 

Newbeeneil 

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I should think I'm on the road to 200 😀
 

janetbee 

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I have done a presentation on anaphylactic reactions in the past. It might be useful in the discussion on bee stings and their reactions. Here are my condensed slides:

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As a previous writer mentioned it is unpredictable. It seems that the partners of beekeepers are more likely to get a problem as they may get stung more than the general population but less than the beekeeper. I guess that applies to new beekeepers as well.
We have had at least 3 members of our association develop anaphylaxis. They have undergone desensitisation therapy. At least one has had another anaphylactic reaction post therapy. She has continued beekeeping and now has been stung further without any severe reaction.
I think that everybody should at least wear a veil when dealing with bees. Stings on the face seem to be more severe than other parts of the body. I wear the thin gloves and don't mind getting stung through them. I hardly react at all on my hands but in other places there is sometimes some swelling - rarely severe.
When I started beekeeping I was concerned that I might react badly as I have various other allergies and asthma. I was very relieved to get my first sting and not react much. Atopic people are no more likely to suffer anaphylaxis than others but I did not know that at the time.
I have no knowledge of the theory of bee protein on clothing causing sensitisation or otherwise. I have not heard of it previously.
I am not sure if I have inserted the slides correctly so I apologise to the moderators if I have messed it up!
 

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beeno 

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We have always made our kids (2 boys, 1 girl) do their own washing since they were teenagers. In our house we all had our own laundry baskets and if you wanted yours washed you made sure you got your washing in the machine first. The missus would always hang it out for the kids but it certainly made them think if they had no clean clothes to go out with their mates of a weekend or had no soccer kit!
They are all very proficient with the laundry equipment in their own homes (one of them still washing his own football kit at 40!) they are probably more au fait with the machines than their better halfs. 😀
I did not want my daughter to run the washing machine as it would not be run at the correct capacity. A full programme just for the favourite bra! A bit Yorkshire that way.
 

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