Question on stings

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

understanding_bees 

House Bee
***
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
342
Reaction score
293
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hive Type
langstroth
. . . . . I then overlap the cuffs of the suit with my nitrile gloves and this prevents the sleeves from "riding up" my arms. . . . . .
I recently "went shopping" for gloves, and bought two kinds - knitted cotton gloves, and nitrile gloves.

I have found that the cotton gloves have been very helpful in absorbing perspiration from my hands, and that the nitrile gloves have remained dry on the inside. I had found that with only the nitrile gloves, my hands became moist very quickly, and that the gloves stuck to my hands.

The cotton gloves have still permitted a good sense of feeling and sensitivity of touch for my fingers, and also provide additional protection from stings, because any bee-sting which penetrated the nitrile material would then have to extend through the knitted cotton before it reached my skin.
 

Antipodes 

Drone Bee
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
1,551
Reaction score
715
Location
Tasmania
Hive Type
langstroth
I sometimes use cricket batting glove inners inside the leather gloves, which allows moisture to leave. Not great for picking up queens however:nono:
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
13
Location
Warrington
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
2
There’s a thought🤯
After beekeeping for the last couple of years, I've received my share of stings and never had much of a reaction, even when I've had 2 or 3 in one go.
Last week, my worse nightmare happened. One sting on my fingertip resulted in immediate anaphylaxic shock. Within seconds I was unconscious and in respiratory failure. All I can say is thank god my son was there as I'm usually alone. I was in hospital for 2 days and came home with epipens and no idea how to safely continue (if I even can) with my beloved hobby.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
13
Location
Warrington
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
2
Sorry to hear that Sam.
Thanks, I'll keep this thread updated if I can, maybe it can be of some use or help to other people in a similar situation. I'm hoping a course of desensitisation treatment might be a small step in the right direction initially but don't have my first appointment at the allergy clinic through yet.
 

The Poot 

Drone Bee
***
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
1,279
Reaction score
1,318
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Only 2 now
After beekeeping for the last couple of years, I've received my share of stings and never had much of a reaction, even when I've had 2 or 3 in one go.
Last week, my worse nightmare happened. One sting on my fingertip resulted in immediate anaphylaxic shock. Within seconds I was unconscious and in respiratory failure. All I can say is thank god my son was there as I'm usually alone. I was in hospital for 2 days and came home with epipens and no idea how to safely continue (if I even can) with my beloved hobby.
That’s terrible Sam.
I do hope things work out for you.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
27,411
Reaction score
8,904
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
9
After beekeeping for the last couple of years, I've received my share of stings and never had much of a reaction, even when I've had 2 or 3 in one go.
Last week, my worse nightmare happened. One sting on my fingertip resulted in immediate anaphylaxic shock. Within seconds I was unconscious and in respiratory failure. All I can say is thank god my son was there as I'm usually alone. I was in hospital for 2 days and came home with epipens and no idea how to safely continue (if I even can) with my beloved hobby.
That’s awful. Just shows we are all a sting away. I hope you can get a desensitisation course. It might mean giving up the bees for a while at least. Then time for decisions.
Best of luck.
 

Mabee 

House Bee
***
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
170
Reaction score
133
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
4
I wonder about this too. I work with my hands daily and I am also the face of my business so decided after trying to work with swollen hands that I'd invest in a ventilated suit and wear high-performance nitrile gloves, as a result, have not been stung all this past year. My past experience of stings is it swells or becomes red and itchy for days on end, but as beekeepers are we not putting ourselves in the same position as spouses who only come into contact with our equipment. I keep a jacket in the family car all the time 😬
 

JamezF 

Drone Bee
***
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
1,498
Reaction score
1,083
Location
Wiveliscombe
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
20
I bought an OzArmour suit last winter, mostly because even just wearing shorts and a t-shirt under a "normal" suit I get very hot if it's at all sunny. It worked very well this year and I don't believe I was stung once last year. In fact the bees actually seemed unwilling to even land on most parts of the suit. I don't know if they do try to sting me and can't reach whether that leaves venom on the suit material or not. I guess if there's no bee venom on the suit then it's not going to be a problem for whoever washes it.

My main problem with suits though is that they tend to be tailored for a rather different body shape from my own. No, it's not that I can't fit the extra head in. But anything that fits my chest and shoulders comfortably seems to be made for someone who is rather more generously proportioned about the waist. This makes the "getting caught on vegetation" problem more of a pain.

I like the idea of cotton gloves under nitrile though. My hands are usually wringing wet in no time with just nitrile on. I'm definitely going to have to give that a go.

James
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
1,229
Reaction score
1,627
Location
Yorkshire
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
12
Since I got my ausarmor jacket and gloves I haven't been stung this season and the second half of last season which is why I bought this Jack in the first place, great product..
But now I'm wondering is this a good or bad thing
Should I be allowing myself to get the odd sting ??
Can you become allergic to bee stings if handling bees all the time and not getting stung?
In our association we have a few medics. We had a consultant immunologist who unfortunately gave up beekeeping and moved to Spain but before he did, he gave me all his WBC kit when I was a beginner, lovely man!
I’ve heard the retired GPs and a retired A&E consultant in our association say generally that for 1/3rd beekeepers their sting reaction will stay the same over time, 1/3rd will improve to the point of little or no reaction (it still hurts though and fortunately I’m in this camp) and 1/3rd will get worse and may settle down but still have a large local reaction. There are a smaller number they say, who might suddenly develop larger systemic reactions and need to either give up or go to the immunologist (who has moved away) for treatment.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
1,229
Reaction score
1,627
Location
Yorkshire
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
12
According to Ian Roberts of Old Castle Beehives who devised the Sentinel 'virtually sting proof' bee suit, his research found that a bee sting could be between 1.5 and 3mm long
I bought 2 of their bee suits - a jacket and a full suit. Had them both for just under 3 years now. Never had a sting through the jacket or suit, works very well and also does keep you relatively cool in hot weather.

HOWEVER, both veils have failed. At the seams and also in the middle of the veil fabric. I wash them cold by hand. For a few weeks one season my SBI advised to fold the veil inside the jacket, zip it up and then run on a short gentle cycle. So don’t think this damaged the veils but I did revert to hand washing and from experience I always check the veils before using them

I contacted Castle and the first time they sent me a spare piece of material that I asked for and I repaired the veil on the suit. He offered me a veil but I fixed it without.

The failure of the jacket happened a while afterwards fairly recently (I use it much less). It failed in multiple places (6 or 7) even though I’d checked it before using it. I had multiple stings on my neck, fortunately none in my eyes or nose, v painful and I was very frightened at the time it happened.

I sent photos to Castle to advise it had happened again. Didn’t ask for anything, just for their comments and to say I felt they should review the veil material as in my view it’s not fit for purpose. I was concerned the material in the veil was still being used for new suits no other beekeeper should have my experience.

To date I haven’t had a reply. I will not buy another suit from them
 

A.Bumbler 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
12
Reaction score
2
Location
Isle of Wight
Hive Type
none
After beekeeping for the last couple of years, I've received my share of stings and never had much of a reaction, even when I've had 2 or 3 in one go.
Last week, my worse nightmare happened. One sting on my fingertip resulted in immediate anaphylaxic shock. Within seconds I was unconscious and in respiratory failure. All I can say is thank god my son was there as I'm usually alone. I was in hospital for 2 days and came home with epipens and no idea how to safely continue (if I even can) with my beloved hobby.


[/QUOTE
I had a similar experience not anaphylaxis but severe reaction. Attended allergy clinic who confirmed I was allergic to bee venom. Started a three year immunotherapy course in sept 19. Is definitely working for me as I have been stung several times since and now have very little reaction. Well worth doing. Apparently reaction to stings gets worse not better as I had mistakenly thought!
 
Last edited:

A.Bumbler 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
12
Reaction score
2
Location
Isle of Wight
Hive Type
none
I had a similar experience- not anaphylaxis but severe reaction. Allergy clinic confirmed I was allergic to bee venom. Started three year immunotherapy course September 2019. Definitely working as despite several stings have had very little reaction. Well worth doing as apparently reaction to stings gets worse not better as I had mistakenly thought! I Always take an antihistamine pill beforehand and another if stung just in case!
 
Last edited:

Arfermo 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
2,834
Reaction score
420
Location
Midlands
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
I still find the glove sleeves roll back down to my wrists creating a gap. Hence I wear gauntlet sleeves on top
I wrap parcel tape - the brown stuff - around the top of my gloves and the bee suit. Don't get stings from my 'nasties' and the tape is cheap; have also abandoned nitriles in favour of Mr Sainsbury washing up gloves with long cuffs - about £3.50 a pair and they last years with care and because they are fleece lined they wash well if turned inside out.
 

Mdurigan 

New Bee
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
11
Reaction score
7
Number of Hives
32
After beekeeping for the last couple of years, I've received my share of stings and never had much of a reaction, even when I've had 2 or 3 in one go.
Last week, my worse nightmare happened. One sting on my fingertip resulted in immediate anaphylaxic shock. Within seconds I was unconscious and in respiratory failure. All I can say is thank god my son was there as I'm usually alone. I was in hospital for 2 days and came home with epipens and no idea how to safely continue (if I even can) with my beloved hobby.
Mate, sorry to hear about your trouxe with stings.
Down here in Brazil 4 of my colonies are extremely aggressive and whatever I am doing in the apiary they have to be left to the end of the working day. Few months ago I received 15 stings on my hand and forearm and for the first time I experienced a reaction to the venom. I was alone, in a remote área, run to the car and felt I was going to pass out. Luckily I carry a first-aid kit in the car, took some anti-histaminic pills and the symptons dusappeared. Frightening, to say the least.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
14,940
Reaction score
5,667
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
That's a very scary event to go through Sam ... you may need to seriously consider giving up beekeeping for awhile as shock that serious is life threatening. I know several people who have successfully completed the desensitisation course but ... it is a serious commitment as you are looking at months of appointments ... other than that you should be totally booted and suited and not at your apiary without someone with you who knows how to use your epipen in the event that you get stung again. We all love our bees but they are not something you should risk your life for.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
57
Reaction score
46
Number of Hives
6
And as a bonus, the arthritis I had in one finger joint has gone...
[/QUOTE]
...I always consider the odd sting as my annual anti-arthritis shot. Not a pleasure, but not a big deal either (I love a good tale from the old missus) :unsure:;)
 

Latest posts

Top