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Austin Area Beekeepers Association Message Board › Reaction to Bee Sting

Reaction to Bee Sting

Phil A.
Austin, TX
Post #: 16
Recently I've been having more serious reactions to bee stings.

Today I was changing out empty feeder bottles (I use the slip-in-the-front-entrance chicken feeder style).

On my more aggressive hive, when I pulled the empty bottle off, there was still a good clump of bees trying to get the last drop. I blew them all off as I retreated from the hive, but not before one brave little soul nailed me in my right calf. Man did that hurt for awhile.

About an hour later, I started itching, around my torso, waist, and under arms. When I took off my shirt I found about 25% of the skin covered with a red rash.. it looked somewhat like hives.

This was after I finished dinner, so it's possible there was some reaction to my food, but it seems too coincidental that this wouldn't have been caused by the bee sting.

Just wonder if anyone else has ever experienced similar symptoms? I'd sure hate to give this up.. at minimum I'm definitely going to have to be more careful around this one hive. I've had several instances where I was working in the yard, 20-30 feet BEHIND this hive, and had a few guard bees try to attack me for no discernable reason!
Lance W.
user 67471692
Austin, TX
Post #: 42
Hi Phil,

Sorry to hear that. I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture recently from a medical doctor on the topic of honey bee sting reactions. It sounds like you are experiencing a "large local" reaction. Large locals are delayed by hours from the time of the original sting and have the symptoms you mentioned. They are not life threatening. Generally anytime your neck swells to restrict breathing or you have trouble breathing because the internal airways are restricted like asthma you need to go to the emergency room asap. The doctor said that if you have large locals you are much less likely to ever have anaphylactic symptoms which are the life threatening, low blood pressure, air breathing problems. On the other hand my wife had a large local and her doctor said that large locals could get worse and worse. So my advice is go to a doctor that specializes in venom reactions to see what your situation is. There is sting therapy which reduces a patients reaction to stings over time and she/he will know all about that.
Karl A.
user 12208208
Group Organizer
Austin, TX
Post #: 181
I go every year to my doctor and get an EpiPen prescription just as a precaution. I've never had a serious reaction, but I like having one on hand and one in the house just in case.

For your aggressive hive, you might want to consider putting on your suit when changing the feeder. One issue with those slide in feeders is you are messing around right at the entrance of the hive.
William C.
user 13312724
Austin, TX
Post #: 62
Yes,a top feeder and wearing your suit maybe the way to go.
Brandon F.
user 14335506
Austin, TX
Post #: 29
"I blew them all off".

There you go. That's why you got stung. Bees hate animal breath and CO2 of any sort. Next time try brushing them off with a clump of dry, soft grass. Or better, a hard rap which knocks the bees off. This should help a lot in taming the aggressiveness. A lot of "aggressive" hives are simply ones that are handled incorrectly.

I hope your reaction stops. I'm sorry to hear that.
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