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1st Sting. I'm unphased

I got my first sting this afternoon. Top of the wrist right where the skin folds if you bend your hand back.
Was way less painful than a wasp or yellow jacket. Even less painful than a fire ant sting. (to me at least)

Sad one of the girls had to think it was necessary but I let a hook bang the side of the hive while I was strapping it down ahead of the storms that are gonna blow through tonight. I suppose I’d have been startled too.

I scraped the stinger right away and the sensation lasted only a couple if seconds. Felt like a slight warmness is all. Nothing more than a tiny red spot now.

I only hope any future stings are the same.


That’s how I reacted the first 2 years; then in year 3 there was the sting that sent me to the ER :grimacing:

@Anon elaborate! Has to be a good-but-I’m-sorry-it-happened-to-you story.

I had my first sting 2 days after hiving my nuc. One of the bees was drowning in the water moat around the feet of my hive stand. I figured I would help the bugger out and proceeded to gently lift the bee out of the water.

She stung me. Right on the pad of the last segment of my wedding ring finger. It hurt. I think it hurt because while I was trying to brush the stinger off my finger I accidentally squeezed the poison sack (quite a bit too). My finger swole up and I was not able to get my ring on for 3 or 4 days.

My wife would always rag on me because being stung was no big deal; I just reacted like a mosquito bite. In year 3 of beekeeping, without protection, I couldn’t resist the urge to peek under the hive top to see where that glorious smell of nectar was coming from. No sooner did I lift the lid and one of the girls tagged my in the head. I felt fine but started to itch all over so I went in the house and the wife noticed that the sting went systemic on me and I broke out in full body hives. She insisted I go to the ER where they gave me Prednisone, Benadryl, and another antihistamine. I’m told I slept for 4 hours. I never had breathing issues.

The next year I was stung on 2 separate occasions both on the elbow and was back to the mosquito bite reaction. I asked my family doctor about her thoughts on allergy shots and she advised against it saying, “why would you inject yourself with something you know you’re allergic to? That’s like playing Russian roulette.” All my beekeeping friends told me that doc was nuts to say that so I got a new family doc and asked him. He advised against it as well and recommended I wear a bee-suit and just don’t get stung. Last year I took his advice and didn’t get stung. Yesterday I got stung through my glove on the finger without reaction.
I believe that the sting location, the fact that I was stung several times just days before, and I was in full on sneezing allergy season all played a part in that systemic reaction. I keep liquid Benadryl, Epi-Pens, Prednisone and Tagamet/Zantec on hand just in case.
I love this hobby and don’t plan to give it up.

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ROFL, hobby beekeeper with well over 30 hives… This really IS ADDICTIVE folks… Just saying’


Congrats on your beekeeping initiation! Now you are for real. :smile:

I get a worse skin reaction than you, but like you, I judge that I deserved whatever I got, and so far I didn’t lose my life.

There is a myth out there about squeezing the venom sac (i.e. don’t do it) but I have talked with some allergy docs who read this stuff all the time (I am a doctor too, so they can’t BS me!). They say that it is more important to get the sting out fast. If you put pressure on the sac, the venom channel is so tiny, you probably won’t deliver much more. If you spend 5 minutes looking for some tweezers, you will get a LOT more venom. So just get it out, any way you can - credit card scrape, hive tool, fingers, sticky tape, whatever comes to hand. Then ice, elevate and Benadryl if you aren’t drinking or driving for 12 hours. Motrin if you need pain relief, and I have no evidence, but I like toothpaste - I think it deactivates some of the formic acid in the venom.

Great hobby, and bees do so much for us, we have to be tolerant of annoying them sometimes. :blush:

Dawn (BM BCh (Oxon), BSc, MRCP(Lond))

“You might be a beekeeper”

If you’ve ever knocked on a strangers door and asked, “can I put a beehive here?” you might be a beekeeper.

If you’ve crashed your bicycle along side of the road while looking up to see if the tulip trees were in bloom, you might be a beekeeper.

If you’ve asked the supermarket clerk, “do you have more sugar in the back?” you might be a beekeeper.


Done that. :smile:

When we lived in Oxford, our tiny house was quite close to the large home of Mrs Vivien Greene (estranged wife of the famous author, Graham Greene). We had trouble from neighbours about our hives, and Mrs Greene had a large garden, so we went and knocked on her door (without introductions) to ask to relocate our hives. She had kept bees during WW2, so she was delighted that we asked, and we kept them there for many years until we moved to the US.

Does that make us beekeepers? :wink:

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You are beekeepers!


LOVE IT!!! Big hugs to @Anon


Thank you.
And the alphabet soup…er, uh, Brit CV is nice! Why San Diego?

Recruited here around 20 years ago - one of the best climates in the world. :blush:

My sis is a clinical charge nurse with a bunch of gibberish behind her name :laughing:

Charge nurses constantly save doctors’ asses, especially junior doctors, but actually all doctors. Please tell her that I am grateful for her service. :wink:

I will. She’s a hero IMO. Oncology ward. It’s a tough gig.
My younger brother succumbed to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in '84 when he was 19.
My sis was in the 3rd grade at the time and from that time on she stated she wanted to be a nurse and help people with cancer.

She kept her word and is still following through to this day.



Welcome to the club. Play with bees and you will get stung :grinning:

A member of our bee club had kept bees for 20 years, regularly stung with no reaction at all. Then last year she was stung once, went into anaphylactic shock, was rushed to A&E and only just survived.

This is a warning to everyone - don’t get complacent and assume that you will always be ok.

If you inspect your bees alone, always tell someone when you are going to do it, and tell them to come and check if they haven’t heard from you after an appropriate amount of time. Also take a mobile phone in case of emergency (and keep it switched on!).

If you have an apiary away from home, put up a notice with grid reference and phone number of emergency services in the hope that if you, or a passer by, end up unconscious then if somebody finds you help can be summoned quickly.

It all sounds a bit melodramatic, but better safe than sorry.


…and keep liquid Benadryl in your bee box. I was told that an Epi-Pen should get you to the hospital: Benadryl will probably save your life.

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Thanks for the advice ya’ll. I had always assumed I was invincible. Still do. But, I have kids who might miss me if I die, so, I am going to look into putting some benadryl and an epi pen down by the hive.