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Anaphylaxis and Bee Sting Allergies


Both Flow and Oz-Armour make the 3 layer bee suits and they are a really good investment against being stung. They also allow good air flow which is great for our hot weather. I have both suits in the fencing style of hood. Both are very well made and the Oz-Armour has a bit of extra padding on the knees and the front screen can be unzipped if you need a drink. Thick white socks are good protection too, Bees will attack blach and dark colors if they are angry.
If you want to get into bee keeping then go for it as you know the risks and can minimize them. I have had bee sting that I have reacted badly to and at other times no reactions at all. The cheap cotton single layer suits offer a minimum of protection except for the veil.
I would always make Amanda aware if you are going to do anything at the hives,


I wear a fairly sting proof suit (Ultra Breeze) with a zip on veil and gloves. Granted I don’t bother to rubber band my pant legs, but I do wear boots. In a typical day of beekeeping I get stung once or twice. Nothing is bee proof. I’m not a doctor so take my recommendations with a grain of salt. But if I were anaphylactic, I would get desensitized by an expert with experience with bee stings before I went back to the bee yard… Minimizing stinging is not the same as complete prevention. The flow hive is a personal choice that depends on how much money you have to spend on your hobby and how much you dislike having your kitchen all sticky everytime you harvest. I don’t find getting the bees out of the supers to be that big of a deal in my climate, but being able to harvest without trashing the kitchen is wonderful. When I’m harvesting to extract, I wait until the bees are clustered below from the cold and take the supers. Then wait for the supers to warm back up to extract them. This may not work in some climates…


pretty much what Michael said: I think suit or no it can be quite difficult to completely avoid stings. You have to be very proactive in putting on the suit and making sure there are no gaps anywhwere- as when bees get angry they tend to find even the smallest hole. Also bees can sting right through many bee suits, leather gloves, denim jeans, etc. If you wear thick clothing that can stop the stingers being able to reach through. Also there is the matter of taking off the suit: I have a somewhat angry hive at the moment and I have found bees follow me from that hive up to 30 feet away and try to sting me when I go to take off my suit. So you’d definitely want to have the best suit you can get and be extra-vigilant- and make sure there is always another person nearby too.

I don’t think flow hives offer much additional protection to be honest- as you need to look into the super to see if it is capped, you need to remove it to inspect the brood and at the end of a season, etc.


G’day Andrew, I think it could be a bit risky. Not from the point of view of harvesting or doing a brood inspection, you can be well covered doing that. It’s when you are going about your business in the yard, a bee can attack & sting without any warning. You don’t have to be very close to the hive for that to happen.

There’s a lot more to keeping bees than the odd brood inspection. A lot can go wrong, & it probably will.


PS, my mentor, a retired Nursing Sister reckons it’s too risky.


Anaphylactic to what? If bees, I totally agree with all of the comments above. Too risky.

If your anaphylaxis is to peanuts, shellfish or something else, I would get allergy tested to bee venom. If you have no reaction (negative RAST test or skin test), then you might be OK, but I would still get the advice of your allergy doctor. Sometimes there is a reason that they know from your medical history that would make it a bad idea regardless.


Thank you all for your fantastic advice. Yes it is a huge risk and with much consideration and reading all of your blogs i think it is best not to get a beehive at this stage. I will definitely be finding myself an allergy specialist and see if they can lessen my reaction to bee stings


there is one thing you can do right now though: keep native bees! stingless- and the honey is highly prized.


I agree Jack. I’m sure @Whytehouse06 will find that native bees would do well in Blackwater. My brother-in-law is building a lot of native bee hives (with colonies) in Mackay, he’s selling them now.


I watched that video you linked the other day and was very enamored with the little hives, little supers, little jars of honey and the little bees. It looks like fun. And quite a few aspects similar to keeping European bees- but no stings! I am not sure if we can do those type of native bees here in Adelaide? What is that breed called

the other day I spotted some type of gorgeous blue banded native bee I’ve never seen before on my basil.


Hi Jack, the ones I have as well as the bloke in that video are Tetragonula Carbonaria. The ones my B-I-L has are T. Hockingsi. They do better up north. I can’t see how the T. Carbonaria wouldn’t work down there. I think the trick is to keep them in a box made of thick wood & keep them in the shade. Maybe it’s too cold in the winter & too hot in the summer.

They don’t leave the hive until the temp reaches 19C & they wont come out in the rain. With that in mind, it’s just a matter of whether they can store enough food to keep themselves going while they can’t get out.