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Bee attack ! that hurt


A local pro beekeeper told me that he gets a bit ‘unwell’ after getting sixty or more stings in a day !! My stings on my crook left leg have taken over a week to feel normal again


Depending on where I get stung, I seem to get a different reaction. I haven’t been stung on my legs for over 20 years, as I always wear wellington boots and my current bee suit is very protective. I tend to get stung on my hands (through gloves) and neck where the veil touches sometimes.

Neck doesn’t bother me much, but hands are a different story. If I get stung in the gaps between my fingers (the so-called web space), half of my hand will swell up for at least 4 days. A sting on the finger usually results in a small bump, and sometimes a little pustule if a lot of venom got into it, but it doesn’t swell much. It itches for about a week, and the mark sometimes lasts for several weeks after that. I always take antihistamines, and for stings between the fingers, I use ice. For pain I use acetaminophen/paracetamol, as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen can make the swelling worse.

We are all different though. My husband doesn’t get the itching that I get, and he just ignores the pain. :blush:


Something my friend thinks is - where you get bitten is where you need acupuncture…
You may find that hippy dribble, but could be worth looking at where they sting you, and what it means in Chinese medicine :honeybee:
Some even do sting therapy owwwwwwwww


My bees were very calm when they arrived as a package in November. Now their brood box is full of brood, with every frame fully drawn and covered in bees, with nectar and pollen being brought in all the time.

The bees are still calm during hive inspections - for ten minutes. Then I see their behaviour start to change, and individuals start directing themselves towards me aggressively.

I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos, and have seen how passive bees are when swarming - when they have no hive and no resources to protect.

My theory is that the mid-summer aggression is because the bees now have resources that are worth protecting.


Spare a thought for these guys:


12 months since Ive been stung but I tend to suit up every I do any more than just look at a hive.
Was in a hive monday and felt a sharp pain on my inner bicep, looked for a bee, looked for a stinger and saw a huge bullant running down my arm. Have to say a lot more painful than a bee sting.

Should have been stung the week before, I split a hive up into 3 nucs and set them up side by side. Lots of bees on the walls of the empty brood box so I thought I would shake them into the open nucs. Total brain failure, I up ended the old box, had hold of the box by the lifting cut out at one end and the bottom board the other. You can guess what happened when I gave it a shake. Bottom board detached from the box, was only propolis holding the box to it, crashed on top of all 3 nucs. 10,000 angry bees hit the air instantly, daughter cut and ran while I slowly retreated. Gave them 10min to settle down walked back shook the bees of the bottom board and box and put the lids on the nucs without any trouble. If I ever deserved to be stung it should have been then.


That would be me and my husband. We both have been enjoying the long term benefits of apitherapy. When we were building up our resistance it was coffee and a bee sting every morning :hugs: it feels very different when it’s intentional.


Have you ever tried a couple of tea towels, or light weight canvas cloth? We put them over the top of the box we are inspecting, and leave a gap between 2 edges with enough space to lift out a frame. Seems to keep them much calmer than without covering them. In fact, when we do this, we can often see foragers waggle dancing, and we get great pictures of a calm queen with her attendants gently caring for her:


That’s a great idea! I will try it! Thanks.

Kind regards

Neill McCarthy


I do the same thing and it is probably the thing that has had the most calming effect on my beekeeping -for both the bees and me! I always have a lit smoker handy but tend to only need it when I am letting them know I am coming in and to smoke them away from the shoulders of the frames when putting the frames back in. My tea towels are an essential part of my beekeeping kit!


So you build up resistance? I thought it might be like tick bites, and the reaction gets worse over time… (that’s what happened with me and others I know of in the area (Northern NSW, Australia) )
Did you get them to sting you in certain places? Or you let them sting you randomly?


Hello Faroe,
We used BVT both to build resistance and to treat injuries. I gave myself stings in a circle on my hip, and my husband took a broader approach stinging his calf, lower back and shoulder. The theory is to sting regularly until you have no reaction. It took about three weeks.

We were able to pluck the bees from the front of the hive with our fingers, though we also tried the long handled reverse tweezers. We’d take the sting, massage the spot, and it really felt good (not owww).

This was early on in our adventures with beekeeping, but I still have almost no reaction if I am stung by an angry bee, which I think is pretty cool (like when Working with a newly rescued swarm that was quite aggressive and had several bees make their way into my suit :grimacing:).


Faroe, are you keeping bees in Australia or Sicily? Or both maybe?


Well… I actually don’t have bees yet. Since being overseas I did not have a place to have bees. Now I have, and will start in Spring here in Sicily.
That’s why I don’t give out bee advice, only advice about the Flow product itself.
Soon, I may be posting my own queries here on the forum :wink:


I’ve heard both, sting,sting, sting and kerpow anaphylactic fit and ouch, ouch, ouch, no worries. Personally I prefer to avoid pain. When I get stung I itch. And itch. And itch. I sometimes itch at the previous sting sites. Provided I have no breathing issues I pop an antihistamine and soldier on.
I see the suitless bee captures and scratch my head.
It’s like we’re all different or something…


That is all true. We could hardly believe it would work, but really rad up on it to make our plan. I found that when I’d get randomly stung, it was almost always on the face or hands and those places really swell up and are uncomfortable.
Not having a reaction feels like a superpower.


That’s exciting. You will be so well prepared :hugs::honeybee::purple_heart:


Had painful experience years ago with a sting from a Cobbler whilst prawing in a river. My hand swelled up to twice it’s size and the pain was excrutiating. A mate of mine, who’s wife worked as a sister in a Hospital advised me to put my hand into a pot of extremely hot water. As hot as I could stand. I thought she was having a lend of me and setting me up, (she was that type) ultimately the pain got the better of me and I did as she suggested. YEP, the water was Hot, Hot, my hand turned red, but the pain disipitated so quick it was incredible.
Within an hour, my hand was back to normal and the pain was gone. I’m not saying this will work with a bee sting, but the next time I do get stung seriously, I will give it a go.
It was explained to me the heat increases the metabolism of absorbing the chemicals allowing the kidneys to process the stuff at a much faster rate.
Sounded legit, worked a treat. So keep it in mind for future stings.


What is a “Cobbler”?