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Bee Sting Allergy

Hi I’m very interested in getting a flow hive but when I was a child had a moderate reaction to a sting. Not too serious, but could not walk on my swollen stung foot for 2 days. I’m now an adult and haven’t been stung since.
I’m looking for information on how I may react now!
Or would the best way to test it, be to be stung in a controlled environment?

Welcome to the forum Bill, some people build up and immunity to bee venom and a few get worse reactions. Bee venom can vary depending on what the bees are foraging on.
As a youngster I had some very bad reactions but I have no reaction in any way now. You can be tested by your doctor if your concerned as if you have bees you will get a sting periodically, more so as you are learning hive management and prone to upset the bees more.

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Thank you, that’s really helpful. More information than I could find on google!

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There are two items that you might like Bill.

  1. An Epi-pen contains adrenaline and anti-histamine and can be self injected into a leg, It injects just under the skin and not as big a drama as it seems. I used the two 30 seconds apart on my off-sider after her legs went from under her. She had been stung before with no effect. Not something to use on an irritating sting but certainly a good thing with a person who has a really bad reaction.
  2. A ‘Bite=Away’ is a piece of kit that you apply to the sting area and press a button after removing the sting. It applies a 5 second heating to the affected area that reduces the effect of swelling and itching. Available on EBay or your local chemist.
    The main thing is when you get a sting is to stay calm and use your hive tool to slide across your skin and ‘shave’ the sting out that will reduce the amount of venom.
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Epi-pens don’t contain an anti-histamine. Just adrenaline (or epinephrine for the US). You should probably take a really good anti-histamine as well as using the Epi-pen. I prefer keeping an antihistamine syrup in my bee bag, because when your throat might be swelling, you want something easy to swallow. In the US, we use Benadryl (diphenhydramine). In Australia, I know for a fact that Benadryl does not contain diphenhydramine, so I suggest that you ask a pharmacist for a recommendation for an equivalent.

I think @Peter48 means a Bite-Away. These are superb. As a doctor, I wouldn’t have believed that they worked until I bought one from Amazon and tried it. They work fantastically well on bee stings and mosquito bites too (I have a very bad allergic reaction to mozzies).

Not challenging Peter’s advice, just trying to add a bit of extra information. :blush:

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A typo when I said ‘Bit Away’ when I meant ‘Bite Away’ sorry.
I was going on what the doctor said that the Epi-Pen contains both Antihistamine and Adrenaline. The Bite-Away is brilliant and instantly relieves the pain and itch and no swelling as some folks suffer.
Is Benadryl in the US different than we have here in Australia?

A genuine Epi-pen does not. Here are the official ingredients: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/019430s053lbl.pdf
Here is the Australian information about it (just adrenaline, which is the same as epinephrine, no antihistamine) - https://www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/adrenaline-autoinjector-prescription

Yes, it is. None of the formulations on this page have an antihistamine at all - https://www.benadryl.com.au/products. They have decongestants, mucolytics and cough suppressants, but no antihistamine. Benadryl in the UK also does not contain diphenhydramine, by the way.

The US formulations contain diphenhydramine, which is a very potent antihistamine - https://www.benadryl.com. I believe that diphenhydramine is not available in Australia any longer, so I would suggest asking a pharmacist what is available that has equivalent potency.

I have a mild Allergy.
When I get stung it hurts for a few minutes as it would with any other person, then I get a very large red area around the bite, by the next day it’s swelled up reasonably, and the second afternoon it gets so itchy I want to use a fork to scratch it. 2 days after the sting it’s all calmed down.
The local pharmacist gave me and antihistamine that said is more for stings than hayfever, and she said I should take one an hour before an inspection. Only just started doing that and haven’t been stung since so not sure how it worked yet.