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So I went to the ER tonight after 5-7 stings



  • don’t ever break my own rules for “going into a hive” regarding smoking, how I suit up, and the time of day I go in

  • if anything does not feel right after any number of stings go to ER

I’m glad I went to the ER. Trust your gut.


Cowgirl !

That was one heck of an experience ! Sorry you had to GO thru it. Guessing you won’t try that again or as you say … Get the “PEN” out n do it !

I’m lucky so far … As I usually get stung once or twice a week someplace. Got two more today in my left arm while harvesting pollen. The second hive got Upset n I quickly got the message on my bare arm. They tried for my face but I do wear a hat n net minimum if working them. If I’m going inside its either my half or full suits.

Enough about my stings. Glad your okay young lady. Take care …



Hi @Cowgirl sorry to hear about your experience was not good!

I have a little advice for others in this same situation, always call your local hospital for advice without delay or the ambulance. These guys will advise you of the next step to take so there is no guessing.

Not saying you did anything wrong in this instance but my advice is never drive yourself anywhere after a bad reaction. I guess you have had a bad reaction in the past you would know why. If your driving on your own without an Epi-Pen it could be disaster in the making and take longer to get help if needed. In saying that, because you have a Hx of anaphylaxis I would have used the Epi-Pen then called an ambulance, the Epi-Pen can be replaced but you can’t.

I have been a medic in my years and have seen it happen after just one sting, don’t let it happen to you. Please do not drive yourself always call someone even if you think its nothing.

Anyway great to see your all good and have recovered and sharing your experience is great learning for others.


@Cowgirl I am sure that there are ways to get around giving up your bees. :disappointed: maybe make sure you are with someone always when around the bees?

Sorry if you thought I was having a go at you but far from it.

It’s disappointing that you have such a great hobby but also have to take such safety precautions while doing so.

I would ask around to see if others are in the same situation and see how they deal with it.

Hope you continue with you hobby.

cheers Bruce


There is a way round giving up beekeeping. Desensitising shots. It takes commitment as the course is a long one but it works. Lots of uk beekeepers get them.


I’m really sorry you had to go through that my friend! I’d hate to see you have to give up, so how about that Tellytubby suit now? :sweat_smile:

and, thank you for being brave & telling your story :rainbow:


Your lucky you have access to Epi-Pens as I recently tried to obtain one from my GP to keep one on hand just in case. As we have neighbours with 5 little children plus family members with no idea if they have reactions and all spend time in my yard. However in AUS they no longer supply them for just in case even with my background, so in AUS if you need one as a beekeeper you have to wait for an ambulance. Given that, where I live and with the experience I’ve had getting an ambulance on time it could be a little late for a little one but that is what happens here in good old Queensland.

Also Benadryl is useless here in AUS for bee stings but is good for coughs as it’s not the same product as in other countries. Just letting who don’t know, Diphenhydramine and Pseudoephedrine has been removed here in AUS rendering it useless for bee stings etc.


Glad your OK and everything turned out well. Thanks for posting your experience it is very informative.


Sorry to hear of your bad experience.
Without a full suit, multiple stings was inevitable.

When I had my systemic reaction after 1 sting to the head I was advised to “not get stung” anymore. I did, 4 times since, all in the arms, without reaction.

Since switching to my Brushy MountainVentilated Suit, no stings going on 2 years.

Since the reaction, the anxiety of a sting has been worse than an actual sting. When I come in from the bee-yard, my wife asks me how many imaginary stings did I take. I usually take 5 or 6 lol. After an imaginary sting, my heart races, I get light-headed from breathing heavy while determining if my throat is swelling, And I itch from imaginary hives lol, and then I say, “screw it, there’s no way I could have gotten stung”, and I continue working. My wife likens me to “Ricky Bobby” when he thought he was on fire but wasn’t lol.

You can see an allergist to help put your mind at ease or at least know where you stand and take action if you want. Feeling in control is big.

Good luck to you


I must confess: I wear goat skin gloves under my bee gloves lol. Some days I could go out there naked and not have a problem but I never know what day that is until I’m out there in the hives and it’s too late. I could call it “skinny keeping” lol


Had another Bee get inside my veil right when I had all the bees and hive pulled apart. Unfortunately I had to squish it as it bumped my face a few times did not want to get hit in the eye. So from now on I am going to do what those guys dealing with Africanised bees do and gaffer tape any potential gaps.


Glad to hear you are ok cowgirl and thanks for sharing. I have read so many reports about stings and reactions it does get concerning and when I see people working their colonies suit less I always secretly hope they get tagged… I remember Mr Bush saying in a thread how he doesn’t want to get stung anymore so he always wears a suit now so I’ve taken heed of his wisdom and always suit up although, no doubt, I will get careless and break my rules but with reports like yours and others I will exercise caution.
If RHC can manage 100 hives and not get stung in two years I’m sure, if you are careful, you’ll have many years of beekeeping ahead. :slight_smile:


I would also sing the praises of this suit. I have had zero stings this whole season - I love it, love it, love it, LOVE IT!!! :blush: It is definitely cooler than a regular suit, even though it makes me look like a balloon. It feels thicker too, but somehow with the slightest breeze, it stays a lot cooler. Definitely recommend it.


That was very smart, no matter what the ER docs said. Might I suggest that you get some Benadryl Syrup? Tablets have to dissolve before they can be absorbed, while the syrup has the medicine immediately available. Plus if a kid gets stung, it is easier to get them to take syrup than to dry swallow a tablet! :wink:

Pretty convincing for the onset of anaphylaxis. However, you are a naughty girl to drive after taking Benadryl - you are risking an accident or a DUI (DUI doesn’t have to be alcohol).

Sure does speed up the heart, and make it pump harder, and closes down all the little arteries - you may get cold hands and feet with it.

I would modify that myself. Start with the Benadryl syrup and decide that YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DRIVE! :smile: Any suspicion of throat tightening or feeling faint/light-headed, by all means hit yourself with the EpiPen. I don’t know how things are in your neck of the woods, but around here dialing 911 probably won’t get you to the ER in less than 30-40 mins, so if you have someone to drive you, ask them to do it. You could call 911 at the same time, and tell them what you are doing - my husband got a police escort to the ER once by doing that! :smile: Please have a second EpiPen to hand. If you pass out on the way to the ER, tell the driver that they are to hit you again with the second pen. Of course discuss this with a doctor who knows you, but that was recommended practice when I was actively caring for patients.

Fantastic idea, and consider desensitization shots, as @Dee suggested. Keep in mind that for liability reasons, the allergist will probably tell you to stop beekeeping until you are desensitized.

I would also suggest that you do beekeeping like divers do SCUBA - always take a buddy. Tell them what happens to you, and make sure they know what to do if you are in trouble. I love seeing your posts on this forum, and I want you to stay healthy so that I continue to see them. :blush:

Please take care, my brave friend. :wink:


Yes, you should probably ask a pharmacist for Phenergan instead - also a very good anti-histamine, good for bee stings, and was available in Aus last time I heard… :wink:


Wow! glad your ok, I’m one of the fortunate one’s who isn’t allergic to bees, in fact I hardly notice when I get stung. It might itch for a bit but never any swelling or redness. Now it depends on the hive I work on, most of the time I’m in t-shirt, shorts and sandals opening up the hive for inspections. However I do have a new colony that might have a bit of Africanized trait and they are more protective, but haven’t stung me yet, we’ll see when they get larger what they do. I really don’t want to pinch the queen since they are fast builders and she’s laying a great brood pattern.

Over at Home Depot they have these blue rubber gloves that the bees can’t sting through, you might want to get a pair. http://www.homedepot.com/p/West-Chester-PVC-Coated-Chemical-Gloves-Large-HD13500-LLCW9/202192535


RHCP - I did mine in my bathers and Flow veil the other day it was so hot - I never wear gloves at home. I suppose I’m lucky

@Cowgirl you need to stick with the protocols if you are susceptible - glad you are OK


Sorry to hear about this. It always pays to heed advice and listen to your gut. Best intuition planner yet, the gut. Anyway glad no worse of it came off. I’ve been going into hives lately without smoke and early on not using a suit if I was going to be less than a few minutes, but not that my bees have more to protect and there are more drones around I wear my suit, period. Still not smoking them and probably won’t until I rob the honey.


Thank you for that vision :expressionless: @Valli


If you do use Phenergan definitely do not drive!