Monday, August 3, 2015

2015-08-01: Sting Reaction

I was showing my son-in-law some of my hives this past weekend when a poorly navigating bee landed behind my ear and accidentally stung me.  First off, if you watch bees fly for any length of time it can be quite hilarious how badly they seem to fly at times.  Secondly, it is obvious that one of my bees would never sting me on purpose, so therefore she must have accidentally got her stinger caught in my epidermis!  Believe what you want folks =)  Anyway, I scraped out the stinger and walked back up to the house.  All the time being "escorted" back by another bee.  When I got into the house I felt a bit itchy and soon noticed I had red splotches all over my chest and even some hives around my waistline.  Not good.  This is where the phrase "severe reaction" enters into the story.  Any kind of reaction outside of the sting area and anything more than your typical redness, swelling and/or itching.  Matter of fact, if you start looking on WebMD then you are getting into the anaphylaxis symptoms.  Trying not to panic at this point I took some Children's Benadryl that I had in the house and then showed my wife what was going on.  We decided to wait and see if the Benadryl took care of it since I wasn't having any other anaphylaxis symptoms.  Within a few hours the reaction had gone away and I started to relax a bit.  I went to the doctor the next day and she immediately called in an EpiPen for me and made me an appointment with the Allergist.  At this point I'm kind of freaking out and thinking that I have to give up beekeeping if I'm deathly allergic to them.  But I'm going to try and put off judgement until I get some more solid answers from the Allergist.  Quite an emotional roller coaster so far.  I am a little relieved to read on some beekeeping forums of quite a few other people that experienced the same thing.  Many of them were able to undergo desensitization therapy until they had no more reactions to stings.  So, I guess there is hope for me yet  <sigh>.


  1. Is that the first time you've ever been stung? Is is possible that it was just the location of the sting and not an actual allergy? If I get pinged on the inside of my arm, I have a very different reaction than if I get a ping on a finger.

    1. No, not the first time I've been stung. I've only been stung about five times over the four years I've been beekeeping. Three of them being this year. Two during my cutout and then this one. No odd reaction from the two during the cutout at all. They were both on my hands. I guess it is possible that since this one was behind my ear that it was closer to an artery or something and I reacted differently? I guess I'll have to wait until my actual allergy test later this month to confirm it for sure. Ugh.