Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.

Hi everyone! I've noticed that my reaction to bee stings has become increasingly worse. My first sting was just the typical local reaction, mild swelling. The second time I was stung I had 5-6 stings on my thigh. The swelling and itching were much worse-it looked like there were two hot red pancakes laying across my leg, and my stomach even started to itch. A couple days later I got stung on the finger and again the swelling was much worse, extending down my hand to my wrist. A couple days after this sting I have mild hives near my elbow and I remember driving home (right after the sting), my throat itched. Any advice? Recommendations? Allergists?? I do have an epi pen and will keep benadryl on hand.

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Amy,

I am not an allergist or anything, but I was allergic to bee stings after getting 20 or so stings one time.  Benedryl was a great help.  I went into full anaphylactic shock a few times.  The symptoms are similar to what you are describing but I also had hives all over my body, swelling of the lips and throat, and other symptoms.  I was tested by an allergist who confirmed that I was allergic.  I would strongly recommend that.  It sounds like your symptoms might be on the edge between a normal severe reaction and an allergic reaction.  I have been through almost 5 years of treatment and now get the equivalent of 2 bee stings every month with almost no reaction at all.  Oddly, I haven't been stung since I started the treatments, but I would get this checked out by a doctor.  The full on allergic reaction is not fun at all.

Ted

Thanks Ted-your reply is most helpful. I will make an appointment with an allergist TODAY. I don't want to experience the full on anaphylactic response, if that's where things are headed. I'm happy to hear that the shots have helped! Very hopeful. I don't want to stop keeping bees, but I don't want to risk my life doing it either. I'm sorry you had to deal with the anaphylaxis!

My bees suck!  Maybe you're just allergic to my mean bees!  lol

That would be nice!  haha!  We will see what the allergist says :/

I've attached a photo from one of my bee books that describes normal and allergic reactions to stings.  You may want to wear more protective clothes and gloves.  My reaction to stings tended to show less swelling and itching the longer If been a beekeeper.

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Thank you Randy. Very helpful. Seems like I'm on the cusp of developing an allergy. I'm hoping it stays that way or gets better. I have an appointment in August with an allergist. I will definitely be wearing more protective clothing and carrying an epi pen with me every time I'm with the bees!

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