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Offline Romahawk

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« on: June 21, 2005, 05:21:30 PM »
Back in the early 80's I started out with bees and for 4 years I had no problem with stings. Along comes year number five and the first few stings produced a bad reaction.

I went to a local allergist and after testing got rid of my bees and went through a year of shots to become desensitized to bee stings. The following year I was stung and had no bad reaction but have not been stung since. I have retired and decided I would like to try a few hives again but I'm not sure if those shots 20 years ago game me only temporary immunity or if it is something that lasts a life time. Anyone have any experience with something like this. I checked with my doctor and he says he is not sure as he has had very little experience with bee sting allergies.

I just ordered all the tools and a full suit but am thinking maybe I should go to an allergist again and be tested before I continue. Some people have told me once you have had a bad reaction there is no way to be cured.   :(
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Offline Jerrymac

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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2005, 05:31:47 PM »
I have no answers for you but, you said:
"went through a year of shots to become desensitized to bee stings."

What is involved with doing that? A friend that lives with me claims to be very allergic, like stop breathing with-in twenty seconds, and and stop everything in a couple more. (I think he is exagerating, but.....)
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Offline Miss Chick-a-BEE

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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2005, 06:58:47 PM »
I would talk to the allergist for sure. But another option might be to get an epi pen subscription and carry it with you at all times. Especially while working the hive. Beekeeping is so enjoyable. If you love it, there's a way I'm sure.

Beth

Offline Romahawk

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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2005, 08:36:41 PM »
Thanks for the responses.

JerryMac: I went to an allergist back in the 80's when I had the bad reaction, heavy sweating, breathing and double vision. and of course tested positive for a bee venom allergy. I had to go back to him once a week to be injected with venom and each time the dose was doubled for 6 Weeks. Then I had to continue to go once a month for a full year to receive a maintenance dose each time. No guarantees to the process either.

Your friend is right about it being serious and even fatal to a very small group of people. It could take your life in less than ten minutes if you are severely allergic. Thank goodness most of us have a milder although serious reaction.

Miss Chick-a-BEE: I have carried a sting kit all these years and the last several years my doctor has given me an Epi-pen to carry. Have an appointment with an allergist next week and I 'm hoping for a positive answer, if it's not positive then I guess I'll look for another hobby to spend my retirement on.
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Offline latebee

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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2005, 11:57:15 PM »
Along the same lines I was wondering if a person can be allergic to wasp and hornet stings,but still be tolerant to the venom of the honey bee?
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Offline Romahawk

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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2005, 04:17:55 PM »
Quote from: latebee
Along the same lines I was wondering if a person can be allergic to wasp and hornet stings,but still be tolerant to the venom of the honey bee?


I'm not sure if your allergic to one that your allergic to all but my blood tests finally came back and I was tested for honeybees, wasps,hornets,yellow jackets, bumble bees, and fire ants all at the same time. The nurse who just called said I was negative for each one which might indicate that you could be allergic to one and not the others. I think I will see what I can find on that if  just for my own info if nothing else.

One more question I have to satisfy myself with now is if there is a problem with my heart medication. I just ran across some site that said if a person is on beta blockers or has plaque build up in the arteries that they should avoid bee stings.

Anyone here with arterial blockage using a beta blocker and still keeping bees.  Geeeezz it's great to have reached these Golden Years..  :lol:
Never let your education interfere with your learning" --Samuel Clemens

manowar422

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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2005, 05:58:46 PM »
Unfortunately I know where your coming from.

I once heard of a comedian who said,
"when you get old it's not about being healthy,
it's about finding a disease you can live with!" :lol:

Try this site for your answer:

http://www.beevenom.com/goodapitherapypractice.htm

Good luck & please BEE careful :)

Offline Romahawk

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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2005, 06:17:30 PM »
Interesting site, thanks for the link.

I did six months or a year of therapy years ago to desensitize me, can't remember the exact amount of time but operantly it worked as I now test negative to stinging insects. Now I need to find out about my heart medication and whether or not stings have an effect on the them. I know beta blockers are of concern if you take a high dosage as it counteracts the effect of the epi pen and makes it very ineffective. My cardiologist tells me that my beta blocker dosage is so low that it will only slightly diminish the epi pens effectiveness. I'm sure it will be fine but you kind of like to hear it from the horses mouth. I'm sure my cardiologist is right but it's still nice to hear it from someone who has been there and done that.  :D
Never let your education interfere with your learning" --Samuel Clemens

Offline drobbins

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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2005, 09:03:59 PM »
Romahawk

at our last bee club meeting we actually had an allergist as the guest speaker
I can't remember all he said, cause I'm not allergic and may have wandered a bit
but I do know he talked about de-sensitising treatments and a pretty good success rate
he also said that allergies to yellowjacket/wasps had nothing to do with honey bees
I would suggest going and talking to an allergist, I think they have made a lot of progress in the last 15 years

Dave

Offline stilllearning

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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2005, 09:39:30 PM »
"]
Quote from: latebee
Along the same lines I was wondering if a person can be allergic to wasp and hornet stings,but still be tolerant to the venom of the honey bee?


.

One more question I have to satisfy myself with now is if there is a problem with my heart medication. I just ran across some site that said if a person is on beta blockers or has plaque build up in the arteries that they should avoid bee stings.

Anyone here with arterial blockage using a beta blocker and still keeping bees.  Geeeezz it's great to have reached these Golden Years..  :lol:[/quote]

I have a pacemaker have had it for several years, AHD also, I have never
had an allergy to bee stings, all of my Doctors know I keep bees and get an occasional sting. as of this date I have never had a problem, I take a beta blocker and such but have never been warned to keep away.  Sorry not to be oa any help on this
Wayne Cole

Offline thegolfpsycho

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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2005, 10:20:35 PM »
I have recently had some cardiac and vascular problems which have required a boatload of chems.  I asked specifically about bee stings and was told it shouldn't be a problem, but to try and get them in the places that the arthritis was bothering me the most.  It was his attempt to "lighten" up the situation as things were getting quite tense.  In any case, the doc advised me to take it back up with the cardiologist before I attempted any bee beards, or worked the high wire without a net.  Guess I will know more Tuesday.

Offline Romahawk

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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2005, 11:01:28 PM »
Thank you all for the response. I have the clearance from the allergist and the cardiologist says it shouldn't be a problem and now a few field reports from real people with real heart problems make me feel a lot better.

Now I have to decide when I should pick up the hive I bought from my friend. I think probably the best thing for me to do is leave it at my friends until the supers are taken off and extracted for the year. That should make the move a lot easier and a lot lighter.

My wife believes at 65 I am reverting back to my second childhood by getting a few hobby hives.  :roll:
Never let your education interfere with your learning" --Samuel Clemens

Offline newbee101

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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2005, 11:47:43 PM »
I have been beekeeping for 2 years now. I had no problems with bee stings until this year. Stung on the wrist and I get a slight swelling in the face , severe itching in the scalp. Blotchy red rash all over. I need to get some therapy. I do not want to give up my bees.
"To bee or not to bee"

Offline Romahawk

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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2005, 12:31:47 AM »
You will probably be doing yourself a huge favor if you scheduled an appointment with an allergist and get tested. To have those symptoms in the sting area is normal but to have them in other parts of the body away from the sting area could be an indication of an allergic reaction. You will need to check around if your area is like mine, only one allergist in the county works with stinging insects and desensitizing shots. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Never let your education interfere with your learning" --Samuel Clemens

Offline stilllearning

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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2005, 11:26:42 AM »
Quote from: Romahawk
Thank you all for the response. I have the clearance from the allergist and the cardiologist says it shouldn't be a problem and now a few field reports from real people with real heart problems make me feel a lot better.

Now I have to decide when I should pick up the hive I bought from my friend. I think probably the best thing for me to do is leave it at my friends until the supers are taken off and extracted for the year. That should make the move a lot easier and a lot lighter.

My wife believes at 65 I am reverting back to my second childhood by getting a few hobby hives.  :roll:


You are already learning, move only what you have to, that is the reason you have friends also to help lift the weight
Wayne Cole

Offline stinger27

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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2005, 03:14:01 AM »
Quote
stillearning said:
   Anyone here with arterial blockage using a beta blocker and still keeping bees.


   Hi I am on a beta blocker.  I think the reason that you heard it was not good to get stung when on a beta blocker, is the fact that a beta blocker fights the effects of epinephrine(epi-pen).  A few years ago I was having an allergy test done.  I actually went into anaphalaxic shock.  This type of reaction can kill in minutes.  They managed to save my life, but my allergist told me the beta blocker fought against the epinephrine(epi-pens) I was given.  This made it very hard to combat the reaction.  Yet I still have bees and have been stung.  It is just a risk if you ever have a reaction.  So bee safe and have yourself tested for an allergy to bee sting before each season.
Bee Safe,
    Stinger27

Offline Romahawk

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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2005, 01:18:17 PM »
Quote from: stinger27
Quote
stillearning said:
   Anyone here with arterial blockage using a beta blocker and still keeping bees.


A few years ago I was having an allergy test done.  I actually went into anaphalaxic shock.  This type of reaction can kill in minutes.


That is why a couple of different allergist refused to skin test me. They said it was to dangerous because of the Beta blocker. I did get one to do a blood (RAST) test for stinging insects which should that at the moment I am not allergic. He did say how ever that I needed to continue to carry the epi pen as that could change at any time after the first sting.

The cardiologist tells me the epi pen will still help me but not 100 percent because I am on a low dose (50 mg) of the Beta blocker.
Never let your education interfere with your learning" --Samuel Clemens

Offline RandGraham

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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2005, 02:59:14 PM »
I was actually reading about allergies in "The Hive and The Honeybee" a couple of nights ago.

In the chapter the chemical make up of venom from stinging insects is discussed. The venom from honeybees, yellow jackets, and ants each have a different chemical composition. It would definetely be possible to be allergic to yellow jackets but not honey bees.

The chapter also discusses how allergies develop. For an allergy to develop a person must be stung twice by the same insect at two different times. The first time someone is stung, they will not show an allergic reaction. But the body will build up antibodies to the venom. Later when the person is stung again an allergic reaction could occur.

As has been mentioned reactions such as swelling, burning and itching near the sting site are normal. But if rashes, swelling, burning and itching occurr remote from the sting site, this is an allergic reaction.

-Rand

Offline thegolfpsycho

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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2005, 05:30:59 PM »
For what it's worth, the cardiologist has revised his advice about the bee stings and beta blockers.  Hmmmmmmm... I wonder if the golden bee suit comes in sasquatch sizes?

Offline Romahawk

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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2005, 08:10:08 PM »
Quote from: thegolfpsycho
For what it's worth, the cardiologist has revised his advice about the bee stings and beta blockers.  Hmmmmmmm...


Is his advice now not to work with bees?

How high a dose of beta blocker do you take? I'm on a low dose, 50 MG of Atenolol which reduces the affect of the epi pen to around 75 to 80 percent which is still helpful to me in the case of an allergic reaction but I would sure like it to be a tad higher.  :D
Never let your education interfere with your learning" --Samuel Clemens

Offline thegolfpsycho

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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2005, 10:51:53 PM »
His recommendation was not to get stung while I was on the medication.  No specifics about dosages, or percentages of effectivness.  As he added bee stings to the list of things that I should now avoid..(booze, rich foods, spicy foods, red meats, sugars, foods high in vitamin K, blah blah blah) I kinda lost focus.  It's a game we play.  He tells me that stuff, and I ask what's the point?

Offline Jerrymac

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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2005, 11:44:14 PM »
Live a short happy life or a long miserable one. Take your pick.
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