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Offline GTBee

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« on: January 25, 2006, 04:54:36 PM »
Hi Ya'll,
Brand new to this beekeeping thing.  I've purchased all of my woodenware, tools and am awaiting shipment of two Nucs.  My friends think I'm nuts for taking this up as a hobby but they all want honey when it's time.  My wife is for anything that will get me out of the house and away from the TV, plus it's a lot less expensive than golf and motorcycles.  I cannot believe how interested I've become.  The more I research and read the more I want to know.  I'm really excited about getting my bees and giving it a shot.  Who knows, I might get stung ten times and say this isn't for me but I won't know until I try it.  Wish me luck.

Offline Apis629

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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2006, 04:59:19 PM »
It really is a great hobby and a great deal of fun.  Remember to keep a journal of the honey-flows as they come, it'll be invaluable next year.

Offline Jack Parr

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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2006, 09:44:35 AM »
is not how I would describe keeping bees.

It is not " fun " to be repeatedly stung by angry and defensive bees doing what they do naturally, protect their colony. You will be STUNG and depending on how your body reacts you will quickly decide weather to continue with the bees or not.

If per chance the bees you acquire are very agressive and defensive that can be very upsetting to you and takes some getting used too. Having thousands and thousands of bees buzzing and swarming around you will be very impressive to say the least.  Some folks can take stings with little effect and others not.  You will not know how you react until you are involved and stung. Furthermore just having all those bees swarming and butting into your face net can make you nervous and aprehensive, believe me.

That being said, fooling around with bees is very interesting and rewarding;
Not just in eventually eating the honey but in the whole process. They are simply fascinating and I just like to visit my hives just to see what is going on at different times of the day, every day. I keep two hives near my house for my education and I do, randomly get stung for my curiosity when I least expect, but I continue to visit. I don't open the boxes very often, since there is not much need to and I believe in less is more.

If you spend some time reading these boards you will find all manner of advice, hints, suggestions, how to's, and all is good. However the actual hands on work is a bit different when you open your hive for the first inspection and actually see bees in action. Example is sometimes bees build comb everywhere in the wrong places and just make a mess of things. Then you have to cut the frames apart to pull them out dripping honey and making a further mess, but you have to try and keep the frames seperated from each other by cutting the unwanted comb out.  You shouldn't let the burr comb building get out of hand. Then again, most times you will find perfectly filled frames and that is gratiying.  What I'm saying here is that you can read and see images about things going on in a beehive but until you actually get hands on experience you will not really understand completly what is involved. I hope I'm making some sorta sense here???

So, get involved. You might just like get your jollies off doing the bees??? :wink:

Offline latebee

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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2006, 11:20:33 PM »
Jack--you make perfect sense,I don't think anyone could have said this better!
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2006, 11:43:00 PM »
GT:

As the others say, it is a wonderful hobby and gets to be a very addictive learning experience. You'll find that just WATCHING the bees alone is worh the money you put into the startup - and surviving Winters (which can be tricky) is always a wonderful thing to experience.

Getting stug isn't all that bad (been stung many thousands of times BOTH accidentally and on purpose when doing bee-sting therapy for a damaged neck) you just scrape the stinger from your skin FLUSH to your skin, never try pulling out the stinger because it causes the venom to pump in.

Anyways, with 20 THOUSAND POSTS in the forum, you should have enough info to really get you prepared for the big day. Plus, you will always find help here in the forums and with over 100 countries and nearly 1000 members, you will find THOUSANDS of years of combined experience from all ranges of beekeepers from the total new bees who are just reading and trying to see if the hobby is for them (sound familiar :) ) to the life-long beekeeper with decades of experience.

Welcome aboard, check out the many forums - you will find enough topical areas to let you learn lots about the other members, share your ideas on nearly any topic and hopefully find a place to come back to again and again.

Lastly, think of "NOT" getting stung, not "GETTING stung" - work on mentally and physically being JUST another member of the beehive and learn from your mistakes - literally hundreds, if not thousands of times I have gone into the hive for inspection with just shorts and a teeshirt and came out without a single sting. Your mindset greatly effects the way bees interact with and around you.

But the single most important tool is the smoker, read the info in the forum and on my beekeeping course pages to master the use of this simple but extremely effective tool - it is your best friend. Stings happen, but generally it is our fault, we pick a wet and windy day when the hive is over filled with bees who can't forage or we rush around not thinking that we are tearing apart their homes - why wouldn't they get defensive?

Thanks for joining and have fun - we are always here to answer any questions we can, so please feel free to ask any questions "and" it's our pleasure to get to know you!!!!
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Offline Jack Parr

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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2006, 10:23:07 AM »
In my post above I probably over emphasized the stinging aspects of keeping bees, however before I went into the the hobby I was stung on the top of my left ear and went to the local Hospital Emergency Unit for a revival. I suffered a severe reaction.

The experience was not pleasent, AT ALL.  YA THINK YA GONNA DIE, a la Gilda Radner :lol:

Thousands of stings??? Hmmm that's a lotta stings???

Offline GTBee

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Thanks
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2006, 10:45:37 AM »
Thanks to all for the welcome and the advice.  I believe I am prepared for some stinging.  I'm not sure how I will react if I screw up and get a hundred or more at a time.  I once got into a mess of yellow jackets that actually caused me to go to the hospital because I couldn't breathe and my thumb hurt.  Turns out I had dislocated my thumb on my knee by swatting at them and I was out of breathe because I had run about a quarter mile to get away from them.  DUH!  

Beemaster.com is a great site.  I actually got interested after finding this site on the web.  Great informative information and good encouragement from the members.

Offline Robo

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Re: Thanks
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2006, 12:42:14 PM »
Quote from: GTBee
 I believe I am prepared for some stinging.  I'm not sure how I will react if I screw up and get a hundred or more at a time.


You should never get 100+ at one time.  The key is to remain calm.  If something does happen that causes a bee frenzy (like droppng a frame full of bees on the ground in front of you, it happens to all of us) don't rile them up further by trying to rectify the situation and getting the hive back together.  Just retreat as quickly as possible and give them some time to settle down.  Then go back (with a little smoke) and gently fix it up in the same manner you would during a normal inspection.  You have to base your handling on the temperment of the particular hive,  I have had some hives that I could have dropped off a truck and they would not have stung.  But there are also the occasional hives that nail you as soon as you open to cover.

Also remember that the majority of your bees are female,  and some days they are better than others to deal with :lol:   You can usually tell their mood when you first get into the hive.  If they are moody,  go back another day.  IF they continue to be aggressive, re-queen.
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Offline ian michael davison

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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2006, 01:38:13 PM »
Hi all
WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is every one going on about being stung. If this guys a beginner he would be best advised to start with wearing all the kit  and reducing the number of protective items as his confidence and experience grows.
 Certainly getting stung happens but i can look through 50 hives with all the gear on and not get a single sting so lets get in in prospective, and not scare people off even if one or two people are hamming it up a bit.
 I must admit that during the summer i prefer nothing but a t shirt, shorts and viel(even in the UK a full suit gets very uncomfortable) :lol:  But then again i am still young enough to appreciate the benefits of a sting or to up the trouser leg when it comes to impressing the ladies. :twisted:

Regards Ian

Offline mick

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Finding out if your reation to stings
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 08:12:08 PM »
If you have never been stung before and dont know if youre one of those people that goes into anaphylactic shock you can try this.

Get a couple of bees in a jar, go to your local hospital (may not be possible in the States) or Doctor or friendly Ambulance crew and invert the jar on the back of your hand and wait. :roll:

You get to meet some new peole and find out nice and safely what will happen. theres probably a medical test they can do  on you I spose, but it wouldnt be nearly as much fun.

Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2006, 08:47:18 PM »
> invert the jar on the back of your hand and wait.

My bet is it will take a long wait.  Now if you push them against your skin...
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Offline Robo

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Re: Finding out if your reation to stings
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2006, 09:15:51 PM »
Quote from: mick
If you have never been stung before and dont know if youre one of those people that goes into anaphylactic shock you can try this.


Even if you don't want to go to that extreme, it doesn't hurt to talk to your doctor and get an Epipen just in case. Trust me, anaphylactic shock is no fun.  You get a whole new perspective on life....

Luckily I've never had a reaction to bee venom. Though once one of my black labs  stepped on a bee and got stung.  By the time we got home,  she looked like a shar-pei :shock:  A quick call to the vet, a Benadril and 20 minutes she was fine.  She has never had a reaction like that again.
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Offline bassman1977

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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2006, 12:44:34 AM »
My dog likes to "snap" at the bees when she's down by the hives with me.  She got nailed on the tounge.  The antics that followed were amusing.  (Sneezing and some head shaking).
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Offline Apis629

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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2006, 01:47:12 AM »
With regards to the stinging behavior, I find it rare to receive more than half a dozen stings at a time.  Just a few weeks ago, I burned my leg with the smoker while handeling a super.  I dropped the entire box on my feet and left with less than a dozen stings in both my clothing and my skin.  Don't worry about "screwing up", as long as you take basic precausions like good weather, a veil, and a well lit smoker, you'll be fine GT.[/quote]

Offline TwT

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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2006, 01:53:51 AM »
like almost everyone has said above, if your not sure what will happen to you when stung, get a epipen just incase, being a beekeeper, you will be stung a few time or in some but few cases get stung alot, I have 6 hives and 3 of them are from removals, while doing the removals I have been stung by all 3 but when I hive them and get them home, I have yet to be stung in the bee yard by any of the 6, just lucky I guest but I know one day they will get me but it part of the craft. good luck and like the rest of us you might be hooked for life.
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline taw

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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2006, 01:38:40 PM »
Quote from: bassman1977
My dog likes to "snap" at the bees when she's down by the hives with me.  She got nailed on the tounge.  The antics that followed were amusing.  (Sneezing and some head shaking).


Ha! My doggies (one of which is my little image thingy at the moment) love to hang out with me any time I am outside. They constantly wrestle. Lemme tell you, I get a bit amused/annoyed because they always seem to end up wrestling 2 or 3 feet from the front of a hive. Ugh! One of these days something bad is going to happen. So far, surprisingly, the bees seem to simply ignore them. They don't stay in one spot very long. I have a feeling the guard bees do a "what the...?" and then the dogs are gone.

When I first started keepin', my big Rhodesian ran up to the hive, stuck his snout 1/2 inch from the entrance and just sat there for a full 20 seconds inhaling the nifty odors. Hmm... then he started sneezing a lot. I think that's about when he got nailed. ;) He learned a lesson that day I think. No swelling at all surprisingly.

Anyway, humorous annedote for the day. :)

-todd

P.S. Just to keep this on topic a bit. Go to your doctor. Tell them you keep bees and you want a prescription for an Epipen. My doctor wrote it out... no charge and wished me luck! :) It's a "just in case". I believe it's under 1% of folks that are that sensitive, but... you never know. Surprisingly, many more than 1% tell me they are allergic. I think folks are paranoid. But... I keep it for that odd chance. Need to get insurance sometime... also, just in case.
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Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2006, 07:16:42 PM »
I realize I grew up in an era where we didn't wear helmets.  Ever.  For anything.  Never saw a bicycle helmet.  Never saw a riding helmet.  If I'd had one, I would have been laughed out of school.

But, I've never had an epipen.  I've never worried about getting stung.  I've never taken anything for a sting, other than to put a poultice on a few of them when they really hurt, usually Plantain, occasionally tobacco or asprin.
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Offline ian michael davison

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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2006, 07:26:53 PM »
Hi all
Yes those were the days. MEN WERE MEN AND THE SHEEP WERE WARY  :twisted:

Regards Ian

Offline Chink4

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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2006, 02:32:43 PM »
Stings are not so bad. I have checked my bees in shorts and tee shirt, gotten stung a few times but look at the football player, he gets hit and it urts every time he goes o the field. He does it because he enjys it.

Offline TwT

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« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2006, 05:00:30 PM »
I have never had a epipen either, because growing up , I have been stung by every thing that has a stinger, so when I got me some bee's, I never worried about it, I have heard some say they wasn't elergic to sting when they were younger but are now, but I am still not elergic,,,,, (some reason the word elergic doesn't look spelled right) never could spell anyway  :D  :wink:
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline TREBOR

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« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2006, 06:27:08 PM »
welcome to bees GT,
and welcome to the forum.

Offline manybees

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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2006, 03:55:53 AM »
It's pollination time in California.  My crew and I worked through 800+ hives again today. We fed HFCS with fumagilin, treated with Tylan, sprayed the bees w/oxalic acid and gave them a pollen substitute in the form of a pattie.  As of today we are 25% of the way through 17,000 hives and guess what...it is still fun!, and yes we all got stung although not often.  My point?  Wheather  bees are your part time hobby or your full time job they provide a pleasure that cannot be duplicated, a prospective that is unique and fulfilling.  Enjoy whatever your bees give you everytime you remove that cover.

Offline Jack Parr

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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2006, 10:20:42 AM »
Quote from: TwT
I have never had a epipen either, because growing up , I have been stung by every thing that has a stinger, so when I got me some bee's, I never worried about it, I have heard some say they wasn't elergic to sting when they were younger but are now, but I am still not elergic,,,,, (some reason the word elergic doesn't look spelled right) never could spell anyway  :D  :wink:


Me, I got a hard time spellin me, too, sooo  I use a dic-shun-ary.

Allergic, to bad spellin'... :wink:

You provided da openin' for da correckshun.  :P

Offline taw

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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2006, 10:35:51 PM »
Quote from: Michael Bush
I realize I grew up in an era where we didn't wear helmets.  Ever.  For anything.  Never saw a bicycle helmet.  Never saw a riding helmet.  If I'd had one, I would have been laughed out of school.


Maybe we are a bit brighter now. ;) My mother told me how I would jump up and down on the back seat of the car all the time. Yeah... child seats are simply a good idea. Hell, seatbelts are a good idea! No one wore them "back in the day". And those who say they are a hazard are smoking crack. There is one thing I *really* wish I did. I wish I wore earplugs more often when I was in the Army. My hearing will suffer forever for that "but real men don't need them" BS. We all like to chuckle about how over-cautious we are - and I think we are to a degree (jesus, do we have to close schools for an inch of snow!?!) - but taking some simple precautions about many things is just plain good sense.

Quote
But, I've never had an epipen.  I've never worried about getting stung.  I've never taken anything for a sting, other than to put a poultice on a few of them when they really hurt, usually Plantain, occasionally tobacco or asprin.


It's more to make me comfortable having people in my yard. I.e., the other guy. Plus, I have heard enough stories at the beekeeping meetings about stupid accidents and whatnot. It is cheap enough insurance that I don't worry so much about the neighbor kid coming into my yard. Again, it is a "just in case". Not to mention, general allergic sensitivity to many things is increasing in the population. Better safe than sorry. Most of the folks with more than a few hives in our club seem to have an epipen around as extra insurance.

*shrug* If you are tight on cash, don't get it. If you can spare the cash, it's probably worth it. It is to me anyway.
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Offline TwT

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Re: SPELLIN'
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2006, 11:09:09 PM »
Quote from: Jack Parr
Quote from: TwT
I have never had a epipen either, because growing up , I have been stung by every thing that has a stinger, so when I got me some bee's, I never worried about it, I have heard some say they wasn't elergic to sting when they were younger but are now, but I am still not elergic,,,,, (some reason the word elergic doesn't look spelled right) never could spell anyway  :D  :wink:


Me, I got a hard time spellin me, too, sooo  I use a dic-shun-ary.

Allergic, to bad spellin'... :wink:

You provided da openin' for da correckshun.  :P


all I can say is IF YOUR GOING TO BE A SPELLING TEACHER IN THESE FORUMS, YOU BETTER TAKE OUT "TYPING INSURANCE" BECAUSE YOU ARE IN FOR SOME CORREK-SHUNNNNS( GOING TO WEAR  THE FINGURES OUT)  :wink:

"BEWARE FORUM MEMBERS SPELLING TEACHER ON DA LOOSE"

Jack, dont you know it beez fun chatting dis way ,,,,,, as golf would say
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DEM PERFECTIONIST CAN NEVER HIDE :twisted:  :wink:
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline Finsky

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Re: SPELLIN'
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2006, 10:01:16 AM »
Quote from: TwT


all I can say is IF YOUR GOING TO BE A SPELLING TEACHER IN THESE FORUMS, YOU BETTER TAKE OUT "TYPING INSURANCE" BECAUSE YOU ARE IN FOR SOME CORREK-SHUNNNNS( GOING TO WEAR  THE FINGURES OUT)  :wink:

"BEWARE FORUM MEMBERS SPELLING TEACHER ON DA LOOSE"

Jack, dont you know it beez fun chatting dis way ,,,,,, as golf would say
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DEM PERFECTIONIST CAN NEVER HIDE :twisted:  :wink:




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Offline TwT

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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2006, 07:29:36 PM »
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! @  MY OLD BUDDIE FINMAN  :lol: ,,,,,, OK iM MUCH BETTER NOW  :wink:
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline JP

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« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2006, 07:31:44 PM »
You guys are too funny & some of you perhaps a little tipsy...
anyway, I think chink hit it right, if you truly enjoy fooling around with the bees, getting stung is just something that comes with the territory.
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Offline buzzbeejr

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Re: Georgia beginner
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2007, 08:33:40 PM »
My dog likes to "snap" at the bees when she's down by the hives with me.  She got nailed on the tounge.  The antics that followed were amusing.  (Sneezing and some head shaking).
Our dog does that to shes got stung a few times
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Offline Kev

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Re: Georgia beginner
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2007, 09:19:55 PM »
You guys are too funny & some of you perhaps a little tipsy...

LOL: They've got me to wonderin' what's in those smokers

Does anyone know if the venom in bee stings is similar enough to wasp or hornet venom that allergic reaction is the same? IE, ever heard of someone who's allergic to bee venom but not other stings?

kev
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Re: Georgia beginner
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2007, 10:16:51 PM »
Quote
Does anyone know if the venom in bee stings is similar enough to wasp or hornet venom that allergic reaction is the same? IE, ever heard of someone who's allergic to bee venom but not other stings?

How about the opposite? I have a bit of a reaction to wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, etc.  Faintness, dizziness, minor palpitations... But with honeybee stings all I get is some temporary pain and swelling.  My wife thought I was crazy to take up beekeeping  :)

Offline TwT

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Re: Georgia beginner
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2007, 07:02:52 AM »
Quote
Does anyone know if the venom in bee stings is similar enough to wasp or hornet venom that allergic reaction is the same? IE, ever heard of someone who's allergic to bee venom but not other stings?

How about the opposite? I have a bit of a reaction to wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, etc.  Faintness, dizziness, minor palpitations... But with honeybee stings all I get is some temporary pain and swelling.  My wife thought I was crazy to take up beekeeping  :)


that's interesting, I have never thought about it, I always assumed if you were allergic to one you must have been allergic to all, guest there could be a difference, I just never thought about it...... good post!!!
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline brydie

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Re: Georgia beginner
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2007, 12:48:27 AM »
Hi and welcome to the forum, I've only been on here for a few months and I've found everyone to be helpful and friendly.

Beekeeping = stings.

I am only very new to it all and make sure I kit up each time for my own peace of mind....still get stung though every now and then.  I am a lucky beekeeper in that I hardly get any reaction.  The other day I pulled a frame out to have a look, so my hands were nice and full and my veil brushed up against my chin...whamo - bee sting on chin, my husband thought it was quite funny to see me trying to wipe the sting away with my shoulder all the while holding a frame full of brood and bees at arms length...oh well, you learn.

My husband and I caught a swarm last night, I have had my bees for about 2 months and he has never even opened a hive, we are 2 very excited novice beekeepers right now.  I got stung twice, but no reaction so all good.

Bees know if you're nervous, and that upsets them a bit.  So just try and relax and be part of the colony, don't bump things or move too quick, if they get upset just stop and let them calm down (and they will) and then start again.

From one new-bee to another - good luck!  Brydie - Australia

Offline Finsky

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Re: Georgia beginner
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2007, 02:50:48 AM »
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 So you will se what will happens to your tolerance. It may grow or it may go to side of overreacting.

Take care that big accidents will not happen.

I am very tolerant to bee stings but wasp sting makes me swell normally. It means that they have different kind of poison.

Offline Kev

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Re: Georgia beginner
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2007, 08:37:22 PM »
I am very tolerant to bee stings but wasp sting makes me swell normally. It means that they have different kind of poison.

The scientist in Finsky may find this interesting:

I did a little on-line hunting on bee and wasp venom. Alas I am a newbee and can't post URLs here or I would.

Apparently scientists think bee venom has more proteins in it than wasp venom, which makes it more likely to spark an allergic reaction. (Other sites said that the main components appear to be similar but possible in differing proportions.)

you can read more at insectstings.co.uk

You'll have to add the www etc in front of it, though.

Kev


One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

 

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