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Author Topic: How bad have you been stung?  (Read 3409 times)
Brian D. Bray
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« on: May 27, 2006, 11:52:35 PM »

Back when I was about 14 (early 60's) I was hired by a lady to super the hive she had in her back yard.  She was keeping it as a memorial to her late husband who had been dead for 2 years and the bees had been left unattended for that length of time.  the hive was already 5 deeps in size.
The State Bee Inspector (Who hated kids) suggested to her that I would be willing to do the job.
I popped the top and smoked the bees.  I removed the top super and as I began to place the new super on the hive I was suddenly engulfed by mad bees.  They were on me like fire ants on honey.  I actually had several layers of bees all over me, from head to foot.  I smoked them some more which just enraged them some more.  By the time I got the top super back in place the air was so thick with bee it looked like 2 swarms in the sky at the same time (this hive was solid bees from top to bottom).
This is the only time I've ever been chased from the bee yard.  They chased me for 2 city blocks and those on me stuck to me until I had killed them all.  By the time I bicycled back home I was so sick, throwing up, limbs trembling, hard to breathe, that I thought I was going to die.
My Dad had me strip when I got home and counted 369 separate stings. The Doctor said that I had been stung the equivalent of a small rattle snake like a timber rattler.  You remember numbers in a case like this.

Anyone else have such horror stories in their past?  I'd like to know I'm not the only idiot beekeeper in the world.
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fcderosa
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2006, 12:12:43 AM »

Actually mine was last year, I got careless because I basically never get stung - very gentle bees.  I was doing a favor and harvesting a friend’s hive who happens to use deeps for supers.  Well I wore tennis shoes with black socks.  I got nailed in the ankle while carrying one of those heavy suckers back to the truck, twisted and herniated two disks.  I spent two months in traction and have been recovering ever since. I haven't known a day without pain since.  I told him change the supers or work them yourself.
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mick
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2006, 03:35:48 AM »

When I was about 7 me and my mate came across a beehive in the middle of a blackberry bush, in an old tree I think. Well he reckoned there was honey in there so off we went to get some tools for the job.

In the late 60s early 70s kids could get away with walking the streets with full size axes, so we had one a piece. I think we had a spade too.

So back we go and take stand at either side of this bush. It must have been low to the ground as it was not as high as we were tall.

AXEMAN!! READY, ONE, TWO,CHOP and chop we did. Into it we went off our two handicap, pretending to be the world champion axeman Jack O`Toole.

Two swings in and this ENORMOUS roar started and then this cloud emerged.

Two more strokes and the stings started. We had our grey school woolen jumpers pulled over our heads for protection, we wernt total idiots you see. Well as you may know a bee stings real good through a thin school jumper and looking like a lil grey bear doesnt help.

Me mate started yelling and so did I. I remeber getting stung on the top of the head, on the arms and on the face. Me mate copped heaps of em on his lil self. More than me. Off we went wailing and flailing our arms up the street minus the axes, bees following. It seemed like there were a million of em.

They chased us home and I ran into my house and he kept on up the street with the bees in tow. I ran into the back yard and took my clothes off and was running in circles. I remember my uncle who somehow had a stroke of medical genius at the time or called on some long lost tidbit from readers diagest for warts trying to get me to stand still so he could rub thistle milk on it. This did not work of course. My mum scraped off what she could find and I was given a bath I think and off to bed.

I remember telling them what we did and they were amused not mad. Uncle went back to get the axes.

Next day was off to school and no ill effects. My mate had a few days off as I recall.

I look back on that as one of the funniest things in my life. It cracks me up. Two lil kids with axes going at a wild hive hehe. I spose or rather hope it still happens today!

Stings dont bother me much now. I think I got a good antibody reaction to the sting early in life.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2006, 10:39:40 AM »

Back in 1974 I was poor and wanted bees.  I'd never even opened a hive before.  I did a cutout in an old abandoned house.  As soon as I could after that I scrounged enough money to buy a full suit with a zip on veil.  Smiley  They were not the nicest bees and I had no idea what I was doing.  I learned tha bees can and will crawl into every opening on you that is no smaller than a bee.

I have no idea how many times I got stung.
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2006, 10:54:16 AM »

back in the 80's,,,,, my worst sting happened and it wasn't bee's, wouldn't ever come close, my worst was big ole Red Wasp, but my fought I guest, was climbing one of them big metal power line poles just to see how well I could see the power lines for deer hunting, wasn't going to high, about 20 feet, there was a wasp next that I had already past by climbing up and that was the only way to get down also, the nest was on the inside of a big piece of angle iron and when I climbed down the outside of it one wasp stuck his head out and looked like he was going to get me in the face, you know wings jumped up Wink , well I thumped him and he must have yelled or something because I got covered and couldn't jump being 20 feet up, figured I could break something, so I jumped around swinging and yelling then finally got numb and went down, when I got home my mother counted 78 stings from my waist up (44 stings in my right arm I was swinging at them), had 4 wasp fly out my shirt when I took it off at home, didn't know they was there, only 14 stings below the waist,,,, took 3 Tylenol 500 mg and went to sleep for about 3 hours and when I woke up I was all better..... that was my worst and bee's haven't got me good enough to get close to that one.... but the most painful single sting I have got was from what we in the south call a cow ant, big ole orange one that got between my collar of my shirt and my neck and yep my neck got the stinger,,,, it hurt so bad when I got it out of my shirt I tried to stomp it but that doesn't work (armor plated) so I grabbed MY DOUBLE BARREL 12 GAUGE AND SHOT IT,,, I had to get even some how but man that hurt and swell for a few days.....
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2006, 01:59:39 PM »

I should finish my story.  The lady paid me $10.00 for all my troubles and my Mentor went out a destroyed the hive.  He threatened the State Bee Inspector with reporting him for assualt which would have gotten him fired.  The upshot was that from that time on I was the only kid the State Bee Inspector liked.  I have never come close to finding another hive that mean and this was long before AHB's were even heard of and we still don't have any up here in the PNW.

Thanks for the Stories, it's good to know I'm not alone.
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2006, 03:04:58 PM »

Brian, I hope no-one else has been stung that many times. I'm glad you survived that encounter. My first stings were from paper wasps. When I was 9, we moved into a house and there was a large cooking pear tree in our lot. One day I was in awe of what I thought was a nice pretty reddish orange bug that I had never seen before. Turned out that he wasn't that nice at all and he stung me real good when I picked him up. Of course he wouldn't have stung me if I wouldn't have picked him up but I was a curious kid and couldn't resist. It was an assassin bug. Then, there was the time a yellow jacket got in my veil and stung my lip. It swelled so much my lip blocked my left nostril. Later that day the 11 & 12 yr olds my dad & I were coaching had a field day with me, said I looked like the elephant man. But the worst experience I can remember happened about 17 yrs ago. My little brother needed 10 insects for a school science project. I went to a wooded lot I knew of and preceeded to turn over some cut palm trees someone had thrown there. I felt something like a thorn stick me then another and then I realized I was in the middle of a hornet's nest. Naturally I ran and finally I stopped to do a quick inventory. I had hornets all over me and they were stinging me as I was killing them. I estimate that I was stung approximately 50 times. I went home and took Benadryl and went to sleep. I was still sore the next day.
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2006, 03:29:00 PM »

No bee stings yet (lucky or unlucky?) but I got eat up by bumblebees a few years ago. I got stung 6 times on top of the head when I disturbed their nest and when I got enough courage up to go back and throw gas on their nest, they got me 12 more times on top of the head.

That nest is probably still there and still doing fine....

Man.... that hurt!
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amymcg
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2006, 07:03:29 PM »

The worst sting I ever got was from a bumble bee.  They took up residence under an empty feed sack on the floor of the barn. The dogs ran through it in front of me, and I got the wrath.  Before that I didn't even know they could sting.  darn they hurt.
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Scott Derrick
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2006, 09:28:41 PM »

Well the worst sting I ever got was back about 1973. I was riding my bike through a pine thicket in the summertime. I was standing up on the peddles pumping as hard as I could. I was huffing and puffing really hard trying to make it up a small hill. About that time I had a wasp fly into my mouth and sting me right on the tip of the tongue. You wanna talk about hurt. If felt like a car ran over my tongue. About a minute after the sting my tongue swelled up too about twice its size and I could hardly talk. It was ridiculous. When IU got home my mom made me put tobacco from a cigarette on my tongue and hold it there for about 15 minutes. I have been stung many more times by yellow jackets (14 stings at one time) but I have never had one that hurt that bad.....  cheesy

Scott
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2006, 09:31:30 PM »

I guess I'm like an old mule.  They have to get my attention.  And they have on a couple occasions.  The most recent was moving hives and the bottom board seperated on a 3 deep monster.  I would guess I took 60 or 70 stings.  Last year, a freind? asked me to help him with a hive.  Anyway, it was a 3 deep colony in his back yard.  They had gone queenless and were mad as hell.  To top it off, he broke some frames, and before I could get the top box carried and set aside, the air was full of angry bees.  You know smoke doesn't work at that point, and I told him to just carry the whole box 20 or 30 feet away.  He ran instead and hid in the garage.  His neighbor was yelling, he was hiding, and there I was.  It got pretty ugly before it was all said and done.  No sting count, but I took a beating.  After all these years, I'm seriously considering a beesuit.
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2006, 10:14:08 PM »

The first extraction I ever did that got me into this expensive hobby. The boat removal got me hit 13 times. The last one almost an hour after the extraction  by one that was hiding under my collar and got me in the center of the neck. None of the rest really bothered me, but that one put me on my butt.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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yvette97206
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2006, 03:47:19 PM »

Quote from: thegolfpsycho
 After all these years, I'm seriously considering a beesuit.


I have never laughed so hard in my life than just now...
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fcderosa
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2006, 08:18:15 PM »

Well if we're talking non bee stings, I didn't know Kentucky had scorpions.  After 20 years in the military you learn to live in hazardous areas, I never dreamt of having to shake my cloths out from my bedroom closet.  I realized we had scorpions after pulling my pants up.  I got stung right on my,,,,,,,, shocked  well let your imagination think the worst.  It burned and hurt, - I packed it in ice and drank a sixpack.    Smiley
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2006, 11:36:17 PM »

Once, back in the early 1970's (while I was still quite young) while hiking with some friends we discovered an apiary that appeared to have been devastated by bears. Only one colony was still alive and intact (2 deep supers). Having already some experience with bees I convinced my friends to return with me that evening to rescue that lone survivor. We contacted the property owner where the bees were located and were told that we could have them, since they were abandoned after the bear attack.

Since I was only a once resident, now visitor, to this area, I contacted a local beekeeper friend and borrowed veil, hive tool and smoker. We returned at dusk and my friends remained more than 100 yards away adjacent to a field of beans growing there near the El Camino, in which we were planning to carry the hive.

I was completely covered, or so I thought. All my own hives were gentle Starline and Midnight hybrids. Then as I bent down to smoke the entrance, I discovered I was already too late, as I got close enough to see the entrance in the dimming light, what I saw was a torrent of bees pouring out of the entrance. They didn't bother to fly, though some did, they quickly crawled up my legs and over my body. I then discovered how inaccurate my assessment of my protection actually was, they were very adept at discovering chinks in my "armor". So many got in that I quickly tore off my veil to remove the bees from my head and face. Frantically running into the field of beans to get as many to stop following me as possible I made my way into the vehicle. All further thoughts of reclaiming this colony were now long forgotten.

Later, back at the house we counted dozens on each of my friends and stopped counting after removing 200 stings from me. Altogether an unforgettable experience. This took place north of Los Angeles, California and south of San Francisco, long before AHBs were even given much thought.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2006, 12:57:45 AM »

Working bees at night is a BAD idea.  They can be moved if the preperations have already been made but don't bother them otherwise.

My older brother decided that it would be a lot easier to harvest the honey at night when the bees were alseep.  I was wise enough (for once) to hold the flashlight and stand about 15 feet from the hive.  I watched as he opened the hive and began to smoke the bees.  I then watched as the bees marched (They didn't fly) out of the hive like a swarm of Army ants and crawl up his legs.  He got stung very badly.  60-70 times.
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rsilver000
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2006, 01:06:30 PM »

My worse experience was as a kid we had a paperwasp nest in a tree right outside my bedroom window.  My parents told me to leave it alone since they had set up for the exterminator to come later in the week to remove it.  My friends and I thought it would be easy to knock it down and do it ourselves (12 year old boy minds).  Well we were right, it was easy to knock down, after all it was the size of a small basketball.  But what we hadn't counted on were 100's of really upset wasps that boiled out of that nest!!
I was stung 15 times, one of my friends 17 times and the other had too many to count.  Wasps are really nasty dudes.   We ran for about 2 blocks and never did they give up the chase.  We had to kill them to get them off of us.
To this day, you will not catch me removing one of those puppies!!  I call in the pros, it's worth every penny!
Rob
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2006, 03:20:38 PM »

I was stung about twelve times on the head when I went to check out the hive I have now when it was for sale.  I didn't have anything protective on - veil, gloves, zip.  And I had on hairspray.( Lesson #1 in beekeeping) That probably had a lot to do with it.
 Couple weeks ago, I was working with my bees and the duct tape that I usu. secure my pants to my shoes with came off.  I didn't notice until maybe 15 bees were all over my ankles.  
 During hurricane season, when water is _everywhere_, the fire ants ball up into thousand-ant clusters and float around, waiting to come up against an object.  It's not good if you're an object in the water, trust me.  shocked
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BEE C
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2006, 04:02:52 PM »

I've started out with a full bee suit, attached veil, elastic cuffs and full gloves.  I was working on my employers hives this week and got my first taste of it.  We were working on some hives that were quite large, 4 deeps tall or more, no supers yet...we came to put supers on.  We were in a rush so left our smokers at another field.  I took a break to drink some water 30 ft away from the very large hive I had just disturbed.  I only unzipped my veil enough to drink.  Ten stings to the face.  Probably more if I hadn't squished most before they stung.  It was one of those slow motion moments where your body is running, but the scenery is blurred and your focus is very intently two inches from your nose....
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2006, 10:56:45 PM »

I have learned to drink water through a veil. I bet you have too now...
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