NZBF: Sting allergy or adaptation

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245
156
Christchurch
Experience
Beginner
i was showing someone around a hive yesterday. i only had one beesuit in the truck so I gave them that and went in unprotected, not something i’d normally do. it was going well and i was feeling cocky until that one little 💩 of a guard bee decide to try and sting me up my nose and in my eyes. I had to walk away pretty fast and leave the newbee in charge until I pinched the guard bee and could go back.
They are pretty persistent. I've had to walk around the house a few times to get rid of one that wouldnt give up.

i was showing someone around a hive yesterday. i only had one beesuit in the truck so I gave them that and went in unprotected, not something i’d normally do. it was going well and i was feeling cocky until that one little 💩 of a guard bee decide to try and sting me up my nose and in my eyes. I had to walk away pretty fast and leave the newbee in charge until I pinched the guard bee and could go back.
Those guard bees are persistent. 2 laps of the house and I still had one with me investigating my hood.

I think sometimes learners are not told strongly enough about gear. At the course we were handling frames with no gear at times and got the idea bees were quite calm etc. Just dont squash them.

Youtube also reinforced this. There is a beek school in USA who has this guy working with bees. He is calm, quiet and works in shorts and short sleeved shirt. A knowledgable guy whom you want to emulate.

As such I started walking up and opening the hive for inspections gearless (and clueless looking back) .

Thank goodness for a wise head @CHCHPaul telling me to gear up as it takes just one epic to be in deep trouble.

Maybe a few scary tales should be told at courses. It might scare off those who arent realy commited ... but would probably make better beeks if we were disuaded from the gung-ho ideal of no gear.

Having said that I do slip up to the hives and crack the top lid to check feeders or this week drop a box of wets on top without gearing up. A fairly safe job.

Thanks for all the advice. This forum is a most excellent resource for us newbeeks.
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Grant

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i was showing someone around a hive yesterday. i only had one beesuit in the truck so I gave them that and went in unprotected, not something i’d normally do. it was going well and i was feeling cocky until that one little 💩 of a guard bee decide to try and sting me up my nose and in my eyes. I had to walk away pretty fast and leave the newbee in charge until I pinched the guard bee and could go back.

Comedy circus edition :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Sorry, I couldn't help but laugh out loud reading this. I got a strange look in the office. :oops:
 
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1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
Comedy circus edition :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Sorry, I couldn't help but laugh out loud reading this. I got a strange look in the office. :oops:
haha. yeah, it was really hard to maintain my professional, cool calm beekeeper image as I tried to blow the little $&@#> out of my nostril. The bee followed me when i beat a retreat and did the age old duck behind another person escape tactic. I swatted her karate kid style and went back as if nothing had happened. 🤫😙😎
 
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715
563
Christchurch
Experience
Semi Commercial
i was showing someone around a hive yesterday. i only had one beesuit in the truck so I gave them that and went in unprotected, not something i’d normally do. it was going well and i was feeling cocky until that one little 💩 of a guard bee decide to try and sting me up my nose and in my eyes. I had to walk away pretty fast and leave the newbee in charge until I pinched the guard bee and could go back.
They will follow you quite a long way and keep zipping in to your face. Those ones I treat like a wasp and clap them (but usually say sorry... or just swear).

@Wknz I still work without gloves, but always have a pair nearby. I work slow and calm and by myself. If I make a mistake I stand very still. I find that I don’t swell up like I use to but sometimes the stings still hurt like hell.
 
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245
156
Christchurch
Experience
Beginner
Dunno about the finger, but it's normal for bees to be tetchy this time of year. Flow over = gloves on. For me anyway. I get plenty of stings, some amount to nothing some itch for a day.
I know our flows over. Had a box of wets after extracting. Outside the kitchen fan there were about 40 bees trying to get in and by the time I walked the box of wets back to the hive, 200m, I had my own swarm of over 100. Much hungrier bees around.
We had a drop of honeyed wax from scrapings fall on a work bench outside. Two days later still getting bees investigating that area.
 
251
177
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
I think sometimes learners are not told strongly enough about gear. At the course we were handling frames with no gear at times and got the idea bees were quite calm etc. Just dont squash them.
At the course we were handling frames with no gear at times and got the idea bees were quite calm etc. Just dont squash them.
Does "no gear" include no smoker? Knowing how and why to use a smoker is very important in keeping bees calm
 
3,374
6,244
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
Most people react less to stings over time . When I get stung it still hurts but I generally don't react at all and often can't even tell where I was stung a few minutes later however if I haven't had a sting for several months or if the bee stings we somewhere where I can't immediately remove the sting then I tend to swell up a little bit and it can still be tender the next day. I am with Grant on the old bees have more venom than young bees theory.
I was working bees last week without a smoker because of the fire hazard and with the flow over it would be a brave person who would have worked those bees without gloves. I remember some old-timers that used to rub the stings off the back of their hand like brushing off sawdust but that much venom is not good for you. Personally I think it is important for beekeepers to get the odd sting but don't see any point in getting the snot stung out of me every day . I once got about 150 stings on a night where everything went wrong and we ended up with a heap of hives on the ground. I definitely felt a little bit off the next day.
 
251
177
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
No gloves or suits.
Goodness me - Were you allowed to wear clothes?!
2 laps of the house and I still had one with me investigating my hood.
Only one, well that was lucky! We are now out of the main flow and one has to expect grumpy old field bees, but I would not get stressed about just one. Enjoy your new hobby & experiences & learn about the influences of the seasons
 
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2
2
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Semi Commercial
I think care needs to be taken in answering this- being a public conversation there is no knowing how an answer is mis-interpreted.

I react to stings differently - depends on the location of the sting, the time of the day, the season and what the girl had for breakfast.

The sting I got in my finger that I ignored made for considerable swelling, and there is still a dark mark where I eventually found the sting and poison sac. Fast removal of the sting is of great benefit.
Yes care is needed ,we were new to bee keeping , and son had been non allergic for first 2 yrs then he got stung on his leg and from what I could see foxglove and Kowhai were in flower at the same time. He has bad blow up like a balloon when stung at this time of year but no reaction at other times. We bought an epi pen just incase.
 


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