This thread is intended to gather reports about occasions when stings hurt and don’t hurt. Maybe we will see a pattern emerge if we pool our experiences.
A couple of weeks ago I had a couple of stings in my unprotected wrist. The reaction was severe.
Today a couple of bees got inside my visor somehow and stung me on the face. I had to close up the hive, and there were lots of guard bees trying to get me, so there was no possibility of taking the bee suit off and doing anything quickly. I just had to get on with the job and it was over half an hour before the stings could be removed from my face. So, two full doses. But, almost no reaction: one doesn’t even itch.
So I’m wondering what the pattern is here. I see various factors which could account for this:
- The nasty / not so nasty stings were from different hives. Might be a genetic variation in venom.
- I think young bees don’t have fully developed venom glands. Perhaps these ones that stung my face were young. I can get their bodies out of the kitchen bin… how does one tell the age of a bee?
- Position of sting on body. An immunologist told me that if the venom goes into a vein, it goes straight to the heart and that is Bad. However this does not account for the almost complete lack of swelling or itching around where the “nice” stings were.
- I took Piriton (antihistamine) after the nasty stings because I was feeling maddening itching in palms and soles of feet. This medication was after the reaction began, but i wonder if it made the effects last longer. I did not have a chance to take anything for the ones on my face, and they don’t seem to need it now.