Welp, it happened. My first bee sting!
Not the first ever in my life, just the first from my own bees.
My husband and I were out at the hive yesterday evening trying to rectify the free-form comb situation that had developed. We added more frames to give them some space as they’ve already begun to build up comb on the 5 empty frames we had in there and have moved to the next deep hive body.
We removed the free form comb and the Burr comb. I saw plenty of brood, and nice, tight laying patterns and even the beginnings of some honey! All good signs we have a healthy hive. I even noticed some smaller “new” bees have already “hatched”!
Anyway, amidst the excitement, I was inspecting the full frames, and I think when I replaced it, I accidentally squished a bee, because the ones near the frame got angry. That combined with the fact that it was taking us more time to do what needed done made the bees impatient. A bunch got on my gloved hands and I felt the piercing and burning sensation of the sting.
When I looked over, the bee was stuck through my glove and into my finger. I had my husband brush off the bee, but the stinger remained in the glove (and my finger.) I went ahead and finished what I was doing, and my husband closed up the hive. Once I finally got the bee suit off, I was able to assess the sting.
My finger was swollen around the knuckle and the site of the sting was painful to the touch.
Firstly, I made sure my hands were clean, then I took a Benadryl. (I’m not usually a pill taker, but I was concerned about the swelling) then I applied a cold compress for about 20 minutes, on and off and a baking soda paste to draw out the venom. It didn’t really work at all, but the compress did feel good.
Today, the swelling has increased a bit but still localized to my finger. I have since taken another Benadryl, and applied both plantain salve, and German chamomile EO. None of which seemed to help as I expected… This is about 24 hours later:
The swelling has increased slightly, but I haven’t had any sort of anaphylactic reaction, so that’s good.
In any case, it seems that I either received a considerable amount of venom from prolonged exposure to the stinger, or I’m just an anomaly when it comes to bee stings and none of the treatments are really having any effect for me.
In any case, for future reference, it’s important to get the stinger out ASAP, use meat tenderizer or baking soda paste to draw out venom, and then take something like Benadryl for itching and swelling (assuming it works for you, it only makes me sleepy without doing anything for itching or swelling).
If you receive a bee sting and start to run a fever, break out in hives, swell to enormous proportions, or have difficulty breathing within the first two hours after the sting, go to the ER and seek medical treatment immediately for anaphylactic shock.
In the meantime, I’m just hitching up my big girl pants and dealing with it as a rite of passage to being a bee keeper! 🐝