OT: My first bee sting!

highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)August 12, 2008

Not counting stepping on honeybees with my barefeet as a child, I have never been stung by a bee. Last night, I was deadheading, and grabbed a spent bloom with my left hand, holding the snippers in my right. I felt a searing pain in between my fingers of my left hand, and was so startled by it, that I dropped the clippers, which landed pointed side down into the top of my flipflop wearing foot. My DH said to make a paste out of baking soda and water, and place it over the sting. I had never heard of this, but it worked! Within minutes, the throbbing pain was gone. At least I know that I'm not allergic to bees now, though I never saw what kind of bee/wasp it was. It must have been hiding on the underside of the bloom. Unfortunately, the top of my foot is still pretty sore today.

Beeing more careful today : )


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"Last night, I was deadheading"

It's not the same without Jerry Garcia.

Or are we talking about different things?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 8:08PM
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dafygardennut(5b-ish, CO)

Mu grandmother always said to use baking soda paste for bee stings. Knock wood I haven't been stung yet, but I do a great "omg a wasp/bee/yellow jacket" dance :0) Ok, bumblebees I just back away, but everything else gets the "dance"

Jen - not a deadhead but I do like "Uncle John's Band" and "Touch of Grey"

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 8:54PM
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aliceg8(CO 5)

The last time I got stung was in a grocery store, in front of the meat counter. I was wearing shorts and the attacker climbed up my shorts and stung me on the tush, more or less.

So picture me, jumping around, going "Oh! Oh! Oh!" (or something less G-rated) and swatting at my butt. I got a very funny look from the butcher.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:11PM
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Sorry about the sore foot, Bonnie.

My mom always used baking soda paste and it did absolutely NOTHING for me!!

DW claims that if I was stung twice, it would kill me. I think she's exagerating my reaction to stings but I hope it never happens that I am stung more than once. Would it surprise you to know that I get stung every year or so? Carrying armloads and buckets of flowers out of the gardens and to the farmers' market makes stings an occupational hazard. Bumblebees are the most harmless, gentle critters just don't try giving them a hug in an armful of flowers - - Ouch....OOW.....wow!

I once carried a yellowjacket into a pharmacy on my shirt collar and was stung behind the ear while I was waiting for a perscription. I thought I might die or something. The pharmacist just said sorry and turned away. I walked out in an absolute daze and kept trying to monitor my reaction as I drove home, took some antihystamine and aspirin, and then dozed off into a nap. Woke up!!

A sting feels like I'd imagine being hit with a red-hot frying pan. A friend described being shot during the Vietnam War the same way. I think he had it a little worse. Except, he was somewhat lucky to have "taken the bullet" perhaps in the same location as Alice's bee sting.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:24PM
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Keep a jug of household ammonia handy - sop up a tissue, and hold it on the sting asap - the ammonia destroys the venom of bee, wasp, mosquito, deer fly, and what not stings / bites. Honest, it works really well.

Last week, we discovered a hornet nest, about the size of a basketball, in the lilac bush 20 feet from the back door - which explains why the things have been shaking down the humming birds at their feeders. Got rid of that one, but there's another one around somewhere. I sure hate to *find* those things by accident, ......like my son kicking a soccer ball into one......

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 11:17AM
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I have tons of yellow jackets, so I know they must have a nest somewhere close. The exterminator destroyed one small yellow jacket nest in the siding right next to my front door, then the next year I found two small abandoned nests right over my garage door.

And yesterday the cats found a yellow jacket on the den floor, not flying but just walking around. Drowning him in Bug-B-Gone didn't work, so I put a piece of junk mail on him and stepped down wearing my Crocs.

I've never been stung, but I'm terrified of it. I don't know if I'm allergic to bee/wasp stings or not, but I don't want to find out the hard way.

Luckily, I live within walking distance of a hospital.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 7:41AM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

We've had to kill off three or four yellowjacket nests since we moved into this house a decade ago, but I welcome the bees (cautiously :) ).

I planted a bed of herbs and flowers out by my veggie beds and they have hundreds of bees all over them when they bloom. I work around them and they've never paid the slightest attention to me, but I'm sure if I got into their flowers they'd make me pay! I never have problems with pollination though.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 7:08PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

Ouch, Bonnie! And Alice, what a story! That really tops them all, I think. I the the baking soda paste last year, and I think it works. Last year, I got stung three times -- once by a wasp and twice by bees. I think the bees are worse, because of the stinger getting detached and staying in you and when you try to remove it, you often squeeze the little sac that makes more venom go in. Yuck!

I do think that after being stung several times in a few years, it's not as traumatic to me as it was when I was a kid. I just try to avoid cussing in front of the kids! :-)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:25AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

The first time I was ever stung, I was 3 years old and sat on a bee when I was sitting down on the grass next to the garden to pick peas. I ran in SCREAMING, and (when they finally figured out what was wrong) my parents put the baking soda paste on itand it did nothing. I think that bee sting is my first "real" memoryÂthatÂs not from pictures! So baking soda didnÂt work for me, but I definitely want to agree with what David said about ammonia. Years ago I bought an expensive little applicator thingie called Afterbite. It worked for mosquito and ant bites, but I used it up very quickly and since I didnÂt want to spend a bunch more for another one, I tried to figure out what was in it. There was no list of ingredients, and the only thing that I could clearly smell was ammonia, so the next time I got a mosquito bite I saturated a folded up little square of paper towel with ammonia and plastered it over the mosquito bite. NO ITCHING! It really works. Try it, youÂll like it!

As a kid I cut the grass barefoot and stepped on multiple bees every summer. Baking soda didnÂt work, so I started running the garden hose cold water over my foot each time, and in 15 minutes the "sting" would go awayÂand IÂd finish the grass! Then, for 10 years or so, I never got stungÂturned into a shoe-wearing city girl! Then one fine day when I happened to go outside barefoot I stepped on a beeÂor somethingÂnever did see it. I ran in and stuck my foot in the sink and ran cold water over it, but it felt very strangeÂdifferent than it had when I was a kid. By the next morning my entire leg was swollen up, all the way up to my hip, and it ITCHED FROM THE INSIDE OUT! We went to an emergency room and they said I was allergic to bees and gave me a tetanus shot and antihistaminesÂwhich did absolutely nothing for the itching. It took nearly a week for it to go away, and my foot was so swollen up that I couldnÂt put anything but the loosest sandals on.

After that I got and carried a bee sting kit with me for years, but the next time I got stung I was working at the first garden center here in Denver, and when it happened I sat down with my bee sting kit and waited to start going into anaphylactic shock! One of the other girls got me some ice which I put on it immediately, and I never did have any trouble with breathing, so I didnÂt stick the needle in myself! ThatÂs when I discovered that if I got ice on it IMMEDIATELY, the venom absorbed slowly enough that I didnÂt get all swollen up, and I didnÂt itch! I kept the ice on it for almost 24 hoursÂI was afraid to take it off. Ever since then IÂve used the ice method whenever I get stung. I worried for years that since I hadnÂt been at all allergic for 20-some years, that the allergy I had developed that caused the swelling and itching could suddenly worsen to an anaphylactic reaction type allergy, but IÂve had a doctor tell me that that rarely happens. I donÂt carry a bee sting kit anymore, but I do still worry a little bit when I get stung, and I get ice on it right away. All that being said, itÂs been years now since IÂve been stung, which is pretty amazing considering how many bees IÂm around out in the yard, especially around the veggies. ItÂs pretty amazing how if you just leave them along, they leave you alone. I think youÂre pretty unlikely to get stung unless you accidentally squoosh them somehowÂlike swatting at them, or grabbing themÂlike you accidentally did, Bonnie, or getting them inside your clothes somehow, like you did, Alice (thatÂs how I got stung at the garden centerÂit got inside my sleeve).

But one other thing I want to mention. DonÂt assume that just because a bee is dead, it canÂt sting! That might sound ridiculous, but another time, years agoÂand before I had discovered the ice methodÂI sat down on the carpet by the slider and put my hand down on the carpet and got stung. When I looked, there was the back half of a DEAD bee stuck to my hand. Apparently I put my hand on it just the right way that it "self injected!" That time I guess I figured that since it was dead it wouldnÂt be a problem, but the next day my hand and arm, up to my elbow, were all swollen and itching! Whoda thunk a dead bee could sting??? So I know better now, and even when I see a dead bee laying somewhere, I pick it up and dispose of it VERY carefully!

IÂve never even tried the ammonia method on bees, David. Just never thought of it! But next time I get stungÂand IÂm sure there will be a next timeÂIÂm gonna put an ammonia patch under the ice and see how much difference it makes. IÂm still gonna use the ice, since IÂm allergic, but maybe the ammonia will "fix it" faster!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 2:10AM
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Just now, DD10 was refilling the hummingbird feeders, and got stung by a yellowjacket. I was picking up DS from soccer practice at the time, so ripe territory here for high drama. She, however, remembered the jug of ammonia, and when I came home, nary a tear, just a proud lil' smiling kid who had done the right thing, standing there with a soggy, ammonia whiffy paper towel, on her forearm.

She assured me, however, that she cried PLENTY. And that it hurt. And ice cream would be the only thing that could possibly ease the suffering.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 8:36PM
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