AndrewLD wrote: ↑
27 Jun 2020, 19:13
Sorry to learn of your experience. A systemic reaction to a sting can happen at any time to a beekeeper, even those who have been keeping bees for years and thought they had built up a resistance.
I had to do some research for a session on anaphylaxis for our beginners course. The good news is that very few beekeepers died from it as a result of a bee-sting in the 10 year period I researched. The bad news is that in almost all of the cases where they did die of it, they had suffered reactions like your's previously and had been prescribed adrenaline pens. Sadly and for a variety of reasons they still died - because they didn't understand how they should be used or that they had possibly seconds in which to make them work, or their partners didn't know and so watched their loved ones die in front of them.
I am not a doctor but if you come back to beekeeping you now know that you are predisposed to a systemic reaction. That fact alone should make you consider very carefully whether to ever return to beekeeping. It' s your decision and your's alone as to what is worth the risk and what is at stake.
If you do decide, like those other beekeepers, to carry on, then please permit me to suggest the following which came out of the cases I studied:
Understand that they give you two pens for a reason, a surprisingly high number of those who use the pens use two injections, the ambulance may administer a third.
They have to be on you and used as soon as you display the symptoms, having them in the car or in the house has proved fatal. Accessible whilst wearing your bee-suit?
Those around you have to know how to use it, better than watching your husband die because you have pulled out the epi-pen too quickly and watched the contents injected into thin air....(actual case)
The second dose has to follow quickly as soon as it is clear the first has not worked on its own, no returning to your seat on the aircraft to get the second pen and be too late.
I get stung and barely notice but I know that one day I could have a systemic reaction, which could take some hours to develop or just seconds. That would be when I give up beekeeping for good.
I can imagine you would like to recover some of your investment but do you not have an increased risk by keeping the bees in close proximity? I suggest you concentrate on removing that risk and getting your bees to a good home.
Let's hope your de-sensitization course works. A key question perhaps for the doctors is whether that guarantees no risk in future or merely reduces a risk that is always going to be inherent in you. It's a cruel trick the body is playing on you. Can happen to anyone but sorry it has happened to you.