Thursday, April 09, 2009

First sting

I've never been stung by a bee before that I know of, so I had no idea if I was allergic. Supposedly even tests by an allergist aren't all that accurate, so you're best off just waiting until you get stung to see.

If you get stung on the forehead and your eyelid swells up, for example, that's considered a local reaction. If you get stung on the foot and your eyelid swells up, that's a systemic reaction, and you'd better carry an epi-pen after that.

Looks like I fall into the first category, minus the eyelid-swelling, happily. Also the category of should-have-known-better. I went to take more pictures in front of the hive, but I didn't follow my own rule of always wearing a hat. The bees saw my dark hair looming in front of their door and bzzzt! one nailed me, right next to the scar I got from falling off my bike when I was 7.

Frankly, it didn't hurt all that much. I scraped the stinger off with the blade of a knife (to avoid squeezing more poison in) and put a dab of bleach on the spot. An hour later, there's a bump about the size of a mosquito bite, if that, and it doesn't feel like anything.

So that's good news! Hooray!


  1. Sorry I asked yesterday if you'd been stung yet. I must have jinxed you. I guess they thought you were a bear. Too bad the poor bee had to die over the misunderstanding.

  2. What hurt more? The sting or losing a bee? Glad you don't need an epi-pen!

    My daughter's been stung by a dead bee or maybe it was a wasp. She stepped on it and activated the stinger or some such thing. Luckily she's not allergic and only gets a localized reaction.

  3. Well, don't get *too* excited. You can't be allergic to something if you've never been exposed to it before. So, the *next* time you get stung by a bee (now that you have been exposed) will be the real test. Plus, you could get stung every twenty times or 300 times and not develop an allergy until the subsequent sting. Sorry. That's the way allergies work.

  4. I like all your low-tech approach to the sting... "dab of bleach."

  5. Glad you're okay! How did the bleach help? I've always used baking soda and water for bee stings.

  6. Oh, you're lucky! Last time I got stung (20 years ago), on my hand, my throat started closing up. I've kept a safe distance ever since!

  7. Betts, you may have jinxed me, but it was inevitable. Yeah, probably thought I was a bear. Stupid me.

    Manisha, I was sorry for the bee. The sting hardly hurt, and you can hardly tell where it was. I'm glad Mehta isn't allergic.

    Thanks for the dose of reality, Molly. Not! :-) I will remain Pollyanna for now.

    Pam and Wonderful, my cleaning lady was here and suggested the bleach (natch). I don't know if it helped or not. I've also heard baking soda, garlic, salt ...

    Vicki, that's scary! I would stay away, too.