Well Kevin and I are potentially facing a few more days of rain this week and as our colonies are building up, we may as well post a few anecdotal stories to tide us over.
Everyone knows about the associated problem with annoying bee's, and that's that they sting you, rightly so :)
In most conversations regarding stings, you find people fall into one of two discussions, they either relate how they are fairly immune, or how they are highly susceptible; suffering anaphylactic shock.
I wanted to tell a short story of my own experience which put me somewhere in between.
Whilst helping a beekeeper in the past I had chance to be stung a few times. The first time I was stung I removed the barb quickly and suffered minor effects. Initial pain lasting a few seconds, followed by stiffness and significant swelling over a few hours. My heart rate was also raised slightly in the first hour or so.
My finger (the site of the sting) became stiff and difficult to bend over the course of a week, but I had the general feeling my joints became more fluid once the stiffness subsided. The site also itched quite a bit after that.
Nothing out of the ordinary you might think until the next time I was stung.
I received another sting on my finger some weeks later and decided that I was a tough guy (I have learnt a lot since then) so I was very slow and casual in the process of removing the sting - big mistake if you ever have a sting - the bee's stinger has a ratchet mechanism which given the opportunity works its way further into your skin over time, you also receive a larger dose of venom!
To cut a long story short, the effects I felt from this second sting were the same but were marginally more pronounced, with one added bonus (and this is the point of my story) I had some ill effects a few days later.
Ever had chicken pox or some other form of illness that makes you feel terrible. Well a few days after my sting I was feeling absolutely awful, I had a pretty significant temperature, cold sweats, my joints really ached and I felt like I had a bad case of flu.
Putting two and two together I wondered if my immune system had manned a response and I did some research on the web to find that some people experience a phenomenon called 'Serum Sickness' in which your bodies immune system mans a response to foreign chemicals like venoms.
Ultimately the effects of the sickness passed fairly quickly, which was one of the reasons I attributed the effects to serum sickness, but still it was a very interesting experience.
If anyone has had a similar experience from a Bee sting I would love to hear from you, other wise you can read more about serum sickness here, http://www.answers.com/topic/serum-sickness you can also google 'serum sickness bee stings' for a bunch of information.
The moral of the story is, remove a bee sting as soon as you safely can. Leaving the sting in wont prove anything and won't win you any prizes.
Personally I keep an epinephrine pen handy now for my own use in case of a more adverse reaction the next time I am stung.