Handling of bees

Many people have a great fear of bee stings, but this fear is groundless in most cases. Bees are reasonably quiet and will not normally attack people unless provoked in someway (or unless they are a naturaly savage strain).

Even when a sting is recieved, the pain and after effects do not usually warrant the fear shown by some people. For others, however, a single sting can be most uncomfortable and, in some extreme cases, fatal. These people should have nothing to do with bees.

The venon of the bee is a blood poison that operates in much the same way as cobra venon. The sting produces a marked local reaction, but it causes general effects or death only in cases of great susceptibility. This lack of severity is due mainly to the small dose injected; it can produce death if collected in large amounts and injected into the veins of dogs. Professional beekeepers have a resistance because repeated stings generally lead to immunity.

Bee stings have recently been used in medicine to cure certain rheumatic and arthritic disorders in humans.

Antihistamine drugs will often relieve the heat and swelling fairly quickly in cases of considerable discomfort. These drugs are now also incorporated into creams, and this is probably the most convenient form for general use. Rub cream onto the part stung as soon as possible.

Your 1st aid kit should contain an number of these products for emergency - When a member of your family or another person is accidently stung and shows signs of acute reaction.

Remove the sting quickly so that as little of the poison as possible enters the punture. The sting itself is a sharp, barbed hollow shaft connected to the poison sac, connected to the body of the bee. The barbs on the sting stop the bee from withdrawing it after it has entered the skin, and the efforts of the bee to free itself tear the sting, with the poison sac and actuating muscles attached, from the abdomen. The muscles may be seen to continue working, sometimes for many seconds after the sting has become detached form the bee.

It is advisable to remove the sting from the skin immediately. It is best done by scraping it away with fingernail or by rubbing it off on your clothing if both hands are engaged. Never pick a sting off with your finger tips, doing so may press the poison sac, and inject more of the poison into the skin.

Bees, in common with most other creatures, will defend their home against any real, or imagined enemy. They will attack until they die, or kill the enemy, with a ferocity related to their breeding.

Attacks by bees can be minimised, but the only counter once a colony or apairy does become aggressive is to wear effective protective clothing. Conditions can be so bad that you may have to stop work in the apairy. starting again will depend on better weather or a honey flow to improve the bees tempers. It may be neccessary to shift the hive to a new location with better nectar supplies.

All beekeepers get stung sooner or later. The first will result in some swelling and discomfort, but the beekeeper will gradually build up a resistatance until the stings will have little effect except for the initial shock and pain.

The best idea is to avoid all unneccessary stings! wear protective clothing!! - guess how i learnt this.


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