I am a beekeeper and I am allergic to bees (full story here). The other week my rightfully-concerned boyfriend sent me an article about ...
I am a beekeeper and I am allergic to bees (full story here). The other week my rightfully-concerned boyfriend sent me an article about a beekeeper in El Cajon, CA who had died from an allergic reaction to a bee sting (read full article here). Michael Christopher Hendricks was a well-regarded youth pastor, husband, father of a two-month old beautiful girl, and he had a heart for bees. Unfortunately, he and I both discovered our allergies the hard way, but I was quite a bit more fortunate and able to walk away.With the ever-growing popularity of beekeeping, I fear cases like this will become more and more common. While some beekeepers recommend being stung a certain number of times in a year, they fail to realize there is a group of people (I’m in this group) who will build up a sensitivity rather than a tolerance to the bee venom. To avoid cases like that of Hendrick’s, I present to you a list of safe beekeeping practices.
My arm after the skin test for insect venom allergies
Following the discovery of my allergy to bee venom, I have been receiving immunotherapy shots for the past year and a half and can now withstand the venom of two bee stings. Regardless, I practice extreme caution when caring for my bees and keep an EpiPen with me at all times.
I hope this posted doesn’t scare anyone away from keeping bees, because it truly is a wonderful hobby, hence the reason I continue to do it despite my allergies. Bees are often very gentle, but we still need to respect that they do have the potential to cause serious injury or in some cases death. And we love our fellow beekeepers and want to keep you all around.
So bee safe!