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Rings and beekeepers: Will the circle be unbroken?

I was reminded yesterday about how important it is to remove your rings when beekeeping. Usually I have very little reaction to bee stings. They hurt for a moment and turn red. The redness disappears after a few minutes. Sometimes they itch.

But every so often one produces swelling that lasts a long time. Yesterday I got stung on the finger and my rings became so tight that I kept waking up in the night. This morning I was able to get the rings off and now everything is fine.

I have no idea why this swelling happens just occasionally, but it does. Nearly every beekeeper has heard stories of people having their rings cut off in the emergency room, so it is good practice to just remove them before beekeeping. Of course, we all forget.

Last year I was sure my husband’s ring would have to go. He got stung on the finger right through his glove. There was time to remove the ring before the swelling started, but for some reason, neither of us thought about it. Twenty minutes later we were icing, elevating, and bemoaning the fact we were so stupid. Like many problems, it is easy to prevent but hard to correct once it happens.

My advice is to get in the habit of removing any rings before you start messing with bees. If you forget, remove them as soon as you get stung in that area. Even those who seem to be generally immune to stings can occasionally react to them. Worse, emergency personnel I have known show unmistakable glee when they are about to use their cutting tools. Don’t give them a chance . . . remove your rings in advance!

Rusty

Comments

honey bees beekeeping
Reply

Yeah, what you said is true. That’s why every beekeeper should wear a suit to prevent them from the sting of the bees.

Tony
Reply

No need to cut the ring off. It can be taken off with an elastic strap or even a piece of string.

watch this video.
http://youtu.be/DxoAbK5Pc6w

Rusty
Reply

No link?

Henrik Andersen
Reply

Clever and simple!

Raul and Amber
Reply

My wife and I wear silicone rings. They are stretchy. The benefits are they will stretch over a swollen finger and wont crimp onto your finger if you drop something heavy on them.

-Raul

Alice
Reply

Yesterday I got stung in the crease of a knuckle. Didn’t think much about it, but awoke in the night with my ring bothering me. I immediately remembered reading this a few weeks ago and took my ring off. Today after helping my husband with some pruning, my finger swelled like a balloon. I would have never gotten my ring off. Thanks Rusty!

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