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Pennsylvania - Montgomery County Beekeepers' Association

Beekeepers Helping Beekeepers

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Can You Tell Them Apart? 

 

Part of the fear that gives rise to hysteria in communities about backyard beekeeping is the simple inability to tell the honeybee apart from more agressive insects like wasps and yellow jackets.  The honeybee is so busy collecting pollen, this lowly vegetarian has no time to visit your picnics or bother you when you are mowing or landscaping.  See the facts here.

 

Did You Know?

Many people claim to be allergic to bees based on local swelling that occurs based upon stings that have often come from other insects and NOT from honeybees.  While life threatening reactions to stings are possible and should not be taken lightly, most people who claim to be allergic are actually just experiencing their body's normal reaction to the venom from a wasp or bee sting -- local swelling and heat.  Did you know that you can get tested?  Your local allergist can arrange for testing to confirm not only whether you are allergic but also which species you might have allergies to.  The scratch tests are administered much like environmental allergen scratch tests where the venoms of a wide variety of stinging insects can be tested to judge the reaction strength.  If you are found to have a high sensitivity, you can get allergy shots that will help to boost your immune system and prevent the undesired response upon encountering a sting.  More importantly the allergist will help you put in perspective what kind of insect you might be sensitive too, so that you don't blame the beneficial insects that are all around us.