Safety Advice for Beekeepers
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From an article in Bee Craft October 2020:
‘I’m carrying on beekeeping’ by Elaine Boyce.
Written by a beekeeper who had experienced an anaphylactic shock:
Wherever you are beekeeping, make sure you are within a short walking distance of an ambulance point. If you become ill, believe me, you won’t be able to walk far.
Wherever you are beekeeping, if you start to become at all unwell or puffed, immediately walk to an accessible safe place. Don’t assume an ambulance or paramedic can get to you wherever you are- the bees might stop them!
Once in an area accessible to an ambulance and you think you are not feeling right, dial 999 immediately – don’t wait.
If you have been prescribed an EpiPen (they are only on prescription in the UK), make sure that it is within its use by date.
Should you have to use an EpiPen, you must still call an ambulance and go to hospital, even though you might feel better.
Never beekeep alone when you start out and are uncertain about your reaction to bee stings.
Have somebody at least in sight, even if they are only sitting in a car at safe distance from the bees, keeping an eye on you.
If you do beekeep alone, make sure to have your mobile phone handy and ready to speed dial an emergency number if you begin to suffer a reaction.
You will need to tell the emergency services exactly where you are, so it’s also a good idea to have clear directions ready to send by phone. Map co-ordinates are a good idea but it is easier to remember locations using the What3words system.
This has divided the entire surface of the planet into 3 metre square boxes, each with a unique three-word name. Simply go to what3words.com to find the three words that can be used to accurately locate your apiary. You might also consider telling your GP surgery the location of your apiary or apiaries.
Finally, if you ever have to run from bees, don’t waste time and energy flailing your arms around- it only helps your veil and suit to go flat against your face, neck and body, and the bees get a chance to give you a really good sting.
Concentrate all your energy to your legs and get out of there quickly.