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Poll: How many bee stings per 2000 mile AT hike?

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  1. #1

    Question Number of bee stings

    One item that I recently became interested in is bee, yellowjacket, or hornet stings or ... and I was wondering how many times people got stung with over 2000 miles on the AT.

  2. #2
    Registered User CynJ's Avatar
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    I didn't vote in the poll as not to skew your results since I'm not a 2000miler

    But hiking in CT when the Moutain Laurel is in full bloom sucks for bee stings. Especially since a lot of the trails cut right through big swaths of Moutain Laurel. And they are ornery little buggers too. I got stung about 7 times this summer alone.
    ~CynJ

    "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    GA-->ME 2005 MacGyver2005's Avatar
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    I got hit hard once while on the trail. My father (Just Passin' Thru) and I came across Hareball and stopped to talk to her for a few minutes. We ended up at RPH Shelter that night, so we were in NY if my memory serves me. We were standing there talking and apparently I was too close to a nest of ground bees. We had no idea until I felt this ungodly pain in my thigh, I lept into the trail and hit the ground running. I know my father was stung two or three times, as was Hareball, but luckily not with the intensity I was.

    That was our only encounter, though.

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    -MacGyver
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  4. #4
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Had a couple close calls but never got stung

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  5. #5
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    I never got stung either. HOI, what are you up to now... got a plan to use bees to teach mosquittos, flies, etc to just get along with us and not bite or sting us?

  6. #6

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    i have a friend who swats at bees everytime one gets near him, he gets stung a lot. I like bees. (and honey) Been stung 2 or 3 times in my life. Once when i was with him (above)

  7. #7
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I got stung once in 500 miles of the AT, so does that count as 1/4?
    SGT Rock
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  8. #8
    GAME 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock
    I got stung once in 500 miles of the AT, so does that count as 1/4?
    Only if you were Blue Blazing... if you were White Blazing it would extrapolate to four times.

  9. #9
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Well my blue blazing miles are quite a bit, especially if you consider ANY other trail (even ones not connected to the AT) a blueblaze.
    SGT Rock
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  10. #10
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    We have to carry an epi pen on our hikes b/c my son is allergic to yellow jackets. I pray to God I never have to use it though!

    BTW - I did a section hike through McAfee Knob / Tinker Cliffs area this summer and got stung on the thumb. Met some thru hikers at Daleville after our hike and one of them got stung too. So the nest was on the trail, lucky for us.







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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood
    HOI, what are you up to now...
    Nothing too serious more just idle curiosity prompted by my own recent reaction to a few yellow jacket stings up in the Big Schloss area on the Mill Mtn. Tr. and also the one scene in _Walking with Freedon_ with the woman who had been stung and whose eye was swollen shut as a result.

    For now until I can get desensitized I have to carry an Epi-Pen unless I am in the back country in which case I'll need to carry several Epi-Pens since they are only good for about 20 minutes a shot.

    BTW I have been stung several times while hiking but usually when I am bushwhacking - 3 x honey bee on ankle when I sat on a rock overlook that was too close to their hive, 3 x by hornets / paper wasps while whacking through some thick brush (hand swelled up to twice normal size, treated with prednisone); 1 x yellow jacket on back of calf while on an overgrown trail; and most recently 3 x by yellow jackets (thumb, arm and back of head) on Big Schloss Cutoff Tr. - they had been disturbed by some Boy Scouts that were just ahead of me - this was my first and I hope last systemic reaction.
    Last edited by jlb2012; 11-03-2005 at 04:15.

  12. #12
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    How do you get desensitized?

    They only stings I can recall in the last 20 years or so was by yellow jackets in my backyard. Both times they had a nest in the ground that I didn't discover until I was cutting the grass. Both times they nailed me a few times before I realized what was going on. I was hiking with a girl friend one time were the best I can figure, I disturbed their nest in the ground without knowing it and they got her since she was behind me. She didn't have a reaction but it was kind of bad. She stood there at first while she was getting stung. I basically had to go back to her and get her running up the trail a hundred yards or so. They were repeatably nailing her, even through her nylon clothes and wouldn't stop until I killed them.

    I've been lucky so far in that I haven't been sensitive to bees or poision ivy... but I just had surgery on my knee last tuesday were I wasn't so lucky last winter and stepped the wrong way in a leaf covered hole. Most everything has risk associated with it, just have to do the best you can with the hand you are dealt.

    Youngblood

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood
    How do you get desensitized?
    basically you go see an allergist and get tested to see how allergic you are and what you are allergic to and then you get a series of shots over the course of many months where each shot is an increasing concentration of the particular bee venom that you are allergic to

    the same procedure is also used for hayfever desensitization

    with respect to bee stings it is something that would not be done unless the person has had a systemic reaction and the particular venom can be identified through skin test or other tests

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    I stepped on a yellow jacket nest during a section hike south of Fontana in September 2003. I hope that has used up my allotment of stings for quite a number of years into the future. I watch where I step very vigilantly in the fall now.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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  15. #15

    Default Yellow jacket under my watch band

    I just became a 2,000 miler and my section hikes stretch out over many years so I don't remember how many stings (now black fly bites, that's another matter!). One memorable sting: October 2004 on a SOBO section hike Allen Gap to the now-defunct Rainbow Springs campground my first full day heading to Hot Springs, warm day, I felt this stinging pain by my watch. A yellow jacket had wormed its way between the watch band and my skin. In my haste to oust him or her (which one stings?), I ripped the band off breaking the pin. Fortunately, the hardware store in Hot Springs had a replacement pin.

  16. #16
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hog On Ice
    BTW I have been stung several times while hiking but usually when I am bushwhacking - 3 x honey bee on ankle when I sat on a rock overlook that was too close to their hive, 3 x by hornets / paper wasps while whacking through some thick brush (hand swelled up to twice normal size, treated with prednisone); 1 x yellow jacket on back of calf while on an overgrown trail; and most recently 3 x by yellow jackets (thumb, arm and back of head) on Big Schloss Cutoff Tr. - they had been disturbed by some Boy Scouts that were just ahead of me - this was my first and I hope last systemic reaction.
    It's rare for honey bees to sting simply by getting too close to their nest. I used to keep a few hives of bees and found I could handle them quite a bit without raising their ire. I could do things like lifting the hive cover to check honey and brood frames and they would mostly ignore me, providing I moved slowly and methodically.

    I was strictly an amateur. Professional beekeepers ternd to be far braver than I ever was.

  17. #17
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    It's rare for honey bees to sting simply by getting too close to their nest

    I think I may have only seen one or two wild honey bee nests-- I am thinking of the kind where its hanging from a tree and the bees are crawling ovewr the outside.

    Next time I'll get real close and take a picture!

    Thanks, Weary!

  18. #18
    Michael + Laura Ryan justusryans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickboudrie
    I think I may have only seen one or two wild honey bee nests-- I am thinking of the kind where its hanging from a tree and the bees are crawling ovewr the outside.

    Next time I'll get real close and take a picture!

    Thanks, Weary!
    That sounds like a paper wasps nest. They'll light you up pretty good!!
    "We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us."

    Kahlil Gibran

  19. #19
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    I call that hanging nest a HORNETS nest.

    at the local coffee shop here in Fbks a local artist has designed a

    Hornet's nest dress..which is a headless female maniquene clothed in a dress fashioned from hornet nests,,,

    I call it the hornets nest in a dress,, strictly from past personal experiences,

    there is truth in art
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justusryans
    That sounds like a paper wasps nest. They'll light you up pretty good!!
    I suspect you are right. Wild honey bees, which these days mostly consist of bee swarms that have escaped from a bee farm, nest in hollow trees.

    Actually wild bees are increasingly rare because an imported bug is deadly to honey bees so only domesticated hives that are treated with bug killers survive for very long -- at least in the northeast where I live.

    Weary

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