Early Years of Beekeeping

Spring in my home town of Putaruru

Spring in Putaruru

This was the last spring the hives remained at home. My youngest brother who had just turned 2 was learning to walk. Mum felt that the bees might be a threat to him so I relocate them to the family farm several kilometres away.

When he was older he would help me with the bees, but unfortunately developed an allergic reaction to bee venon. A common misconception is that 99% of the population is allergic to bees stings, but this isn't the case. An allergic reaction like my brothers is life threatening, where the throat and other areas not stung by the bee swells. Breathing was difficult. It was frightening to witness and he was rushed to a doctor for medical assistance. An injection of antihistamine was required. It is thought that with repeating contact with the beekeepers clothing and skin, small amounts of bee venom is transferred to the other person and this can sensitize them by provoking the production of IgE.