Multiple Bee Stings

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by americe, May 17, 2016.

  1. americe

    americe New Egg

    Mar 4, 2015
    Beekeeping and chickens: my sad story


    I lost my favorite, plucky, people-loving hen tonight. She would RUN to see me. She was the kindest "alpha" hen. Such a beauty. So sweet! [​IMG]

    When I arrived home from work, her eyes were swollen. She hadn't come to greet me, and I found her walking/staggering in circles looking dazed.
    Frantic, I read about coryza and dashed to TSC for antibiotic therapy.
    I brought my hen with me--she was in a terrible state.
    The TSC clerk had kept show chickens for years and noticed the "thorns" on her face. They looked like large sand granules. I assumed she fell on her face in the dirt. But the clerk pulled a few of them off and showed them to me. I recognized them right away as bee stingers. My poor hen had about 20-30 stingers on her eye lids, waddle --all around the head.

    We pulled out all the stingers and I dashed to drug store for 1/2 mL liquid Benadryl PO. She was panting/struggling to breathe. Got her home and injected 0.03 mL epinephrine IM. Her coloring improved very slightly. But she continued to have trouble breathing and uncontrollable vertigo, vertical nystagmus, and what looked like partial seizures (one leg forward with flexed toes, one leg backward fully extended with sole of the foot upward).
    It was torture to witness..

    After reviewing online info, a lethal dose of bee venom is said to be 10 stings per pound.
    My hen weighed at least 7 pounds.. So I felt somewhat reassured that her bee sting dosage would not be fatal.

    She continued to have a high temp--it felt like a high fever. She was still staggering in circles. I thought the cool, outdoor, 50-degree temp and enclosure of an isolated hen box might help her feel calm -- stop
    her from staggering in circles. I put her in the outdoor hen box, and she seemed to calm a little initially. I was checking on her every 10 minutes. But after just 30-40 minutes I heard a loud shuddering noise through the open window--as if she were thrashing all around. I ran outside and she was limp. Dead. Still very hot/feverish. I'm afraid in her conversing she may have broken her neck.

    I'm not sure what more could have been done.

    What's worse, is that a few weeks ago my 1+ year old rooster died. He had these same large sand particles on his face -- at the time, I could not understand what happened?! But now I know!
    Please let this be a warning for you.
    I've kept chicken and bees together in the yard for 2+ years. Now in the span of month I've lost 2 of my flock of 5... Now, flock of 3... Lots of tears.
  2. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    oh no, that's terrible. Poor girl. I wonder why they attacked en masse like that?
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    I am so sorry about your losses [​IMG]. And hope there are no further problems.

    Sounds like they may have gotten too close to the hives? If so, consider fencing to keep the remaining flock at a distance from the bees.

    Welcome, glad you have joined us.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I wonder if it was yellow jackets or whatever that nest in the ground. Those would be easy to step on and draw their ire. I am so sorry about your hen. What a horrible thing to have happen. I know chickens sometimes eat bees with no after effects but, that was a lot of stings for her. Sometimes bees are attracted to chicken feed etc. I wonder if that might have happened.

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