Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Vitamin C more than just a supplement


Bees are amazing creatures.
They work as a team,
they live for six weeks,
they look after each other,
their queens lays thousands of eggs, they can build and repair,
they don’t need sat nav,
they make antibiotic treatment for their hive,
they can tell when the queens gone,
they can create a new queen,
they can create heat,
they can swarm,


They can sting!

Now their sting ability is much maligned and often their many other skills are not talked about .

In the course of our bee keeping I’ve been stung three times.

I wanted to share what I learned when I was stung.

The first time nothing really happened. It hurt it felt like some one stamped on my hand. And I got some swelling.

The bee herself died.

The second time wasn’t that simple.

At the time we were harvesting honey. I was lifting a honey box weighing around twenty kilos. I was passed it by Rob, my husband.
As I put my hand under the edge of the box there she was waiting for my poor defenceless finger.

I should point out that we learned to bee keep bare handed. If helps you to be careful! (I might not recommend it!)

So I’m standing there with twenty kg of honey in a box and a stung finger. I had to carry the box ten metres and put it on a trolley.

Then I could shout and say rude words!

After that I spent several hours uncapping sixty honey frames.

After that my hand started to get larger.


The skin smoothed out. If looked like a hand ten years younger. The swelling spread from my ring finger towards my wrist.

I took antihistamine.
I applied ice.
I elevated.

My hand continued to grow over the next two days.

I went to the doctors. The receptionist said it was localised swelling and reaction.

I took antihistamine.
I applied ice.
I elevated.


The creases in my knuckles filled out. I was unable to touch my finger to my thumb. It got pinker.


The knuckle creases were standing out now and getting swollen. It itched.

I went to the hospital. (Guess what?)
They said it’s localised swelling and reaction. The put a wet bandage on it. It went warm and clammy. They said keep it elevated in cool water. Quite tricky that one.

I took antihistamine.
I applied ice.
I elevated.
I went online.
I read a number of things that said for localised sting swelling Vitamin C was a good thing.


The swelling started to go down significantly. Now if there is any anaphylactic reaction serious treatment is needed but for local swelling I think this can help.

I now take vitamin C before bee visits and when I got stung by bee number three I took C again. No swelling at all.

A guy on our course who had a similar reaction ended up with huge blisters and antibiotics as the reaction progressed and he gave up the course.

I do wear gloves now mainly in case of inconvenience. But more importantly I carry Vit C in the bee kit.



15 comments on “Vitamin C more than just a supplement

  1. treehugger1288
    February 13, 2014

    Is it easy to be a beekeeper? We are playing with the idea. The bees seem to be in a bit of trouble these days.


    • lizard100
      February 13, 2014

      Mew think it is easy. If you are of a nature minded disposition already that helps. These days it’s good to do a course but some people don’t. Find a book on the subject. There a several basic things you need to do but we’ve gone for as non invasive an approach as we can and kept it organic and it’s going well. We’ve only been doing it for a couple of years but it’s straightforward.


  2. Sarah
    February 13, 2014

    Owwwwwwwwww. Got stung by a wasp last year and that was bad enough. Great to know about vitamin C though, I’ll take some up to the allotment.


    • lizard100
      February 13, 2014

      It also helps a bit with wasps. Two big 1000mg in water.


  3. bafriyie
    February 13, 2014

    This is odd. I’m reading a post in the future. Time travel is possible! I write to you from the past, from February 12 in Canada. I’ve never been stung by a bee and I hope to keep it that way. I hope you’re feeling better.


    • lizard100
      February 13, 2014

      Thanks. I like the time delay. It’s part of the automatic scheduling thing. If posted here close to midnight!


  4. lindaswildlifegarden
    February 13, 2014

    Hope your finger is getting better thank you for a lovely informative post


  5. lindaswildlifegarden
    February 13, 2014

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    please read if you like bees just encase you get stung


  6. mira
    February 13, 2014

    Thanks for the Vit C tip. Even the most careful beekeeper gets stung sometimes.


    • lizard100
      February 13, 2014

      It’s handy and easy and Vit C is accessible without side effects in general.


      • ssss
        May 30, 2015


        Its great to read this story because i hade the exact same reaction with my hand and i didnt know what to do!

        How much do you take of the vitamin when you get stung? And do you only take it on site afterwards or also generally ?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        May 30, 2015

        I take 1000mg before we go beekeeping. Then if I get stung I take another 1000mg straight away. Then I’d take another a few hours later if I’m concerned. Then there’s little or no reaction.


      • ssss
        May 30, 2015

        This post is really helpful for me, cause i have also the same kind of tendency.

        How much do you take of the vitamin when you get stung?
        And do you also take it generally or only on site after the incident?


        Liked by 1 person

  7. darkqueen2013
    February 15, 2014

    Reblogged this on The Dark Queen and commented:
    Thanks for the great tip


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