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 homemade bee repellent?

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slaggyc Posted - 10/12/2012 : 10:01:05 PM
Looking for some bee advice~ A few weeks ago my 4 year old got her first bee sting at her soccer game. (It came within 5 minutes of her scoring her first goal- a day of firsts!) Every since, she is petrified to go outside. I was thinking there may be a way to make some kind of repellent I could spray on her? Any ideas?

To top it off, she had a mild allergic reaction, but I've heard the next sting could be worse? So I'm a bit nervous for her too, but trying not to show it. :)

7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
slaggyc Posted - 10/16/2012 : 1:41:04 PM
Wow, that is so kind of you, Purlewe! I will PM you. I have a feeling Lucy will absolutely love it!

Thanks for the comments, Luann. Your best friend sounds just like me, never stung and terrified (though I try my best to hide it for the kids.)

We actually took a nice walk through the park. Lucy was able to actually play and have fun (even without her 'magic' repellent spray I made!) A few times she said she thought she heard bees and wanted to go home, but she stuck it out. It's a definite improvement!

Luann Posted - 10/16/2012 : 1:04:02 PM
Anj, I'm sorry about your bees, that's very sad. And Slaggyc, I think you are doing all the right things. At age 4 especially, your daughter is discovering that the world is a scary place. My son is terrified of dogs, it peaked at age 4 but it's still a worry for him. He works on it with role-play and pretend games. I haven't told him that when I was 4 I was mauled by our family dog because I don't want to make his fears even worse, but I look forward to the day he outgrows it. It's worth talking to your pediatrician about her skin reaction, though, because if she is truly allergic you'll want to have an Epi-pen Jr. and benadryl on hand at all times.

I will say I too was terrified of bees as a child. I remember clearly a time when I was 6 or 7 and a bee landed on me while I was out in our backyard. I stood still as a statue and cried until a neighbor came and brushed it away. It felt like I was there for hours but I'm sure it was just a few minutes. My best friend was also afraid of bees and would become hysterical at the sight of one, which only made things worse (and exceedingly dramatic!)

Then when I was 11 I went to sleep-away camp for the first time. The whole place was full of yellow-jackets and people got stung all the time. We went on a nature walk and the boy in front of me stepped in a hive. He was allergic to bees and flipped out, the counselors all came running and whisked him and his Epi-pen away before he got stung. Meanwhile, I got stung three times. It hurt but I didn't die, so my terror was somewhat diminished. By the end of the week I had been stung almost every day. I learned to get the stinger out, put a paste of baking soda on it, and came home a much tougher little girl. My best friend from childhood is now 48 and still terrified of bees. Did I mention she's never been stung?

Knit and let knit!
purlewe Posted - 10/16/2012 : 06:08:08 AM
I know this sounds strange, but I have the Bee Movie book. My inlaws bought it for me. It's a kids book all about bees. And frankly.. while it was real sweet of my inlaws, it isn't exactly a book I want to keep forever. I have some more technical books about bees that help me as a bee keeper, but this is more about teaching children what bees do. I would love to send it to you. PM me your address and I will put in the mail. It is about the right age for your kids.. well you would have to read it to her, but it is about the right age. It would make me happy to send it to a good home. And if you decide not to keep it, donate it to a library or kids book sale. :D

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. ~Myrna Loy
slaggyc Posted - 10/15/2012 : 9:24:53 PM
I am so sorry about your hive! I've never even heard of robber bees, but googled it after reading your post and read about it. So awful. Is it for sure lost? I imagine I would have for sure had a good cry too. And more than one. :(

After reading your suggestions, my husband started watching youtube videos about bees with my daughter. I think it is helping her to understand them. And we're planning a trip to the library to get some books too!

purlewe Posted - 10/15/2012 : 03:47:30 AM
Oh Benedryl! That was a good idea too. Since your body releases histamines you did absolutely the right thing. I didn't think of it b'c my weird body is absolutely allergic to allergy medicine. (weird no?) But that was a great idea.

Part of me thinks that since she was stung on the ear that is just a weird area of the body. no real flesh there, just skin and cartilage.. and so the capillaries tried to bring the venom down the body and remove it thru the blood stream. The other part of me says huh. I've never heard of a reaction like that. So who's to say if that is an allergy or not. Poor thing. I feel bad for her. My sting bumps lasted about 10 days. I hope hers went away sooner with the benedryl.

Also I think that if she feels safer and calmer with your bug spray then use it. Anything to make her feel like she has some protection. All my knowledge says it doesn't matter.. but what DOES matter is making her feel safe. And who knows if you have come upon some magic potion!! Something with her body chemistry and your smarts! And like I said, she needs to FEEL safe. And hopefully at this time of year they are going to resting mode anyway. I forget what part of the country your in Slaggy, but hopefully if it is fall where you are then they are trying to get the last stores and tuck in for winter.

After I wrote you the next day my bees started being robbed by another hive. My poor girls! They fight until the death. I did all I could to help them, but I am afraid that this hive might die now. Robber bees come back again and again until they either kill the hive, or rob their food so they starve. I was pretty heartbroken yesterday. I had a good cry. But I am a softy and will mostly likely cry again. They had SO MUCH HONEY for a first yr hive. I was certain they had enough to survive the winter.

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. ~Myrna Loy
slaggyc Posted - 10/14/2012 : 9:35:34 PM
Thank you so much for all the information!! I really like your idea of taking her somewhere she can safely observe bees. I think that would really help her~ she is very curious by nature and inquisitive. In the meantime, I'll check out the movie and maybe even some books about bees.

First off, I have never been stung myself or been by someone who was stung, so it was kind of a first for me too (although I have been stung by a wasp.) So, at the game she was stung on the ear. (And actually a parent was stung on the sidelines about 10 minutes before). She ran over crying, somehow someone had tweezers and I pulled the stinger out. Then someone else gave me children's benadryl which I ended up giving her. Her ear was really red and swollen, and she developed a rash that started at her ear and went down her neck and chest. It did not itch though and stayed for about 4-5 days. She didn't have any issues with breathing.

I figured there was really no bee repellent, but was hoping. :) I did make an insect spray using a recipe I found~ vodka, essential oils of citronella, pennyroyal, teatree, jojoba. (It also said lavender, but I skipped that thinking it might attract them?) Anyway, it was risky because I never had a chance to test it out beforehand (I sent my husband outside with it but it was morning and cool out) , but she refused to go to the game without it so I sprayed the finest of mists above her hoping with all my might I did not just create some bee attraction concoction. She survived! Phew!

Thanks again for all the help!

purlewe Posted - 10/13/2012 : 2:39:36 PM
what was her reaction? I am a beekeeper and I can tell you that EVERYONE has a reaction to bees. like a mosquito bite they bump up and are hot and swollen for several days before they start to itch. If you don't get the stinger out it will continue to pump venom for several hours. If there is a black dot of any kind in the stung area the stinger is still in the skin and the body typically does not heal fully until it is out.

The only real worry was did she have any shortness or problem catching her breath? If not then she did not have an adverse reaction, she had a normal reaction. And she won't generally have anything worse than that her whole life. People who are truly and really allergic to bee stings cannot breath within minutes of being stung. If she didn't have any of these issues then you personally don't have to worry. Altho explaining that to a child of that age is difficult. If she DID have a problem breathing after a sting then I suggest carrying an epi pen around with you while she is outside. An epi pen will NOT relieve a person of the swollen itchy bumps, but will help a person whose airway is closing up long enough for you to reach a hospital.

There is really no repellent for a bees. They tend to get upset if there is a lot of running around waving your arms in the air. Those symptoms tend to tell bees that animals are coming to steal from their hive and they don't look kindly to that. And kids playing soccer tends to equal running around and waving your arms in the air. Now the most important thing to tell your 4 yr old is that when she sees a bee she should remain calm. that crying and screaming only aggravate the bee and tell it that you are an enemy. Again, hard concept for a 4 yr old.

Also.. people don't realize this, but most things that tend to sting aren't usually bees altho they do get the bad wrap for it. yellow jackets and wasps tend to sting humans far more often. and sadly yellow jackets and wasps can sting more than once and not die. Bees themselves? They die if they sting you. It is their last defense. It is why they really really don't want to sting. BUT if you get stung by a honey bee the first thing to remove yourself from the area. They release a hormone that tells the other honey bees to sting you as you are an aggressor. 2nd remove the stinger as quickly as possible. The stinger has saw like blades that bore into the skin and continue to pump venom in you. Ice for at least 24-48 hours. some people say baking soda poultices help bring down swelling and pain.

I am sorry your 4 yr old got stung. I hope that she can overcome her fear of bees. I truly promise you that they don't want to sting you and die. And maybe.. just maybe you could visit a farm with an observation hive and see how they work. It is truly amazing. (an observation hive is sealed and inside with no bees escaping. It has glass walls so that you can observe how bees work inside a hive. It might help her overcome her fear if she sees how bees work.) Another idea is that cartoon movie with Jerry Seinfeld in it. It was called Bee Movie and it is totally animated and silly. Maybe by getting her to laugh over bees she won't be as scared? here is a link for the movie to see if it is up your alley.

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. ~Myrna Loy

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