Sept 2011 Meeting Minutes

Subject: [beekeeperspbc] September Member Minutes

Minutes of PBC Beekeepers Association Meeting  for September 2011.

Date: September 3, 2011

Called to order 7:08 PM

47 members, 16 visitors

August minutes were accepted.

Guest Speaker: Mark Stein, MD (allergy specialist) 

Topic Management of Stinging Insect (Hymenopteral) Allergy


Dr. Stein shared his background. He has been in practice for 33 years and is the founder of the largest allergy practice in the State of Florida. He became interested in this subject when he served in the military at Walter Reed.

-Date from the 1980's, there was a published report in Southern France showing that beekeepers had a 40% rate of systemic reactions to bee stings ranging from hives to anaphaloxis. Symptoms could range and include itching, tightness in chest, wheezing, drop in blood pressure continuing to shock and death.

-The focus of the presentation was for severe allergic reaction, particularly to honeybee stings.

-It is somewhat easy to determine whether a sting was a honeybee, vs. wasp or hornet since the stinger from a honeybee gets ripped from the body and one can see the venom sac pulsating in the skin.

-There are 3 ways to test for severe allergic reaction: 1 skin test, 2 RAST test, 3 Leukocyte histamine release test which is a specialized lab test.

-There are mast cells in the body which contain histamine and dilate blood cells creating severe allergic reaction. There are 200,000 receptors for allergic antibodies.

-When testing, venom is milked from insects in exact ml quantity which can be measured in doses up that which would be a standard dose for a full sting.

-Testing starts at 1/1,000,000th of a sting every 20 minutes and increases up to 1/100th of a sting.

-To be treated, individuals must have a history of a systemic reaction or have a positive result on the skin or RAST test.

-There are different ways to approach immunotherapy. Treatment over 18 weeks is the usual. However there is a rush immunotherapy where multiple injections are given per day, many days in a row to build up immunity quickly.

-95% of people going through immunotherapy will be protected. The treatment goal is 100 mcg of venom to be considered a 95% success rate.

-Bee, wasp, hornet treatment can be separate or combined if an individual is allergic to all. The various venoms can be combined into one injection for treatment.

- The goal of treatment is to have protective antibodies go up, while allergic antibodies go down.

-Epi pens are the most popular type of immediate treatment for allergic individuals. There are 2 types: the epi pen with one dose or the twin jet with 2 doses. For the second, the injector must be taken apart to get the second dose. Epi pens must be prescribed by a physician. The prescription can be full dose for an adult .5 or Jr. dose .3 for a child 50 pounds and under. One firmly hits against the thigh for an intramuscular injection and hold in place for the count of 3. It will work in seconds and will last for 15-20 minutes. One must call 911 immediately. If you have a second dose, it will give you an additional 15-20 minutes of time.

-If you go camping, you need to know how long it took you to get to your place to ensure that you have enough supply to get back out if needed.

-If a child requires an epi injection, it is better to give them an adult dose rather nothing at all. It will increase their heart rate and other problems but buys time for 911 (which can later be medically treated). It is far better than doing nothing which could risk possible death.

-When you have a reaction, you will not know if it's just bees or bees, or includes wasps and hornets without being tested.

- It is possible but rare for someone who never has had a problem to suddenly develop one.

There could have been an effective antibody in the body which now is not working.

- Normally each sting brings more immunity. However, if you have a reaction, you could be tested and carry an epi.

- If you have a bad reaction to a sting, every sting tends to result in a worse reaction.

- Negative sting reactions can vary and include: a mild itch not just at the site of the sting but the whole arm or body, beyond just the sting site. There may be swelling of the eyes, lips again not just at the sting site but generalized to another part of the body. There can be respiratory symptoms such as tightness of chest, wheezing, and closing of airways. After 5 minutes without oxygen, the brain will not recover. There can also be a feeling of impending doom, weakness, a drop in blood pressure, passing out. Without treatment this could lead to shock and death.

- Epi care and expiration- It doesn't really lose effectiveness on the exact date printed, but one should not keep it over 6 months since there is a decay factor in effectiveness. The solution changes color when it goes bad. An epi does not need refrigeration but do not keep it in a car glove compartment where it gets hot. Keep it at the same temperature as you would for your own body temperature comfort.

- When a person gets to the hospital after using an epi, each is usually treated differently with other medications depending on the person and situation. Each individual is different depending on what their symptoms were i.e. wheezing, shock, low oxygen, hypertension and existing health conditions i.e. heart problems, hypertensive, etc.

- There is evidence to support observations that the allergic rate from all sources is increasing among the general population. There are different theories from global warming to excess pollen. There is also the theory of if you live in a barn, you're going to be exposed to more germs and will build up more antibodies. We generally live in a more pristine environment free of many germs and allergens.

- Different stings will result in different reactions in the body. A member commented that stings to the face were worse. The reason is different vascularity in different parts of the body. Generally, there are more blood vessels in the face and head which are more likely to swell. This is considered normal.

- People have different local reactions. Some people can have swelling only at the sting site. For others a sting to the hand can result in the arm swelling. This can still be considered localized. When blood pressure drops, wheezing, etc. listed above; that's an allergic reaction.

- 95% of the population who have local reactions will continue to have nothing more. Testing cannot predict more.

- Large scale swelling as part of a local reaction may require prednisone (available by prescription) to bring down swelling. If swelling gets too large, it can restrict blood flow where a surgical incision is necessary, without which would require amputation.

-Sting directly to the eye itself is extremely rare and Dr. Stein has never seen one. Should it occur, he recommends the ER where a medical team can assess any damage and provide treatment.

-If no epi is available, Benadryl is better than nothing. In medical teaching, the recommendation is Epinephrine first, Benadryl second. Benadryl is better than nothing and can help.

-There was a question as to the maximum number of stings a healthy person could receive. A member had read 10 stings per pound of body weight. Dr. Stein didn't know of any studies regarding the maximum number of stings a healthy person could receive.

-100microgram is the average amount of venom per sting. Stings will vary according to the age, health of the bee.

-Stings for arthritis- There is published information on this subject from Dr. Mary Lovelace, a famous allergist in New England. Dr. Stein has heard of this connection but has no personal experience.

-For general stings to the body, Dr. Stein likes ice for relief.

Meeting resumed:

Treasurer's Report: Total funds $10,147.60

Beginner's Training: There has been excellent participation in these offerings. The next will take place next Saturday, September 10 at Pine Jog Environment Center from 9:30-12:00. There is a sign-up sheet for those interested by the sign-in at the door. One does not have to be a member to attend and you can bring a friend.

Logo: Apologies were expressed by Len for not returning the logo submissions. They will be returned next month.

The chosen logo was shown to members against different colored T-shirts. Next month, real shirts will be available to see and orders will be taken.

Name tags: Next month it is expected we will have name tags with the logos for members.


September 14 Chabad- Brendhan to present

September 15 Tiny Tots in Boca- Brendhan to present

September 25-Temple Judea, Len and Sara to present

Future Guest Speakers:

October: Dr. Bill Kern, Africanized vs. European honeybees

November: Tentative Mark McCoy, a commercial beekeeper

Amendments to constitution: There will be voting to amend the constitution next month as follows:

Amendment to the constitution article 5: Dues, Item 2 to read: "The membership year shall be from January 1st to December 31st of each year. New members joining after June will be provided with their membership continuing into the next year. The annual dues shall be payable at the January meeting of each year. A member becomes delinquent if dues are not paid by the February meeting:.

Amendment to By-Laws, Article 5, Section 1, Item 3: "Also make an annual statement of monies collected during the prior fiscal year (January 1st to December 31st) and present it at the meeting in January.

Amendment to Article 7: Duties of the Officers, Item 6 to be added: The president shall appoint all standing committee chairpersons except the nominating committee. Such chairpersons are not members of the board.

Amendment to By-Laws: Article 5, Section 3, The following standing committee chairperson shall be appointed by the President: -Hospitality Committee of one person who will ensure that the meeting place is in order before and after the close of each meeting. May also serve refreshments provided by the association.

Nematode treatment for hive beetles: Donna has nematodes available for those wishing them.

Librarian: Michelle Peterson has resigned due to another commitment on meeting nights.

Les had previously volunteered. Alexandra volunteered at the meeting. Members voting by raising hands. Looking at a blind number, Les had the most hands and was appointed the new librarian.

South Florida Fair: A sign-up sheet for volunteer shifts was circulated. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about bees/beekeeping while working with another member.

Association Conference: This year there will be a 1 day training program at Pine Job Environmental Center. Dr. Jamie Ellis and his staff are helping the association with in this endeavor. The conference will be for both beginners and intermediate beekeepers.

Survey to Members: There were no responses on-line. Sheets available at the door and members encouraged to give feedback.

Preparing hives for hurricanes discussion:

Suggestions: Tie down straps with tension. Plumber's Strap (available big box stores). It has perforated holes. Wrap around, secure with 2 screws to each hive body. Add eye bolts and trailer anchors with air craft cable to secure to ground.

Keep hive elevated. Try to get hives to highest ground. Flooding is a major issue in hurricanes and bees can drown.

A cinder block on top of hives and help weight them down.

Reduce the entrance but do not close.

Bungee strap or tie down straps to keep the parts of the hive box together.

Do not open hive box immediately after a hurricane. Give the bees 1 day or 2 to calm down. The hurricane upsets them as well.

Collecting bees and litigation: Those who collect bees should be aware of the dangers, stings, etc. Some members have liability insurance.

Bee Documentary Film- Al Salopek of Bee Understanding had an article in a Wellington magazine which resulted in a phone call from an individual in New York who would like to produce a documentary movie for a film festival.

Since Al cannot do this alone, members were informally asked if they would like to participate in a not for profit documentary on bees. Membership was very interested. Al will get the gentleman to come to a meeting and have a 5-15 minute dialogue about the details.

Mann Lake outpost- D & J Apiaries located in northern Florida is now an outpost supplier for Mann Lake. If members would like to place individual orders, D & J would deliver the equipment to our meeting if there is enough interest.

Nominations for Board of Directors: Nominations will be held at October meeting with elections taking place in November.

Thermal Imaging: Make Tarbett shared documents showing thermal imagine of colonies he's collected. Available for members to look at.

Cottage Industry honey suppliers: Florida recently changed the law to allow smaller beekeepers to offer honey for sale without agricultural regulations and inspections as a cottage industry. This is less than 1,500 gallons of honey. While inspections are not required, labeling is required. You would continue to have your own private label. There is new vital information that must be provided so the honey could be tracked back if there was a problem. The information would include who you are, contact information and your bee registration number. This information is available on-line as A PDF through the Yahoo group site or through FSBA.

Beekeepers Rummage Sale: There was a question raised by a member as to the possibility of a beekeepers rummage sale of equipment no longer in use. Len stressed that it must be clean since used equipment carries the possibility of unwanted pathogens. This issue to be pursued at next month's meeting.

Meeting adjoined at 8:40 PM

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