Potential conflict of interest: None provided.
Characteristics of venom allergic reactions in Turkish beekeepers and alternative treatment modalities
Article first published online: 25 MAR 2014
© 2014 ARS-AAOA, LLC
International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology
Volume 4, Issue 7, pages 555–558, July 2014
How to Cite
How to Cite this Article: Characteristics of venom allergic reactions in Turkish beekeepers and alternative treatment modalities. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2014;4:555–558., , , , .
- Issue published online: 2 JUL 2014
- Article first published online: 25 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 28 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Received: 7 NOV 2013
- venom allergy;
- venom immunotherapy;
- alternative treatment;
- epinephrine autoinjector;
- systemic reaction
The objective of this work was to determine the characteristics of allergic reactions that may occur after a bee sting and alternative treatment methods in Turkish beekeepers.
A written questionnaire was administered to beekeepers from the Ordu, Samsun, Sinop, Amasya, and Çorum provinces located in the Central Black Sea Region of Turkey.
The study included 301 beekeepers, 295 (98%) of whom were male. Their mean age was 48.2 ± 11.5 years. The mean beekeeping duration was 15.3 ± 10.5 years. A total of 270 participants (89.9%) had a history of bee stings in the previous 12 months. Systemic reactions, large local reactions, and local reactions were seen in 21 (6.9%), 193 (64.1%), and 12 (4.0%) beekeepers, respectively. The face was the most frequently stung body site, and swelling generally occurred in the eyelids. The size of the swellings decreased within 12 to 24 hours in 259 (86.1%) beekeepers. The size of the swellings was 1 × 2 cm in diameter in 157 (52.2%) beekeepers. Natural protection against bee stings had developed by 12 months in 140 (46.5%) beekeepers. In total, 61.5% of the beekeepers applied alternative treatments (eg, garlic, onion water, yogurt), whereas 14.0% (3/21) were admitted to a hospital with a systemic reaction. In total, 10.6% and 14.2% of beekeepers were aware of adrenaline auto-injector and venom immunotherapy, respectively.
This study indicates insufficient knowledge and attitudes among Turkish beekeepers regarding bee sting reactions.