To Bee Or Not To Bee?

As you may or may not know, like most people living with mastocytosis, I am deathly allergic to bees, wasps and other Hymenopterans. I nearly died a few years ago from a wasp sting and it was actually what led me to getting my diagnosis (but that’s a different post for a different day).

I now have to carry EpiPens with me wherever I go and even those are no guarantee they will save my life, due to the nature of this disease.

We have lost several members of the mast cell disease community to insect stings and, like Angela Kendrick, many of them used EpiPens to no avail.

A mother was killed by a single wasp sting after suffering a severe allergic reaction caused by a rare illness – just months before she was set to get treatment for the condition.

Retired shop worker Angela Jacqueline Kendrick, 69, collapsed after being stung while on a family holiday in the countryside, an inquest heard. The pensioner had suffered from mast cell disorder, which puts people at risk of high sensitivity to stings and can even kill.

Allison told the inquest the old wives’ tale treatment of an onion for a sting showed her mum’s ‘lack of education’ about her condition. Her sister injected adrenaline from her mum’s EpiPen on her to counteract the allergic reaction as the family called an ambulance.

But the inquest heard Angela began having trouble breathing, described by her daughter as an ‘awful rasping’. Allison said: ‘There was no physical sign that the adrenaline had any effect whatsoever.’

So yeah. It’s a bit scary and it makes everything challenging, especially when you love gardening like I do!

We’ve been debating whether or not to keep bees here on our little one acre homestead despite my risk of death from a fatal sting. We already have loads of wasps, hornets and bees of all kinds coming and going anyway so I’m at risk either way, but now that they are taking pre-orders on the Flow hives, we’re really tempted to order one.

Why the Flow hive? Because, if you look closely, you can just turn a tap and get honey right from the hive without disturbing the bees!!

They’re made in Australia and use a system that, according to them, makes beekeeping a breeze, especially for people like us with zero experience:

Flow’s patented split cell technology uses partially formed comb that the bees complete. Once filled and capped, turn the key and inside the honeycomb cells split, creating channels for the honey to flow down while the bees remain undisturbed on the surface of the comb.

You can see it in action here:

We all know the world needs more bees, so that’s another reason we want to get one. Plus, honey is just one of those things you want to have as a homesteader/prepper and it offers the bonus of being anti-inflammatory which can really help with my mast cell issues.

We’ve read several reviews on these, some bad and some good. There’s no way to know unless we try and we’ll be making the decision soon since they ship them from Australia in mid May so the window to preorder is shrinking by the day. It would be a pricey experiment since the one we need for our climate runs well over $1,000 with shipping and doesn’t include the cost of bees or other supplies (beekeeping suits, etc.).

So I don’t know. I really love the look and idea of them and again, honey can be quite useful during a SHTF scenario (It has an indefinite shelf life, in fact, there has been honey found in Egyptian tombs that is still edible!) but it is a huge investment. Plus, there are tons of local beekeepers selling honey and we could buy a LOT of it from them for that money. So, hmm.

Would YOU want to try a Flow hive? Let me know in the comments!

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