Sad news from the midwest

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Sad news from the midwest

Post by dc4461 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:49 am

This is from the Mississippi Valley Beekeepers Association in Quincy, IL
Posted by Loren Brown

As was mentioned in the MVBA October meeting minutes, Matt Burrows of Griggsville died Sunday October 25 of multiple bee stings. Judy and I attended the visitation yesterday and got more information. Let us all learn from this tragic experience.

Matt had needed medical treatment twice before for bee sting reactions and knew he was sensitive to bee venom. On Saturday, Matt had removed several wasps/hornets from a bee hive. He was checking the hive on Sunday when he was stung several times in his face. He got back to the house and told his wife that he needed help, then collapsed on the floor. In the panic that followed, the family could not find the EpiPen immediately and when they did find it, it was outdated. They went ahead and administered the EpiPen while family members were doing CPR, but Matt was already gone within a few minutes of getting back to the house, long before medical help could arrive. His wife said that even if they had found the EpiPen sooner, it was already too late to save Matt. His wife also asked that all beekeepers learn from her tragic experience.

Matt was self-employed with a heating-air conditioning business. He leaves a wife and 5 children (ages 9 to 17).

Lessons to be learned:

1) In spite of those on U-Tube who do not wear protective gear (especially head veils), it is wise to wear a veil at minimum when working with the bees. Reactions to stings around the face and neck are usually faster than other areas of the body. Veils, jackets and gloves are recommended for every trip to the apiary.
2) Keep the EpiPen in the medicine cabinet so everyone knows where to find it quickly as a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Know how to use it before you need it and follow those directions to the letter.
3) Make sure that your EpiPen is not expired.
4) Only give ONE dose per incident and get medical attention quickly. Note the time that you gave the injection and give this time to the medical personnel. DO NOT give an adult dose to a child. Too much can be as harmful as not enough.

At our meeting, it was also mentioned that you can get free EpiPens, so we checked into that, and this is what we found:

1. You need a prescription from your physician.
2. Call your insurance company that your pharmacy benefits are through to find if you are covered for an EpiPen. This is a very important step!
3. Depending on your insurance coverage, some insurance companies will require a co-pay for EpiPen prescription.
4. Some physicians and pharmacies may have coupons for discounts on your co-pay, or you can go the EpiPen website ( for a discount coupon (which may cover the cost of the co-pay).
5. If you don’t have insurance coverage, ask your physician or pharmacist if they have coupons from EpiPen that you may be able to get the EpiPen at no or reduced cost.
6. An example of a zero co-pay coupon that can be printed from the EpiPen website that can be used with some insurance coverages is attached.

Webmasters – please put the lessons learned and EpiPen info on the your beekeepers websites and share with local club members.

Steve Petrilli – please send this to all ISBA member associations.

Dale Hill, Ph.D., PAS
MVBA Secretary-Treasurer
ISBA Central Region Director

Backyard Bees
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:52 am

Re: Sad news from the midwest

Post by Backyard Bees » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:32 pm

Tragic. Thank you for sharing.
Backyard Bees
P.O. Box 7426
Boulder, Colorado 80306

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