The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 2, 2005


Late summer bees bring reminder

When August is full and lush, when the tomatoes are red in the garden and peaches ripening on the tree, the Joe Pyeweed flowers bend down with attendant bees and the soon-to-be-pink autumn sedum is building up to a full crescendo of bees humming and feeding, it is time to remember that not all bees make honey: some of them sting.

It is a vulnerable time of year for persons allergic to bee stings, and the weighted down flower and humming flowerheads are reminders for these persons to be sure they have appropriate medication and identification on their person. According to Fire Chief Dave Flannery, Epi-pens for bee sting allergy need to be checked for effective dates and be replaced by the end of the effective period. Flannery also stresses that temperature affects the potency of some emergency medications, so that attention needs to be given to the place of storage, e.g., a car glove compartment, though convenient, is less than ideal for emergency medication that should be kept at room temperature.

Although individuals with a bee sting allergy are most at risk at this time of year, emergency medication for asthsma and nitroglycerine for emergency heart medication have similar time and temperature constraints: they need to be up-to-date and properly stored to be effective. Personal identification, such as a bracelet, and the availability of appropriate medication can be critical factors in a medical emergency. Just as Halloween serves as a reminder for clock setters (or used to) and battery changers, the buzzing bees of late summer serve as a reminder to check emergency medications and replace any with a lapsed effective date.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito