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06-06-1999, 10:19 AM
Situation: You're riding on your bike at some 20 m.p.h on a country road. A regular-size bee, cruising at whatever speed a regular-size bee usually cruises, enters your oral orifice just as you are swallowing.

Question: Will your gag reflex be quicker than the bee's instinctual reaction of stinging once it's engaged in your oesophagus and feels trapped? And, if the bee does sting, are you in danger of suffocating from the swelling of the oesophagus?

06-06-1999, 10:23 AM
People who are allergic to bee venom are definitely in trouble, yes - I dunno about "normal" folk. I would venture to say they, too could be in deep doo-doo. A more familiar scenario (at least here in the midwest) is drinking a yellowjacket which has wandered into your Coke can in search of food.

06-06-1999, 12:12 PM
Thank you, guys. I could have done without either of those images.

06-06-1999, 02:17 PM
No problem. We aim to teach and learn. Nobody said anything about it being pretty :)

06-06-1999, 07:11 PM
My sister's dogs have eaten several bees each. In most cases, the bee stung either their lip or toungue before being swallowed. They both had swollen faces for a few days. I'm sure a bee sting in the throat will itch as much as one on your arm.

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"On the edge of sleep, I awoke to a sun so bright..."

06-06-1999, 07:32 PM
Let's see, I suspect that we'll be goin' primarily on personal annecdote for this one, so here goes. I remember my dog chasing bees and occasionally catching one, and always having a swollen mouth afterward. If you had that much swelling in airway you'd probably be in serious trouble. Certainly if you were midly allergic to bees, but I suspect that those with a serious allergy, the kind that carry there own epinephrine kits, wouldn't be much worse off than a sting to the skin. Personally the only bugs I've eaten have been on a motorcycle at about 40-80 mph and the impact usually kills or at least stuns them. Also, the only bee I'm sure of got wedged between my helmet and my head and succeeded in stinging me. I would be happy, if you like, to relate the taste and textures of various bugs I've eaten ;)

06-08-1999, 12:50 AM
I doubt the esophagus would swell enough to collapse the trachea and cause suffocation. I would think it would have to be an intense allergic reaction. I have heard of people with severe food allergies needing an emergency tracheotomy due to swelling of the pharynx. These are extreme cases though.

06-08-1999, 06:55 AM
Ivick - A Junebug on the lips at 60 mph comes to mind.. crunchy, strangely piquant..