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Questions and Answers

What causes you to get hives?

I have gotten a bunch of hives lately but i am wondering what causes them and why they are so itchy.
Any other info would help as well such as how to get rid of them.

Posted by dragonfly
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Hives are a sudden skin rash. Usually a result of an allergic reaction your body had, usually to food, medication, your environment and sometimes even stress.

Allergic reactions are basically your body's version of friendly fire, your body is defending itself against a non-enemy. Your body's weapon of choice for this battle is histamines.

Your body releases histamines in order to fight against what it thinks is the enemy. When your body over reacts and too many histamines build up in one spot you end up with what's known as hives.

Hives usually spread around the torso, upper thighs, and arms. It's very rare to have hives appear around the head or neck area.

Some things you will want to do to start getting relief from the discomfort of hives are:

* Avoid scratching the affected areas – although it can drive you crazy, scratching your hives will only make it worse.
* Stay away from alcohol
* Avoid tight fitting clothing – the pressure on the skin will just intensify the urge to scratch
* If the affected area is only in one small area you can apply ice wrapped in a towel to the area to relieve the discomfort.
* Taking cool showers or baths will also help with the itching
* Take an antihistamine to relieve the itching and eventually reduce the swelling

Typically, antihistamines such as Benadryl are taken to treat allergic reactions. The problem with using products like Benadryl is that they also include some not so pleasant side effects.

In this case the side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, coordination problems, heartburn, insomnia, tremor, nausea and vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, and dry cough and others.

I think you will find the natural or homeopathic alternatives to be more favorable since they go to work without causing drowsiness or any of the other negative side effects.

Often times nature has a fix for the ailments we have, the problem is we've been trained to believe that they don't work.

Finding honey bee hive?

So I was out walking and I occasionally see honey bees collecting pollen on these yellow flowers. I was wondering, how far away can bees travel to collect pollen? Would it be possible to find a hive in the vicinity?
Uh, cause it's zoology? Derp.

Posted by Andrew
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Bees can easily go about 6 miles from the hive. Generally they stay under three. In desert areas they have been found traveling up to 15 miles. Yes it is possible to follow them back to the hive.

With the colony collapse of so many tame bees it is getting harder and harder to find any wild hives. However they can be followed to back to the hive using baits, traps and markers. Bee hunters came up with the term bee line because the bee travels in a series of straight lines to get back to the hive or to the source of the nectar. We called lt lining bees, some call it shooting, others just call it bee hunting
Here's how I was taught to line them.

When you find a few bees collecting honey catch one in a special bee trap that allows you to mark the bee with chalk etc. Make sure there is a little syrup water with licorice flavor or other flavoring. The bee will eat its fill and start wanting to escape. Make sure you mark her. Open the door and release her. She will turn a few circles before flying off.. They are little and fast and hard to follow with your eyes. Try to get some open sky, it helps to see which direction they are going. After you have caught and released several bees move the bait in the direction they bees were flying.

In a short time the bees will return from the trip to the hive. If they don't return to went far and they had turned off. Move somewhat closer to the original trapping area. Soon they will return. Repeat the trapping and releasing and moving the bait along the bee-line. You should be able to follow the bees when they make a turn off the bee line and establish a new route. They may make several turns to avoid hills, houses woods etc. When you first start hunting bees like this it may take you several days to find where the nest is. Bees travel at about 12 miles an hour, so you can gauge the round trip time to guesstimate how far away they are coming. If they are a mile away, They will travel to the hive and back i(two mile trip) in about 15 minutes or less. They have to deposit the nectar in the hive, communicate with the other bees etc before they return to collect more nectar.

When you get near the hive, it may only take twenty feet to pass the nest entrance. The bees won't go that way to find the bait. After you've completed several hunts it will be easier and easier to spot the hole in the tree or under a rock or even the side of a building. When we found a nest, we'd mark it with our initials so others would leave it alone. We could then come back at a later time to collect the bees and honey with the proper equipment and have a new hive set up ahead of time.

If it were on someone else's property we'd get permission to remove it. The owner was given first choice of some honey. We'd try to get enough to get the swarm through the winter or we'd have to supply the hive extra food. We'd offer to give the property owner some of next years honey crop to make sure the hive didn't starve.

Yes you could find the hive. Now days it will probably be in a Beekeeper's yard.

Can alcohol cause hives?

My mom has been getting hives for the past month. She went to the DR. And got blood work done and the tests revealed she is not allergic to anything on the panels. She usually gets the hives in the middle of the night when she wakes up she notices them. She gets them on her legs, arms, stomach and even her head. Last Sunday morning she woke up with them again and one was on her eye. So she went to Urgent Care after our DR didn't give her another perscription for the hives. The Urgent Care DR gave her a steriod to treat them and she hasn't had them since. Except last night she consumed alcohol and had cigarettes and she woke up with hives again this morning. I'm beginning to think it's alcohol. She has been drinking for years, can a sudden onset be the cause of hives from alcohol? Our DR. Wants to send her to a dermatologist. What do you think??

Posted by Ken
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Hives (urticaria) is a harmless type of rash or skin allergy that is usually caused by an allergy. The rash consists of circular, raised welts on the skin that are usually itchy and occur in batches. Hives can vary in size, from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter. Urticaria usually affects the throat, arms, legs, and trunk. About 16% of the population will experience this rash at some time in their lives.

Hives can be caused by medication, foods, and insect bites. When the rash lasts less than six weeks, it’s called “acute urticaria", when lasting more than six weeks it’s referred to as “chronic urticaria.” With chronic urticaria, it is more difficult to identify the offending allergen than it is with acute cases. In about 80% of chronic cases of urticaria, the offending allergen responsible is unknown.

Common triggers that cause hives

The most common skin allergy triggers that cause hives include:

• Medication such as antibiotics, codeine, penicillin, sulfa, anticonvulsant drugs, phenobarbital, and aspirin

• Foods like shellfish, nuts, tomatoes, soy, chocolate, and berries

• Pollen

• Cat dander

• Insect bites such as bee ans wasp stings

Other causes of hives include: emotional stress, bacterial – viral – fungal infections, hepatitis B, parasitic worms, food additives, plants, cold temperatures, heat, sweating, and dermatographism (irritation from pressure or tight fitting clothes).

Symptoms of hives

Symptoms of urticaria are caused by histamine release from mast cells that exist deep within the skin. Common symptoms include:
• Sudden onset

• Red or skin colored welts that resemble mosquito bites

• Welts change quickly re: size, shape, & location

• Itching

• Welts commonly last about 24 hours

• Angioedema – swelling of lips, face, and tongue

treatment of hives

If the substance or allergy responsible for your urticaria can not be found, the symptoms of urticaria will need to be treated. Antihistamines are the primary medications used to control hives and stop the itching:

• Antihistamines such as Atarax, Benedryl, Seldane, and Tagamet

• Corticosteroids – used in more severe cases

• Injections of epinephrine – used in cases that involve life-threatening episodes

• Avoidance of known allergens

See how energy-based allergy treatment can eliminate allergies that cause hives

Even though I was initially skeptical about this treatment, I later found-out how quickly and easily this energy-based method eliminates allergies.

If you'd like to review the top vitamins, minerals, and herbs for allergies,

allergies causing hives can be treated naturally

tips for controlling hives

There are some general measures you can take to ease the symptoms associated with urticaria:
• Avoid heat; keep the temperature of the skin cool

• Stay away from alcohol, as it causes flushing of the skin

• Try not to scratch affected areas

• Wear loose clothes that will not put pressure on the skin

Something else that may be something to look into is did your Mother recently change something in her wash> A different soap of fabric softener? If this comes in the night it could be that she is having a reaction to the sheets/pillow.
One way to help this is to stop using fabric softener and add vinegar to the rinse water. It is a far better way to rinse clothes and get rid of all soap and with continued use will even brighten the clothes.

Darren Jones - Credits: THE HIVE

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