This document is an overview of Anaphylactic symptoms and first aid. It could be used as the basis for a public notice to be displayed near an apiary during a public event.  


Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an insect sting. It’s also known as anaphylactic shock.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis usually develops suddenly and can get worse very quickly. The symptoms can include:

  • feeling lightheaded or faint                
  • clammy skin 
  • confusion and anxiety                        
  • collapsing or losing consciousness 
  • wheezing                                              
  • a fast heartbeat
  •  breathing difficulties – such as fast, shallow breathing 

There may also be other allergy symptoms, including an itchy, raised rash (hives), feeling or being sick, swelling (angioedema), or stomach pain.

What to do if someone has anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. It can be serious if not treated quickly.

If someone has symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should:

  1. call 999 for an ambulance immediately – mention that you think the person has anaphylaxis. Write down the map reference of your apiary (perhaps on a hive stand) in case you ever need to direct an ambulance
  2. remove any trigger if possible – for example, carefully remove any wasp or bee sting stuck in the skin
  3. lie the person down flat – unless they’re unconscious, pregnant or having breathing difficulties
  4. use an adrenaline auto-injector if the person has one – but make sure you know how to use it correctly first
  5. give another injection after 5-15 minutes if the symptoms don’t improve and a second auto-injector is available

This page is based on the NHS website:

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