Bumblebee crop pollination causes rise in allergic reactions to stings, conference hears

Bumblebee pollinating tomato plant - image: Seelensturm
Bumblebee pollinating tomato plant - image: Seelensturm

The growing use of bumblebees as pollinators of glasshouse salad crops is causing a rise in allergic reactions to bee stings, according to a Spanish researcher.

Dr Sergia Cruz, allergist of the Torrecárdenas Hospital in Almería, the centre of Spain's glasshouse industry, told the first International Symposium on Hymenoptera Allergy in Granada that glasshouse workers are particularly susceptible to such reactions.

"These can be local to the sting, including redness, intense itching and swelling in the affected area, to generalized reactions [that] can become really serious," she said.

These may require an emergency injection of adrenaline, but the underlying problem can also be treated through immunotherapy, she added.


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