METHODS: We conducted a survey of beekeepers in Japan to examine the presence of sIgE to honey bee venom and the number of adrenaline auto-injectors prescribed. The participants included 113 Japanese beekeepers. All participants completed questionnaires and underwent peripheral blood tests. The questionnaire ncluded the following items: experience of a honey bee sting, systemic reaction to a honey bee sting according to Mueller grading system, adrenaline auto-injector prescription given, and adrenaline auto-injector carried. Positive results for sIgE to honey bee venom were defined as values ≥0.1 IUA/mL.
RESULTS: The quantity of sIgE to honey bee venom was positive in 77.9%. We found that approximately 11% of Japanese beekeepers with sIgE to honey bee venom and 29% who had experienced systemic reactions to a honey bee sting and showed sIgE to the venom were prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors. Moreover, 33.3% of beekeepers usually carry auto-injectors during work, regardless of the presence or absence of systemic reactions to honey bee stings.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that the owners of the cooperative should consider obtaining adrenaline auto-injector prescriptions for beekeepers who have sIgE Ab to honey bee.