Flintshire beekeeper died from sting

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AN AVID beekeeper reacted violently to a sting and died later at hospital, an inquest heard.

Alison Jane Piercy, of Hawarden, had such a severe reaction to the bee sting that her airways closed up and she stopped breathing.

But the 47-year-old mum had been stung on previous occasions and had not reacted in any way, the inquest held at Flint Magistrates’ Court heard.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Kirit Champaneria, North East Wales assistant deputy coroner, said it was a mystery why this particular sting had caused such a severe reaction.

“On the first time you could be immune to the string but on the odd occasion you might get a hyper-sensitive reaction to it and your immune system goes into overdrive,” he said.

He added that it could be a reaction to different species of bee.

Ms Piercy, who worked as a receptionist at Redrow headquarters on St David’s Park, Ewloe, became interested in beekeeping about two-and-a-half years ago.

Her sister Susan Howe, also from Hawarden, said that Ms Piercy took up the hobby with her nephew Max, 12.

Mrs Howe said the pair had beehives in Deeside, Holywell and Hawarden and Ms Piercy did courses with the beekeeping association. “They took it seriously and were planning to sell ‘Hawarden Honey’ locally,” said Mrs Howe.

She added that she had been to the local doctors to ask for an epi-pen for her son and sister in case they reacted adversely to a sting.

But the doctors refused to give out a pen because the pair were not allergic to bees.

During the evening of Sunday, April 25, Ms Piercy and her nephew Max went to a private beehive in Connah’s Quay.

They met with bee expert Ken Rawlings and then Ms Piercy was stung above her eye.

Max removed the sting but Ms Piercy became queasy before going into anaphylactic shock.

Mr Rawlings tried to resuscitate Ms Piercy and paramedics continued to try to revive her.

She died later that night at the Countess of Chester Hospital

A post-mortem examination revealed that the cause of death was asphyxia and the bee sting.

Mr Champaneria said: “This is a lady who was perhaps not the most experienced, but had certain knowledge of bees, and had been stung before.

“I think Max has done a great job doing what he did and I expect he misses her terribly.”

Ms Piercy left behind her 21 year-old daughter Michaela who said that her mother was deeply devoted to her family.

See full story in the Leader

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