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Beekeeper's Quick Reaction Soothes 2-Year-Old's Hornet Stings

A boy playing at Possibility Playground on Friday was stung 6 times by hornets. In a twist of fate, urban beekeeper Mike Metz was there to help the situation.

A 2-year-old Port Washington boy playing at Possibility Playground on Friday had — getting stung six times — but luckily urban beekeeper Mike Metz was there to treat him.

"It was so nice because we don’t know if he has any allergies because he just turned 2 in May," Bridgett Bartlein Drews said of her grandson, Anthony. "We were just real happy that (Mike Metz) stepped forward and offered his help. A lot of people are afraid to get involved in case if something happens."

Mike Metz was at the shelter in Upper Lake Park near the playground to help set up for some Fish Day events, his wife, Bethel Metz, said in an e-mail to Patch.

"He just happened to be there, and we were hoping that the little guy was alright. ... Mike actually used hand sanitizer on the little boy, which works in a pinch," Bethel wrote. "The alcohol alleviates the stinging, cleans the wounds, and also minimizes any pheromone or scent left behind from this sting that will cause others of the nest or hive to attack.

"We typically use rubbing alcohol. If you have a history of swelling, you can take a dose of Benadryl, also. You can also later treat the area with an over-the-counter bite ointment and ice to take down the swelling."

Bethel and Mike Metz took up urban beekeeping last year,  in July 2011. After a complaint surfaced with city officials, the couple was told to . A  began shortly after, and an ordinance to .

Bethel said calling it a "bee" sting is one of her pet peeves.

"Hornets, wasps and yellow-jackets are predatory, stinging without cause, and for the most part are carnivorous," she said. "They do not die after they sting. Honeybees are herbivores, feeding on nectar and pollen. They die after stinging, therefore only stinging ... as a last resort."

Bartlein Drews said Anthony is doing fine, and recently showed off his "owies" to Grandma. "Definitely, we do want to thank (Mike) a lot for coming to the rescue," she said.

Hornet spray was obtained and the nest was destroyed in hopes of preventing future incidents.

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