Bee and Wasp Stings

Bee and Wasp Stings

Bee stings are dreaded by many as the stings being quite painful and to some, can lead to much more severe reactions such as those of an anaphylactic nature. What makes bee stings even more daunting is that in the event you are near a hive, a single bee sting from a honey bee will release pheromones that result in other bees nearby being prompted to also attack in order to protect their nest. In other words, stay away from those nests!

Bee Stings in General

A "Bee sting" is the loose term given to a sting by a bee or wasp. The most common form of stings come from honey bees who are protecting their nest or have been mistreated both intentionally or accidently. Trodding on, mishandling, slapping or even running away from a bee can be deemed as threatening and may lead to a sting.

A common misconception is that once a bee has stung a person, it will then die immediately. This is not entirely true. Bees generally die after a sting if the sting results in the sting barb being torn from the body of the bee which will normally include part of its abdomen and digestive tract that ultimately leads to its death. A bee can still sting and not lose it’s barb, but in the case of humans who have tough skin, most of the time, the bee does die. Note that only honey bees are bees that will most likely die after stinging. Wasps and other bees general can have another go.

What most people don’t know is that it is only the female worker bees that do all the stinging with the males not having a stinger at all.

Why does a sting hurt so much?

The sting of a bee is not purely as a result of being pricked by a barb, but also due to toxins within the bee venom itself, namely melittin.

How to treat a sting?

The first step in the process of treating a sting is removing the stinger and barb itself as quickly as possible. The quicker you can get it out the less venom will be released from the sting. When the stinger is removed you should cool and compress the area to help the swelling.

Allergic Reactions

One reason a bee sting might bring fear among a person is that they may be allergic to bee stings. In the case a person who is allergic to bees is stung by one, the reactions can vary from mild or increased swelling for a delayed period of time, through to an anaphylaxis reaction which is a serious allergic reaction, rapid in onset that in some cases may lead to death.

A few symptoms to look out for if you are stung by a bee include the swelling of the throat, a drop in blood pressure, nausea and itchy rashes among other things. If you come across any of these symptoms or feel you may have be allergic to bees stings then you should consult your doctor immediately.

Removing a bees nest

Knowing that bees actively seek to sting when they feel their nest is being threatened, it is not recommended that you try to remove a nest by yourself. Bee and wasp nests should be removed by a professional and you can find many professional bee and wasp nest removalists at

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