Bee Sting Treatment
Why Do Bees Sting
A bee almost always stings in self-defense. Sometimes you may have stepped on or accidentally wandered too close to the hive. Bee’s almost never sting you unless they are provoked. Often times people think they are attacked by a bee when in reality the bee is attracted to sweet smells like perfume or cologne, and bright colored patterns on your shirt.
Not all bees have stingers. Many of the large bees you see collecting pollen have no stingers. Worker bees do have stingers and are responsible for most bee stings. They are constantly working on looking for food for the hive. They may see your shirt and think you’re a flower. If you panic and start swatting at it, you’re very likely to get stung! Stay calm. Bees are never out looking for trouble. Casually walk away and try not to act like a threat and the bee will likely fly away.
Bees sting as a form of aggression. When a hive feels threatened they will swarm the perceived threat. Keep your distance if you find a beehive in your yard. Make sure children and visitors are aware of the hive and know to keep their distance. Loud lawnmowers and other outdoor tools can also instigate a beehive swarm and sting you. If you encounter an aggressive beehive seek shelter indoors immediately!
Common Reactions to Bee Stings
A typical reaction to a bee sting is an immediate sharp pain for a few minutes, followed by dull aching. The bee sting often causes redness and swelling in the immediate area around the sting. The redness and swelling will reduce in time. The skin may continue to be sensitive and itch over the next few days. Pain and burning can last at the sting site can last for 1 to 2 hours. Normal swelling can increase for 48 hours after a bee sting. Redness can last for 3 days while the swelling can be up to 7 days. The sting may itch while it is healing.
Bees are not usually seriously dangerous to humans. However, people allergic to bee venom may experience severe allergic reactions stings. If stung, they can experience any number of the following symptoms, and should seek immediate medical attention! Extreme allergic reactions can be fatal! Only about 5 – 7.5% of people are severely allergic to bees.
- Significant skin reactions like hives, itching, and flush or pale skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the throat or tongue
- A weak, rapid pulse
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dizziness or fainting
- Loss of consciousness
We specialize in the removal of Bees, Wasps, Yellow Jackets, and Mud Wasps
How to Remove a Bee Stinger
First, stay calm and seek shelter and get out of danger immediately. Bees swarm, and you could be covered by dozens of bees very quickly! Once you’re safely away from the danger it’s time to start first aid.
Remove the stinger/stingers as soon as possible. Many bees have barbed stingers that fall off and get stuck in your skin. Along with the stinger is an attached venom sack. This venom sack will continue to contract even after being detached from the bee and continue to pump venom into your body. The longer the stinger is in your skin, the more venom is released.
Sometimes the stinger is small and hard to find. Often times there are multiple stingers lodged in your body making it nearly impossible to feel where they all are. Find a flat edge. This could be a credit card or a pocket knife. If you don’t have anything around you can always use your fingernail. Scrape the edge over the stingers. They will look like small black dots. Often times this will pop the stingers right out. If not, it should help lift them up, making them easier to pull out. Be careful not to accidentally squeeze the venom sack. You may inject more venom.
Use tweezers to pull the stinger out. If you don’t have access to tweezers you can also use a needle, tape or again, your fingernails. Get creative, 2 coins pinched together can act like tweezers and help you remove the tiny stingers.
Immediate Bee Sting Treatment
Wash the sting area with soap and water. This not only removes any dirt but will also disinfect the area preparing it for possible further first aid. The area around the sting will turn red. It will possibly burn a little bit and swell up. Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area to reduce the pain and swelling. For most people, this should be enough to soothe the pain and swelling.
Traditional Bee Sting Treatment
After applying a cold compress you may want to take it a step further. There are some traditional medical supplies found in your home to help relieve the pain and swelling. Motrin or Advil are Ibuprofens that act as an anti-inflammatory that will reduce the swelling. Antihistamines like Benadryl or Claritin with not only help reduce the swelling, they will reduce any itching from the sting as well. Finally, you can rub Hydrocortisone Cream or Calamine Lotion on the skin to ease redness, itching, and swelling.
We had a terrible wasp problem for a couple of years and my daughter is allergic to bees! We tried about 100 other options and then called Mike. He came out the next morning and we haven’t had any problems since! Thanks, Mike! You did a great job! We should have called you sooner!
Home Remedies Treatment for Bee Stings
Aside from traditional medication to treat bee stings there are a large number of natural remedies for bee stings. Many of these products are common items found around your house. Homemade bee sting remedies tend to be passed down from generation to generation, but not necessarily proven medical science.
Baking Soda for Bee Stings
Create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the sting area and cover with a bandage for 15 minutes. Re-apply as necessary. It’s said that the baking soda neutralizes the venom. In rare cases, the baking soda can cause minor skin irritations in some people. If that happens, remove the paste from your skin.
Using Honey for Bee Stings
Honey doesn’t only taste great, it has many medicinal properties as well! Rubbing a small amount of honey can lessen swelling. Honey also has a natural antibacterial property that will help curtail any possible infection caused by a bee sting. Of course, you don’t want to attract any more bees so make sure you apply honey in a safe place.
Apple Cider for Bee Stings
The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar is said to neutralize the venom in bee stings. There are a few ways you can apply it. Simply pouring it directly on the affected area is one method. If you have a large area covered in stings you may want to soak that area in a basin of AC vinegar. You can also soak a bandage or cloth and apply it to the wound. Because apple cider vinegar is so acidic it may cause minor damage to your skin in some people. If this happens, remove the vinegar and wash the area with soap and water.
Essential Oils and Other Natural Remedies
Many essential oils have antiseptic, antibacterial or antifungal properties. You should always mix your oils with a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil before applying to your skin. Typically you’ll mix 1 part essential oil per 5 part carrier oil. Some people do have allergic reactions to essential oils so be careful when applying them to your skin.
- Witch Hazel is a common remedy for insect bites and bee stings. It can help reduce inflammation, pain, and itching. You can apply witch hazel directly to the bee sting as needed.
- Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling of bee stings. Be sure to mix this with a carrier oil before applying it to the bee sting area.
- Aloe Vera is well known for its soothing and pain-relieving properties for your skin. If you have a plant you can simply break off a piece, open the leaf and rub directly on the skin.
- Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic that may reduce bee sting pain. Mix this with a carrier oil before applying to your skin.
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