Honey Bee Sting Remedies

Getting stung by a honey bee is something that will probably happen to all of us during our lifetime. The stings from honey bees can be very painful, and therefore are an object of dread for humans. So when it happens to you, are you going to be prepared with a bee sting remedy?

Bee Sting Remedy - When and Why They Sting

A honeybee that is away from the hive, foraging for nectar or pollen, will rarely sting, except when stepped on or roughly handled. Honeybees will actively seek out and sting when they perceive the hive to be threatened, oftentimes being alerted to this by the release of attack pheromones.

Bee Sting Remedy - How Many Times Can It Sting You?

Many people believe that a worker honey bee can sting only once, but this is a partial misconception. The stinger is in fact barbed so that it lodges in the victim's skin, tearing loose from the bee's abdomen and leading to its death in minutes. The honey bee dies only if the victim is a mammal (or bird).

The bee's stinger evolved originally for inter-bee combat between members of different hives, and the barbs evolved later as an anti-mammal defense.

Bee Sting Remedy - Injection Of Apitoxin

Honey bees are the only hymenoptera with a barbed stinger. The stinger's injection of apitoxin into the victim is accomplished by the release of alarm pheromones, a process which is accelerated if the bee is fatally injured. Release of alarm pheromones near a hive or swarm may attract other bees to the location, where they likewise will demonstrate defensive behavior until there is no longer a threat.

Bee Sting Remedy - Anaphylaxis

About 3% of people that get stung by a honey bee have an allergic reaction to the sting, and about 0.8% of these victims experience the severe and life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Most people will only have a localized reaction to a bee sting, the skin is reddened and painful. Swelling and itching are likely to occur, but the pain usually disappears over a few hours.

In a systemic allergic reaction, the entire body is affected. The victims may develop hives, redness, or swelling at sites on the body away from the site of the sting.

In anaphylactic reactions, victims experience wheezing, difficulty breathing, and a drop in blood pressure that leads to shock if not treated promptly.

Bee Sting Remedy - Remove The Stinger

Look for a small black dot at the sting site and remove it immediately. The honey bee venom sack, which remains in the skin of the victim, can take 2-3 minutes to release all of its venom, so prompt removal of the stinger can reduce the severity of the sting.

Apply ice or cold packs to the area to reduce the body's inflammatory response. Clean the area with soap and water, then apply hydrocortisone cream to the site to decrease the reaction.

Bee Sting Remedy - Alternate Treatments

Alternative treatments include a paste made of unseasoned meat tenderizer and water or a paste of baking soda and water. Taking an antihistamine in tablet form can also provide relief.