- Most of the time bee stings are harmless and can be treated at home with some basic first aid.
- However, if a person has an allergic reaction, it could require emergency medical treatment.
- To treat a sting, gently remove the stinger, wash with soap and water, and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
- Avoid wearing bright or floral prints, seal food, toss garbage, wear close toe shoes, and be mindful when outdoors.
Bees are essential for not only the wellbeing of the planet, but our health too as they play an important role in nature’s ecosystem. The honey they produce has medicinal properties and their role as pollinators makes them vital for our food supplies, explains Medical News Today.
But let’s face it, they can also be a huge nuisance! Bees can sometimes make enjoying time outdoors difficult, especially if it ends in a sting. Most of the time, these stings are harmless (aside from the pain). But an allergic reaction can be dangerous. Here’s everything to know about bee stings, including the symptoms, risks, treatment options, and some prevention tips…
What is a Bee Sting?
We’ve all encountered a few bees here and there, particularly in the summertime. Some people might have even been stung once or twice! While we know their stings most certainly hurt, what exactly happens when a bee stings us? While wasps and other insects can sting us, the most common sting is from honeybees, says Medical News Today. The sting that most often causes an allergic reaction (in the U.S.) is from yellow jacket wasps.
When a bee stings it releases venom from a sac attached to its barbed stinger. “The wasp’s is similar but with a smooth stinger. When a bee or wasp stings, the sac contracts, pumping venom into the tissue,” writes the source. The sting results in a sharp pain alongside a puncture wound or laceration. “The venom in a bee or wasp sting induces a local toxic reaction at the site of the attack.”