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3 Tips for What to Do If You Get a Bee Sting

Picture of Kristen Wosk
By Kristen Wosk on October, 16 2020
a man being chased by bees


I have been stung by a bee 3 times in my life and it has never been a pleasant experience.

When I was 8 years old, I was living in Brooklyn, New York and I always wanted to be playing outside. I can remember the first time I got stung by a bee; I was just standing outside of a phone booth. I remember hearing something buzzing around my ear and I froze. I tried to swat the bee away and got stung on my little pinky finger. I started to scream and cry, my grandparents jumped up and immediately brought me inside. We put an ice pack on my finger which helped a little, but the damage was done, I was now terrified of bees.

My other stings were just as traumatic. The second time I started to run away from the bee, and it chased me. I ended up getting stung right by my left eye. The last time I got stung was when I was about 12, I got stung on my forearm; it immediately started swelling and got really red. It looked awful so my mom took me to the hospital. The doctor saw that the bee’s stinger was still in my arm. He removed it and told me to ice it and to take some Tylenol to ease the pain I felt.

My daughter and I were visiting relatives in Belgium; she was only 5 years old at the time and a bee landed on her hand. I tried to swat it away from her, but she flinched, and the bee got stuck between her fingers and stung her. Her grandfather said you’re supposed to pour vinegar on it! I held her and it calmed her down, but she still remembers it to this day, and she is an adult now.

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Tip #1

The first thing you do when it comes to being stung by a bee is to remove any stingers right away. This the most important step – the toxin from a bee sting is attached to the back of the stinger part because if you get an allergic reaction from the bee sting you can have an Anaphylactic reaction which can be life-threatening. The longer the Bee’s stinger stays in, the more venom it can release, and the more painful it can be for that person. You can pull the stinger out with your fingers or brush them off. The best way is to scrape the bee stings away from the skim because pinching it could just push more venom into the person.

Tip #2

After removing the stinger, get away from the offending bee as quickly as possible because bees release a scent when they die which is what happens after they sting you and that attracts other bees to come and if you’re still there, they will sting you too.

Tip #3

Most people who are not allergic develop redness, itching, swelling, and pain from bee stings. A few things you can do to alleviate some symptoms are to use an ice pack to reduce swelling, use an antihistamine to reduce swelling & itching, and use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain.

If there is a concern that the person may be allergic to the bee sting, call 911 immediately. If the person does not get treated by medical professionals quickly, they can die from the reaction. Signs & Symptoms of an allergic reaction are itching in places other than sting site., redness other than at the site, Hives (raised welts) all over the body, and shortness of breath. Anyone who has been stung multiple times needs to go to the emergency room because even the least allergic people will have trouble when given enough Bee venom.

I currently work for an animal & insect pest management company (AIPM) and have learned a lot of the above from them. As well as my research. They have extensive experience in bees and others can make sure that they eradicate bees so there is less of a chance of getting stung. Some of these treatments include a bee spray treatment, live bee removal with Vacuum & Release. and removal of a Beehive. Vacuum removals can only be performed on bee swarms. If bees are entering the structure, a live removal Is recommended.

Download your Exclusive Field Guide to: Bee Stings, What to Know Before You Get Stung. Download your free copy today!

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