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Treating Bee Stings

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

It's bound to happen eventually. When you spend enough time outside with flowers, you're going to be amongst the bees. Here's what to do if you get stung.


It's bound to happen eventually. When you spend enough time outside with flowers, you're going to be amongst the bees. Here's what to do if you get stung.

Bees are not generally aggressive, but when you cross their path the wrong way they will sting. Bees sting humans when they feel that they or their hive is threatened. This happens if you get too close to their nest or if you accidentally crush a bee by stepping on it.

Each individual bee can only sting once. When the stinger goes into your skin, it tears off the end of the bee's body and it dies. The local reaction to a bee sting is the same as any other minor wound--the body releases histamine as part of the immune response, and the area around the sting becomes red and swells. For most people, a bee sting is just an annoyance, but for those allergic to bee stings, a sting can be fatal.

Bee sting treatment:

  1. Pull stinger out.

  2. Cool compresses or ice.

  3. Diphenhydramne (Benadryl) should be given to minimize allergic reactions.

  4. If a severe allergic reaction occurs, you seek emergency medical assistance immediately.


Avoid being stung by taking care around bee nests and hives. Don't swat at bees or spray pesticides. Single bees collecting pollen are usually not going to sting, as long as you don't try to touch or otherwise threaten them.

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