Bees are magnificent insects, and there is some concern that these creatures may soon become extinct. Some people adore bees, often testing their personal limits as they reach inside a nest to pull out a fresh honeycomb. However, others are terrified of bees, and it’s no wonder! The buzzing sound and the threat of being stung may send you running for hills.
If you like to spend time outdoors, enjoying the beauty of nature, it’s possible that you could get stung. Just in case, learn how to treat a bee sting. Remedies are easier than you think! And unless you are allergic, most bee stings are harmless, aside from a little pinch.
What happens when a bee stings you?
To start, bees-unlike hornets or wasps-are not combative by nature. A honey bee will only sting you if it believes that you are a threat to its hive. Besides, bees can only sting you once. A bee will die after it has stabbed you with its stinger, so it’s not in its best interest to attack random humans. In most cases, if you let a bee ‘just be,’ it will leave you alone as well. Isn’t that a relief?
However, the stinger (which detaches from the bee’s body) is barbed, causing it to dig deeper into your skin. Rubbing the wound will only cause it to burrow deeper beneath the skin’s surface. As this happens, toxins are released from the barbed end, causing more pain and damage. For this reason, you must remove the stinger immediately.
How Do You Treat a Bee Sting?
As mentioned, the first step is to remove the stinger. If this is not done quickly, more venom will be released, exacerbating the sting.
You can remove a stinger by scraping the skin’s surface with a thin card or even your fingers. The idea is to pull out the venomous sack along with the stinger. Do not tweeze the area, as this could cause the barbed end to burrow even deeper. When you see the tiny sac at the top of the stinger, you’ll know it’s been removed.
Disinfecting the Sting and Treating Pain
Next, wash the area carefully with antibacterial soap and water. Then, place ice or a cold pack on the surface of the sting to avoid swelling.
The sting will most likely still be painful to the touch. To curb the discomfort, you can take a pain reliever, such as Advil. However, you can also use or add other natural ingredients as a topical aid to help with the pain.
Reports have shown that a dab of honey can help. Baking soda, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, and even toothpaste have been noted as comforting remedies as well.
As long as you remove the sting quickly, you should be fine. However, if you discover side effects like dizziness or labored breathing, call a doctor immediately or be sure to have your EpiPen by your side in case of allergies.