Getting stung by a bee is no fun and the discomfort can be an initial smart pinch that dissipates quickly or pain can increase and linger on for a few hours.
Here is a bunch of household applications that should help bring fast, soothing relief as well as some interesting tips and bits of info to learn more about the effects of a sting and what to watch for.
Most remedies should provide quick results and the ingredients are pretty basic for the most part so you should be able to find least one or two in the pantry.
Initial Treatment: First ensure the stinger is removed (look for a black spot in the skin), do this immediately as it can reduce the amount of venom released into the body.
At one time it was thought that you had to scrape it out (with something like a blunt knife or plastic edge–a plastic spoon or credit card will do the trick) but you can effectively use tweezers to pull it out. Do so carefully so you don’t release more venom into the wound.
Wash the skin with soap and water, pat dry then try a remedy or treatment below for pain relief. Technically it’s only a sting but I also used bite below to describe the injured area.
Quick & Easy Remedies
- Make a paste of meat tenderizer and water or baking soda and water–apply to bite.
- Sprinkle generously with baking soda then drizzle some drops of vinegar over the baking soda so it fizzes. Leave on skin until soreness is gone.
- Cover with a dot of mustard.
- Slather on a thick paste made of meat tenderizer and vinegar.
- Cover with honey and reapply as needed for pain.
- Dab with a generous amount of toothpaste and leave on the wound (paste seems to be more effective than the gel).
- Use ice or an ice pack.
- Soak in Epsom salt and water or make paste with it.
- Slather on Aloe Vera.
- Chew a plantain leaf then apply the macerated leaf to wound area.
- Crush fresh parsley and apply.
- Crush fresh basil leaves.
- Drizzle apple cider vinegar over it.
- Cover with a slice of fresh papaya.
- Dab on a bit of deodorant.
Symptoms To Watch For
A normal reaction is to experience pain and itchiness, redness and swelling. Discomfort will last for a few hours then slowly dissipate or disappear all at once.
If the following occurs, seek medical attention:
- If stung inside nose or mouth (swelling will affect breathing).
- If you were stung several times by a swarm of bees.
- If you have difficulty breathing or your breathing seems to have been affected in some way.
- Tongue begins to swell.
- You experience dizziness.
- Blurry vision.
- Your speech is slurred or you find it difficult to talk.
- Hives or a rash appears (especially in an area away from the wound).
- The site swells alarmingly large.
If the reaction seems severe (especially if breathing is affected), don’t hesitate to call medical emergency services as the victim may be experiencing an allergic reaction that can trigger anaphylactic shock.
Tips & Advice
Simple logic: To avoid being stung, avoid attracting them. Bright clothing, fragrances from hair sprays, perfumes and cosmetic products as well as sweet foods like soda pop, fruits and syrups can attract bees.
If you don’t appear to be aggressive or startle them–chances are they won’t bother you. If one lands on you or is near you, hold still until it loses interest and flies away. Rapid movement and swatting will signal them that you’re ready for a fight so if you’re going to scream with arms flailing–make sure you outrun it ;).
- Tip: If one lands on you, blowing gently on it will help convince it that it’s time to move along.
Did you know: Pickings are slim in the Fall when bees are busy looking for flowers, fruits and plants that haven’t yet died off or harvested for the season. When you’re wearing bright clothing and smelling pretty while much of the vegetation they depend on are gone, it might think he hit the jackpot with the largest, loveliest flower of all (you).
Why Do They Die After Stinging?
The stinger is torn from its body and left in the victim’s skin (it’s the tool that releases the venom). It basically disembowels the poor critter and it cannot survive. Because of this, they will only attack when they feel a threat (to themselves, their hive or to the queen bee).
Even though they can be intimidating, they are very much needed to help our plants and flowers flourish (and to make delicious honey for us to enjoy).
Please Note: None of the information above is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it’s provided for general knowledge purposes only.