Bee Stings

As a beekeeper you will be subjected to bee stings.  They will decrease in time, as you become more adept at the handling of bees.  If you should be stung, you will need to know what to do.  When a bee stings you the stinger will remain behind because of the barbs on the stinger.  DO NOT pull the stinger out this only release more of the bee venom into the sting site.  Scrap the stinger out.  Use a fingernail or even the hive tool to remove the stinger.

The stinger contains glands that secrete chemicals that is an alarm odor.  Because of this, if you are still around the hives, other bees will either sting the same area or buzz around it.  Puff some smoke on the sting area and remove yourself away from the hives.  Wash the site with water to remove the chemical causing the odor.  Washing isn’t usually necessary because by scraping the stinger away and removing it the alarm chemicals go with it.

You may want to use a sting relief medication on the site, as it will hurt for a while.  Otherwise a cool compress will provide some relief.  There are some home remedies you can use that will help alleviate the discomfort.

You can apply a solution of 1 part meat tenderizer to 4 parts water.  Papain is the enzyme in meat tenderizer that will break down the protein of the bee venom, which causes the pain and the itching.  Leave this on for no more than 30 minutes.

You can also try antiperspirant; the aluminum chlorohydrate reduces the effects of the bee venom, but is not as effect.

Applying cold by using ice or cool water for 10 to 30 minutes after the sting blunts the body’s allergic response.

Placing a raw onion on the sting will draw the poison from the wound, helping you get relief easily 

Benadryl or any other antihistamine taken by mouth can give some added relief, and help prevent the reaction from spreading.

Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone creams can have a similar effect. As will as making a paste made of baking soda and water, leave on for 10 to 20 minutes.

Pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol can be administered for pain relief.

These are just some of the home remedies.

Pain and swelling are common reactions to a bee sting.  You are not having an allergic reaction.  After a day or so the sting will itch.  Don’t scratch because it will become worse and could get infected.  The swelling and itching may persist for a day or two following the bee sting.  You should be over the effect of the sting in about 4 to 5 days.

If you are having an allergic reaction you will experience difficulty in breathing and swallowing, dizziness, a rapid heartbeat, nausea, cramps and vomiting, shock and headaches.  Seek medical attention immediately.

If you receive multiple stings, it may be a sign of aggressive bees.  Use your smoke and close the hive as quickly as possible without causing the bees any more alarm.  If there is a specific reason for the aggressive behavior of the bees, it may be eliminated.   Allow the bees the opportunity to calm down and they may become more manageable.  Multiple stings only create more discomfort.  They are not more severe to anyone even an allergic person, with the allergic person several stings is just as bad as one sting.


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