Got Stung? Learn How to Prevent and Cure Stings!
The summer sun is up and so is the fear of bee stings as bees’ progress through the summer with their daily activities of collecting nectar and pollen for the bee colonies. Many of us have seen them in small numbers as they walk by a garden or through a park and others have come across a large hive with a swarm of bees flying near the hive on the underside of eaves and overhangs. In either situation it is good to know how to keep from pestering the bees, so they won’t pester you. Victims of bee stings are often unaware of having an allergic reaction to the venom and consequently results in a lack of immediate attention to the affected area and severe symptoms. Below are some tips for avoiding bees and their stingers, but if all else fails, there are some guidelines and procedures to follow for treating a bee sting.
Avoid the Bees and Stingers
Bee stings can be very painful and some can cause severe health problems if allergic. Below is a list of way to prevent a bee sting:
- Always check for nests around your home, especially around warmer months (June, July, and August).
- Wear light color and clean clothing to avoid attraction from the bees. Sweat on clothes could cause the bug to be aggressive.
- Avoid consuming sugary foods and syrupy beverages while outside
- Avoid strong scented lotions, soaps, and deodorants. No perfumes of colognes.
- If your picnicking keep a good distance from trash receptacles and keep your tables, grills, and eating areas clean to prevent bees from flying near you.
- Remember bees are generally not aggressive and only use their stinger out of self-defense: Don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. Do not swat at the bees, this will aggravate them.
- If attacked by bees try to run indoors or to an outdoor shaded area. Protect your face while running since this is the most likely place to be stung.
Treatment for a Sting
If you happen to be stung by a bee, follow the below procedures and guidelines to prevent the sting from worsening and to reduce and relieve any pain or swelling:
- Have someone monitor the victim for any allergic reactions
- Wash the affected area with soap and water
- Scrape the stinger out of the skin with fingernail or flat edge. The stinger should never be taken out by tweezers since this will inject the venom into the body.
- Apply an ice bag wrapped in a towel or cloth to reduce swelling.
- Avoid scratching the sting so the chance of swelling and infection reduces.
Symptoms of Allergic Reactions to Insect Stings
- Hives and itching over entire body
- Swelling of mouth or throat
- Shortness of breath, wheezing
If these signs are present seek medical attention immediately. Honeybees bring about many questions, so we try to provide as many answers about bee topics as possible.