Here is some simple and quick bee sting first aid advice. I also have a more comprehensive page with background information about how to treat bee stings and about bee sting reactions - see the links for further details.
There is also further information for those looking to make their own bee
sting remedy from ingredients in the kitchen cupboard.
if symptoms or reactions begin to look more serious or if you have concerns, seek medical attention, especially in the case of children or stings close to the eye, inside the nose or ear.
(And remember to see the links below for further guidance)
Have you been stung by a
or a different bee species?
Only the females of the honey bees can sting, but rather than having a smooth sting, their stingers are hooked. For this reason, when a honey bee stings, part of the sting often remains in the skin and is visible to the eye.
What you should do first of all if this is the case, is scrape the sting away.
Use a clean, blunt implement, such as the edge of a ruler. Do not use a sharp item that may cause you to cut yourself.
Note: If you do not remove the sting, it may continue to pump bee venom!
Other bees and wasps do not leave their stings behind.
Also, note that if there is blood, it may be that you have been bitten, perhaps by a horse fly, for example.
If you wish to be prepared in case of future stings, venom extractor kits are available such as this one featured below.
Apply an ice cube or ice pack to help reduce the pain and swelling.
You may also wish to apply Calamine lotion if it is suitable for you.
Take a pain killer such as Aspirin or Paracetamol if they are suitable for you.
In the case of children, be careful to ensure it is appropriate and that the child is not underage.
Check dosage and instructions on and within the packaging, and if necessary, consult a pharmacist for advice.
In the case of more serious reactions, seek medical advice immediately. In rare cases, anaphylactic shock may occur.
More serious sting reactions could include nausea, vomiting,
palpitations, faintness, and abdominal pains.
Some sources propose that reactions to antihistamines can be worse than the reaction to a bee sting. If in doubt, consult a relevant health care professional.
A number of natural insect repellents are available to prevent stings occuring, from wrist bands and lotions to citronella sticks for outdoor use.
Here is a selection:
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