Bee Allergy: Allergic Reactions To Bee Stings And Bee Products

When people talk about having a bee allergy, they are usually referring to an allergy to bee stings.  However, allergic reactions can occur when exposed to bee products such as bee pollen and honey.

Most bee species are docile, and males cannot sting in any case, however, accidents can and do happen.  You may experience a reaction that could be considered ‘normal’ and treatable at home, or you may have a more severe allergic reaction - known as anaphylaxis.

Allergic reaction to bee stings - when to seek assistance

In a tiny number of cases, an allergy to bee stings can be fatal!

Seek urgent medical attention if:

  • A sting occurs close to the nostrils, eyes or in the ear, and especially if the person stung is a child.
  • If swelling becomes very severe.
  • You notice other effects, such as shortness of breath or affected breathing, nausea, vomiting or dizziness.
  • Read more about treating bee stings.

If you are aware you have a bee sting allergy, you should carry an Epi-pen.  In addition, there are ways to prevent stings such as:


  • Do not walk with bare feet on the lawn, or exposed lower legs, especially if the lawn has flowers such as clover and dandelion.  Keep your lawn well mown.
  • Use an insect repellent on your skin.
  • Keep arms and legs covered.


Read more about this topic in greater detail: preventing bee stings.

Allergy To Bee Pollen And Honey

People also report allergy to bee products, such as bee pollen, which is sold as a health supplement.  Read about the side effects.

People can also be allergic to honey too, although again, it is not a very common problem.  Symptoms can include swelling of the tongue, sneezing, watery eyes, dizziness, itchy/scratchy feeling in the throat.  Very often and allergic reaction to honey can be treated with anti-histamines if they are suitable for you, but symptoms can vary in severity and if in doubt, always seek advice from a medical professional.

Did You Know?

More people are killed by lightning than bee stings!  Read:

Bee Sting Facts

Home page