Bees are a necessary part of our ecosystem. From creating honey to pollinating plants, these small insects help us in so many ways. One way in which they definitely don’t help us, though, is by stinging us.
Check out this article to find out what bee stings can look like.
Why Do Bees Sting?
Bees don’t sting for fun. Instead, they sting as a means of protecting themselves. If you end up with a bee sting, chances are that the insect in question saw you as a threat to either their own well-being or the safety of their hive.
The instinct to defend themselves is understandable (and so are many of our impulses to stay away from the bugs altogether).
How To Avoid Getting Stung
Put simply, the easiest way to avoid getting stung by a bee is just to avoid bees altogether. Depending on your lifestyle and activities, this particular solution isn’t always possible. Even if you don’t dabble in beekeeping in your spare time, many of us find ourselves accidentally around these insects from time to time.
Whether you’re enjoying a nice walk or hike with your family or taking part in a lovely picnic in the park, a well-hidden beehive could be waiting for you. However, if you do find yourself near a bee despite your best efforts, remember not to panic. Chances are, the bee will not sting you unless it’s provoked.
As we established, bees sting as a means of self-protection and self-preservation. They will only sting you if they see a reason to do so. You probably know that it isn’t a wise plan to start swatting at a bee, but there are ways that we can accidentally provoke them.
For instance, wear solid shoes when walking around in areas that bees frequent. We can step on bees without noticing, causing them to lash out. If you have proper foot protection, you may be able to avoid the bee’s wrath.
What Does an Allergic Reaction Look Like?
For many of us, the reality of getting stung by this buzzing insect and dealing with bee venom is simply some discomfort at the site of the sting, possibly dealing with the leftover stinger. However, some people have a bee sting allergy, leading to a much more severe allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions can be as unique as the people who have allergies, so they can often range from mild to dangerous. Some people with an allergy to this kind of insect sting will find themselves getting a few hives or swelling around the sting.
This kind of local reaction can likely be treated with home remedies. However, other types of reactions can be far more dangerous.
How To Deal With a Mild Allergic Reaction Naturally
After getting stung by a bee, feeling better will probably be one of the first items on your to-do list. For a method of relieving your mild allergy symptoms that is completely all-natural, try the AllergyPatch Allergy Relief Stickers. These patches rely on natural ingredients to make us feel better, making them an excellent solution for children and adults alike.
Simply stick a patch on your child’s or your own clothes and let it get to work. From there, the gentle notes of lemon oil, grapefruit oil, black spruce oil, and peppermint oils start the soothing process.
What Are Severe Allergic Reactions to Stings Like?
Anaphylaxis is a serious concern for anyone for those with severe allergies, and it can be life-threatening if medical attention is not sought right away. If someone is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, their immune system has sent their body into a state of shock. This results in a drop in blood pressure, leading to difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat, possible loss of consciousness, and more symptoms.
If you or your child has a severe allergy to bug stings, bug bites, or any other allergen, they should always carry a physician-prescribed EpiPen. EpiPens are filled with epinephrine, which can temporarily stave off the dangerous symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction (like trouble breathing) until emergency medical care can arrive.
These kinds of sting reactions are quite rare and only affect a small percentage of the population. Those of us who do have to deal with these kinds of concerns, though, should always be alert and prepared.
How Do Bee Stings Present?
Wasp stings, yellow jacket stings, honey bee stings, and bumble bee stings are all similar in that they will typically present in the form of a pink or red welt. Some swelling, redness, and pain are all commonly experienced symptoms after a bee has stung and deposited its venom into a host.
The bite and the surrounding area can continue to swell for up to 48 hours after the initial sting. To keep the swelling down, apply a cold compress to the site through a barrier like a towel. Ice shouldn’t be in direct contact with the skin, but its cold effects can help to keep the swelling to a minimum.
The site may stay red for several days after being stung, which isn’t generally a cause for alarm. However, if the site continues to swell after two full days, or if it swells up too much, it’s time to seek medical attention. This is also true if the surrounding area stays red for a prolonged period of time.
Bee stings don’t typically become infected, but it’s still something to always be cognizant of.
What Are the Typical Symptoms of a Bee Sting?
After getting stung by a bee, your immediate reaction might be to say a few choice words. After your child is stung by a bee, it’s likely that tears are just around the corner. We react negatively to bug stings because they’re painful, both in the moment and for a prolonged time after the fact.
The initial sting is certainly unpleasant, but it’s often the aftereffects that really get to us. The knowledge that the pain and inflammation around the site is likely to continue are understandably a bummer.
Luckily, in most cases, the pain will be minimal. It can be treated easily at home and will diminish over the course of a few days.
What Are the Different Types of Bee Stings?
It stands to reason that, since there are different types of bees, there will be different types of bee stings. For instance, honeybees and bumblebees both sting as a form of self-defense, but it has much higher stakes for one than the other.
Honeybees can only sting once since they have barbed stingers, which will become lodged in the skin of their victim. The removal of the honeybee stinger kills the insect, which is enough to make us almost feel bad for the little guys.
As a result, a honeybee will likely only sting if they feel that its life is threatened. If the stinger is still in your or your child’s skin, use a fingernail or a credit card to scrape against it and remove it. Using tweezers to pull the stinger out can actually push more venom in.
Bumblebees, on the other hand, can keep on stinging. While they aren’t as aggressive as similar stinging insects like yellow jackets, hornets, or wasps, their stings can still pack a wallop.
To Bee or Not To Bee
For the record, we definitely choose not to bee. Unfortunately, bees sometimes have different plans in store for us. On those occasions, the best thing that you can do is to try to avoid stinging insects.
When that doesn’t go according to plan, be ready with some at-home remedies to ease the discomfort, and keep an eye out for any other symptoms.
Why Do Bees Sting? | The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Bee Sting – Symptoms and Causes | Mayo Clinic