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Are Bees Poisonous – Are Bee Venom Beneficial Or Harmful To People?

Many people understandably have an aversion to bees and with good reason. They sting, and while they are not as aggressive as wasps, the feeling of being stung is not a pleasant one. In fact, it can be downright painful. Those that have allergies to bee stings can sometimes end up with serious health implications, including fatal reactions. While bee stings are painful, and not an ideal way to commune with nature, there is a great deal of misinformation on bees.

One of the most commonly asked questions is: are bees poisonous? This is an understandable question, given the likelihood of a sting when anything gets too close to the hive. Bees are more complex than they seem on the surface, so learning about their biological construct, reasons they may sting, and what happens in bee/human encounters, can provide a better understanding of their "poisonous" reputation.

A Bit About Bees

are bees poisonous

Bees have three main parts of their anatomy: the head, the abdomen, and the thorax. Bees also have an outer portion meant for protection called the exoskeleton. They have three legs to walk and two different pairs of wings to fly. Bees have a proboscis to slurp fluids (like nectar, for instance) and a set of antennae to detect movement and scents.

The stinger is at the rear of the abdomen and is a separate organ. It injects venom into prey and is what people think about when they wonder are bees poisonous.

To understand the question of "are bees poisonous," it helps to have foundational knowledge of the structure of the bee colony. Bees live in colonies comprising up to 60,000 worker bees (females), a queen bee and a few hundred drone bees (males). There is just one queen within the colony, and her only role is to lay eggs. The bees create a hive for her to do this important work and to allow for the storage of honey and pollen.

Bees use honey for carbohydrate consumption and pollen to get their protein. Bees are cyclical creatures. In the fall, the population diminishes as the amount of pollen and nectar incoming dwindles with cooler weather. Older bees within a colony die while younger bees hunker down through the winter months to await spring.

In fact, during the winter months, if there is not enough nectar to go around, the drones are expelled from the colony and starve to death. The queen stops producing eggs during this time, and the bees swarm closer to generate heat. This is why bees are not prominent during colder months. When the spring returns, the bee colony expands significantly. The number of drones being sent out increases and the bees production more honey than they need.

The queen lays more eggs to increase the number of drones. The result of this is an increase in the numbers of bees leaving the hive to collect nectar and pollen. This is why you may see more bees during the spring and summer months; this also correlates with an increase in bee stings when the weather is warmer.

are bees poisonous

Why Do They Sting?

When making the determination if bees are poisonous, this is because of the sting. Bee stings are fairly common, particularly for those that spend a great deal of time outdoors. Stinging insects all have the same reputation; however, insects sting for different reasons. For instance, wasps are aggressive predators that will pursue prey and sting because it is in their nature to do so.

Bees sting for a different reason. During the warm summer months, bees are on the prowl for nectar or pollen. More often than not, these drone bees are not out to sting anyone. Rather, they want to do their jobs and head back to the hive. The male bees don't have stingers, and these males comprise the drone bee population. However, bees hovering around the hive are different.

Bee use instinct to protect their most important asset (not honey): the queen. Animals or people that get too close to a hive are threats from the view of the bees in and around it. They will attack anything they think is trying to threaten the entire hive. What may start out as one bee sting can quickly turn into thousands as the bees sound the alarm throughout the hive. It is important to reinforce that bees are not aggressive naturally; they only sting when they deem it necessary.

Females are the ones that sting, but also doing so is a fatal blow to the bee. Bees leave behind their stingers when they sting. This means that to detach, the bee must tear away--ripping its abdomen, nerves, and muscles. Only in rare instances can a bee survive the stinging process. The extent of this injury is part of what ultimately kills the bee. However, the stinger that detached in the skin will continue to filter venom through the skin for up to 10 minutes or until it is removed, whichever happens first. The stinger stays in the skin to deliver the maximum amount of venom, which is part of the reason that bees die after stinging.

When asking are bees poisonous, it is important to point out that the structure of the question is erroneous. Bees don't have poison in their little flying bodies; they carry venom. While many people use the terms interchangeably, the fact is that there is a difference. Poison is a substance ingested through breathing, touch or consumption.

It causes illness, physical damage or even death, depending on the poison and the biological reaction of the sufferer. Alternatively, venom injects into the skin through stinging or biting. Think of a snake who administers venom by breaking the skin with sharp fangs; the more slithering of the snake on the skin is not enough to cause damage.

This is the reason that snakes are "venomous" rather than "poisonous." For venom to be effective, it must enter the bloodstream, where it causes damage. Bees are the same way. A bee landing on your arm is not enough to cause damage; however, a bee sting injects the venom of the bee into the skin, and this contributes to the pain you feel.

If you wonder are bees poisonous, then you might learn more about the actual venom. The venom of a bee has a unique chemical composition, depending on the specific bee in question. This is why some stings hurt more. This is also why some people may be allergic to the stings of some bees, but not to others. On average, a human can take roughly 10 stings from a bee for each pound of their body weight. So, a 150-pound person could withstand 1,500 stings. However, for a child, the tolerance is much less. For example, a few hundred stings on a child could be fatal, even if they are not allergic to the sting.

Bee venom has benefit. It is a therapy to treat an array of ailments in Europe and Asia. People with multiple sclerosis and rheumatic diseases have enjoyed the use of bee venom injected at therapeutic doses. Research is also ongoing regarding the benefit of bee venom for arthritis sufferers. This research began after older beekeepers rarely suffered from arthritis later in life, possibly due to the many stings they received over the years.

are bees poisonous

What To Do If You're Stung?

Treating a bee sting is fairly simple. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to address any residual pain. Wash the area with unscented soap and warm water. Dry it thoroughly and then apply a thin layer of hydrocortisone cream to deal with any swelling, itchiness or redness.

If you have not had a tetanus shot in the last decade, make an appointment for a booster. Those with an allergy to bee venom should seek medical attention immediately after a sting. Treatment with epinephrine, oxygen or an antihistamine remains the treatment of choice for those with bee venom allergies.

Conclusion

Adverse bee-human encounters are rare. Most bees are content are not aggressive as they tend to their hives. It is only when they are hungry and desperate for pollen or nectar, and something stands in their way, or there is a threat to the hive that they take a more aggressive stance. Obviously, those in the beekeeping profession are more susceptible to being stung because they deal with large quantities of bees daily.

The short to the question: "Are bees poisonous?" is technically no. However, they are venomous, and they can use their venom to harm other living things. For most people, the pain of a bee sting is tolerable and even being stung multiple time doesn't have a lasting impact.

Those that have an allergy to the chemical components of bee venom can have significant physical reactions that can be fatal if help is not readily available. Despite the ability of bees to sting, they play an important role in the natural infrastructure of this planet, and the ecological balance would be vastly different without them.

What Bees Pollinate And Their Importance To Human Agriculture

what bees pollinate

Understanding what bees pollinate is the key to helping people comprehend the necessity of protecting the future of our crops and maintaining wild and commercial bee health. With education on how pollination works and the crops that could be lost without adequate bee populations to pollinate them, beekeepers and laypersons alike can take measures to protect this unique animal and help its populations thrive. The population of bees around the world has been on the decline

FAQs

What is Bee Pollination?

Why is Bee Pollination Important?

What Bees Pollinate?

Factors

There are two factors that are believed to be the major contributors to decreased pollination and bee prevalence.

Colony Collapse Disorder

what bees pollinate

In just the past ten years, over 40 percent of bee colonies in the United States have been ravaged by Colony Collapse Disorder. When a colony is in the grips of the disorder it is believed worker bees become so disoriented they are unable to find their way back to the hive. The ones who do return die at the hive. In most cases, the majority of the female workers simply never return. The end result is a hive with excess food storage, a queen, and only a small number of nurse bees who continue to care for the brood that remains.

Varroa Mite

what bees pollinate

The other factor that affects healthy bee pollination includes the Varroa Mite. Introduced into Florida sometime in the 1980's, the Varroa Mite is a parasite that attacks the outside of adult honeybees and their brood. The mite not only shortens the life of the adult bees, affected brood can be born so deformed they cannot function. Often emerged brood will lack legs or wings.

Conclusion

The reality of maintaining healthy pollination by bees is twofold. First, wild bees need to have stable undisturbed places to nest.  They also need sunny undeveloped patches of forage area with rich plant diversity and flowers that have nutrient-rich pollen and nectar.  Diversity is key because the larger the plant diversity, the more bee species that will be attracted to the forage site/s.  While we often focus on honey bees, all varieties of bees are important.

A major risk factor to the diversity of both plant and bee species is a fragment of wild, uncultivated forage areas.  The lack of continuous appropriate forage causes the decrease in bee pollination which in turn causes flowering plants to minimally reproduce.  The problem feeds back into itself because, with fewer plants, there is a lowered food supply available to bees. By leaving wild areas such as fields, ditches, roadsides, and woodland edges untreated and undisturbed, we can conserve wild bee populations.

Second, for domesticated populations, we must remember that while all chemical insecticides are harmful, the toxic impact various ones have on bee species varies. Prevention measures to ensure bees do not carry contaminated pollen back to their colonies, where it can be introduced into the hive's food supply, is critical.  Even chemical insecticides harmless to bees may repel them, as they have a highly sensitive olfactory system.

Farmers have to be pragmatic when choosing insecticides, especially in developing countries who may not withstand adverse production impact as easily.  That said, the more targeted the insecticide, the greater its expense to the farmer.  Where ideal options are scarce, biological pesticides may be a viable option. Timing insecticide application plays a crucial role in the process as well.

Choosing to spray in the late evenings, when bees are less active, gives the chemicals time to degrade and reduces the risk to colonies.  Beekeepers and growers must partner to discuss the measures necessary for both crop pollination and bee colony protection. It's arguably such dialog is even more relevant when dealing with GM crops.

The topic of bee pollination has many layers.  The bee species best suited to pollinate a given crop vary.  Different bee species have behavioral variations, and what bees pollinate vary in their pollination needs.  The weight is on the shoulders of farmers and beekeepers alike.  Enhancing the effectiveness of crop pollination and protection of bee colonies benefits us all.

What Bees Bite – Learn More Facts About Bees And Beekeeping

what bees bite

Bees are often maligned for being stinging nuisances, but many people do not realize that bees have another defensive option that is just as effective. According to zoologists, some bees can bite their quarry if faced with a dire situation and threat.

These "stingless" bees use their teeth and mandibles to injure their prey or induce paralysis through envenomation. To understand stingless bees, it is necessary to examine what bees bite in terms of species, and the prey they are most effective against.

what bees bite

What Bees Bite: A Species Overview

There is a variety of different species of bees throughout the world, with some estimates reaching as high as 20,000 unique types. Some bees are known for having massive stingers while others are believed to be non-aggressive.

However, new scientific discoveries suggest that there are several species of bees that rely upon biting for defensive and offensive applications.

Honeybees

Perhaps the most famous example of a bee that uses biting, is the common honeybee. Honey bees are usually noteworthy for their moderately aggressive use of stinging as a method of harming human beings, and other animals alike.

Yet, researchers have discovered that honeybees can also use a potent bite to paralyze and harm invaders to their colony. While honeybees are the most ordinary species that bites, it is not the only one.

Trigona Hyalinata

Trigona Hyalinata

Another bee that uses a bite to harm its enemies is the Trigona hyalinata, a bee native to Brazil. Unlike the honeybee which is known for using its stinger, the Trigona hyalinata is a species that uses biting as a primary form of attack. The stinger of the Trigona hylinata is merely vestigial, and it is not used by the bee.

Instead, it has ten teeth that are arranged on its mandibles, allowing the bee to generate a powerful and very painful bite used to incapacitate and kill enemy bugs. Over a dozen other species of bees that are related to the Trigona species in Brazil, have been studied for their preference to bite their attackers rather than sting them.

Xylocopa

Xylocopa bees are another species that prefers its bite as the primary means of defending their colony. These bees are commonly known as the carpenter bee. Although these bees are mostly concerned with the building and upkeep of their massive hives and colonies, they must also have the ability to defend themselves.

Male carpenter bees do not even have a stinger, and their bite is the only means of attack. Females, on the other hand, have a stinger and the ability to bite.

honeybees in a hive

Do Bees Bite Human Beings?

Yes, there are indeed records of humans bitten by bees. While bee bites are something that can be seen as harmful, the fact is that the recent discovery of honeybee bites and venom may hold benefits for human beings.

what bees bite

Using Bites For Human Benefit

When researching what bees bite, zoologists found that honeybees have a unique bite. Not only do they cause pain to their victims, but the bites also cause temporary paralysis.

The mechanism that creates this paralysis comes from a low toxicity anesthetic that is known as 2-heptanone. While the bees use the 2-heptanone, also known as 2-H, for chemical marking, an alarm response and numbness, only the final reason is beneficial for humans.

The 2-heptanone substance can cause local numbness, allowing it to be developed into a local anesthetic. With more development and research, it is possible that the 2-heptanone can be made into medicine that could be used for mammals that need to have a lighter anesthetic. This could be a replacement for other local anesthetics to which people have allergies.

Bee Awareness

While it may be concerning to some that bees can bite and sting them, humans are not likely victims of bee bites. Even the most aggressive forms of bees that have been investigated here are not as harmful as those bees that sting.

What bees bite often depends on the threat that faces the hive or colony. Overall, it is important to remember that bees want to build their hive more than they want to attack others. Keeping one's distance and respecting the hive is an important step towards bee safety.

Which Bees Make Honey – Not All Bees That You See Makes Honey

which bees make honey

Many people assume every bee they see makes honey. But which bees make honey? Because this is not the case as there are about 20,000 different species of bees-and only a few make honey. There are even fewer yet that produce enough honey to harvest as a product for human consumption.

Even within the species that make honey, not all the bees in the hive take part in the production of honey. The female worker bees take on the busy work of gathering nectar to start the honey making process. These hard-working female bees will travel to between 100 and 150 plants to collect their weight in nectar before returning to the hive. Each worker bee will produce about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime.

The life of the worker bee is stressful enough they only live about six weeks. While the females are out gathering nectar, male bees called drones set out with the sole purpose to procreate. They are on a mission to mate with bees from other hives to share the DNA of their queen.

Female workers make a quick return to the hive to pass the raw nectar into the next step in the honey process. Workers transfer nectar to processor bees. It is their job to change the nectar from the natural product into simple sugar. This is done by chewing on the nectar and adding an enzyme called invertase.

which bees make honey

What is Bee Honey?

which bees make honey

Bees make bee honey. There are a few types of other insects that can produce a similar substance. The purpose of the production from the bee standpoint is to feed the colony, but humans have very different ideas on this. Collecting and selling bee honey has become a booming industry worldwide.

In 2016, 1.8 billion tons of bee honey was collected worldwide. One ton equals about 2,204.6 pounds. China is the leading producer worldwide with 27% of all the world's honey coming out of China. Turkey is the next big producer with the United States a close third. Russia and India round out the top five honey producing countries worldwide.

The honey coming out of each of these areas vary significantly. They can classify them into several groups based on the floral source of the nectar and the processing involved.

Floral sources can have a significant impact on the color, taste, and density of the honey product. Many places produce what is often called wild honey, which is polyfloral. This means the bees gather nectar from a wide range of flower types and the honey varies from year to year. In any area, the flowers blooming can change, and this will impact the honey flavor, thickness, color, intensity, and scent.

Monofloral honey is produced when beekeepers can limit the flowers the bees access for nectar. They do this by keeping the bees in a controlled area with particular and remarkably cultivated flowering plants. Examples of the flowers used in monofloral honey include clover, orange blossom, thistle, honeysuckle, sunflower, and lavender.  

A pure, commercial monofloral honey is relatively rare. Mostly, the honey that is widely sold is blended honey. This means the maker mixes honey from several floral sources to get the desired color, flavor and density.

For a small section of the bee population, they take a different route to gather the base of their honey. These bees gather secretions of other insects like the aphid to start the honey making process. This becomes a honeydew, honey. This honey is famous in parts of Germany, Serbia, Bulgaria, and parts of Northern California in the United States.

After looking at the flora involved in the honey production, we sort, process and package it. Most people envision honey coming in a jar or plastic bear, but there are many more options available.

They can sell honey in its raw form, on the honeycomb, with crystals and even pasteurized. They can also run it through a strainer to remove debris or filter with heat to remove things like pollen grains and air bubbles. Some honey even comes with crystals spun to make it spreadable while being sold as creamed honey.

Honey also comes in a variety of grades, with a lower grade being labeled as baking honey. This happens as a batch of honey is not up to par for sale as a stand-alone product but can stand in as an ingredient in other foods.

Why Do Bees Make Honey?

Bees depend on honey for food during the months they cannot find reliable nutrition. The purpose of making and storing honey is to feed the hive in colder months.

When worker bees bring nectar back to the processor bees, they change it into a substance that needs to be dried and cured to make honey. After addition of invertase, they place the new material into the honeycomb.

This placement prepares the liquid to dry out. It starts out about 70% water and the processor bees go to work getting much of the moisture out. This is done by flapping their wings to create airflow that aids in evaporating about half of the water. The average honey bee flaps their wings 11,000 times each minute.

After much of the water is flapped away, the bees use their bodies to produce a wax type substance to seal the honeycomb. This is where the honey is stored until they need it or beekeepers remove it.

When commercial beekeepers take out the honeycomb, they take special care to leave enough honey in the hive to feed the colony over the colder months. It is a mistake to remove all or even most of the honey they make since the bees will die without honey.

The average hive needs about 40 pounds of stored honey to make it through the colder months. This amount can push upwards of 90 pounds in freezing areas. To make one pound of honey, 550 worker bees will visit over 2 million flowers. The amount of energy it takes to produce honey to keep the hive alive is enormous.

which bees make honey

Which Bees Make Honey?

When we look at which bees make honey, it comes down to species and gender. Worldwide there are about seven species of bees that produce honey. There are 44 subspecies recognized globally as producing honey. In the commercial honey industry in the United States, most bees fall into one of these species types. Those are the apis mellifera.

Apis mellifera translated means “honey carrying bee.” This is a little misguided since they carry nectar but that is the name none the less. This group of bees includes many races of bees, or subspecies like the apis mellifera lingustica, apis mellifera caucasca and apis mellifera carnica.
The USDA has also produced several hybrid bees by combining subspecies via their bee breeding and genetics program. This included a Russian hybrid known for being resistant to mites and cold winters. Other popular hybrids include the Buckfast and Minnesota hybrids.

Aside from the species of bees that make honey, the gender of the bees also comes into play. As mentioned earlier, the worker bees are all female. Each hive is also run by a mighty queen bee, who is by far the alpha female.

conclusion

When we fully understand which bees make honey and what it takes to make even small amounts of honey, a new level of respect for the worker bees emerges. These tiny insects not only carry a big punch with their defensive stingers but also are among the hardest working species on the planet. Knowing only a tiny portion of bees can make honey only adds to the value of the worker bees' contributions.

Not only are the worker bees out there making food to feed their colonies in the colder months, but also creating a significant impact on the world around them. The select group of honey bees deserve to be both protected and respected. Taking a few moments to explore the sheer strength needed to do the tough job of gathering nectar makes the female bees even more amazing.

It is one thing to appreciate the amazing life of the honey bee, but it is a whole other issue to ignore the vanishing numbers. There is a lot at risk if we ignore the needs of the honey bee. They impact the human existence as they play a significant role in putting food on our tables. Even though there are over 20,000 species of bees on the planet, only a handful can fill the shoes of the worker honey bees. It is not as simple as allowing one species of honey bees to vanish because there are many more to take their place.

Beyond making honey to feed the hive, bees also bring many countries in the world profit in the form of the booming honey trade. Keeping bee habitats safe seems to be a small trade to stay in the honey business. It is also a small way to have a large overall impact. Next time someone asks “which bees make honey,” you can be sure to tell them that not all bees make honey, but all bees are equally important to our ecosystem.

Are Bee Stings Dangerous – Do They Have An Effect To Human Body?

Summer is a beautiful time of year. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the bees are buzzing. Bees are an intelligent, integral part of our ecosystem. They pollinate many flowers and other plants including almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, and avocados. You wouldn't be able to enjoy some of your favorite picnic snacks without the hard work of bees. But should you be afraid of them? Are bee stings dangerous? If you would like to know the answer to this question and more, read on.

Fortunately, bee stings are not a danger to most of the population. While you may have an allergic reaction to the venom, you will usually only experience mild swelling and discomfort for anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. Those stung by a bee may also experience mild itching. If you live in an area that is heavily populated with bees, it is especially important to know what kinds of bees sting, why they sting, how to prevent bee stings, and what to do if you've been stung. Not only will this knowledge ease your mind, but you will be able to protect yourself and take care of a loved one in the event of a bee sting.


Which Bees Sting?

Although many people are frightened whenever they see a bee, not all bees sting. In fact, bees that appear the most threatening are often the most harmless. Males bees do not have stingers, and certain species of bees have stingers that are too small to use for defense. These bees will fly at a perceived threat, causing them to panic and swat the bee. Most sting-less bees live in tropical climates.

are bee stings dangerous

Why Do Bees Sting?

Bees sting for several reasons. They will sting a human if they feel threatened, if they are handled roughly, or if they get stepped on. However, stinging is not a bee's first line of defense. Their stingers are barbed, and stinging animals such as humans and bears cause the stinger to get caught in the skin or fur. This rips the abdominal muscles, digestive tract, nerves, and other muscles out of the bee, causing the bee to die. Honey bees are the only species of bee that can sting multiple times.

Please note that although honey bees can sting humans multiple times without dying, the alarm pheromones released upon the injection of apitoxin occurs much more quickly when a bee is fatally injured. This may incite other nearby bees to come and attack the threat.

are bee stings dangerous

Are Bee Stings Dangerous?

So, are bee stings dangerous? In general, bee stings are not dangerous, but they can be lethal to the approximately one or two out of every 1,000 people that are allergic to bee stings. If you are allergic to bee venom, it is wise to carry epinephrine with you at all times. About 53 people die from an allergic reaction to bee venom annually. However, this number is consistently increasing as Africanized bees are multiplying rapidly in Texas. 

For individuals not allergic to bee venom, the most dangerous part of a bee sting is the pheromones released after the bee sting. This confirms to other nearby bees that the unfamiliar scent is a threat, and they, too, should attack. While it is best to remain calm and still in the presence of bees, if you get stung, the best course of action is to run.

There are many steps you can take to avoid being stung by a bee. These include:

  • Protect your feet on lawns – do not run around barefoot or wear sandals in your yard. A common reason bees attack is because they get stepped on. Some bees nest in the ground and are often attracted to lawn plants such as clover, dandelions, or cowslips.
  • Leave bee nests alone – bumblebees and solitary bees can be left alone to go about their day. If you discover a honey bee nest, do not spray chemicals or throw things at it. Keep children and dogs away and do not aggravate the bees. Ask a local beekeeper for professional advice.
  • Keep skin and clothes clean and dry – if you are having a picnic outdoors, be sure to keep your face and hands clean and wipe up any sticky spills on your clothes. Bees are attracted to sugary food and drink such as ice cream, chocolate, and fruit juice. Keep a packet of wet wipes on you if eating outdoors during the summer.
  • Store food and drinks in containers – another tip for picnicking safely in the summer, store drinks in a travel mug or beaker with straw. Pack snacks and meals in Tupperware or another storage container.
  • Eat finger foods – if you are going on a family picnic, choose foods that children can easily eat quickly. If they spend too long holding their food, they may attract bees. Good ideas include cheese, cut sandwiches, grapes, and nuts. As mentioned above, keep this food sealed and serve one at a time.
  • Remain calm – like any other animal; bees don't enjoy being threatened or fighting. They want to forage for food. While bees can't smell fear, they pick up on unusual behavior such as swinging your arms wildly or stomping your feet on the ground. If they believe they are being threatened, they may attack you. If they are disturbing you, remain calm and slowly move away.
  • Ask a beekeeper to handle a bee swarmbee swarms are a natural and necessary part of a bee's life cycle. Instead of trying to disturb and harm them, ask a professional for help. They may want the bees to expand their collection of hives, and will know how to handle them gently and safely.
  • Try to remain neutral – avoid perfumes and heavily scented hairspray during the spring and summer. Avoid wearing black clothes if possible. Bees can feel threatened by darker colors because many of their natural enemies have dark fur.
  • Use a DEET-free insect repellant – use lotion or bracelets around the yard or in the home.
  • Avoid picnicking where bees gather in droves – stay away from garbage cans, as bees are likely to scavenge there. Avoid sitting or standing next to flowering bushes. Bees may try to pollinate these flowers.

Treating a Bee Sting

If you find yourself or a loved one stung by a bee, there are many steps you can take to treat the sting. These include: 

  • Remove the stinger – brush it away with your hand or scrape it with a clean, blunt object. The stinger will continue to pump venom into your body if you do not remove it quickly.
  • Apply ice – this will reduce pain and discourage scratching the stung area.
  • Venom extractor kit – if you live in an area that with a large bee population, you may find it valuable to invest in a venom extractor kit.
  • Calamine lotion – if a bee stings a child, in addition to ice, apply calamine lotion and cut the child's nails. The calamine lotion further reduces the urge to scratch, while cutting their nails ensures they will not scratch their skin to the point of bleeding and infection.
  • Take medication – research is still out on antihistamines after bee stings, but feel free to take a pain reliever if a bee stings you. There is no need to remain in pain.
  • Seek medical treatment if:
  • You are stung near the eye or inside the ear.
  • You are stung inside the mouth, nostril or throat. This may cause obstruction of airways and lead to suffocation.
  • You experience symptoms of anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, chest wheezing, rapidly falling blood pressure, confusion, and loss of consciousness. In extreme cases, an allergic reaction can lead to organ failure and death.

Are Bee Stings Dangerous – Conclusion

mason bee

When asking yourself if bee stings are dangerous, it's important to remember that bees are an integral part of our ecosystem. Only female bees of certain species can sting humans, and only honey bees can sting a human more than once without dying. While bee stings remain relatively rare, sit is wise to exercise caution around any bee you see. If you remain calm, particularly if you are not near a hive, bees are likely to leave you alone. Docile species of bees include solitary bees and bumblebees. Since stinging a human kills a bee, they typically try to mind their own business and continue drinking, eating, working, or performing whatever other daily tasks they are going about.

If you get stung by a bee, you only need to seek medical attention if you are having an allergic reaction. Otherwise, you can treat the sting with an everyday first aid kit. Do your best to keep children away from open sources of food and keep their hands and clothing clean. If a child is stung, ensure he or she does not scratch the skin excessively, as this can lead to infection. The most important thing to remember is if you mind your own beeswax, bees will generally leave you in peace to enjoy your summer.