IntroductionA sting from a bee is known as a bee sting. There are many species of bees and most commonly one found are honey bee, bumblebee, sweat bee etc. Sting of bee causes lots of pain and discomfort, but still in most of the cases it is harmless. Usually bee sting do not escalate into anything dangerous. Venom or toxin present in one bee differs from another. This is the reason that body's reaction too differs in response to bee stings of different species. Bee stings are acidic in nature and are incredibly common. Most common bee sting is from honey bee.
Bee stingBees cause a puncture wound on the skin. This laceration caused on skin itself is known as a bee sting. A local toxic reaction thereby takes place on the skin at the site of bee sting. It is usually caused due to venom present in a bee. Each bee consists of a stinger which has three parts. There is a stylus in between and two lancets on either sides of the stylus. These two lancets draw stylus inside the skin. A sac of venom is attached to a stinger. When target is approached, lancets alternatively move up and down the stylus. When lancet of one side goes inside the wound, it drags other side too and stylus is pushed further inside. In some bees, stinging mechanism is detached from their abdomen. However, when a honey bee stings, it is unable to withdraw its stinger out after causing a sting. It not only leaves behind its stinger but also its muscles, nerves, partial abdomen and digestive tract. This is the reason that honey bee dies after stinging as it suffers from huge abdominal rupture.
Symptoms Local reaction takes place at the site of an attack. Pain is the most common symptom experienced by most of the individuals. Pain is instant and quick in onset. Nature of pain is burning type and intensity is very sharp. Duration lasts for a few seconds. Localized swelling is seen with increased redness. It appears to be very painful and itchy. Swelling and redness increases with time. Severity of pain depends on the body part. Certain parts are more susceptible to pain. These symptoms are common with various species of bees. However, certain bee stings can cause severe local reactions like red erythema which can reach up to 12 inches. Swelling of extremities can be seen.
Things to do after a bee sting
Things not to do during a bee sting
Removal of stingerRemoving stinger out of the skin as soon as possible is the best measure one can take after getting a bee sting. If stringer continues to remain in skin then it will continue to draw venom through lacerated wound. Thus, its quick removal is advised. However, correct procedure should be adopted in its removal. Making a haste here by just randomly scraping it can delay its removal. Stinger is almost the size of the tip of the pen. It will sometimes carry torn flesh from the honey bee and sometimes one can see a bee attached to it. First and foremost, locate the stinger. Do not use tweezers as more venom will be released into the body. Use finger nails to remove it or else use a credit card to sweep it. Even a blunt knife can be used to swipe over the area of the sting.
What is the first and foremost thing to do after a bee sting ?Look around if there is presence of any hive nearby. If yes, quickly but calmly move away. Maintain calm and do not panic. Making large movements like running or waving arms can create a disaster. Freaking out at that moment is not advisable. If it is any other bee, it definitely is not going to leave any stinger inside. If it is honey bee then stinger will be left inside the open wound caused in the skin. Remove the stinger as soon as possible. This stinger is known to release pheromones which is responsible to send signals to nearby bees. If not removed quickly then signals sent can be a threat, particularly if bee hive is nearby. Once removed, home remedies or medicines can be taken to relieve pain and discomfort.
ConclusionBee stings most of the times are insignificant. They cause a little pain and discomfort due to the venom injected inside lacerated sting. These symptoms subside with time. However, it is a matter of concern in case of those individuals who show severe allergic reactions and goes into anaphylactic shock after bee sting. First and foremost care one needs to take is to remain calm. Panic along with anxiety created together can multiply the pain. Remove the stinger and apply some home remedies over affected area. Certain medicines taken orally and also if applied topically prove to be effective in relieving symptoms. Bees are very commonly found everywhere. Certain precautions taken will prevent bee stings and if bee has already stung then calmly handle the whole scenario and quickly get rid of all the pain and discomfort that is been caused.
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In case of multiple stings, a person may suffer from high fever, rashes, nausea, headache etc. Rarely it may also cause difficulty in breathing, fall in blood pressure and swollen joints causing lots of pain. In case of children, multiple stings can prove to be fatal. Also, if stings become infected then it will lead to accumulation of pus in there. This in turn will cause lots of pain and other signs of inflammation.